Vision problems affect a vast percentage of the population – some estimates put this at 50%.
People can be shortsighted, longsighted or astigmatic, or a mix, alongside a host of other issues that would traditionally require wearing glasses.
Yet, despite being an old and well-known solution, glasses are not the only choice for someone with less than 20/20 eyesight.
For those who find glasses cumbersome, lessthanfashionable, or easily lost, contact lenses can be a good choice. Compared to glasses, they can provide a more accurate image as they don’t have an “edge”? getting in the way.
Contact lenses can also be more convenient, as they can be worn in most situations and don’t fog up or get in the way, for example, in the shower, behind skiing glasses, or swimming goggles.
However, contact lenses aren’t perfect: they can be difficult to put in, and may not be suitable for people with dry eyes. Some lens types can alsoprevent enough oxygen getting to the eyes, which can cause problems in the longterm. Similarly, they need to be taken out and cleaned regularly, to avoid dirt and infections.
And while they can offer different levels of vision in each eye, they may not be able to help people who need correction for both near and far.
Another option could be implantable multifocal lenses, which are placed – with the aid of a local anesthetic – into the eye behind the pupil, but this isn’t suitable for people with specificeye problems.
There is another alternative: laser surgery. This uses a laser to cut a flap in the cornea, with the eye tissue underneath then corrected to perfect the vision. The corneal flap is then folded back into place, leaving no lasting damage, and patients can see soon after, requiring no glasses or lenses afterwards.
There are several techniques available to choose from, and they can fix a range of vision problems. The most well-known of these is arguably the LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis) procedure, used by reputable providers offering Lasik vision correction in Chicago, which has state-of-the-art technology to ensure patients are in safe hands.
All surgery carries risks, so it is important to find a reputable provider before you entrust your eyes to a laser beam. Cheap, foreign packages for surgery may look attractive, but can carry all kinds of risks, including lack of follow-up care, good hygiene, or proper pre-surgery consultation.
A reputable consultant will have performed the procedure thousands of times, and be trained in ophthalmology, with a deep understanding of the techniques and technology used. They might also offer payment options to make vision correction more accessible.
Surgery is still surgery, even without general anesthetic, so it pays to have a qualified, experienced and communicative doctor who can advise on all options: glasses, lenses, and laser correction.