This Independence Day got me to thinking about patients and their desire to be independent of their eyeglasses. For patients seeking LASIK, often there is a ‘tipping point’ such as a contact lens related problem or it’s time to go in for their exam with the prospect of exam fees, contact lens fitting fees and the purchase of new glasses or contact lenses. Sometimes the patient just got back from a vacation or participated in an event where glasses got in the way. Or maybe the patient just got tired of pushing their glasses up their nose, putting in their contact lenses every morning or waking up unable to see. This is the point where they come in to see me. Often they are happy with what I tell them but a significant number are disappointed to learn that LASIK may not offer them everything they are looking for or is just not advised.
LASIK is a great procedure and has been around for a number of years. However, there remains a very specific ‘subset’ of patients for which LASIK is ideal. This subset includes patients between the ages of 18 and 40 without pre-existing dry eye problems, keratoconus or certain other eye diseases. The patient may have small amounts of farsightedness, or nearsightedness and/or astigmatism below a certain amount. Now don’t misunderstand me, almost half of my LASIK patients are not in this ideal category (usually because they are over the age of 40) but what I am saying is that patients who are not ideal may want to consider LASIK alternatives like Visian Implantable Contact Lenses, PRK or refractive lens exchange. The alternative is to accept certain compromises: an example might be the need for reading glasses.
The Laser Eye Center of Carolina offers more than just LASIK because LASIK is limited in who can benefit from the procedure and what it can offer. If you have a desire to become independent of glasses, consider all your options: not just LASIK.