One of our most cherished senses has to be the gift of sight. For a start, you’d not be reading this article without it. But as any glasses wearer will tell you, how nice it would be to not always worry about ensuring you have two heavy rims filled with glass hanging off your face all day. Then there’s the additional concern of leaving them behind when you’ve had to take them off for whatever reason.
These were all things that haunted me as a glasses wearer. I’d only discovered I needed to wear them at the age of 26 (about four years ago) after trying on a friend’s pair of specs as a joke, and hastily realising I could see the world in HD. Really.
While I didn’t actually mind wearing my glasses all that much in terms of how they looked on me, I did find it irritating to have to keep them on my face to watch TV in the evening after wearing them all day. My nose used to ache bang on schedule around the 7pm mark, and then whenever I wanted to do exercise I’d just leave them in the gym locker room, making sure I was at the front of the exercise class so I could see everything the instructor was doing.
The only real alternative to not needing to wear glasses is contact lenses. These, for me, weren’t really an option, though, as I had tried them many times with no success. Most likely because I was quite squeamish when it came to going anywhere near my actual eye ball (something that is required more than once a day when wearing contacts, ergh) and I felt sick every time I went to put them in. My natural reaction was to flinch and move away when my finger got close to my face. As you can imagine, contacts for me were therefore not a suitable alternative to wearing glasses.
The only other option, then, was laser eye surgery. Gulp. And probably not a great idea for someone who is squeamish when it comes to the eyes.
Laser eye surgery has been around for quite some time now, and has become such a low risk and relatively easy-to-execute procedure that it can be conducted relatively quickly, and recovery is limited to around a month. However, if you look around you’ll find generally the procedure is still rather invasive. The most common practice – LASIK, or “laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis” – involves having flaps cut by the laser on each eye, and the shape of the cornea altered in order to “correct” you of your bad vision. This is not an option for those that are a little delicate when it comes to touching the eye area. And for this rather gruesome-sounding reason, many glasses-wearers are put off going under the laser to rid them of their glasses for life.
And then there’s also plenty of myths surrounding the procedure that still exist from yesteryear, which doesn’t help with peoples’ perceptions, even now. As pointed out by Prof. Reinstein, here are 16 of the most common myths associated with laser eye surgery in general:
1. it’s still very new and the field is still developing so it’s worth waiting
2. It doesn’t work very well; you still need glasses after the procedure
3. It cannot correct long-sightedness
4. It cannot correct astigmatism
5. It cannot correct the need for reading glasses as you get older – Presbyopia
6. You could end up blind
7. It hurts
8. If you blink or move during the procedure it can go wrong
9. If something goes wrong there is nothing that can be done
10. It doesn’t last very long and needs redoing
11. We don’t know about the long-term safety
12. Prescription has to be stable
13. If you get a cataract later on in life, you can’t have that done anymore
14. Contact lenses are safer than laser eye surgery
15. Night vision is harmed by laser eye surgery (it can be fixed by laser eye surgery)
16. My prescription is too high to be corrected (98 percent of all prescriptions can be corrected)
And guess what. None of these are true.
Original Author: Lee Bell
Written Date: Jan 25 2018