Motivations for LASIK

the LASIK radio & internet ads (not so much tv...) are kind of driving me crazy of late.way too many people think LASIK is the answer to all of their vision problems. I am not "anti-LASIK". I *had* LASIK in March of '07, and frequently refer patients for it. But lets get into some misconceptions many people have about the procedure:

1) LASIK is not "better" than glasses & contacts. I mean it is more convenient...if your motivation for LASIK is that you're tired of putting on glasses and/or contacts, or your contacts are uncomfortable, etc, then GREAT! LASIK will simplify your life. but you most likely *WILL NOT* see "better" after LASIK than you do with your current glasses/contacts. I don't wear glasses anymore (which is cool!), but I can tell you that my acuity was better in glasses than it is now after LASIK. if you get LASIK, you should expect your vision to be about the same as it is in glasses & contacts. *NOT* "better".

2) LASIK does not fix presbyopia or the need for reading glasses/bifocals. If you are wearing reading glasses, bifocals, bifocal contacts or monovision contacts and you "just want to be done with it & get LASIK", LASIK is not the answer. You could have monovision LASIK...but if you don't like monovision or reading glasses, you wont like LASIK. if you are over 45 or plan on becoming that way at some point in your life, you *WILL* need reading correction of some kind. LASIK does not remove the need for reading correction of some kind.

3) LASIK works well if you're nearsighted. if you're anything else (farsighted, highly astigmatic, presbyopic) LASIK either doesn't work at all or doesn't work well. sure farsighted LASIK exists, but its not too awesome.

4) LASIK does not fix non-refractive errors. if your vision is blurry from retinal problems, cataracts, macular degeneration, corneal dystrophy, etc etc...LASIK is not the answer.

because of all the above, I tell considerably more people "no" they can't have LASIK than I actually refer for the procedure. if you want to know about LASIK...great! ask! but just ask with the knowledge that a *LOT* of people think LASIK is a "cure-all" and it is not. LASIK makes nearsighted people not nearsighted anymore. THATS IT.


  1. all of those points also apply to orth-k, BTW (and prk, and RK, etc etc)


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