Lasik for -0.5D Power to Get 6/6 Vision?

dear sir,
i have to join my training soon as i have qualified as a cadet in merchant navy. i have been given time for eye correction surgery by my sponsoring company. the requirements are 6/6 vision unaided in both the eyes. i just have -0.5d power in both the eyes. i see 6/6 line as readable but a bit hazy which results in sometimes a problem to read each word of the snellen line sir pleeez tell me if laser vision correction will help me or not.bcoz my power is too small.sir please advise me.

Doctor Answers 4

Mild visual corrections with LASIK

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LASER refractive surgery will do an excellent job correcting your mild refractive error. Since you are entereing the merchant navy, it may make sense to opt for a surface treatment such as LASEK. With this treatment, there will be a slower return to great vision, but there will be lewss side effects and no flap complications. This may be important in your profession.

West Orange Ophthalmologist

LASIK will work for mild corrections

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The thing you have going for you is that you are young I would assume, so even a small overcorrection would still leave you with 6/6 vision or better. In the USA we refer to 6/6 as 20/20 since we discuss feet and not meters. Better than 20/20 is 20/15 or in your case 6/5 vision. Since you have a small correction, LASIK should be able to accomplish giving you sharp 6/6 vision or better assuming that your eye exam is otherwise normal.

For many people, your current level of vision is excellent and the small risks of LASIK would not be warranted. Also, for older patients (and yourself in many years) near or reading vision could be reduced with this kind of treatment.

Depending on your age, it might be best to try to correct your vision from -0.50 to +0.50 so that if your nearsightedness became worse, you would still have sharp vision.

Jon Dishler, MD, FACS
Greenwood Village Ophthalmologist

LASIK for Small Prescriptions

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Dear Savvy

Your prescription of -0.50 is the lower limits of what is correctable with LASIK. If your position requires better distance acuity and your best corrected acuity is better than 20/20 [which occurs commonly], you might benefit from treatment. To determine whether you are a candidate, I would recommend that you seek the care of a provider.

Sandy Feldman, MD
San Diego Ophthalmologist

LASIK vs LASEK for low degrees amounts of myopia

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I would NOT do LASIK for a Rx as low as -0.50, as the RISK BENEFIT RATIO IS NOT GOOD. That means you're already seeing about 20/25 with nothing now, and there's about a 1:100 chance you would see WORSE if I cut a flap in your eye, lasered off the -0.50, and then put the flap back down.

This is why most ethical and honorable LASIK surgeons have a LOWER LIMIT for what they will agree to laser--normally it has to be above -0.75, or certainly -0.50. I actually got into an argument with another Resident Instructor when I worked at Manhattan Eye, Ear & Throat Hospital, which used to be the #1 eye hospital in NYC (now New York Eye & Ear is), because I happened to see one of her treatment sheets in the laser center there (back then there were no privately owned lasers in NYC, only shared lasers in hospitals), and saw she was treating a patient who was -0.50, and I asked her why, and she actually said, "because they have this funny medical plan that covers LASIK and we want to do this ASAP before the benefit expires" and I asked her if she would do this on herself or a close relative of hers, and she said, "what, are you crazy?"!:(

Anyway, fortunately this ethical dilemma (which really shouldn't be much of a dilemma) is avoided if you do LASEK, as if you don't have to cut and put back the flap, 90% of the possible complications are avoided, so the risk: benefit ratio is much improved, and there's only a 1 in ONE THOUSAND chance I would make that person see worse, not better afterwards, and that's a risk that I’m willing to take myself, or have a relative take, so I am willing to do that on a patient, and it's ethical.

So if you have a very low Rx, don't get LASIK, get LASEK (and by your question I see that you're not flyfrom the US as you're using the metric term of 6 meters/6 meters rather than 20 feet/20 feet, so you may have find someone who specializes in LASEK, as that is very hard to find in Europe, unfortunately, where almost everybody is doing LASIK or IntraLaser or PRK, NONE of which I would recommend you a friend with such a low Rx--or to you!:)

Emil William Chynn, MD, FACS, MBA
New York Ophthalmologist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.