Should I Have Lasik to Correct -3.00 to 20/20 ?

I am 24 yrs old and my prescription is stable at -3.00 (both eyes) with -1.00 astigmatism is left eye. Corneal thickness: 560 microns (left) and 557 microns (right). I don't have dry eyes issues. ? Should I go for Lasik as I am totally frustrated with glasses ? Is my corneal thickness good enough to correct my refractive error ? Will it be too risky for me to have it ? If I can do it then what is the chance of getting side effects like dry eyes,halos,glares etc?

Doctor Answers 4

LASIK or surface ablation (LASEK)

From the numbers that you have presented - both LASIK and surface ablation are appropriate procedure options for you.  The advantage of LASIK is faster visual recovery (you can typically drive your car the next day).  Surface ablation - such as LASEK - is also effective - but 4-6 days are required typically for the vision to improve for driving a car after the procedure.  The good news is that by 3 months - the results of LASIK and surface ablation (such as LASEK) are identical - including visual results and tests for dry eyes.   The big advance since the late 1990's is the switch by many surgeons to the all laser LASIK procedure - so that the flap that is created works better to provide crisp vision and not induce as much dry eye as the older-style LASIK flaps.  That is why the studies that have looked at LASIK and surface ablation have found that both are excellent options with similar long term results.

I hope this helps

Bill Trattler, MD

Miami, FL

Miami Ophthalmologist

Should I Have Lasik To Correct -3.00 to 20/20

Based on the information you have given, it seems your prescription and corneal thickness make you a good candidate for Laser Vision Correction(Lasik or PRK). My personal preference, providing your eye examination is perfectly normal, would be bilateral Lasik, as your visual recovery will be faster. In my opinion, PRK and Lasik are equally safe, but different, in the manner in which the eyes recover. All things being equal, I usually recommend Lasik for this prescription, as there is less postoperative discomfort and the visual result is achieved faster than with PRK. The long term visual results of Lasik and PRK, compared head to head over decades of time, and tens of millions of each having been performed, are the same. So, the long and the short of it, is that you seem to be a great Laser Vision Correction candidate. Which procedure you have done should be decided between the surgeon and you.  

Anthony J. Kameen, MD
Baltimore Ophthalmologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Lasik vs lasek

you have plenty of tissue to get any procedure you want

if you're concerned about dry eyes and night glare i would avoid LASIK if i were you

i had LASIK myself (was the 1st LASIK surgeon in NYC to have it himself, in 1999) and have some dry eyes and night glare because of this. not horrible, but not ideal

LASIK causes dry eyes because when you cut the corneal flap, you cut the corneal nerves, which never grow back. this denervates your cornea, and reduces sensation. this causes you to blink less often (the dryness sensation is what triggers the blink reflex, there is no clock to blink in your brain). effectively, LASIK patients then stare themselves dry without knowing it. we have done studies that show regular people blink every 5-10 seconds. post-LASIK patients blink every 10-15 seconds. some LASIK surgeons then tell their patients to "remember to blink more frequently" but this is clearly ridiculous

i also have night glare, also caused by my corneal flap. after cutting a LASIK flap, the surgeon puts your flap back, but it never fully heals, and there is always a microscopic gap between the flap and the bed. at night, when light enters the eye, it is reflected and refracted at this flap interface, which causes night glare. again, mine is not horrible, but i wish i didn't have it

this is why i switched to LASEK 6 years ago. by not cutting any flaps, i preserve the corneal nerves, so avoid dry eyes. i also don't make any flap, so prevent night glare. both problems went from about 10% of patients when i was doing LASIK to now less than 1%, or a 10x improvement

so the actual answer is quite complex, which is why you should go for a free consultation at a minimum of 2 centers--one that cuts flaps (LASIK or IntraLase), and one that doesn't (LASEK or epiLASEK)

Emil William Chynn, MD, FACS, MBA
New York Ophthalmologist
4.6 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Good Candidate for laser vision correction

Based on your numbers you appear to be a very good candidate for laser vision correction. There is always a risk for the complications you mentioned but fortunately that risk is very low. 

Christopher Starr, MD
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.