The thought of LASIK surgery is a scary one for many people that want a permanent solution to poor eyesight. Although having to deal with and maintain glasses or contacts everyday can be a pain, countless people miss out on life changing LASIK surgery because of the myths that fly around about it. Sure, thinking about correcting your vision with lasers may sound sketchy or dangerous, but in reality, LASIK is a safe, effective surgery.

LASIK Overview

LASIK is a procedure that uses a laser to reshape the eye’s cornea. The cornea is a transparent, protective layer of tissue that shapes the front of the eye. It acts as the outer lens for your eye and begins the process of focusing and controlling the entry of light into the eye. If the cornea becomes misshapen, you can experience blurred vision in the form of nearsightedness or farsightedness. LASIK reshapes the cornea so that light is correctly focused in the eye without the need for glasses or contact lenses. The procedure is permanent, and with proper eyecare, it can last a lifetime.

Myth #1: LASIK is incredibly painful.

Fact: Although the thought of LASIK may sound painful, the surgery itself is not. The eye surgeon will use anesthetic drops prior to the surgery that numb your eye. You won’t feel the laser itself or anything during the procedure. In fact, the slight stinging of the eye drops will likely be the worst part. Most patients report a dry, gritty feeling for a few hours after the procedure and some light sensitivity. In fact, most patients only need some ibuprofen to relieve any temporary discomfort.

Myth #2: The laser can burn my eye

Fact: The laser used for LASIK is nothing like the one burning holes through the side of a spaceship in Star Wars. Rather, it is what’s known as a “cold laser”. It is made from UV light that very gently reshapes the cornea. It can’t burn your eyes.

Myth #3: If you move during the procedure, it will cause damage

Fact: Accidental movement during the procedure, like a sneeze or blink, won’t affect the outcome. A well-trained surgeon will use eye tracking technology to ensure that eye movements won’t affect the result. And no, the laser can’t burn your eyelids either if you blink.

Myth #4: LASIK isn’t actually surgery

Fact: Although LASIK doesn’t have the severe side-effects that other surgeries do, it is still considered a surgery and should be treated as such. Meaning you should avoid strenuous activity immediately after and should have someone to drive you home in case any complications arise.

Myth #5: You should expect side effects like night glare and dry eyes after LASIK

Fact: Like all surgical procedures, there are some risks of side effects associated with LASIK. However, many clinical studies have found that there is an extremely low risk of any serious side effects related to laser vision correction. While dry eyes and night glare can be temporary side effects for a few weeks following the procedure, these typically disappear within the first three to six months. Before getting LASIK, you should visit your eye doctor to ensure that you are a good candidate for the procedure and aren’t at risk for any other complications.

Myth #6: LASIK wears off over time

Fact: Contrary to popular belief, LASIK eye surgery doesn’t actually wear off over time. Although the eye is always changing over time, the LASIK procedure is a permanent solution to correcting your vision so long as you maintain proper eye health. An annual visit to your eye doctor is a great way to keep up with your eye’s health and ensure that no problems are present that put your LASIK results in jeopardy.

Myth #7: LASIK can’t correct astigmatism and farsightedness

Fact: LASIK is a treatment that can be used to correct several types of blurry vision. In most cases, blurred vision is caused by improper focusing or bending of light into the eye. Since LASIK works by adjusting the eye’s natural focus of light, it can be used to treat nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, even if you have a severe case of it.

Myth #8: A cheap LASIK procedure is the same as a more expensive one

Fact: Would you buy your hamburger meat from the dollar store and expect it to be the same quality as the grocery store? Of course not. In the same way, not all LASIK treatments are the same. Centers who advertise low prices or bargains are likely cutting out vital patient screening and pre and post-operative care that is essential to a successful outcome. The surgeons at such centers may also have less experience and be less skilled. Why risk your precious eyes in that way? When it comes to LASIK, the age-old rule of “you get what you pay for” is very true.

Myth #9: LASIK can make you go blind

Fact: There have been no confirmed cases of LASIK causing blindness. There have been more than 28 million LASIK procedures have been performed around the world. Although there can be complications to LASIK surgery, blindness is not something to be concerned about.

Myth #10: Since the technology is still new, I should wait for the best version to come out before getting my procedure done

Fact: LASIK treatments today are providing patients with the best outcomes ever. In fact, most LASIK surgeons themselves have had the procedure done to correct their own vision. Most development on the technology is being done to widen the range of people who can get treated, not to fix problems with the treatment itself.

Bonus Myth: If you want LASIK, then you are a good candidate

Fact: Unfortunately, not everyone is an ideal candidate for LASIK. With that being said, most people are. And, as we mentioned above, new innovations are helping widen the range of patients who can get LASIK treatment. The only way to know if LASIK is right for you is to schedule a visit with your eye doctor. He or she will help determine if you are a good candidate and can help you get started on the road to this life changing procedure.