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LASIK Procedures and Costs
Did you know… that LASIK eye surgery could help you put away those old glasses for good? As the Food and Drug Administration explains, Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis surgery is “a procedure that permanently changes the shape of the cornea, the clear covering of the front of the eye, using an excimer laser.” Aimed toward enhancing clear vision, LASIK eye surgery has become increasingly popular over the years, while information regarding the subject has also become more accessible.
As the National Library of Medicine - National Institutes of Health notes, “LASIK eye surgery is performed most often on people who have nearsightedness (myopia), which means that they only clearly see nearby objects; anything far away is blurry.” Before LASIK eye surgery is performed, however, “doctors measure the curve of the cornea and the size and position of the pupils, the shape of the eyes (making sure there are no irregularities that would prevent LASIK as an option), and the thickness of the cornea (making sure there will be enough tissue left, once the cornea is cut and reshaped).”
The National Library of Medicine - National Institutes of Health also mentions that LASIK eye surgery typically takes about 10 to 15 minutes per eye, and is considered an outpatient procedure. Though “immediately following the surgery, there may be a sense of burning, itching, or a feeling that something is in the eye,” as well as “mild discomfort for which the doctor may prescribe a mild pain reliever medication.” Recovery time also takes about 3 to 6 months, and “the most common complaints after LASIK are glare, haloes, and difficulty with night driving,” all of which usually cease after 6 months.
There are, however, certain restrictions outlined by the Food and Drug Administration, so as to prevent harm from occurring to potential patients with specific risk factors. For example, the minimum age for potential patients is asset at 18 years, though some lasers may only be used for patients over 21 years of age. While exceptions may be made for small children in need of this procedure, it is not recommended for women that are pregnant or nursing, or those currently taking certain prescription medications. Risks of this procedure may also include corneal infections, flap complications, and permanent blindness (National Library of Medicine - National Institutes of Health).
While the price of LASIK eye surgery cannot accurately be determined for all potential patients on a general level, the non-profit organization USAEyes.org does specify that “the price of LASIK varies from about $1,400 to $3,600 per eye, depending on the surgeon and technology.” They also advise, however, that though “nobody wants to pay too much for anything,” we are still talking about microsurgery on the eyes. Hence, “If the best available surgeon is unaffordable, then the wise choice may be to not have LASIK at all. An inexperienced doctor is no bargain at any price. If you go on the cheap and something goes wrong, you may never forgive yourself. That said, just because someone charges a lot does not make them a better doctor, nor does charging less make them an inferior doctor.”
If you are considering undergoing LASIK eye surgery but need assistance in financing the costs, CareCredit can provide you with the financial freedom you need. CareCredit can help you finance your LASIK and other vision care treatments, with zero or low interest rates, for those who qualify. For more information, visit www.carecredit.com
CareCredit. LASIK on your own schedule. Retrieved July 28, 2008 from http://carecredit.com/lasik/whycc.html
Subramanian, Manju. National Library of Medicine – National Institutes of Health. LASIK Eye Surgery. (August 17, 2007). Retrieved July 28, 2008 from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/007018.htm.
USAEyes. The Price of LASIK. Retrieved July 28, 2008 from http://www.usaeyes.org/lasik/faq/lasik-cost-price.htm.
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