A couple of decades ago whenever people had eye or vision problems, a pair of glasses or a set of contact lenses would be prescribed to them by their ophthalmologists. In rare cases, these glasses or contact lenses can eventually repair the damage or vision impairment of an individual. Unfortunately not everyone is as lucky and most people who use correctional glasses or contact lenses have to wear them for the rest of their lives. One breakthrough in technology allows people to have their vision corrected permanently. This newly introduced procedure is called the laser eye surgery. The very first laser eye surgery performed in the United States was done in 1990. Within a few years after its introduction, laser eye surgery has managed to win the favor of most doctors and health experts in the medical field.
There are a lot of laser eye surgery types, and two of the most famous types of laser eye surgery are the PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) and the LASIK (laser in-situ keratomileusis). Laser eye treatment has offered a second chance to individuals who have to cope with wearing eyeglasses and contact lenses everyday in order to get good vision. Although laser eye surgery is a commonly performed procedure today, there are still several people who are unaware of the different advantages and disadvantages of the laser eye treatment.
Pros or Advantages of the Laser Eye Treatment
It is no secret why laser eye treatment is now a very famous procedure today. This surgical procedure has a lot of benefits, which is why many people opt to have this procedure performed on them rather than adapting by wearing contact lenses or glasses all the time. Here we have a few of the main laser eye treatment pros.
• High Success Rate – The most famous types of laser eye surgery, the PRK and LASIK to name a few, have a very high success rate. Statistics show that out of every 1,000 people who undergo laser eye surgery, only 1 will develop serious side effects.
• Fast – Laser eye treatment itself takes only a couple of minutes to an hour or two to perform. Aside from being a fast procedure, patients who undergo this procedure will also able to notice an immediate improvement in their vision.
• One-time Procedure – In most cases, laser eye surgery can be performed once. While there are people who have to undergo the laser eye treatment twice, this situation is actually very rare.
• Painless – There are many people who are under the false assumption that the laser eye treatment can be painful. In reality, this procedure is actually painless and patients will be able to feel only a slight discomfort. Prior the procedure, ophthalmologists will use a special type of eye drops to numb the eyes. These eye drops function as the anesthetics so that the client won’t feel any pain during the procedure.
• No More Glasses or Contact Lenses – Since glasses and contact lenses are always available for people whose vision is impaired, why do people still need laser eye treatment? While glasses and contact lenses may seem easy to use, they can be annoying and troubling in the long run. Glasses can be difficult to use if you’re out doing certain sports and contact lenses easily dry up, which can only further irritate the eyes. Laser eye treatment gives individuals with vision impairment a chance to correct the damage in their eyes fast so they no longer have to worry about wearing glasses or contact lenses. Sporty individuals or those who are allergic to contact lenses can benefit greatly from a laser eye surgery.
Cons or Disadvantages of the Laser Eye Treatment
It is true that laser eye surgery has a lot of advantages, but like all excellent medical procedures, it also has its fair share of disadvantages. Here are the different cons or disadvantages of the laser eye treatment.
• Expensive – While the price of a laser eye surgery depends on the doctor and the type of surgery performed, laser eye surgery can actually be quite expensive. It doesn’t help that most insurance companies in the United States will not cover this procedure. The most common laser eye surgery, LASIK, is the most expensive one as well.
• Side Effects – Although there is very little chance that patients will develop serious adverse effects, laser eye treatment has a few minor side effects that are quite common after the surgery. These side effects include dry eyes, itching, corneal scarring, under or over correction, infection, blurred vision, astigmatism, sensitivity to light, and pain.
• Second Surgery – For patients that developed an under correction due to their laser eye surgery, a second surgery will be prescribed in order to fully correct the impairment.
• Patients May Need to Wear Glasses Still – There are rare cases where people who have undergone laser eye treatment will still need to wear glasses or contact lenses even after the surgery. Like in the case of over correction, this side effect will require the patient to wear glasses to correct the impairment.
• Laser Eye Surgery Is Not Available to Everyone – Individuals below the age of 18, or those who are pregnant are not encouraged to undergo a laser eye surgery. Even individuals who are taking certain types of drugs are prohibited from submitting to this procedure. People who have glaucoma, thin corneas, and large pupils are also not prescribed to undergo this procedure.
• Cannot Correct Cataracts – Contrary to popular belief, laser eye surgery cannot correct cataracts. In fact, laser eye treatment is actually contraindicated to individuals with this medical condition.