If you wear or need glasses, you’ve probably heard about laser surgery for sharper vision – you probably even know someone who’s had it done. The most common types are LASIK and PRK, and these treatments can either bring back 20/20 vision, or at least reduce your need for glasses or contacts.
But vision surgery can have some negative, even dangerous, side effects, so here’s what you need to know before you make an appointment.
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Good Candidates for Vision Surgery
Laser surgery helps people who are nearsighted, farsighted, or have an oddly shaped cornea, called astigmatism, but it’s not for everyone. It might work for you if:
• Your prescription hasn’t changed for at least one year.
• Your job allows laser eye surgery.
• Your eyes and overall health are good.
Vision Surgery: Dangers You Need To Know About
Illnesses that affect healing can make vision surgery a poor choice in some cases. If you have diabetes, HIV, lupus, or rheumatoid arthritis, talk with an ophthalmologist about your best options. Other conditions that require careful evaluation and could make you a poor candidate for surgery include:
• Dry eye
• Large pupils
• Thin corneas
Surgery is not appropriate for people with keratoconus, which is a cornea disorder.
Remember: Even After Surgery, You May Still Need Glasses
There’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to toss your glasses completely, even with successful surgery. Reading and driving at night may still require glasses. With a strong prescription, there’s a chance you’ll still need glasses most of the time after surgery. Standard laser vision surgeries do not treat presbyopia, the blurry close-up vision that starts after age 40. “Blended” or monovision procedures are a newer option for presbyopia.