Doctors say the technology for the procedure is better than ever. For 13-years, Chelsey Vandemark says her mornings began like this… "I would look at the alarm clock and like all I could see is just blurry. Like I can't define between a person." Tired of wearing contacts, she considered Lasik but was apprehensive. "The benefits are I can see great. The risks are something goes wrong and I can't see ever again," said Chelsey. It's a concern Ophthalmologist Sherri Rowen hears often. She says patients tell her we really do like Lasik today, but wish we could get rid of the fear factor.
In fact, she says contacts can be much worse. "If you have an infection from a contact lens and it's in the center of your eye, there's nothing you can do about it. You've lost vision," according to the doctor. Doctor Rowen says lasers are safer and more precise than ever.
"There's not a lot of high end risks anymore like there used to be," says Dr. Rowen. A study of over 3,000 Lasik surgeries performed, using a Femtosecond laser for flap creation, had a complication rate of less than one-half of one-percent. And all complications were taken care of during the same procedure. Dr. Rowen says the laser is better than anything they've used to create a perfect flap.
Studies from the American Academy of Ophthalmology report seven out of ten patients achieve 20/20 vision or better following surgery. Dr. Rowen says, "the predominance of patients walk out and say, 'I'm only sorry I didn't do this five to 10 to 20 years earlier.'"
Chelsey is one of them. Her vision went from minus 4-50, to 20-15. She says it's definitely worth the money. Most people over the age of 40 will still need reading glasses. To know if you're a good candidate, doctors must evaluate the severity of your prescription, your age, and the thickness of your cornea. Several eye surgeons in Springfield offer an online resource to see if you are a candidate for Lasik.