Sure, it’s a Laser, But LASIK Fears Are Unfounded
LASIK vision correction has become commonplace in American society. Since the FDA approved the first LASIK procedures in 1999, about 12 million Americans have had this laser refractive surgery. Each additional year, about 700,000 LASIK surgeries are performed. You probably know at least a couple people who have had the procedure. LASIK actually is an acronym for laser in-situ keratomileusis, which sounds far scarier. Maybe that’s why the procedure is always referred to simply as LASIK.
As with any surgical procedure (even though this one takes only a few seconds!), people can become anxious about it. Some patients come to us at Millennium Park with total misperceptions about the LASIK procedure. Sometimes the bad information comes from a friend or relative, or sometimes it is simply the result of the patient thinking too much about the procedure.
Let’s take three of the fears we hear most often, and we’ll address each of them.
Fear of going blind
Lasers and eyes — they don’t seem to go together. Most people perceive laser technology as dangerous and frightening due to the portrayal of lasers in movies. The reality of lasers used in eye surgery is nothing like the zapping lasers of Star Wars. In fact, the risk of going blind after having laser eye surgery is 1 in 5 million!
Fear of being awake during the procedure
Numbing eye drops and a mild sedative will be administered before surgery; these will help you relax and feel as little discomfort as possible. Some patients are also afraid that they can’t control the urge to blink during surgery. This shouldn’t be a cause for concern because a specially designed instrument will keep your eyes open during the procedure. Plus, the laser system is designed to shut off in case you blink.
Fear of complications
As with all types of surgery, laser eye surgery has its own risks and complications such as infection, double vision, night vision difficulties, and presence of glares or halos. However, choosing a highly experienced and reputable LASIK surgeon, such as our laser vision correction specialists at Millennium — Dr. Azar, Dr. De La Cruz, and Dr. Rosenblatt — reduces such risks exponentially.
During your pre-surgery consultation, discuss your fears about the procedure and we’ll walk you through the reality. As with everything at Millennium Park Eye Center, you, the patient, comes first. Call us at (312) 996-2020 and we’ll answer any questions you have about LASIK.