Jessica White is a Senior Technician at The Harman Eye Clinic. Her observations may help you decide whether iLASIK is something that can benefit you.
I am one of those lucky people who sees well at all distances without glasses. For that reason, when I started working at The Harman Eye Clinic I had very little understanding of why someone would want LASIK. I thought it was a vanity thing; I assumed all people who had LASIK did so because they didn’t like how they looked in glasses and couldn’t wear contacts.
Boy, was I wrong!
Here are five of the most common reasons for wanting to have LASIK that I hear from patients.
Here in the northwest, we have the opportunity to enjoy snow and water sports without having to travel more than a couple of hours between. Unfortunately, neither of these genres mixes well with glasses or contacts. Patients frequently list things like snowboarding, skiing, swimming, and boating among the activities they hope to do without glasses after LASIK. Quite often I hear frustration about glasses fogging up under ski goggles, contacts drying out due to cold weather, or even just not being able to see when swimming because neither glasses nor contacts mix well with water.
I may not wear glasses or contacts, but I have traveled with people who do, and it is no surprise to me that this is among the more common reasons why people want to have LASIK. Packing contact lens supplies can be a hassle, especially if you are traveling far and will have to take them out to sleep en route. Also, there is always the possibility of breaking glasses or losing a contact, and I don’t know many people who feel comfortable having new glasses or contacts made in an unfamiliar place.
Although corrective lenses can usually make it possible for people to work almost any job, it does not mean that they make it easy. Patients who work construction or are mechanics often talk about how their glasses or contacts affect them when they are working in harsh weather or tight spaces. This is especially true for patients who wear Toric contacts or glasses to correct a fair amount of astigmatism, because their vision with lenses can change when they tilt their head. Anyone who works outdoors in the rain can attest to the problem that causes with glasses, and patients who work in kitchens often talk about their glasses getting steamed up or contact lenses making cutting onions much worse.
I was talking to one of my friends about LASIK shortly after she had her first child, and she exclaimed to me, “I just want to see what time it is when he wakes me up in the middle of the night!” Parenting while being glasses dependent can be really difficult, not only during late-night feedings. In my experience glasses are in the top 3 most desirable objects for infants and toddlers. Even just taking a few minutes to insert or remove contacts can feel like a huge inconvenience to a busy parent.
Even though I have learned that LASIK is not all about vanity, I do see that patients gain a lot of confidence by getting out of contacts and glasses. There is a certain amount of vulnerability that comes with knowing you can’t do all of the things you do without lenses. Not everyone likes wearing bold colored or extra-large frames, but some people feel the need to, because if they can’t see the blur of color, they can’t find their glasses when they are not on.
LASIK is so amazing because it gives patients the opportunity to wake up in the morning and just live.
The idea of having an elective surgery may be scary, but for so many patients, LASIK is liberating. We see patients every year for exams after LASIK, and it is amazing to ask how their vision has been and have them say “You know, I haven’t really thought about it because I can see everything I need to.”
When our surgeons offer LASIK to patients, it is because they truly feel that they can help that person get to a place where they don’t have to think about their vision throughout most of their day. If you are interested in having a complimentary evaluation with one of our LASIK surgeons to find out if you are a good candidate, please contact our refractive coordinator.
For more information, call our office at 360.435.8595 or visit our website, http://www.20Better.com.
The Harman Eye Clinic
903 Medical Center Drive, Arlington WA 98223
360-474-2561 360-435-8595 FAX 360-435-5233