Laser Eye Surgery – What are your expectations?
The success of laser eye surgery (as with any elective surgery), is measured by how the outcome matches your before-surgery expectations. Are your expectations realistic? Can your expectations be met by laser eye surgery? It’s your surgeon’s job to help you consider all aspects of good vision prior to your laser eye surgery. Laser eye surgery can greatly improve your vision but no procedure can promise ‘perfect vision’ to every patient. When asked, most people say they expect to have 20/20 vision following laser eye surgery. In truth, most will be satisfied with 20/25 or 20/30 vision.
Laser eye surgery can give mild to moderately nearsighted (distant objects are not clear) patients a 90% chance to be able to drive during the day without glasses. Many of these patients will still need to wear glasses for night driving but most consider this a vast improvement to their vision before surgery. Extremely nearsighted patients who view the world through thick glasses are often not able to be fitted with contacts to correct their vision. For these patients, laser eye surgery can be a life saver and they are some of the most satisfied patients following eye surgery. These patients say that their ability to see without having to wear thick glasses is a life changing event. Many claim they feel more attractive and feel free to play sports for the first time since childhood.
It’s important to realize that good vision is more than being able to read the 20/20 line on your doctor’s eye chart. Having good vision means you also need to consider all the elements of vision:
• depth of field – can you see clearly from near to far
• night vision – can you see clearly in low light conditions
• color vision – are you able to distinguish red from green
• contrast sensitivity – can you distinguish different shades of gray
• bi-ocular vision – do your eyes work together
Will you be happy with your results following laser eye surgery? The best way to insure your happiness is to discuss your expectations with your surgeon. Will you only be happy with ‘perfect’ vision or are you prepared to have slightly less than perfect vision if it means you won’t need to wear contacts or glasses on a daily basis?