Could the Surgery Cause Problems Years from Now?
The chance of problems years down the road is very unlikely. LASIK is a form of lamellar refractive surgery, a type of surgery that has been performed since 1949. It’s important to know that patients who have undergone earlier types of lamellar refractive surgery-much less accurate and more invasive than LASIK- have not developed any unusual problems during the past fifty years.
Will Have LASIK Prevent Eye Disease?
No. LASIK does not prevent cataracts, glaucoma, retinal detachment, macular degeneration, or any other eye disease. Eye doctors refer to LASIK as disease neutral. That is, LASIK does not prevent diseases, and if you are diagnosed with a disease in the future, LASIK will not affect its treatment.
Are There New Developments I Should Know About?
Most doctors keep up with the latest technology and research in their field. Some attend conferences and lectures. Others immerse themselves in a lifestyle that includes lecturing, writing journal articles and textbooks, participating in clinical trials for new technology, and consulting for ophthalmology companies. Find out if there’s any new that might impact your decision to have LASIK surgery.
Should I Have Both Eyes Done at the Same Time?
Some patients chose to have one eye treated at a time, because they worry, “What if something goes wrong?” These patients can have the other eye done as soon as a week later. However, our practice as surgeons is generally to do both eyes on the same day. We are extremely confident about the safety of LASIK, and Kornmehl Laser Eye Associates has never had a patient lose vision in either or both eyes from the procedure. Having both eyes done together avoids making two trips to the surgery center and speeds the recovery. Correcting the eyes on separate days leaves you with an interim period of imbalanced vision during which only one eye is corrected. In the end, the choice is yours, and you should feel no pressure to do it one way or the other.
What is Monovision?
For monovision, Dr. Kornmehl corrects one eye for seeing at a distance and the other eye for near vision, thereby reducing the need for reading glasses. When both eyes are functioning together, the brain naturally selects the image from the eye that has the clearer focus. Monovision is similar to stereo sound, where each ear hears a slightly different pattern of sound, but the brain synthesizes it into a sound field. Having eyes for different purposes might sound unsettling, but many patients so quite well with monovision.
You may wish to discuss monovision with your surgeon if you are in your forties or older. As mentioned earlier, patients approaching middle age begin to develop presbyopia, or difficulty with their fine (close-up) focusing. Patients over the age of forty who have both eyes corrected for distance with LASIK will still eventually need reading glasses to see nearby objects.
Disadvantages of monovision include some loss of depth perception and the possibility of impaired night vision. Monovision may not be a good option for people in certain professions- airplane pilot, bus driver, or professional athlete, for example. Some people also find monovision difficult to get used to. Discuss it with your doctor. He or she may be able to show you with contact lenses what monovision would feel like before you have to make a firm decision.
If you try monovision and do not like it, you can have an enhancement procedure to make the vision in both eyes equal. Ideally, though, it would be better to make this decision beforehand, to avoid an additional procedure.