Three out of every four American adults use vision correcting devices. That’s almost 190 million people. Even more people worldwide need glasses but don’t have access to them.
Eyeglasses as we know them were invented in 1730. Every hundred years or so since then, vision correcting technology has made huge advancements. Contacts were first manufactured in 1887, and Lasik eye surgery was approved by the FDA in 1995.
While the benefits of wearing glasses and contacts are common knowledge, the benefits of Lasik surgery are not as well known. Here are seven benefits of Lasik you might not have considered.
1. Immediate Improvement
As far as surgery results go, Lasik benefits are almost immediate. Within two days of surgery, most patients notice a measurable difference in their vision. By one week post-op, good, clear vision has returned.
In a matter of months, your eyesight will have sharpened completely. Four weeks after surgery seems to be the sweet spot.
Around 90% of those who pursue Lasik eye surgery to improve vision end up with results between 20/20 and 20/40.
2. Enduring Results
Lasik is a permanent alteration to the cornea of your eye. The reshaping of the cornea is what corrects your vision. Because of this permanent change, Lasik has enduring results.
Fewer than 10% of patients will need a touch-up, even a decade after the surgery.
Still, our eyes are always aging. Around 40, the eyes begin to develop presbyopia, a condition affecting the eye’s lens that cannot be fixed through surgery.
As the eye ages, the lens loses elasticity and cannot change shape as quickly to focus anymore. Characterized by eyestrain and an inability to focus close-up, presbyopia will require the use of reading glasses.
3. Ease of Recovery
One benefit of Lasik is the ease of recovery. The procedure itself is pain-free, and you’ll leave surgery without bandages or stitches. There are no wounds to dress and care for.
You won’t be able to drive home, but most patients are clear to drive after their first post-op appointment, only 24-48 hours after surgery. The day after surgery you’ll be able to resume much of your normal routine, including taking showers.
Once the anesthesia wears off, you’ll notice itching or mild burning. It’s important to rest your eyes for several hours the first day. Strenuous activity is not advised.
You might notice a halo and light sensitivity. Puffiness and watery eyes are also common in the beginning of recovery.
The first week after surgery, you’ll have to protect your eyes from rubbing and infection, which means you’ll use eye shields at night. You can’t touch your eyes, wear makeup, or use soap near your eyes.
Within seven days, you’ll be exercising again, even swimming laps as long as you wear goggles. Before six months, you’ll have fully recovered.
4. Enhanced Performance
The most significant benefit of laser surgery is performance enhancement. You’ll be able to see better!
You’ll have the benefits of glasses without the burden of glasses. You won’t have to fumble with contacts. There’s no after-shower fog, no soaking solutions, no wiping smears off a lens.
You’ll be able to hop out of bed in the middle of the night and see your way to the bathroom. Or run upstairs to ease your kid’s nightmares without groping around your nightstand for glasses first.
If you play sports, your game is about to improve. You’ll have visual acuity without strapping glasses to your head.
Lasik also improves job performance for military personnel and police, fire, and rescue workers.
Beyond job performance, Lasik allows you to live your life more freely. Jump in the ocean. Perfect a winged eyeliner. Walk outside when it’s raining.
You’ll be able to take a picture of your face without an obstructing glare. You’ll finally know what you look like without glasses.
5. Long-Term Savings
The one time cost of surgery will save you hundreds of dollars every year in optometry upkeep.
Glasses are expensive. A good pair costs anywhere from $100-$300. Anti-reflective and scratch-resistant coatings drive the price up another $100 or so.
Contacts are expensive and need constant replacing. A box of lenses can cost $70, and you’ll need five per eye per year. Add in the cost of contact lens solution for another couple hundred per year.
6. Allergy Relief
Allergy relief is perhaps an unexpected Lasik surgery benefit.
People who wear glasses and contact lenses are constantly touching their faces with their hands. Glasses slide down your nose and you push them back up. Contacts slip out of place and need adjustment.
Human hands harbor all kinds of contaminants: dust, germs, pathogens. Keeping your hands away from your face will reduce itchy eyes and swelling.
Many allergens are airborne. Allergens like pollen, mold, and dander, take flight and actually cling to the surface of contact lenses. What better way to get through allergy season than to get rid of contacts and glasses altogether?
7. It’s Adjustable
While the results of Lasik are long lasting, adjustments can be made. If your vision hasn’t sharpened by your six-month appointment, your doctor will discuss a minor enhancement procedure.
If you had unstable or frequent eye prescriptions prior to surgery, you’ll probably need an enhancement. Any significant change in vision after surgery will also require enhancement. Some surgeons perform the procedure free of charge.
Qualifications for Surgery
Not everyone is a candidate for Lasik eye surgery. Among those who don’t qualify are women who are pregnant or nursing or people with dry eye, cataracts or glaucoma.
A cornea that’s thick or extremely misshapen or pupils that are unusually large don’t make good candidates for surgery. Patients whose refractive prescriptions measure too high are also not treatable.
The Benefits of Lasik Eye Surgery Are Clear
For those who pursue it, Lasik eye surgery has clear benefits. The surgery itself is minimally invasive and easy to recover from. The adjustment to your cornea is permanent and those improvements will last for decades.
More than anything, the freedom you’ll gain to live your life is immeasurable.
Are you considering Lasik or other vision improvement procedures? We offer comprehensive optical and surgical services. Make an appointment today!