What factors should I consider before opting for laser treatment for correcting myopia?
Many factors should be considered before deciding to undergo Laser Vision Correction. While the overwhelming majority of patients are thrilled with the results, it is not 100%. And there are some who wish they had never had it done.
Perhaps the biggest factor is having a normal, healthy cornea -the part of the eye being treated. This is not at all apparent from a simple review of your glasses prescription, but will require an in-depth corneal analysis with special equipment not normally found in most optometric and optical offices, e. g. The Pentacam, Gallilei, and at the very least the old Orbscan.
Your glasses prescription is next. A high myopic Rx (over about -8 D. ) is not a good sign for long term safe results. While you may hear the clinic or doctor say they get good results with higher treatments, the risk is over a much longer period of time -many years often. A plus prescription over about +3 D is also not advisable for the best results: plus (hyperopic) treatments typically “wear off” in only a few years.
Age is also quite important. Patients over 50–55 are rarely enthusiastic with laser vision correction past the initial post-op period. This is because after 40 or so, most optical changes in the eye are due to aging of the eye’s natural lens which is NOT the part being treated. This aging is also what causes PRESBYOPIA, the need for reading glasses.
Finally, the reputation and experience of the Doctor (NOT the clinic or company) is important. Expect to pay about $US 1500–2300 per eye. Avoid bait-and-switch outfits that dangle unrealistically low fees (Lasik starting at $250 per eye!) to get you into their sales funnel. What else might they be overlooking or misleading you about?
These are arguably the most important factors, but not an exhaustive list by any means. Do your homework-having 3–5 friends have a good experience somewhere is not a sufficient number for any meaningful measure of success overall!
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