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LASIK Benefits - Seeing clearly

Are you on a quest for better vision? If you’re nearsighted, farsighted or have astigmatism—the three most common types of what are known as “refractive errors”—you have hundreds of millions of companions worldwide. All three problems are the result of misshapen corneas, which causes light to fall on your retinas in the wrong way. Your eyes cannot focus clearly, blurring your view of the world around you.

Most people are content to correct these visual weaknesses with glasses or contact lenses. In the last several decades, however, LASIK eye surgery—which reshapes the cornea to correct such errors—has offered the prospect of total visual freedom. Millions of people worldwide now have the surgery every year, improving the quality of their lives and even their career prospects.

There are many methods of performing LASIK that address different vision issues, but they can all be divided into two general types. One involves using a precision blade called a microkeratome to delicately slice the corneal tissue, while the other employs a laser for that task. A flap of the cornea is lifted up, the surgeon uses a laser to restore your corneas to their optimal shape, and then the flap is put back in place. The surgery is brief—both eyes are done in well under an hour—and you can go home the same day.

Aftercare is nearly as crucial as the surgery itself. Proper followup can keep you from damaging your new vision and perhaps requiring additional surgery. Dry eyes, hazy vision and problems seeing at night affect a significant number of patients, but statistically in all but a handful of cases these are temporary conditions. A good clinic will monitor your vision closely, providing eye drops, other postop treatment and even followup corrective surgery if necessary.

Keep in mind, by the way, that this is a surgical procedure, which means a 100 percent success rate is not guaranteed. Before they switch on the laser, any reputable LASIK clinic will offer a free consultation and testing to confirm that this procedure will benefit you, because not everyone is a viable candidate for LASIK. If you’re taking certain prescription medications, for example, or are pregnant or nursing, LASIK is not a good idea. The level of your refractive error will also be a factor. In addition, surgery is not recommended for anyone under eighteen because young eyes are still developing.

The first thing to do when shopping for a LASIK clinic is to select a surgeon. Your decision should be based on a few vital statistics. The surgeon you choose should be officially licensed, doing at least five hundred procedures a year, and achieving 20/20 vision for at least 75 percent of his or her patients. A good clinic and surgeon will also be happy to answer your questions.

Price is obviously another checkpoint. For mild and moderate nearsightedness, standard LASIK surgery in Japan can run as low as 37,500 yen per eye (and note that prices are often calculated by the eye). Depending on the nature of your eye problem and the type of surgery, however, the cost is likely to be much higher. Do your research and be an informed shopper.

This HealthyIM page will help you find a LASIK clinic in your area that suits your needs. Please feel free to explore the possibilities—sight is a precious thing, and we know you’ll make a clear-eyed choice!