For the longest time, eyeglasses have acted as solid companions to those who suffer from less than perfect vision. Along came contact lenses and changed the face of the optics market. Suddenly the social stigma of wearing glasses didn’t play a part anymore. But it’s not till the invention of LASIK some 25 years back that has revolutionized the corrective lens game completely. Let’s run through LASIK then and now and what are its advantages and disadvantages
LASIK Past, Present and Future
An Iranian doctor by the name of Gholam Peyman is held as the original inventor of LASIK eye surgery. His research on refractive corrections and live test procedures is what brought LASIK into the operating room in the first place. After it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration(FDA) in 1995, ophthalmologists initially used it for the treatment of myopia. As time passed, doctors and scientists fine-tuned the procedure making it more safe and effective and as a result one of the most frequently chosen eye corrective methods.
LASIK owes its existence to the excimer laser, a form of ultraviolet laser, which has the ability of removing microscopic amounts of tissue from the cornea without damage and with inane accuracy. Over the years, further developments including the automation of the microkeratome, a precision surgical instrument with an oscillating blade designed for creating the corneal flap, has allowed for an overall high success rate.
Advanced technological adjustments are constantly revamping correction eye procedures to include minimal surgical impact, rapid treatment and more efficient results.
At our eye clinic in Dubai, patients can now choose from a plethora of vision correction procedures ranging from the traditional LASIK to the much more advanced Femto SMILE 3D method.
Benefits of LASIK
In It For the Long Haul
Although the cost of glasses or contact lenses may not seem so extravagant if you process it on a monthly basis, the numbers multiply as years progress. Let’s do the math for contact lenses. A box of branded contact lenses containing 6 pairs, which will need to be replaced monthly, are approximately 125-235 AED. So over the course of a year, you are paying 1,500-2,820 AED.
In 10 years, that amounts to almost 15,000-28,200 AED. The average cost of getting LASIK surgery in Dubai, on the other hand, is approximately 5,000 to 8,000 AED per eye and in most cases, you retain good vision starting from several years up to decades even. If the lump sum is a bit of sticker shock, be sure to inquire about varied payment options that several clinics offer in order to make LASIK surgery affordable.
Calling Your Inner Athlete
As you get older, you tend to get wiser, especially about maintaining good health. Where before it was all about watching sports, maybe now you want to pick up a new sport. And while glasses may have restricted your athletic behavior prior to this, now you can finally bypass these limitations with the help of LASIK surgery. No more risk of breaking your glasses and hurting your eyes during that intense basketball game. No more limiting your fast eye movements due to bulky, uncomfortable sports goggles as you swing that squash racket as hard as you want.
Breeze Through Allergy Season
Contact lenses are an alien intrusion in your eyes no matter how comfortable they are. A person tends to lose count of the number of times they are required to touch their lens over the course of a day to ensure smooth sight. You need to put them. You need to take them out. You need to touch your eye to readjust them.
And let’s face it, hands aren’t always necessarily clean. Throw allergy season into this mix and you will have a real itch fest to remember. Pollen not only gets onto hands but by proxy in your eyes as well. With LASIK, however, you are no longer required to touch your eyes every hour and increase the risk of racking up allergy points.
Possible Complications of LASIK surgery
Stand By For Dry Eye
In many cases, patients who have undergone LASIK surgery have reported varying levels of dry eye syndrome. During the procedure, some nerves in the cornea have to be cut causing a degree of sensitivity due to which your eyes’ need for lubrication decreases and with it the production of tears. This results in your eyes becoming dry and requiring constant use of eye drops to avoid discomfort and maintain optimal visual outcomes.
While in most scenarios, dry eye is known to last for a month; some people may be facing this irritation for up to a year after.
Keep The Flap Under Wrap
There is risk associated with any surgery, and LASIK is no exception. Since a small flap has to be created in the topmost layer of the cornea for some of the procedures, immense precision has to be taken into effect here. While this can be dealt with expertly with the use of automated microkeratomes, handheld ones can lead to a greater chance of slight imperfections with the resulting corneal flap.
Patients also play a vital role in minimizing flap complications by ensuring that they follow post-operative instructions down to a T. Immediately after, avoid places that will be dusty or dirty. Do not rub the eyes or wear makeup and put lotion around them. And while it should be implied already, contact sports are a NO until given the green light.
Too Much Or Too Little
Keeping in mind each individual is different, one can clearly say each set of eyes is different and, therefore, each LASIK surgery’s results will be different.
Undercorrection is when the desired change in your refractive error is not achieved and usually happens to patients with higher levels of nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism. Similarly, overcorrection occurs when the change in refractive error is more than the surgeon desired in the first place. So if you were nearsighted, an overcorrection would make it difficult for you to see objects up close clearly and if you were farsighted your distance vision will be somewhat blurred.
A slight under-correction will not seriously affect your vision but a more significant one may require a slight enhancement procedure. For overcorrection, patients are suggested to wear glasses for a temporary period until the issue resolves itself.
For those who love their tortoiseshell eyeglasses or change contact lens like it’s nobody’s business, we salute you. For those who are looking for an alternate method that not only promises sharper vision but also allows for convenience in the long run, say hello to LASIK. Yes, you might have to start carrying lubricant drops to deal with dry eyes post-op.
Yes, you may not end up with 20/20 vision like you desired. But also understand, no more spending money day in, day out on countless numbers of contact lens boxes. No more touching your eyes at all times to ensure your lens is correctly placed for optimal vision. No more avoiding swimming and other contact sports because you wear glasses and are afraid they will either shatter or slip off. At the end of the day, it may be a win-win situation for you and the general health of your eye, which is why LASIK surgery is definitely a procedure to be considered.