Tuesday, May 26, 2009

There are risks involved in LASIK

Dow Jones Newswires (5/23, Favole) reported that in a letter issued May 22, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that "doctors need to give patients detailed information about the risks associated with" laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) eye surgery. The FDA "sent a letter to doctors requesting that they tell patients about risks associated with LASIK...after receiving numerous complaints from consumers who experienced double and fuzzy vision and painful dry eyes after getting the procedure." In April 2008, the "agency held a public meeting" during which "consumers expressed concerns about risks associated with the surgery." The agency "said it believes 'eliminating deceptive or misleading' health" advertisements "is an important part of protecting the public's health."
Reuters (5/23, Heavey) added that the current recession has had an impact upon LASIK procedures, which can cost several thousand dollars per eye and are, in most cases, not covered by health insurance. (couretsy AOA)

An alternative to LASIK is orthokeratology. It is non-surgical and therefore does not carry the same risks that surgery does. Orthokeratology does not exacerbate dry eyes because it does not damage the nerves that regulate tear production. It is reversible and adjustable for those who may experience double or fuzzy vision from the procedure. An added benefit is that it costs about 1/2 the cost of LASIK.

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