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Interest in LASIK soars, but experts warn of risks and long-term side effects

Experts stress that anyone considering LASIK should thoroughly discuss the benefits and risks with a health care professional.

By Daryl Austin

When patient activist Paula Cofer of Tampa, Florida, learned that LASIK surgeries, laser eye surgery that corrects vision, were soaring during the pandemic, she was disappointed, but not surprised. “The LASIK industry depends heavily on advertising and their latest marketing gimmick has been targeting people frustrated with foggy eyeglasses while wearing a mask,” she said.

Whether she likes it or not, the strategy seems to be working.

Recent data from the Refractive Surgery Council, an association of vision correction experts, said that while some ophthalmology subspecialties have struggled to attract patients to elective procedures during the pandemic, “refractive surgery has proven to be an exception.” Indeed, the same report said the industry has “benefitted from a kick start during the COVID-19 era,” with laser vision correction procedures such as LASIK and PRK “flourishing,” and 2021 shaping up to be the industry’s most profitable year since 2015.


Color Vision

Most people have no idea why color vision is essential. Wouldn’t we get around just as well if we saw the world in black and white? The answer is color vision enables you to distinguish an object from its background more easily.

If your eyes saw only black and white, you could only pick out an object if it was whiter (“brighter”) or blacker (“darker”) than its background. However, if you also use color as a clue, you can recognize an object against a backdrop even if both have the same brightness. It is much easier to recognize and avoid shooting a fellow hunter if he is dressed in red or orange rather than the forest’s green or brown background.

Blue-yellow color vision deficiency exists, but it is extremely rare. Most people with a color vision deficiency – ninety-nine percent – have red-green color blindness. They have difficulty distinguishing between shades of red, orange, yellow, brown, and green. They see these colors as duller than they would appear to someone with normal color vision. Some of them confuse reds with black. Others have trouble distinguishing between shades of purple. Some have problems seeing red apples on a green tree.


LASIK eye surgery should be taken off market, former FDA adviser says

Cross-Posted from CBS News

LASIK eye surgery has been popular for more than 20 years, with an estimated 20 million Americans undergoing the procedure to correct nearsightedness and improve distance vision. But some patients say the surgery has ruined their eyesight.

The quick, minimally-invasive surgery uses a laser to cut a flap to reshape the cornea at the front of the eye. Now an expert who once backed LASIK is campaigning to get it off the market.


Is Suicide an Adverse Effect of LASIK Surgery?

By S. Nicole Lane

Each year, approximately 700,000 Americans choose to undergo LASIK surgery. Nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism can all be corrected with this procedure, which utilizes a laser to reshape the cornea and improve vision, eliminating the need for contacts and glasses.

The success rate of LASIK is nevertheless very high, with a 96% patient satisfaction rate, as noted by the Journal of Cataract and Refractive SurgeryEric Donnenfeld, MD, former president of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, has completed over 85,000 successful procedures. Of these, Donnenfeld reports 96 to 98% of LASIK patients have 20/20 vision post-surgery.

But what about the other 2 to 4%? When complications do occur from LASIK, they may be severe and even life-changing. (continues at MedTruth)


Allow me to use the occasion of your new email address to more fully thank you for the wonderful help you were to me in saving me from a totally unnecesary cataract operation.

You were kind to initially speak to me by telephone. But your further step — of strongly encouraging me to have my supposed cataracts examined by you when I was next in New York — was the clincher.

Deep down I was surprised at the original cataract diagnosis. I thought I was happy with the way my aging eyes worked, and had other engaging things going on in my life (an English girlfriend at the UN in NY, having to close down a sizable company I owned) that were inconvenient to interrupt for a couple of delicate operations and recoveries.

But who would have thought a leading ophthamologist in Boca Raton would have been so sloppy (or worse) in his diagnosis, would have been on the verge of committing outrageous malpractice (on me!!!) but for your careful attention to someone who only knew you distantly, through your sister and Peter.

BTW it is interesting how suggestible an eye patient can be, even a patient who thinks he is “sophisticated”. As mentioned, I had thought my eyes were great. But then, when the Florida, umm, quack told me they were terrible, that I was a danger driving around and would be amazed at the difference after the operation, I began to imagine I was having all kinds of problems driving, in the bright sun, whatever. Of course since you told me my eyes are in good shape, it is amazing how my confidence in them has returned.

All my thanks, Sincerely, Dan

Mr/Mrs. A.T. Johnson, Jr., NY, NY

Dr. Cynthia MacKay is a superb opthomologist who has treated us for the past 20 years. She has repaired torn retina, removed cataracts, implanted lenses and treated glaucoma. We don’t know how we would have gotten through all this without her.