LASIK for Astigmatism. The Laser of Hope or Destruction?

Jeremy Hotz on Fixing Astigmatism With LASIK Surgery:

My optometrist says it comes from years of doing stand-up comedy, staring into the lights. Said he could fix it with laser surgery. I said, 'What're you gonna do?'

He said, 'I'm gonna shine this light in your eye.'


Common conversations on LASIK for astigmatism.

"I am going to do LASIK next week." My friend said to me. "Huh?? Why?!" "Because it is the hip thing to do today."

LASIK surgery is the "In" thing nowadays. With the sweet promise of a mere ten-minutes-perfect-eyesight, people flocks towards it like moths to the flame.

I was a ragged moth with no rich relative and I was too squeamish to try at that time.

After find out what LASIK truly was, I am glad that I stopped in my track.


An Embarrassment

"I read the editorial on advertising in ophthalmology with great interest and wholehearted agreement. The seemingly progressive tendency to irresponsible advertising, particularly of laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK), is becoming an embarrassment to all of us who wish to practice ethical medicine and do no harm to our patients."

Steve Arshinoff, MD, J Cataract Refract Surg, 2004

LASIK Ads

These LASIK advertisements were gotten from billboard and Facebook.

They mislead readers to think that the side effects (even if permanent is ok) as long as you get the 20/20 vision.

By giving you the money guarantee, they portrayed that LASIK is safe with no potential risks and somehow the surgery is reversible.

In reality, will you be satisfied if you get back your money if the surgery failed and cost you your eyesight?

Read more about the marketing gimmicks of LASIK surgeons from
LASIK Complications and check out the video below on Economics of LASIK surgery.



What Is LASIK Surgery And How Is It Done?

LASIK Surger

LASIK stands for Laser-assisted Intrastromal Keratomileusis. As you had guessed, laser is being used in the procedure.

The whole procedure takes about 15 minutes for both eyes. After you lie down on the surgical bed or chair, a retainer will be used to keep your eyelids open.


Cutting Your Cornea

Then a suction will be used to keep your eyeball still while they use a surgical knife to cut your outer cornea creating a flap.

The flap is supposed to act as a natural bandage at the end of the procedure.

It sends shivers down my spine when I imagined myself sitting on the operation chair and wait for my cornea cut to be cut. I think I will probably faint by the time they place the suction on my eyes.


Evaporating Parts Of Your Cornea

Then comes the deadly laser. From the previous article, you know that for corneal astigmatism, the cornea in an astigmatic eye shaped like a rugby ball.

In this part of LASIK surgery, the surgeon corrects astigmatism through LASIK by flattening the steeper curve of the cornea thus creating a sphere form.

Laser pulses are delivered to remove the corneal tissue in the axis of the steeper curve.

By decreasing the angle of the sharper curve and making the cornea sphere-liked, the light rays will fall on one focal point instead of multiple, resulting in clearer vision.

I heard from my friend who went through the procedure smelling the burning of her cornea. LASIK is definitely not for the faint heart.

Won’t you be worried about whether the doctor will make mistakes? I do. I am very worried.

Former FDA Said “I Think We Screwed Up”

In 2009, the former branch chief of Food and Drug Administration Morris Waxler, stated that the approval of LASIK devices in 1998 was made due to the pressure from ophthalmologists, despite high incidence of complications. He told ABC that reviews and investigations were not taken seriously enough. "I think we screwed up," Waxler said of the 1998 approvals. "Nobody's going to admit that.”

The optical industry claimed that 95% of patient who had went through LASIK are satisfied with the result.

Considering there are millions of people doing LASIK every year, 5% of that millions can amount to a lot.

In fact, these 95% satisfactory does not take side effects such as dry eye syndrome, sensitivity to light, starburst, halos, ghost vision and permanent night blindness into considerations.

See the report below.

Patients undergoing LASIK procedures display an increase of halo phenomena around lights in night vision conditions, even when the results of the surgery are considered entirely satisfactory according to current international standards of predictability, efficacy and safety.

Villa et al, Br J Ophthalmol, 2007

Starburst

These side effects can be destructive to a person’s way of life. People lose their ability to function normally in their life, drive cars and travel at night.

As long as patients have improvement in their eyesight, the doctors considered them as "satisfied" customers.

Only a certain percent of patients achieve 20/20 vision without glasses or contacts.

Even though most operation comes with an enhancement surgery for free, the additional treatment may not be possible as it depends on the thickness of your cornea left after the burning from the first surgery.

It is important to note that even though the patient may appear well after the surgery, they may be unaware of some long term consequences which they were not told by the ophthalmologists.

These consequences may lead to eventual blindness.


Long Term Complications of LASIK Surgery

We are also just now learning of some of the long-term complications of [LASIK], which are being reflected in new allegations and lawsuits. For example, some patients are developing postrefractive ectasia years after the procedure; this condition not only compromises vision, but also may need to be treated with a corneal transplant.

Joe, R. McFarlane Jr., MD, EyeNet Magazine, 2007

The long term consequences may include: (Comprehensive list can be found here in Dangers of LASIK).

  • Risk of flap dislocation and incomplete recovery of corneal
  • Risk of onset corneal ectasia
  • Complications in glaucoma screening and cataract surgery
  • Permanent corneal nerve damage
  • Progressive loss of corneal cells
  • Increased risk of eye infections
  • Loss of visual quality

So before you start paying your opthamologist the $2000 for an eye, please check out the complications and know what you are getting yourself into first.

If you are still not convinced that LASIK surgery is a dangerous thing to do, check out the video below.

The interview includes interview of people who suffered from permanent side effects of LASIK and the story of a policeman who suicided due to depression after LASIK surgery.



Please remember that for most people, bad vision habits is the cause of bad eyesight. Even if you took LASIK, whatever caused you to have astigmatism in the first place is still there.

The ciliary muscles in the eyes are still weak and your crystalline lenses are still rigid. As such, LASIK is like medication, they only solve your symptoms not the cause.

If you are considering LASIK, EXIT now and thank me later for it.

Up next, we will look into the real remedy for poor eyesight - the Magic of eye exercises and eye vitamins.

The real and natural way to treat and prevent astigmatism.

See how it can help you to improve eyesight naturally without corrective lens or LASIK.


Related Readings:

› LASIK For Astigmatism