Laser vision correction is a big decision that changes one’s life forever, but for the better! We have gathered data from various studies on laser vision correction, like LASIK, to ensure you that we know your eyes are precious and that laser vision correction is a permanent solution that is safe and gives you a life free from barriers.
One of the most common concerns people have about laser eye surgery is whether the treatment is safe. Using the latest technology and expertise, laser vision correction has proven to be a very safe procedure. There are four aspects of laser vision correction that contribute to its overall safety:
- Proper patient evaluation before the procedure
- Proper selection of procedure
- Technology used for diagnosis and treatment
- Proper Post-operative care and follow-up
Proper Patient Evaluation and Procedure Selection
The most important step in laser vision correction surgery is determining what the specific vision goals are for the patient, and then determining which vision correction technology will help them achieve their vision goals.
We offer a wide array of vision correction options, and it may be that laser vision correction is not the best choice for a particular patient, but rather another surgery option such as an ICL, corneal inlay, or Lens Replacement may be the best choice.
At Kugler Vision, Lance Kugler, MD meets with each patient personally at the time of the evaluation to recommend the best vision correction procedure. We have several diagnostic imaging systems which allow our doctors to evaluate the optics of each eye individually. We also assess for other ocular conditions, such as dry eye or keratoconus, that may need to be addressed prior to considering vision correction surgery.
The quality of care patients receive after their vision correction procedure is just as important as the care they receive before and during the procedure. High quality care ensures patients have the best chance of achieving quality vision for a lifetime.
You can take a proactive approach toward your vision and plan on a lifetime of clear vision without the expenses of yearly prescription changes and enjoy the lifestyle benefits of living glasses and contacts free when you choose to trust Kugler Vision.
Long term effects of Laser Vision Correction
More than 25 million LASIK procedures have been completed since its approval more than 25 years ago. Although a recent study of over 2,000 patients confirmed that more than 95 percent of LASIK patients are satisfied with their results, one of the most common questions we are asked about LASIK is whether there are adverse long-term effects (Solomon, 2011).
LASIK significantly reduces difficulties with night driving, nighttime visual disturbances, self-reported rates of eye infections, self- reported rates of ulcers, and self-reported rates of abrasions when compared to contact lens wearers (Price, 2016).
The most extensive review of LASIK ever conducted was reported by the FDA in the PROWL study. This report provides reassurance to potential LASIK patients who may be hesitant to have their vision corrected because of fear or concerns about safety or results (Center, 2014). The data confirms what patients and refractive surgeons have known for many years: That LASIK is a safe and effective treatment for the correction of myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism.
LASIK is Safer Than Contact Lenses
Patients are often under the impression that contact lenses are safer than LASIK, but recent studies suggest that is not true. LASIK is more than 10 times safer than wearing contact lenses (Graham, 2012). In fact, patients wearing contact lenses are 180 times more likely to have a serious infection than patients who have LASIK, and are more likely to require a corneal transplant later in life (Mathers, 2006).
A three-year longitudinal survey was published in March 2016. The study shows LASIK delivers higher patient satisfaction than contact lens wearers and that LASIK is a better solution. Twenty sites across the United States enrolled subjects who completed a study-specific baseline surgery. Approximately 1,800 adults participated, aged 18 to 60 years old, with 694 remaining in contacts as the control group; the rest, 819 (45%) wore contacts and 287 (16%) wore glasses before having LASIK. Study participants were asked about their level of satisfaction with their vision and their experience with visual symptoms (dry eye, night driving issues) at the beginning of the study – prior to having LASIK for those choosing vision correction surgery – and at the 1, 2, and 3-year mark. The study found that over time, strong satisfaction with the vision provided by contact lens use went down from 63% at the beginning of the study to 54% among the control group of contact lens users. However, up to 88% of LASIK patients were strongly satisfied with their vision following the vision correction procedure. In addition, fewer LASIK patients who were formerly contact lens users reported issues with night time driving visual symptoms than the control group.
A comparison of patients using daily wear contact lenses and those who underwent wavefront-guided LASIK strongly indicated that the latter provides better subjective results and better binocular uncorrected visual acuity. These were the findings of a retrospective, comparative multicenter study of two types of vision correction undertaken by Steve Dell, MD, and Steven Schallhorn, MD. This study showed contact lens complaints/symptoms were reported by 52% of lens wearers. The majority of patients, over 89%, with contact lens wear and LASIK reported none/mild for difficulty with halo, glare, or dry eye, with LASIK symptoms lessening in severity from 1 month to 5 years, Steve Dell, MD reported. The dry eye complaints were cut in half by month 6. Postoperatively, 79.5% of LASIK patients had no complaints, compared with only 27.8% of contact lens wearers. The quality of life was found to be better in the LASIK group with 98.5% of LASIK patients saying the procedure had improved their quality of life at their one month post-op.
LASIK Has Proven Excellent Outcomes
A recent study was published by the Army Warfighter Refractive Eye Surgery Program (WRESP), which was established by the US armed forces to reduce the limitations posed by corrective eyewear in combat situations. This program has given the US armed forces an unparalleled advantage over opponents. The study looked at the outcome and satisfaction rates of 16,111 armed service members who have undergone laser vision correction. The study concluded that this program has provided excellent outcomes and enhanced the overall readiness of our armed forces. Reports of night vision difficulties, surgical complications, and dry eyes are infrequent, and do not seem to have a significant negative impact on military operations or individual readiness. The study also showed that glasses cause more night vision problems than LASIK (Price, 2014).
Another study was published in Ocular Surgery News. This study followed 800 eyes for 10 years. According to this article: efficacy, safety and predictability were maintained throughout the study in eyes requiring low, intermediate and high levels of correction (Ocular, 2007).
Another well designed study followed patients over 12 years after having laser vision correction and found that “Almost 90% of eyes recalled for 12-year follow-up maintained or improved best corrected visual acuity.”
It is important to remember that, despite these positive reports, vision correction surgery is a medical procedure that carries certain risks and is best performed by a caring and conscientious doctor. Lance Kugler, MD is committed to spending time with you before and after surgery to ensure that you have your best vision scientifically possible.
- Archives Ophthalmology 2007 Jun; 125(6): 853 853-4) 4, ASCRS Cornea Clinical Committee, Mathers et. al, Archives of ophthalmology 2006;124(1510-11))
- Center, & Health, R. (2014, November 17). Presentations – October 17, 2014.
- Graham, Lauri R., and Bernard P. Lepri. “Contact Lenses: The Risks You Need to Know.” Medscape. Medscape, 24 Oct. 2012.
- Journal Of Refractive Surgery 2006; 22:871-877, Ocular Surgery News; January 1, 2007 p.34
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- Ophthalmology; Volume 112, Issue 2, Pages 184-190.e2, Price FW, Price MO.
- Price, Marianne O. et al. Three-Year Longitudinal Survey Comparing Visual Satisfaction with LASIK and Contact Lenses. Ophthalmology, 123(8), 1659-1666
- Prospective study of patient satisfaction with LASIK and contact lenses: 2-year results. American Academy of Ophthalmology annual meeting, Oct 21, 2014, Chicago, IL.
- Solomon KD et. al. LASIK world literature review: quality of life and patient satisfaction.
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- Solomon KD et. al. What literature review says about modern LASIK. Modern Medicine. 2016
- Three-Year Longitudinal Survey Comparing Visual Satisfaction with LASIK and Contact Lenses Price, Marianne O. et al. Ophthalmology , Volume 0 , Issue 0