LASIK surgery is a life-changing procedure. It’s also incredibly popular, with millions of people going under the laser every year. With popularity comes misinformation, unfortunately. Here at Nielsen Eye Center, we are dedicated to spreading true LASIK information and debunking the myths. Here are 5 LASIK myths you may have heard, and why they aren’t true.
MYTH #1: The laser used during LASIK can burn your eyes!
False! Many people think this because, during LASIK, there is a weird smell that can sometimes happen when the excimer laser is reshaping your cornea. The excimer laser is made up of an extremely concentrated beam of light – not heat.
That strange smell is actually just a result of carbon being released into the air by collagen molecules as the excimer laser breaks them up.
MYTH #2: You will go blind.
Actually, as of this writing, there are no reported cases of blindness due to LASIK surgery itself. In a recent study, it was discovered that patients actually have a 34 times higher risk of going blind from a contact lens infection than going blind from LASIK.
However, when the correct aftercare protocol is not observed, the resulting complications (especially infections) can cause blindness. This is extremely rare, but has happened. LASIK surgery itself does not cause blindness, and most cases of LASIK complications are avoidable by following aftercare procedures set forth by your surgeon.
If you notice anything out of the ordinary or anything alarming after your LASIK surgery, contact an ophthalmologist immediately. Even if it turns out to be nothing, better safe than sorry!
MYTH #3: LASIK is painful.
There is no pain involved with LASIK. Of course, pain is subjective. What may qualify as minor discomfort for some can be considered pain to another. The most uncomfortable part of LASIK surgery, according to what our patients tell us, is the pressure from the laser. When the excimer laser is being used, a suction device will touch your eye to keep it still. This is good – it means you won’t move your eyes during surgery and mess up the treatment. However, this requires suction which can cause an uncomfortable pressure on your eye. This feeling will only last for the few seconds it takes to treat your eye with the excimer laser.
MYTH #4: LASIK doesn’t last.
Actually LASIK is a permanent procedure. Your eye doctor will continue to see you every year to check up on your ocular health. In addition, all patients will experience presbyopia and cataract formation whether or not they had LASIK to begin with. This is definitely the driving factor for the circulation of this myth. Cataracts and presbyopia cause significant changes in vision, and some people are under the impression that LASIK should stop these changes.
Cataracts and presbyopia affect the lens inside of the eye, not the cornea. Because LASIK can only change the shape of the cornea, the procedure will have no effect on the lens and cannot stop lens-related vision problems.
If you would like to schedule a LASIK consultation in the Boston or Quincy areas, contact Nielsen Eye Center today! Our LASIK experts are here to walk you through what you can expect before, during and after your LASIK procedure. Call us or make an appointment online to schedule your consultation!