Why LASIK Sucks

By: Dr. Don Miller

LASIK eye surgery has gotten a large amount of favorable publicity. Some professional sports people loudly endorse it. However, several important considerations are often ignored.

For eyeglasses or contact lenses, the cost is much less than for laser eye surgery. More important by far is that lenses can be changed if either the prescription or the fabrication are not perfect. For example, on variable focus spectacles, also known as progressive lenses, the same prescription from two different makers might not be equally satisfactory. The user provides the final test of what is good enough.

The quality of focus can change with age, illness, even environment to some degree.

Now consider LASIK. The curvature of the cornea is re shaped by laser pulses which remove tissue. Tissue can not be put back or re created. If the results are not satisfactory, there is no second chance. By the way, the LASIK industry usually judges "success" to be corrected focus of 20/40, which is legal for driving in most of the United States. Suppose you really want 20/20, or better. Tough. Want to complain? You will probably have signed away your right to a lawsuit before the procedure.

'Nother thingy. LASIK can't restore flexibility of your grown in lens. For most people, aging means decreasing flexibility, which narrows the range of distances over which they can focus. There is no such thing as a bifocal or trifocal LASIK. If LASIK has restored perfect vision over some range (most likely distance vision), you might still need spectacles or contacts for other ranges.

And there's still that issue of aging. In any modern country, who has not seen people with the need to update eye prescriptions? This is easy to do with spectacles and contact lenses, but impractical for LASIK.

By the way, LASIK and PKR are not without risks. Persons on active duty with the military services of the USA are not permitted to have such treatments. Even if vision is improved, it is at the cost of thinner corneas, which are less able to withstand shock or pressure.

Are you starting to guess where the greatest forces in favor of LASIK eye surgery come from? Does a five letter word, beginning with g and ending with d come to mind? Yep. Good old fashioned g-r-e-e-d.

With this greater insight, would you like to have LASIK surgery, even if it were free? I definitely would not, even if they offered to pay me what they normally charge.

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For more articles about safe and enjoyable use of contact lenses and spectacles, see 3daycontacts.com/articlelist.htm by Dr. Don Miller.

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