Our eyes give us our whole outlook on the world, yet they are fragile. At one point, everyone will likely experience problems with their eyes, be it an injury, a birth defect, or just aging. This is especially true in this age wherein our eyes are constantly strained from looking at monitors. But this age also comes with technologies that can help with eye problems, one of the most well-known being LASIK.
LASIK, or “Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis,” deals with problems in the cornea. The procedure essentially reshapes the cornea back to the ideal shape and curvature using lasers. These problems include near-sightedness (myopia), far-sightedness (hyperopia), astigmatism, and aging eye condition (presbyopia). These problems result from the cornea’s shape and curvature not being ideal and thus not focusing the light correctly.
The tech behind the procedure
As we know, lasers allow for precision humans don’t naturally have, so LASIK is generally safer than previous manual eye surgeries. When it started off in the 1950s, it was done with blades until it transitioned to lasers in the 1980s. Finally, in 1999, LASIK was approved by the US FDA.
An estimated half a million adults in America undergo Lasik eye surgery every year and now, the FDA wants doctors to warn them of complications. The agency said patients should be informed that it can result in dry eyes, double vision, chronic pain and more. pic.twitter.com/Tnd4fenPXj
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) December 8, 2022
So far, millions of people have taken the LASIK procedure. According to research, less than 1% of patients report long-term complications, barring them from everyday activities. They should not be confused with short-term complications, which are much more common. Up to 46% of patients reported visual symptoms they had never had before, and 95% reported dry eyes in the first period after the surgery. Some define these short-term complications as a natural part of the eye’s healing process.
The same FDA that approved it released an article listing the risks and benefits of the LASIK procedure. However, they remained neutral on what weighed more, leaving the patient’s decision. Additionally, since the procedure has become mainstream and patients are getting it without being informed, they have issued a draft to make doctors inform their patients of the risks beforehand.
LASIK has a track record of satisfied patients, and it has the potential to help millions of people. Remember, though, that the procedure comes with some risks, so it’s better to get a recommendation from specialists. While even an entity like the FDA can’t give a definitive answer, everyone should first inform themselves of the risk factors before making a decision.