Many families are starting the holiday season.   Whether in high school or college, students will be home on break for the holidays.  Before students return to school or college in the New Year, parents/grandparents may be considering what type of Christmas gift would be meaningful and long-lasting for the student in their life.  If the student in question wears glasses or contact lenses, you may wish to consider giving the gift of better vision.

Laser vision correction is a surgical procedure that reduces or eliminates the need for glasses or contact lenses.  It accomplishes this by reshaping the front surface of the eye – the cornea- to eliminate focusing errors.  The most common focusing errors that the laser can correct are nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.  Laser correction may be helpful at any age, but young adults often benefit with the longest lasting corrected vision results.

LASIK is the most common form of laser vision correction.   In this variation, the laser treatment is done under a protective corneal flap.  The use of the flap allows for a much quicker and less painful recovery.  The healing from LASIK surgery is essentially completed overnight.

Modern LASIK surgery is remarkably successful, a tribute to the precision of the excimer laser and the constant advances in technology.  Wavefront-guided “custom” laser treatment is the latest advance in the field.  This technology uses a special device to measure the eye’s exact irregularities and variations.  These mapped measurements are then loaded into the laser to treat the specific focusing errors of that eye.  The difference between this technology and the previous is essentially the difference between a tailored suit and one bought off the rack without alterations.  This advanced technique has led to a dramatic reduction in glare, halos, starbursts and other visual imperfections.  It has also resulted in improved vision.  The rates of 20/20 vision after LASIK surgery are now well above 90%.

Laser vision correction is not a cure-all for vision problems.  It cannot correct diseases of the eye or “lazy” eyes.  The abundance of advertisements for LASIK procedures can be confusing and intimidating.  The most important factor for a successful outcome is choosing an experienced surgeon who will personally assess whether you are a good candidate for LASIK and who is up to date with the latest technology.  Don’t assume that laser vision correction is a luxury that can only be enjoyed by the wealthy.  At Southside Eye Care, our staff will work with you to make this an affordable gift for that very special student.

Laser vision correction can be a life-changing and liberating gift for those who feel tied to glasses or contacts lenses.   So if you have a very special student in your life, consider giving the gift of LASIK.  It is a long lasting gift that will truly make a daily difference for the rest of the grateful recipient’s life.

Author:  Michael Keverline, M.D.

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