A common question asked by potential LASIK patients is: Can LASIK make you go blind? It’s an understandable concern, of course. Any medical procedure carries at least some level of risk. And, because your vision is important, it’s normal to be nervous about potential complications from laser vision correction.
This fear is one of the primary reasons that many people continue to rely on their glasses and contacts rather than have a modern vision correction procedure to fix their astigmatism, nearsightedness, or farsightedness. However, millions of people chose to improve their visual acuity and leave their glasses and contacts behind for good, especially once they hear the actual risks involved.
So what are the actual risks? Can you go blind from LASIK?
What is the chance of going blind from laser eye surgery?
While some people may fear going blind from LASIK, to this date, there have not been any reported cases of blindness stemming from LASIK. In fact, over the course of a lifetime, having LASIK is safer than wearing contact lenses.
The laser used in LASIK reshapes the cornea, correcting the way it focuses the light on the retina in the back of your eye. In the hands of a skilled LASIK surgeon, the whole procedure only takes about 15 minutes and reduces or eliminates your need for glasses or contacts. While there is no history of LASIK procedures causing blindness, every surgical procedure comes with some risk, and it is important to ask about any risks specific to you at your consultation. Patients should find an accomplished and experienced surgeon to improve results and minimize risk.
Throughout his career, Dr. Steven Tersigni has had no patients with serious, sight-threatening complications from LASIK. He is a leader in refractive surgery and eye health providing LASIK and modern LASIK alternatives.
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How can I reduce the risks of LASIK surgery?
When preparing to undertake any medical procedure such as laser vision correction, you can take steps to reduce possible risks. Here are a few steps you can take in choosing your surgeon and vision correction center to help you feel secure in your LASIK surgery.
- Make sure you see a qualified LASIK eye surgeon who knows what to look for. You should receive a thorough, dilated eye exam before any procedure to fully evaluate the health of your eye. Many eye clinics will perform a brief ‘LASIK screening’ that only looks at the cornea. The cornea only takes up the first .5mm of the eye, approximately 2% of the eye as a whole. It is important to consider the other 98% of the eye as well. Your Tersigni Vision Advanced Ocular Analysis is most likely the most comprehensive eye exam you’ve ever had.
- Find a LASIK surgeon who provides and charges for their ocular exam. This idea may seem counter-intuitive, and a free exam may sound like a good idea at first, but it’s often true that you get what you pay for. You expect quality care. A free LASIK exam will be less thorough, simply out of necessity, time, and office demands. At Tersigni Vision, we charge for our Advanced Ocular Analysis to ensure that you will get the most thorough eye exams available.
- Ask if anyone at the LASIK center receives a financial incentive for booking surgeries. Centers are legally required to answer, though they likely will not disclose on their own. If staff receives financial rewards such as commissions or bonuses for booking surgeries, saying you’re a candidate, or hitting “sales goals,” the integrity of the care is compromised. If you are going to undergo a surgical procedure, you want to be sure you are a good candidate, not just another tally on the board.
- Find a clinic where the surgeon works at the site full-time. There are many big brand LASIK chains where the surgeon will fly in for “surgery day,” then fly out for the next clinic in the next city. These surgeons will not be involved in the pre-operative evaluation, nor will you be able to ask them any questions or get to know them in advance of them performing LASIK on you, and they may never be around for any important post-operative care At Tersigni Vision, we believe it is important to have a relationship with your surgeon and that they are with you every step along the way. Your doctor should individually evaluate you so they will be aware of any underlying conditions that could affect the procedure or your overall eye health and be available to assist with any concerns through your recovery.
- Go to a clinic where they focus on vision correction full-time. Many surgeons will spend much of their time focusing on general eye care and only perform LASIK and other vision correction surgeries part-time. When your surgeon dedicates all of their time to vision corrective surgeries, you can know they are focused and comfortable performing the operation you need.
- Find a surgeon who can provide a customized vision correction solution for your eyes. LASIK is not the only vision correction surgery option, and it does not suit all eyes and vision needs, but many LASIK centers only offer LASIK and PRK. You should look for a surgeon who can perform more than just LASIK. Dr. Tersigni performs LASIK and all of its modern alternatives. Having these options available ensures the best possible results for your eyes, leaving you with the confidence and freedom of clear vision.
What Should I Ask a LASIK Surgeon?
- Do you only perform LASIK and PRK, or do you perform additional alternatives?
- If LASIK is not ideal for me, can you offer an alternative?
- Are your surgeons involved with the preoperative, post-operative, and day-of-surgery care, or just the surgery itself?
- Do your surgeons work at your practice and location full-time?
- If my surgery has complications, will my surgeon be available the next day to assist?
- Does your surgeon participate in clinical research trials to stay familiar with up-to-date advanced LASIK and vision correction surgery techniques?
Dr. Tersigni performs LASIK and other vision corrective procedures only on qualified candidates with healthy eyes to reduce any potential risk to vision. Our staff will work to ensure that you fully understand the risks and benefits of your procedure so you can decide if LASIK or another vision correction solution is right for you.
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