Seeing Eye to Eye: Norwood LASIK Specialist Explain the Truth About Eye Surgery
The Norwood LASIK professionals at Eye Care Specialists site at least 70 million people in the US are currently living with nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), astigmatism, or a combination of conditions, who could benefit drastically from LASIK. Boston just may be the place to get the surgery that has changed the lives of more than 20 million people worldwide. Yes, people are reporting almost miraculous results, but how are you to wade through the hype and find out what’s exactly true. So here is what patients need to know about the many benefits, and drawbacks, of the revolutionary procedure.
1. Norwood LASIK is quick and painless
LASIK is performed in two ways: by using a sophisticated instrument called a microkeratime or using a precise laser, known as the Intralase, to cut a small flap at the top layer of the cornea. The flap is then gently folded back and the laser reshapes the midcornea, which is repositioned and the procedure is complete. A simple objective observation reveals that you really can’t argue that LASIK is a fast procedure. The whole process usually takes about 10 minutes per eye, with some additional time spent in pre-op and post-op. So that part is most definitely true. And as far as surgeries go, it is relatively painless. Patients receive anesthetic drops to numb the eye. The most a patient will probably feel is a light pressure around the eye during the procedure.
What you can expect afterward is a common side effect of dryness in the eyes reported by approximately 34% of patients. For some, dry eyes is nothing more than a short term irritation. For a small few, however, the eyes can get so dry that they become painful, and sometimes to the point where they have to put drops in several times an hour. An even smaller number experience pain even worse than that, but some of these cases could be attributed to malpractice or for the fact that these individuals reported dry eyes before the actual LASIK surgery. The majority, however, experience a small window of time post-surgery that feels very similar to having an eyelash caught in your eye. And since the surface cells of the eyes heals faster than any other part of the body, the recovery time occurs much more quickly.
2. Norwood LASIK as an alternative to glasses
LASIK has been proven to reduce the need for optical aid, including the need for dependency on glasses and contact lenses. However, if a LASIK center offers a “20/20 Guarantee for 100% of Patients,” you might as well ask for your money back or to operate again for free. The FDA spells it out clearly on the LASIK page of its website: “Only a certain percent of patients achieve 20/20 vision without glasses or contacts … Some patients lose lines of vision on the vision chart that cannot be corrected with glasses [or] contact lenses …” Some people may even achieve 20/20 vision or better at first, but then their vision starts to degrade again over time. Consumer Reports surveyed LASIK patients and nearly two-thirds of them reported that they still had to wear glasses or contacts some or all of the time, for either reading or distance vision.
Now that we’ve adjusted for more realistic expectations, what are the statistical chances that vision could improve, and just how well can you expect to see afterward? Well, in a major report discussed on the American Academy of Ophthalmology website, out of 64 studies, a median of 92% of eyes with myopia or myopic astigmatism achieved a correction within 2.0 diopters of target. Outcomes involving people with low to high levels of myopia, receive a median of 94% of eyes achieved 20/40 or better vision after surgery and did not require correction with glasses or contact lenses (uncorrected visual acuity or UCVA). A median of 99 percent of people with low to moderate levels of myopia had 20/40 or better UCVA, and a median of 89 percent of people with high myopia had the same result. In other words, those are some very good odds.
3. Norwood LASIK has little to no side effects
While the risk for any form of complications during surgery is very low, there are some common side effects that occur post-LASIK. Boston patients who achieve 20/20 visual acuity (sharpness of vision), and who can read the tiniest lines on an eye chart, may see them in double for a short time. Seeing at night also might become difficult because bright lights can cause glares and starburst, so driving right out of surgery, especially at night, is not recommended. In fact, many patients have trouble distinguishing between subtle shades of gray, which may prove slightly inconvenient in low contrast environments.
The LASIK industry acknowledges all of the side effects listed above in the “Informed Consent” forms patients sign before having the surgery. The eye academies have also said that some of the complications patients experience are treatable and that when patients give doctors a chance to address their symptoms, many can be resolved.
The American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, which represents LASIK physicians, in reviewing almost 3,000 journal articles on LASIK and found that 95.4% of patients reported satisfaction with the outcome of their surgery, with a minute statistical chance of complications. Keep in mind that though that despite being a wonderful medical breakthrough, Norwood LASIK prospective patients need to have realistic expectations and know that results can vary. Even when the chances of night glare and other side effects have been reduced because of recent technological advancements, there is still a 1% of serious side effects.