Laser eye surgery is a corrective treatment for people who need to wear glasses or contacts to correct their vision. Laser eye surgery is a permanent treatment that improves vision by changing the shape of the eye’s lens.
Inside the eye, right behind the pupil, is a small clear lens that lets light into the eye and focuses the light to create clear vision. When it is working properly the lens can bend and shift to change focus, much like turning the knob on a pair of binoculars to focus them.
If the lens isn’t working properly, it is like the knob on the binoculars is stuck in the wrong place, making everything a blur. Laser eye surgery uses a very precise laser to change the shape of the lens, and remove the blurriness. Unfortunately, the lens is still not working properly; someone who is both nearsighted and far sighted can use laser eye surgery to fix their lens so they can see far or near clearly, but not both.
Laser eye surgery is not perfect, it will not give most people 20/20 vision, and some people may still need to wear glasses for driving or similar activities. People with certain eye problem like macular degeneration can’t get laser eye surgery. Also, a person’s vision needs to stay the same for at least a year before they can get the surgery; if their vision is still changing they need to wait until it stops.
Most insurance plans consider laser eye surgery to be an optional procedure and will cover very little of the cost, if anything. This means laser eye surgery can be a very expensive operation for many people.
Anyone who is considering getting laser eye surgery should speak with their eye doctor about whether is it is an option and any potential problems or side effects.