Top 10 LASIK Myths

Published by Lance Kugler, MD on December 16, 2011

As with any popular procedures, the lines of myth and truth are often blurred. While we encourage every potential LASIK patient to seek answers through a consultation with a surgeon, we’ve dispelled the common misconceptions that may be weighing on your mind:

Myth #1: LASIK comes with high risks of complications and side effects, such as night glare and dry eyes. Truth:

  • Clinical studies of LASIK have documented that the risk of having a serious LASIK complication are extremely low. As with any surgery, there are some associated risks that Dr. Kugler will inform you of before your procedure. If a complication does arise, it can most often be treated if diagnosed early on in your follow-up visit with your physician. While glare and dry eyes can be common side effects immediately following surgery, these typically subside within the first few months. With proper pre-operative testing, surgeons have a better opportunity to identify patients that may have increased risk of long-term complications. Patients are often under the impression that contact lenses are safer than LASIK surgery, but recent studies suggest the opposite. On the contrary, 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. Click here to read more about safety regarding laser eye surgery.

Myth #2: I am “too old” to have LASIK Truth:

Myth #3: All the outcomes of LASIK are the same, so the cheapest surgery is no different from an expensive one. Truth:

  • When considering something as crucial as your vision, it is advisable to not compromise the health of your eyes by settling for a discount center. In the long-term, seeking a recommended and reputable surgeon is worth the investment. Cheaper clinics may not have the resources to keep up with the latest technology, patient screening, and follow-up care needed to ensure a successful procedure. “You get what you pay for” is one saying that can be aptly applied to LASIK surgery. Patients are encouraged to thoroughly compare and research. Learn more about how to choose your LASIK surgeon.

Myth #4: LASIK will only last until I am 40, then I will need glasses again. Truth:

  • While the effects of laser vision correction last a lifetime in most patients, LASIK does not prevent the onset of age-related eye conditions. As we enter our 40’s, everyone develops a condition called “presbyopia” []. Regardless of whether someone has had LASIK, they will need reading glasses for particular circumstances. Presbyopia is not worsened by LASIK and the effect of distance vision remains the same as someone enters their 40’s. There are some surgical procedures, such as CK that can reduce the need for reading glasses after LASIK.

Myth #5: LASIK is so new that no one knows the long-term side effects. Truth:

  • Successful LASIK eye surgeries have been performed for more than 20 years. Since the early 1980s, over 16 million people have had LASIK worldwide, allowing for ongoing advancement of technology and procedural development. Countless studies of long-term safety and stability have been well documented. A study published in Ocular Surgery News followed 800 eyes for 10 years. According to this article, effectiveness, safety and predictability were maintained throughout the study in eyes requiring low, intermediate and high levels of correction. (Source: Ocular Surgery News; January 1, 2007 p.36) Click here to learn more about the history of refractive surgery.

Myth # 6: Myth: Anyone who wants to have LASIK is a candidate. Truth:

  • To ensure safety and high rate of success following LASIK surgery, patients are stringently evaluated to determine if they are ideal for the procedure. While not everyone is a candidate for LASIK, there are other vision correction options available. The best way to determine if you are appropriate candidate for LASIK or another treatment is to meet with Dr. Kugler for an initial screening. Screenings are important for preventing complications and addressing questions and concerns.

Myth #7: I have astigmatism so I can’t have LASIK Truth:

  • Although this misconception was true when LASIK technology was in its infancy, it is no longer the case. Modern laser systems can effectively treat astigmatism with excellent results. At Kugler Vision in Omaha, we specialize in astigmatism and use Vector Analysis to ensure that astigmatism treatment is effective. Dr. Kugler is one of the few surgeons in the world who is expertly using vector analysis for appropriate correction of astigmatism. Click here to learn more about Astigmatism Analysis and treatment with LASIK.

Myth #8: LASIK is still being developed, and every year there is something new. Patients should wait until doctors find the best technology. Truth:

  • A recent study of over 2,000 patients confirmed that more than 95 percent of LASIK patients are satisfied with their results. Technology and procedures will continue to advance to refine vision correction results, but the current technology is so good that waiting for the newest developments are not necessary for most patients.

Myth #9: All the lasers used for LASIK are basically the same Truth:

  • There are a variety of lasers that can be used for LASIK and they are not all equal. While some clinics use dated technology from the 1990s, others are focused on implementing the newest tools for optimal laser vision correction results, such as the Allegretto Wavelight EyeQ laser system. With impressive speed, precision and accuracy, this state-of-the-art technology offers eye tracking and wavefront mapping for a custom and more effective procedure. To learn more about how laser technologies can make a difference in your procedures, click here.

Myth #10: It does not matter which doctor performs the procedure because the laser does the work. Truth:

  • Just as technology matters, so does the surgeon’s application of skill and level of expertise. Laser systems are sophisticated and must be properly programmed to deliver customized treatment to each individual eye. An eye surgeon’s level of experience and care before, during and after surgery are critical to the success of a procedure. As a patient, it is important that you feel comfortable and confident in the surgeon performing your procedure. To learn more about how to choose a surgeon that is ideal for your needs, read more here.

Lance Kugler, MD, is a specialist in LASIK and vision correction surgery and CEO of Kugler Vision. A proud Omaha native, he is passionate about improving lives through clear vision. Dr. Kugler serves on several national boards, and his practice is recognized internationally as a center of excellence. Dr. Kugler is one of the original founders of the Refractive Surgery Alliance, an international organization comprised of over 350 of the world’s leading vision correction surgeons; he also served as its first president. In 2019, Dr. Kugler was selected as a TEDx speaker, and delivered a talk in Omaha about the worldwide epidemic of nearsightedness and refractive solutions. Dr. Kugler is an Associate Professor of Refractive Surgery at the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Truhlsen Eye Institute, has been published in many medical journals, and participates in numerous clinical studies to advance the field of vision correction surgery. Additionally, Dr. Kugler is proud to be a Board Certified Fellow of the World College of Refractive Surgery & Visual Sciences. Dr. Kugler and his wife are proud parents to five active kids. When he has a spare moment, he enjoys skiing, tennis, travel, and fine coffee.

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