The decision to have laser vision correction is a significant one, because freedom from the hassles of glasses and contacts will improve your quality of life. We have gathered and analyzed data from many studies on laser vision correction like LASIK, and maintain a strict commitment to staying up to date on the latest vision correction information. We know your eyes are precious, and we assure you that laser vision correction is a safe and effective solution for a life enhanced by freedom from visual 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 postoperative 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 you, and then determining which vision correction technology will help you achieve your 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 that 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. You’ll enjoy the lifestyle benefits of living free from glasses and contacts 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 96 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.
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 with contact lens wearers.
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. The data confirm what patients and refractive surgeons have known for many years: LASIK is a safe and effective treatment for the correction of myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism.
When weighing a decision about an elective surgery such as LASIK or another laser vision correction procedure, it is natural to want to thoroughly understand the potential risks and benefits. We are here to answer any questions you may have, and we understand you will want to do some independent research on your own to make a confident, informed decision. You may find this post helpful: https://americanrefractivesurgerycouncil.org/lasik-complication-rate-latest-facts/ It provides an overview of the latest research into the potential side effects associated with LASIK and offers guidance on how to find credible, fact-based information. It is important to know the complication rate of LASIK is extremely low – less than 1 percent – which is part of what makes the laser vision correction procedure such a success. We are proud to offer our patients the benefits of LASIK – an elective procedure that boasts a higher than 96 percent patient satisfaction rate. If you are looking into LASIK, we are here to help you find out if it is right for you and your vision.
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. 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.
A three-year longitudinal survey published in March 2016 shows LASIK delivers higher patient satisfaction than contact lenses 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 ages 18 to 60 participated, with 694 remaining in contacts as the control group. Of 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 one, two, and three years later. The study found that over time, strong satisfaction with the vision provided by contact lens use went down from 63 percent at the beginning of the study to 54 percent among the control group of contact lens users. However, up to 88 percent 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 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 percent of lens wearers. The majority of patients, over 89 percent, with contact lens wear and LASIK reported none or mild symptoms related to difficulty with halo, glare, or dry eye, with LASIK symptoms lessening in severity from one month to five years. The dry eye complaints were cut in half by month six. Postoperatively, 79.5 percent of LASIK patients had no complaints, compared with 27.8 percent of contact lens wearers. The quality of life was found to be better in the LASIK group, with 98.5 percent 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 U.S. armed forces to reduce the limitations posed by corrective eyewear in combat situations. This program has given the U.S. 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.
Another well-designed study followed patients who had laser vision correction for 12 years after the procedure and found that “Almost 90 percent 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.
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