By Emily Joseph
Has this situation happened to you: You spend an hour choosing a movie with your partner and finding the right time and place to see it. You buy your ticket online – spending at least $12 per ticket – before heading over, waiting in line to get into the theater, then waiting in line to get your snacks, until you finally take off your jacket and sit down to watch the movie. And that’s when it hits you. As the lights go down you realize you will not be able to enjoy the movie: you forgot your glasses.
If you have found yourself in this situation – or some version of it – chances are you have also considered getting LASIK surgery. But if you are like most people, you do not take the decision lightly. That is smart. After all, despite being quick and easy, LASIK surgery is still surgery. You should make sure to discuss your particular situation with your doctor. But if you’re looking for more information about why LASIK is safe and effective – and could be the right choice for you – then read on. Below are answers to some of the most frequent questions about LASIK surgery.
Q: What happens in LASIK surgery?
A: During LASIK surgery, you will first be put under anesthesia. Then the surgeon will make a flap in your cornea, and use a laser to reshape the underlying cornea. He or she will be finished in less than a half hour, without having caused any pain, though there will be a little pressure.
Q: How common are complications arising from LASIK surgery?
A: While there is always a risk for complication involved in any medical procedure, the risks from LASIK surgery are relatively low. Before you are accepted as a patient, the doctor will perform a full examination to find any factors – e.g. dry eyes – that could increase the risk of complications.
Q: What vision problems can LASIK surgery address?
A: LASIK surgery can’t cure all vision problems, but it can help many of them. People with impaired vision are good candidates. Sufferers of myopia, also known as nearsightedness, hyperopia, aka farsightedness and astigmatism, the usual culprit behind blurry vision, are also good candidates for LASIK. Of course, you should speak to your doctor about your personal health situation.
Q: Can I afford LASIK surgery?
A: Any responsible adult considers the cost of a medical procedure before electing it. Most people can afford LASIK surgery, but prices do vary. On average, the surgery costs approximately $2,150 for each eye or about $4,000 for both, according to AllAboutVision.com. Considering the cost of contacts – about $300/year – the surgery will begin to pay for itself after about twelve years for those who wear contacts.
Q: Will insurance cover the cost of LASIK surgery?
A: Though most insurers will not cover the full cost of LASIK surgery, you should check the details of your health plan to be sure about the status of yours. Some health plans might not cover the full price tag but will cover part of it.
Q: How successful is LASIK surgery in solving vision problems?
A: LASIK has been shown to serve its patients well. Elissa Shuler Adair, PhD, manager of health care research for Consumer Reports Health, says that 86% of people under forty who have had LASIK were still sans glasses nine years after undergoing the surgery.
About the author: Emily Joseph is a writer for QualSight. When’s she not busy writing or reviewing LASIK doctors, she spends her free time reading classic literature and listening to her favorite records.