Laser Eye Surgery Myths – The internet has been lying to you

Like the sound of the amazing results laser eye surgery can achieve, but have heard a few things that have put you off? Think it’s probably safer to stick with good old-fashioned glasses or sensible contact lenses? After all, you could go blind from LASIK, right?

If you have had any of these concerns, I’m afraid you may have fallen victim to fake news. Just as listening to Donald Trump is sure to fill your head with unreliable and ridiculous information, googling laser eye surgery isn’t much better.

Unfortunately, there are plenty of unreliable sources, myths and inaccuracies floating around the internet that could lead you down a path of fear and false beliefs.

Luckily, we’re here to strip the fakes from the facts so that you have only the most reliable and honest information to base your decisions on…

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Do you recognise any of these laser eye surgery myths?

Eye Laser Surgery Myth #1: The effects of laser eye surgery wear off

The effects of laser eye surgery are permanent. However, as we get older a natural ageing process called presbyopia, affects the performance of the eyes.

Fortunately, we have some fantastic procedures that can restore both your distance and close vision so you can stay glasses and contact lens free with age. These include LASIK monovision, PresbyMAX, and lens replacement.

Eye Laser Surgery Myth #2: Laser eye surgery is still a relatively new procedure

Truth: Vision correction surgery is certainly no new concept. In fact, it has been around since 1948 when Spanish ophthalmologist Jose Ignacio Barraquer pioneered surgery techniques while investigating corneal transplantation and correction of corneal refraction.

Eye surgeons performed the first surgery involving the laser treatment technique (known as PRK – Photorefractive Keratectomy) in 1987.

A couple of years later in the early 90s, Greek eye doctor Ioannis Pillakaris and Italian eye doctor Lucio Burrato developed the well-known procedure, LASIK. Back in the day, they used to use a blade to access the treatment area on your eye. Some eye doctors still do that in Brisbane today!

In advanced practices like VSON, LASIK, or Laser In-Situ Keratomileusis, is a two-step procedure in which an extremely accurate machine-controlled femtosecond laser is used to create a thin flap of corneal tissue, followed by an excimer laser to reshape the cornea.

Over the last thirty years and 30 million procedures, the world has seen millions of people undergo laser eye surgery, and the majority of those were able to throw away their glasses for good.

In 2009, the FDA, the National Eye Institute (NEI), and the Department of Defense (DoD) launched the LASIK Quality of Life Collaboration Project (LQOLCP) to help better understand the potential risk of severe problems that can result from LASIK. The results were fantastic with more than 95% of participants reporting that they were satisfied with their vision following LASIK surgery.

1FDA U.S. Food & Drug Administration. 2018. LASIK Quality of Life Collaboration Project. 7th January 2020.
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Laser Vision Correction Myth #3: Laser eye surgery is painful

Truth: Surgeons use anaesthetic eye drops to prevent any pain or discomfort during the LASIK procedure. You will not feel a thing. You may experience mild discomfort as you recover, but we can manage it effectively and easily with pain killers.

Laser Vision Correction Myth #4: Laser eye surgery does not correct long-sightedness

Truth: We can now correct long-sightedness with the following eye treatments:

It is important to note that all patients must attend an initial assessment to determine whether or not their specific eye condition is eligible for the surgery.

When we assess someone for laser eye surgery, we need to make sure that they have a stable prescription, a healthy eye and a cornea that is the correct shape and strength to withstand the effects of surgery.

Laser Vision Correction Myth #5: Laser eye surgery does not correct astigmatism

Truth: Similarly to long-sightedness, we can correct astigmatism with LASIK and PRK.

Lens implant surgeries such as Visian ICL and lens replacement can also correct astigmatism by using implants to replace the natural lens inside the eye if laser eye surgery is not an option.

At VSON, we offer several premium IOL options for lens replacement, including multifocal intraocular lenses and toric lenses.

