One of the most common reactions to life after LASIK surgery that I hear from patients in the Charleston and Mt. Pleasant, SC areas is, “I only wish I had done it sooner.” Many people don’t realize what they are missing until they are able to make out street signs, text messages, and stars in the night sky.
You may wonder: If LASIK is so life-changing, why don’t those people do it sooner? As a longtime provider of LASIK and cataract surgery, I understand that it comes down to a list of common and very natural fears. Here are 5 of the reservations I hear most often:
- “I’m scared that I’ll go blind or be worse off than when I started.” Some people feel that they are taking a risk when having LASIK surgery, and that blurry vision is better than no vision at all. I assure my patients that serious complications (such as loss of vision) from LASIK surgery is extremely rare, estimated at under 1 percent. Of course, with any surgical procedure there is the risk of unexpected complications. In the case of LASIK, most potential complications are mild and can be corrected. These include dry eyes, halos, and glare. A qualified ophthalmologist will assess your unique risk factors so you can make an informed decision.
- “I’m worried that it will hurt.” This is a big concern for a lot of folks. No one loves the thought of an incision in their eye. However, LASIK should always be painless. I give patients topical anesthetic drops to numb the eye before LASIK. The only discomfort you may feel during the procedure is temporary pressure on your eyes.
- “I’m concerned about needing to take time off work or relying on someone else to help me.” LASIK is wonderful for those who lead an active lifestyle. However, you may worry that your busy schedule or favorite recreational activities will be put on hold because of your procedure. After LASIK, very little downtime is needed. You will need to arrange transportation after your procedure, but once home you will be able to care for yourself. Many people feel confident enough to drive and go about their everyday activities as soon as the next day.
- “I can’t afford it.” The fear of financial strain can also come along with LASIK. However, the procedure is widely considered to be a wise investment in the long run because it eliminates the costs associated with contact lenses and glasses. At my office, we frequently offer specials on LASIK to help alleviate some of the financial burden. We also offer financing through Care Credit and can recommend financial strategies, such as using a “FLEX” savings account to use pre-tax dollars to pay for LASIK.
- “It worries me that I’ll be awake during the procedure.” If you are concerned about being awake during LASIK, they key is making sure you choose a provider with a warm and friendly staff. It is my goal to help my patients forget where they are and even smile and laugh a little! Rest assured that the reason you are awake during LASIK is that it is comfortable and over very quickly. We even let you listen to your favorite music!
These are just some of the top concerns shared by LASIK candidates, but you may have additional worries and questions of your own. A great way to address these is read patient testimonials. You’ll get a sense of what others experienced during the procedure. For example, here is what one of my patients said about her LASIK treatment:
“Dr. Solomon and his staff were fabulous during my procedure. I felt calm and relaxed. It was over before I knew it!”