Common unsubstantiated myths and misinformation about LASIK eye surgery

laser eye surgery team member

Laser Eye Surgery may leave you with permanent side effects and a reduction in your overall quality of vision, or even worse, a lack of vision altogether.

At least that’s what will happen according to the tabloids and dated entries on obscure online forums.

Going by the facts: the experiences of previous patients, the rigorous clinical data, and the results of clinics all around the world, and it’s a whole other story.

But with the internet being awash with information, dating as far back as thirty years ago and coming from every corner of the globe, it’s not easy to filter out what isn’t relevant to you, today.

A number of these ungrounded, out of date, or just plain inaccurate stories about LASIK surgery have spread through public thought to became full-blown industry myths and misconceptions. Our job is to straighten out the facts and make sure you are well informed about the modern day reality of LASIK surgery.

#1: Contact lenses are safer than LASIK

Many of the world’s leading eye physicians agree that daily wear of contact lenses over several years is a less safe way of restoring vision than LASIK.

Wearing them for hours on end, failing to clean them properly, or not replacing them as directed by your eye doctor are just a few of the ways contact lenses are known to lead to infection and/or impaired vision. A significant reason for this is because contacts restrict the supply of oxygen to the cornea which is essentially for maintaining healthy eyes.

#2: You can go blind as a result of LASIK

To go blind from LASIK surgery, it would take a series of very specific and unlikely events to unfurl, each one after the other.

Technically there is an exceedingly small risk of blindness with laser eye surgery but it is lower than the risk of wearing monthly contact lenses for one year, so a risk that everyone seems to accept as perfectly reasonable. And if you’re in the hands of an experienced surgeon using the latest technology, each one of these events becomes ever more unlikely to occur.

#3: The long-term effects of LASIK are not known

The reality is there aren’t many long-term clinical studies on LASIK due to its widely acknowledged safety and effectiveness.

A few long-term studies have proven its refractive stability and safety, however, such as the LASIK follow-up study by Spanish researchers published in 2008. The researchers tracked the results of LASIK on seventy patients over ten years and found that, overall, the patients’ corneas remained healthy and their vision stable.

These results support The National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence’s (NICE) Guidance Document on LASIK, released in 2016. The document states that LASIK is safe and poses no serious concerns over the long term, providing surgeons use the latest techniques and technology.

#4: LASIK treatment is not permanent

By removing a minute amount of tissue from your cornea, LASIK surgery changes the composition of the eye and therefore makes a permanent adjustment to your vision.

The only way in which its results are compromised is through a process science is still yet to master: ageing. When we reach a certain age, our eyes, along with the other parts of our body, begin to degrade and deteriorate. Unfortunately, we can’t escape this from happening, but we can maintain our youthful, glasses-free vision with PRESBYOND® Laser Blended Vision or a simple enhancement procedure.

#5: Side effects are common and serious after LASIK surgery

LASIK is an evolving procedure that is almost unrecognisable from the Laser Eye Surgery techniques of twenty years ago.

The advancements in safety, technology, and understanding mean that today, the majority of patients experience little to no side effects from the surgery, with only a small number of patients experiencing mild but manageable side effects.

Things like light sensitivity, halos and starbursts, and dry eyes, may occur as a natural result of the eye’s recovery process. For most patients, they present a minor inconvenience for a couple of days and at worst stick around for a couple of weeks.

#6: You could end up with worse vision than you started with

Even if your vision is relatively good before you have LASIK surgery, there’s an incredibly minute chance you’ll leave the clinic with worse vision than when you went in. We estimate these chances to be in the order of one in one thousand. There is virtually no chance of suffering a reduction in vision if you have uncorrected vision loss.

Have any other doubts or concerns about Laser Eye Surgery? Drop in for a chat at our Harley Street clinic in London, or send a message to one of our Patient Care Coordinators.