Laser Vision Correction Myth #6: Laser eye surgery can cause blindness

Truth: Risk and complications associated with laser eye surgery are extremely rare. In fact, serious LASIK complications, such as blindness, have never been reported in Australia.

Technically, there is an exceedingly small risk of blindness with laser eye surgery, but it is lower than the risk of wearing monthly contact lenses for one year, so a risk that everyone seems to accept as perfectly reasonable.

Did you know that if you don’t clean your contact lenses correctly, this could lead to serious repercussions such as corneal ulcers, eye infections and blindness?

In 2006, US ophthalmologist William Mathers conducted a study published in the Archives of Ophthalmology that found that:

With laser eye surgery, the incidence of complications resulting in even losing a tiny little bit of sight that you cannot later correct with glasses is around 1 in 1000…

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The best way to find out if eye treatment is right for you is to have an in-person assessment. You’ll get a clear answer from our experts on your suitability and vision correction options

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Laser Eye Surgery Myth #7: You can’t have cataract surgery after having laser eye surgery

Truth: We can perform cataract surgery after any vision correction procedure, including LASIK and PRK.

At VSON, our lens replacement procedure is very similar to cataract surgery, and it eliminates the need for cataract surgery later in life.

Laser Eye Surgery Myth #8: If you blink or move during laser eye surgery it’s game over

Truth: This is impossible. We use an eyelid holder so that you cannot blink during your surgery. We also use lasers with advanced high-speed eye-tracking systems that monitor and adjust for small eye movements.

On the rare occasion that a larger movement (or even a power outage) occurs, the laser stops and treatment resumes.

Laser Eye Surgery Myth #9: Laser eye surgery cannot correct a high prescription

Truth: The technology laser eye surgery relies upon is continuously developing. New procedures are less invasive, meaning we can now correct higher prescriptions than ever before. To be 100% certain that you are a suitable candidate, however, you must have an initial assessment with a laser eye surgery clinic.

Laser Eye Surgery Myth #10: It’s cheaper to stick with glasses and contact lenses than to have laser eye surgery

Truth: Absolutely not. In just 20 years, the average person spends between $2,000 and $6,000 on glasses, and around $5,000 on contact lenses. That kind of money could buy you a permanent vision correction procedure and a few luxury holidays to the Maldives…

DISCOVER IF YOU CAN BE FREE FROM GLASSES AND CONTACT LENSES

The best way to find out if eye treatment is right for you is to have an in-person assessment. You’ll get a clear answer from our experts on your suitability and vision correction options

BOOK A FREE ASSESSMENT

Want to see what you’ve been missing with vision correction?

VSON is Brisbane’s newest laser eye surgery clinic located in Fortitude Valley on Anne Street. To learn more about our procedures and how they can give you the freedom to do things you previously couldn’t, get a free laser assessment with one of our experts. It easy, just give us a call on 07 3738 5800, or book an appointment online.

Right now, you may not have enough information to know if laser eye surgery or another vision correction procedure is right for you. A great way to assess your suitability for vision correction is to take our online suitability test.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Dr. Matthew Russell

MBChB, FRANZCO

Laser eye and cataract surgery specialist

With over 15 years of experience, I enjoy the privilege of helping patients of all ages reclaim clear vision or preserve it for as long as possible.

Vision correction and high-precision cataract surgery hinge on the expertise and skill set of the provider who also has access to the most precise tools for the job. Ophthalmic surgeons like me know how to make treatment safe, comfortable and positive for the patient. They know how to minimise the risk of complications and maximise successful outcomes.

I understand that medical and surgical eye care is a serious undertaking. I take the time to address whatever questions and concerns you might have. I believe everyone’s eyes are unique and require a customised solution tailored to your needs and goals.

My combination of education, training and experience positions me to provide optimal results for patients of all ages. I have a passion for helping my patients enjoy the clear, high-definition vision they need to live rich and active lives. Now, I have hand-picked a team of professionals that share my passion and commitment to exceptional care.

More about Dr. Russell