Myths of Laser Vision Correction (LVC)
Laser Vision Correction can’t treat astigmatism. FALSE
We have successfully been treating astigmatism for almost 20 years. With astigmatism, the shape of the cornea is like a football. The laser can eliminate that oval shape and create a round surface like that of a basketball.
Laser Vision Correction wears off after a couple of years. FALSE
With the original Russian surgery for nearsightedness (Radial Keratotomy/RK) the correction had the potential to wear off. This does not happen with LVC.
Patients can’t have Laser Vision Correction with large pupils. FALSE
With early laser technology, patients with large pupils had many unpleasant optical side effects after surgery, but with modern laser computer technology (WaveFront/Customization) the size of the pupil is not important.
Contact lenses can’t be utilized after Laser Vision Correction. FALSE
Once the laser changes the shape of the cornea to correct the vision, if there is a residual refractive error, one option is to be fit with contact lenses. The fitting may be more difficult to achieve, but is definitely possible.
Long-term effects of Laser Vision Correction are unknown. FALSE
We have been successfully performing LVC for about 30 years. Millions of people world-wide have had LVC. We clearly understand the effects and there is no reason to believe that any longer-term surprises await.
Laser Vision Correction usually causes night vision problems. FALSE
Most patients who have LVC do not have night vision problems. A small percentage of patients will observe halos around lights for a couple of weeks, but not to the degree of incapacitation.
Laser Vision Correction cannot treat the need for reading glasses. FALSE
Patients in the bifocal age group can have the dominant eye corrected for distance vision and the non-dominant eye corrected for close vision. This is called MonoVision and works remarkably well to eliminate the need for bifocals or reading glasses.
Laser Vision Correction hurts. FALSE
LVC procedure is painless and the post-operative period as well should not involve pain. Patients should expect some discomfort/irritation for the first few days post-op. There may be burning, tearing, itching, watering during the first few post-op days.
Patients should not have Laser Vision Correction until age 30. FALSE
LVC is safe to perform after age 18 if there is documentation that the prescription has not changed for at least three years.
Patients should not have Laser Vision Correction after age 40. FALSE
There is no upper age limit for LVC. Limiting factors can be age-related eye conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration. In the presence of any of these conditions Laser Vision Correction is not recommended.
LASIK and PRK are equivalent procedures. FALSE
LASIK involves cutting open the cornea to create a flap. The interface between the inner surface of the flap and the remaining bed of the cornea never fully heals. Therefore, patients who have had LASIK are vulnerable forever to flap dislocation if they get hit in the eye just wrong. PRK does not involve any cutting. Therefore, patients who have PRK do not have the same vulnerability.
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