A lot of folks talk about LASIK surgery as the easiest and fasted way to say goodbye to glasses forever. You may even have a few friends who swear by LASIK. Perhaps they’re pushing you to hop aboard the LASIK train too. Maybe you’ve even called up a doctor or two to get information and price shop a bit. If so, you probably learned that there is no finite answer to the question, “How much does LASIK eye surgery cost?” The variations in prices between doctors are huge.
When you go to the grocery store to buy milk, there are some obvious price differences. Organic milk is going to cost a dollar or two more than regular milk. You can understand the reason for the price difference and it’s not exactly extreme.
When you shop for LASIK, however, you’re probably going to find larger discrepancies. One doctor charges just $800 an eye while another doctor charges $5,000 an eye. That’s a big difference, right? For a moment, you may be excited that you found the $800 doctor. As the news sinks in, however, you may remember that old adage, “You get what you pay for.” You start to wonder why your new doctor is so much cheaper than the other doctor.
Choosing LASIK, and selecting a doctor, can be a stressful time in your life. It seems like everyone is just trying to sell you their services instead of honestly answering your questions. Doctors can basically charge you what they choose to. And, there simply aren’t rigid guidelines governing their fees.
The bottom line is that the price of LASIK surgery varies widely from doctor to doctor.
When choosing how much you want to spend on LASIK, keep in mind the expertise that comes with surgery. Paying a doctor to cut into your eye and burn it with a laser does carry a few risks!
In deciding whether the cost of LASIK eye surgery is worth it, consider both the risks and benefits before you sign up.
The Risks of LASIK Eye Surgery
The most common complication resulting from LASIK surgery is dry eyes, which can become a permanent and painful condition. “Sands of the Sahara,” or Diffuse Lamellar Keratitis, is another possible outcome. It basically means dead cells get stuck behind your corneal flap. These misplaced cells cause an inflammatory reaction that can result in scarring and even permanent vision loss.
Here’s a brief list of other unpleasant side effects & complications from LASIK:
- Sensitivity to light
- Double vision
- Ghost images
- Vitamin D deficiency due to increased sun sensitivity
- Visual acuity fluctuation (fluctuation in vision quality throughout the day)
- Starbursts and halos around lights seen at night
- Striae (wrinkles in the corneal flap)
- Thin or buttonhole flap (this can cause damage to the cornea and vision loss)
- Decentered ablation (this happens when the laser during surgery isn’t properly centered, causing a host of vision problems for patients)
- Debris and growth under the flap (causes flecked vision among other problems)
- Surgically induced astigmatism (blurred vision caused by the inability of the eye to focus)
- Posterior vitreous detachment (separation of the vitreous membrane from the retina causing floaters and flashes of light)
- Corneal ectasia (bulging of the cornea causing blurred vision)
- Macular hole (a break in the eye’s macula, causing distorted and blurred central vision)
- Epithelium erosion (can cause delayed healing as well as corneal damage)
- Floaters (specks in the field of vision)
Pretty scary stuff right? While LASIK really can restore your vision (with the possibility of side effects), it’s not the only way. Most folks don’t know that there are natural, and very inexpensive, alternatives to LASIK that can also help you restore your vision.
Natural Alternatives to LASIK Surgery
You know how mom always said that eating carrots will help your vision? Well, there’s truth in that. But she should have added, “Take your eye vitamins every day!” By taking an eye-healthy vitamin supplement each day, you can drastically improve your vision. Tens of thousands of other people have used non-invasive vitamin supplements to drastically improve their vision and so can you. No lasers, no cutting, and no side effects!
If surgery is the best option for you, consider alternatives to LASIK. Today, there are many safer and more effective surgeries with fewer risks. One example is LASEK. This less-invasive procedure doesn’t use a laser until the last stage. Instead, an alcohol solution is used to soften the cornea. Although recovery isn’t as speedy as for LASIK, there’s a lower risk of infection.
Another option is for those whose lenses are unable to focus. To be honest, these people are not good candidates for LASIK surgery. But, some doctors will perform it anyway for the money. Instead, these patients could consider Phakic Intraocular Lens Implants. These small, silicone-based implants are placed between the cornea and the iris. Some patients are fully recovered within 24 hours. But, it depends on the type of material used in the implants. These implants can be removed at any time or left on for life.
Perhaps one of the most promising new surgeries is Refractive Lens Exchange Surgery. It’s intended for those with refractive errors who don’t qualify for LASIK. In this procedure, a laser removes the natural lens. An artificial lens replaces the natural one. The results of this surgery are impressive and quick. And, since the lens never ages, the patient will never develop cataracts. Thus, it’s quite similar to the surgery used to remove cataracts. Better vision for the rest of their life!
You Always Have Options
The cost of LASIK eye surgery varies by location and doctor. The same goes for other types of eye surgeries. It’s crucial that you find a reputable doctor with plenty of experience. And, that’s honest about your eligibility for the surgery. Even if you find a doctor offering LASIK at a cost you can afford, you need to really weigh all the pros and cons.
Of course, if you want to improve your vision naturally, you can change your diet. An even easier option is to take eye-healthy supplements. It may take longer to see results, but the risks are certainly lower.