Lasik Q & A

Lasik What The Odds of 20/20 Vision

LASIK eye surgery can greatly improve one’s vision, and it some cases LASIK eye surgery results in perfect vision. However patients of LASIK surgeries have various results and not everyone leaves the office with perfect vision. The statistics collected on LASIK eye surgery results indicate that the odds that you’ll see 20/20 after LASIK are not as great as many LASIK eye surgery facilities claim. There are a lot of myths surrounding what you can expect from LASIK, and sometimes LASIK patients have unrealistic expectations going into the surgery. Unfortunately there is no ‘LASIK’ results database; some of the surgery result statistics are based on differing criteria, but at least the information collected can help potential patients to gain a better picture about what to results to expect.

Recently the American Association of Professional Eyecare Specialists, (AAPECS), has reported their statistics on LASIK surgery. The results concluded that 55.3 percent of LASIK patients obtained 20/20 or better vision after LASIK surgery, and 92.6 percent of patients obtained 20/40 or better vision after LASIK surgery. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, (FDA), provides LASIK result statistics on LASIK lasers but not on the surgeries themselves. According to the FDA the laser with the most improved results was the Bausch & Lomb Technolas 217 Scanning spot laser, with a success result rate of 87.3 percent for 20/20 vision and a 99.7 percent success rate of achieving 20/40 or better vision. The lowest FDA success laser was the Nidek Scanning slit laser with a success result rate of 47.4 percent for 20/20 vision, and an 84.4 percent success rate of achieving 20/40 or better vision.

LASIK success statistics can sometimes come out skewed depending on how the statistics were evaluated. For example, some lasers and surgeries are used for correcting severe myopias and astigmatism while others are used to correct low to moderate myopias and astigmatism. Generally LASIK patients who have a high degree of myopia and astigmatism have a lower success rate. Additionally, the definition of successful LASIK surgery can differ. Some statistic results define success as 20/40 or better vision, while other statistic results define success as 20/20 or better vision.

On the whole, it is generally agreed that patients who undergo LASIK have an average 88 percent chance of obtaining 20/40 or better vision; this is the level of visual acuity that is needed in order to drive without contact lenses or glasses in most states. It is also generally agreed that LASIK patients have an average 54% chance of obtaining 20/20 or better vision. It is important to note that the chances of achieving 20/20 vision vary among individuals. Patients who have extremely thin corneas, severe myopias and astigmatisms, or who have had previous eye surgery do not generally have the average success possibilities of obtaining 20/20 vision.

While LASIK success rates can help you to determine how effective LASIK surgery may be, it is important to talk with your ophthalmologist about your own individual chances of achieving 20/20 vision.

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