So I wear glasses and I try to wear contacts. I say try because although I used to be able to wear them quite comfortably (to the point that I sometimes slept in them – I know, I know), I now get headaches and itchy eyes after they're in for a while. But I hate wearing my glasses all the time. So I think about getting laser eye surgery a lot. However common it's becoming, though, it is still surgery, so I decided to check out its major pros and cons.
1. Pro: Versatile Effectiveness
Laser eye surgery – or Lasik, whatever you want to call it – is by and large effective for correcting a lot of problems. It can help you if you're near-sighted (me, me, me) or far-sighted, it can help with cataracts as well. It can also help with astigmatism, which I also have, and which doesn't help at all when you want to wear contacts.
2. Pro: It's Not Painful
Or so they say. But really, the people I know who've had laser surgery claim that it really is pretty much painless. It also doesn't take a long time. I mean, it can take as little as ten or fifteen minutes. On the one hand, that's awesome. On the other hand, it's kind of scary. How can anything that fast be safe?!
3. Pro: Great Technology
Evidently, the technology is part of what makes it safe. Laser eye surgery isn't what it used to be, because there have been tons of advances in the technology used. Most of it is computerized, which makes it incredibly accurate and very precise. On the other hand, my computer freezes all the time. What if their computer freezes?!
4. Pro: High Success Rate
All the same, Lasik surgery has a really high rate of success. There are people who need to undergo the surgery more than once, but most don't. My problem is my eyesight gets worse pretty much every single year. So what, would I have to go under the super special laser that often? No, no, no!
5. Con: Healing Time
No matter what the statistics say, every person heals differently, and at a different rate. Furthermore, your habits can greatly effect the quickness or slowness with which you heal. I don't know, that's scary. Like, I have a crap immune system, what if I got some super awful infection in my eyeballs or something?
6. Con: Side Effects
Everything has side effects. Even Ibuprofen has side effects. Lasik has side effects too. For instance, the surgery can make your eyesight get worse. You can start seeing glares or halos of light, your night vision can suffer, and goodness knows what else. I don't like the sounds of that at all.
7. Con: Dry Eyes
So here's the thing. One of the reason I'm interested in Lasik is because I would love to be able to go without my glasses, while not having to suffer through the horrible dry eyes I get with contacts. Come to find out, laser eye surgery can cause dry eyes to be even worse. Which means you get to walk around squirting fake tears or other eye drops into your eyes all day long.
8. Con: Ruined Vision
In line with side effects, there are some instances where your vision will be made worse with laser eye surgery … and the problems can be irreversible. There are even risks of blindness. I mean, this surgery can cause problems you can't even fix by going back to wearing glasses or contacts. Your vision is just ruined, end of story. That scares the crap out of me.
I always weigh the risks and benefits of anything I consider doing … and I'm not sure the risks outweigh the benefits here, at least not for me. I'm typically a pessimist. Is anyone who's had Lasik surgery willing to share their story?
Top Photo Credit: aswim in knits