Healthcare and You


From a Guest Columnist


The technology is better, outcomes have improved, the
prices have dropped. What are you waiting for? Treat yourself to

Lasik works! Are you frustrated with losing, breaking, or having
your glasses fall off all the time? After enduring the stinging
sensation of improperly washed contacts, for the millionth time
I had had it. I recently became one of the many enjoying the
benefits of better vision and less hassles through lasik.

I am cheap. The thing that was holding me back from getting
lasik done in the past was the price. A couple of thousand
dollars per eye will buy a lot of cheap glasses and disposable
contacts. There are now clinics advertising the procedure for
$300 per eye, when that flyer fell out of the Sunday paper, I
was there the next day. I had just sat on my ‘good’ glasses to
read the paper. I’d like to tell you about the process you can
expect at one of these clinics.

The first thing was a thorough eye exam to see if I was a good
candidate (about 80% of people are). I figured even if I flunked
I would use the exam to get yet another pair of glasses. I
passed. It was carefully explained that the procedure does not
guaranty ‘perfect vision’, although most folks get very close to

The next decision was on the type of laser to use. This clinic
had 3 different types priced at $300, 800, and $1,300 per eye.
This is quite a spread, (and an ‘upsell’). The more expensive
CustomLasik has the potential to improve night vision and the
quantity of what you can see as well as the quality. Well, I had
no need to spot quarters on the ground flying 30,000 feet
overhead, and like I said, I am cheap.

Some things you may not know and want to ask about:

The procedure may not be permanent and you may need a touch up,
ask the cost of it. My clinic offered ‘insurance’ for more
procedures, but its cost was 50% again the original price.

The need for reading glasses should be discussed. Chances are if
you need them now you may need them more after the procedure.
The amount of benefit you get is individual and cannot be

The procedure itself is virtually painless and brief, but you
will have to sit for a couple hors with your eyes closed
afterward. There are drops used in the eye that numb it. The
only sensations aside from a little pressure felt, were a little
itchiness afterwards.

You may get dry eyes. You cannot rub your eyes, for an extra fee
a small plug can be put in your tear duct to alleviate dry eyes.
You will also not be able to drive for a day or three. Make sure
you can head right to the drugstore for eye drops.

I noticed improvement in my vision within a day. There will be
two or three follow up visits to check healing and vision. My
distance vision, which was the main problem, got better and
better over the course of two weeks. As was explained my need
for reading glasses increased slightly. It has been about 8
months now and the only thing I regret is not getting it done
sooner. I no longer feel I am hiding behind glasses.

Any elective surgery is a personal decision, but here is a case
where the technology is getting better and better, costs are
coming down, and reasons not to do it are disappearing.

About the author:

Are you hiding behind your glasses? Let your best feature shine,
your eyes. Why wait to learn the truth about LASIK? Now there is
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Relax! It’s Only Your Doctor’s Waiting Room, Not the ER: Or How to Get Along With and Understand Your Doctor is an insightful but irreverent intrusion into the complexities of modern day medicine. Listen to an interview with Dr. Ackerman

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