Eye surgery has a distinctly unpleasant connotation. There’s definitely something about “things poking around near your eyes” that trips a deeply ingrained sense of defensiveness and squeamishness.
I don’t know about you, but no matter who told me about the wonders of laser eye surgery, I have always been content to live with my sight as is and not have lasers anywhere near my eyes. I’ve always been careful with my eyes, using tinted lenses to protect them from damage from the sun and getting eye tests year over year. Eye health is a big part of general preventative health! I’ve always taken the opinion that if I can use them and live my life without too much difficulty, it’s best not to mess with my eyes.
The more I look into it, though, the more I wonder if I’ve been overblowing the risk. There is risk, of course; the FDA warns that there are a number of risks associated with eye surgery that can make vision worse, and that you should avoid anyone who tries to guarantee results or satisfaction. Other minor conditions such as dry eye syndrome can result, but they’re sometimes permanent/
But it turns out that laser therapy has become a common and quite safe practice in a number of other medical fields as well as vision therapy. From breaking up kidney stones to treating early-stage cancer, surgeons are making increasing use of lasers as the technology improves. So it might be time to revisit the option that I’ve always discounted. Recently, someone said something to me that struck a chord. They said that when I get older, my vision won’t improve — it will get worse. So if I can correct my vision now, while I’m young and better able to recover from a procedure, vision deterioration will affect me less when it does occur.
That comment made a lot of sense, so I’ve been looking into laser surgery options and mulling it over. What I’ve found hasn’t yet convinced me that surgery is the right option for me… But it might be right for more people than I thought. Laser surgery is extremely well researched, with over 9000 patients involved in clinical trials between 1993 and 2005, and there are thousands of peer reviewed studies on the topic. I hadn’t realized just how far the technology had come, and that there are different types of laser, some which are better than others. Which of course leads me to my biggest hangup about the surgery. If you want it done right, it sounds like it’s a bad idea to take the lowest cost option. To ensure the right results, a more expensive surgery might be necessary.
This report in Newsweek did more to sooth my fears. And a little to increase them. The night after surgery sounds positively awful. But it’s good to know that Chris Riotta’s experience was mostly quick and positive. With some time spent researching the right clinic, and enough of a savings buffer, it’s something I might actually consider. It never was before!