Does LASIK Scare You?

Given a choice, most people would prefer not to have to wear contact lenses to drive, play sports, or see across the room. Twenty years after the FDA approved the excimer laser, still only about 8% of people eligible to correct their vision have done so. Why? Because, for many people, the idea of LASIK is very scary. Never mind that some studies have demonstrated that the risk of contact lenses are higher than having laser vision correction by an expert surgeon. It is deep in our DNA to not want anybody doing anything to the only set of eyes we are born with.

 

I’ll occasionally be sharing some stories from my 25 years of practice. The one below is quite funny but it does demonstrate just how nervous people can sometimes become, even when there is nothing at all to worry about. In short, it’s normal to be nervous about any medical procedure, but LASIK is truly one of the safest, effective, quickest, life-changing procedures you can have.

Once, a patient who was seeing better than 20/20 in both eyes the day after LASIK called my answering service late at night, unable to sleep, terrified that something was wrong with his left eye because of what I had said earlier that day. The next morning, confused about what he could possibly be nervous about, I listened carefully to the message. The voice on the other end told me that he was very worried because after I looked at his right eye I had said "perfect," but upon examining his left I, I had only said that it, “looked very good.” I called this patient right away to let him know that his fears were unfounded and from that moment forward was even more aware of just how nervous patients could be and how important my word choices were when speaking with them.