Expectation of LASIK outcomes

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The elective LASIK has helped thousands of patients in reducing the dependency on prescription eyeglasses and contact lenses, which is the most attractive advantage of the procedure. However, LASIK is also rarely associated with potential risks such as complications and dissatisfying visual outcomes, even with the unremitting improvement in supporting technologies and surgeon skills.

Technologies and surgeon expertise are important

In this case, it is quite necessary for patients to learn more about LASIK surgery through discussion with their surgeons. LASIK involves many concerns such as types of thin flap, laser variables as well as newly released technologies. Eye tracking and wavefront technologies are helpful in bringing better visual outcome. In addition to these aspects of LASIK, patients should also know necessary information abut the surgeon’s experience and skills.

Factors associated with LASIK complications

The Eye Surgery Education Council has reported a less than 1% rate of seriously LASIK-caused vision problems. However, complications of LASIK, e.g. eye infection, chronic dry eye and flap problems, are much more common, although they will usually disappear within several months. In fact, the patient’s general health and eye health both affect the incidence of LASIK complications. Patients should better choose an experienced surgeon who is able to minimize the risk of developing complications at the patient’s side.

How to evaluate visual acuity after LASIK

In order to receive FDA approval, a LASIK laser must meet strict standards set by the eye care community. Adverse visual problems caused by LASIK can be corneal swelling, flap problems, uncontrolled intraocular pressure and retinal detachment. These adverse events are still one of the aspects used to evaluate visual acuity outcomes of LASIK by various studies. Other criteria include the percentage of 20/20 vision recovery and the rate of zero refractive error.

To what degree visual acuity can be restored

Studies have proven that most patients can keep a positive expectation about LASIK outcomes. The rates of 20/40 and better vision are more than 90%, reported by low to high myopic patients who have received LASIK. 88% of hyperopic patients are estimated to restore at least 20/40 uncorrected visual acuity after LASIK. What’s more, better outcomes are expected by most surgeons. To a large degree, the rate of successful surgeries is on the rise due to the improvement on both surgical technologies and surgeon skills.

LASIK may offset best-corrected vision

Best-corrected vision can be affected by LASIK, which is the most feared outcome. Some people can achieve 20/20 corrected vision with eyeglasses or contact lenses but the best-correct vision may be decreased to 20/40, although uncorrected vision can be significant improved. The good news is that the decrease in best-corrected vision occurs at a rate less than 5%. But it is undeniable that the LASIK research and practice community must further reduce this incidence.

What have been found by FDA studies of LASIK?

Because of the differences among participants, results of FDA studies of LASIK can not be simply compared head-to-head. Studies involving either different lasers or a same laser can differ substantially. But one point is true that LASIK is approved to treat low to moderate myopia and hyperopia only. It is up to the patient and the surgeon during a specific procedure.