Vision surgery is performed to restore and correct eye sight abnormalities. To qualify for these procedures a patient is at least 20 years old and is required to have had stable vision for at least 12 months. Even if your eyesight has been healthy throughout your life, in time everyoneâ€™s eyes will weaken with age resulting in a condition called presbyopia. This loss of flexibility in the eye lens causes the eye to no longer automatically change focus between near and far that typically requires reading glasses to correct.
Before you proceed with any type of vision correction procedure consider several factors including:
• Expectations: These procedures are intended to improve your sight, not make it perfect. Candidates are best suited if they have had stable vision for at least 12 months and have realistic expectations.
• Expense: Some vision procedures, such as cataract removal, are covered by most healthcare plans. However, elective procedures such as Lasik are typically not covered. Even if the procedure is covered, additional funds may need to cover any deductable, follow up care or corrective procedures.
• Risks: The chance of having a serious vision-threatening complication is on average less than 2%, depending on the surgeon's experience and technology used. With LASIK surgery an initial overcorrection (1-3%) or undercorrection (2-3%) is expected and should regress as the cornea stabilizes. Less than 5% of patients with cataract surgery have complications that could threaten their sight or require further surgery.
• Recovery: It can take days, weeks, or even months to fully recover from any of the procedures. This includes physical recovery as well as adapting to how the changes can affect your personal and professional life.
• Psychological changes: Vision procedures can improve sight and self esteem but isn't likely to relieve depression or any other mental conditions.
After determining to pursue a vision procedure the next step should be to find an ophthalmologist and schedule a consultation. Have a list of topics ready including medications you are currently on, questions about the doctor and procedure(s), and resulting desires/expectations. Working closely with your doctor throughout the process will improve the chance of satisfaction with the results of your procedure(s).