I am a surgeon who performs laser vision correction, and I had LASIK about 20 years ago. My patients are glad to know that I had LASIK because they feel reassured about the safety of the procedure and their own decision to have LASIK.
There are several different types of surgery that are known as laser vision correction, and the most common vision correction surgery is LASIK. LASIK is used to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.
Just about everyone who wears glasses or contact lenses has thought about the possibility of seeing clearly without them. It is true that some people like to wear glasses as a fashion accessory or to achieve a certain look.
Before I had LASIK, when I was first starting my career as a young physician, glasses made me appear older and more intellectual, but I didn’t like using them when at the gym or riding my bike. Over the years, I have had glasses that were properly fit but still were uncomfortable on my nose or near my ears.
My contact lenses were also time-consuming and sometimes uncomfortable. I traveled often and found it inconvenient to pack all the supplies, including extra lenses, disinfecting solution, saline solution and a contact lens case. I found it difficult to wear my contact lenses on an airplane because the cabin air is so dry.
I was always very careful when wearing my contact lenses because I wanted to avoid any chance of an abrasion or serious infection (corneal ulcer). I remember numerous times when I had to remove my lenses in a windy, dusty or smoky environment. There were occasions when I removed my contact lenses but didn’t have my glasses at hand, and this put me in a difficult situation.
I decided to have LASIK for a variety of reasons, and every person who considers LASIK has different priorities. The factors that were important to me were my desire to be free from glasses and contacts for running and biking, the expense of glasses and contacts, and my concern about the risks, although rare, of wearing contact lenses.
When I talk with patients about their decision to have LASIK, I discuss their work, interests and the way they use their eyes for other activities. I have performed LASIK for other surgeons, pilots, photographers, hairstylists and various professionals who use computers most of the day.
Each person has different priorities, and it is a surgeon’s role to help people understand the advantages and potential risks of laser vision correction so that they can make an educated, informed decision. If you are considering LASIK, find a surgeon who is skillful, experienced, and willing to take the time to discuss your particular situation and answer all of your questions.
If you are considering laser vision correction, call Rutzen Eye Specialists & Laser Center at 410-975-0090 for a no-cost screening appointment with Dr. Allan Rutzen or Dr. Jacey Hanna. Their office is located in Severna Park at 489 Ritchie Highway, suite 200. Visit www.rutzeneye.com for more information about laser vision correction.
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