Written by Emily McBride (last updated December 2, 2020)
Are you tired not being able to see without wearing glasses or contacts? Both nearsighted and farsighted people can benefit from laser eye surgery. Most people get good results from laser eye surgery. Many end up with 20/20 vision, but some only end up with 20/40. However, even 20/40 is acceptable for driving, so you will no longer need glasses or contacts to drive. Laser eye surgery can be a great benefit but, as any surgery should be, it is still a big decision. Some factors to take into consideration before you get laser eye surgery are the two types of surgeries, the surgeon, and possible risks associated with surgery.
Lasik surgery is currently the most common vision-correcting type of eye surgery. Lasik stands for "laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis." The reason it's popular is because of its quick recovery time and lack of pain. Most people only experience slight discomfort. The surgery works by reshaping the cornea, which helps your eye focus light better, which improves your vision. The other kind of laser eye surgery is PRK (photorefractive keratectomy). The outcomes and risks for both surgeries are very similar, except that Lasik boasts a shorter recovery time and less pain.
Make sure that you get a good eye surgeon. Ask him or her about licensing, board certification, education, and experience. Most surgeons have free consultations, so you can meet him or her to decide if you feel comfortable. You can also ask your eye doctor for a referral. Once you have chosen a surgeon, make sure you ask him or her any questions you might have before the procedure.
Some health conditions may prevent you from getting laser eye surgery. Many health problems just postpone the surgery, while some prevent it altogether. If you go to your eye doctor, he or she will perform an eye exam to see if you are a good candidate. One common problem is dry eye disease. Your eye doctor can help you get that cleared up so you can receive the surgery.
There is a slight risk for complications as there is with any surgery. Some of these complications include eye infection and chronic dry eye. Laser eye surgery does not currently work for age-related vision loss. Even if you get laser eye surgery, you will probably need reading glasses as you get older.
Expect to pay at least $2,000 per eye, if not more. However, keep in mind that you won't need to be buying contacts or glasses. The benefit of not having to wear glasses or contacts may make the cost worth the procedure.
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