How Much Does Lasik Eye Surgery Cost?
There are usually many options when it comes to vision correction. The most traditional method of improving eyesight is by wearing prescription glasses. The second most accepted means to better sight is the contact lens. However, laser based eye correction procedures are becoming quite popular. Lasik eye surgery is a procedure that uses lasers to reshape the corneal surface of the eye. The basis of many sight deficits (near and farsightedness, astigmatism) is an irregularity in the surface of the eye. The cornea is the part of the eye (along with the lens) that focuses light onto the appropriate spot on the retina. While glasses and contacts alter the light’s path before it hits the retina, laser surgery addresses the problem at the source. Lasik eye surgery cost is commonly about $500 to $2,500 per eye.
What Is Lasik Eye Surgery?
Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) eye surgery is a procedure that is used to correct refractive errors such as astigmatism, hyperopia (farsightedness), and myopia (nearsightedness). There are other types of eye treatments involving lasers, but Lasik is known to have the easiest and quickest recovery period. Lasik eye surgery cost is comparable to other laser procedures. Prior to the engagement of the laser, Lasik preoperative patients have their corneas examined with a tool known as a pachymeter. Then, using a non-surgical, low-power laser, the surface of the eye is topographically mapped. This information is compiled by a computer and used to program the surgical laser. A circular flap is made in the cornea’s surface to get to the stroma (the inner part of the cornea) using a microkeratome (metal blade) or other means. The laser program is executed on the desired spot, and the flap is repositioned over the opening where it will natural heal. The cost of Lasik eye surgery is directly related to the use of advanced pieces of technology in the process.
Average Cost Of Lasik Eye Surgery
The cost of Lasik eye surgery is variable with the amount of correction required to attain the best possible vision improvement. The simplest procedures may cost under $500 per eye, while complicated reshaping processes could total over $2,000. There are different types of LASIK surgeries available. The type of surgery can vary based on the brand of laser used, the type of laser guidance system, and the type of laser used (corneal flap or other). Lasik eye surgery cost will be different for every person, but can be estimated to average around $1,200 for each eye. You should investigate all laser surgery options in your locality if you wish to find the best value.
Lasik Eye Surgery Cost Per Eye
When you see the cost of Lasik eye surgery at an exceptionally low price, you can be sure of two things. For one, very few people will qualify for the actual discount, and secondly, the price is most certainly for one eye alone. It is actually quite common for Lasik eye surgery cost to be listed in a per eye format. However, as usual as this practice may be, the general public is not often made aware of the terms and can be shocked by the revelation that the actual expense for both eyes will be double the quoted amount. When the time arrives for the procedure, the ophthalmologist or other eye professional will likely treat one eye immediately following the first, but it is not uncommon for a patient to wait one week between eyes.
Lasik Eye Surgery Insurance Coverage
Insurance companies will not usually cover laser surgeries for refractive correction. Lasik eye surgery cost is considered an “elective surgery” expense since most refractive corrections can be made with prescription glasses or contact lenses. However, if the procedure is deemed to be necessary due to a medical condition that is most efficiently addressed with Lasik, then there is the chance of resisting some or all of the cost through insurance. It is very important to discuss the procedure with your insurance representative before you assume that Lasik surgery cost will be attended to.
Lasik Eye Surgery Risks
The cost of Lasik eye surgery can be more than money. There are several risks associated with the procedure, including a 1 in 3 chance of developing severe and/or permanent “dry eye”. This condition occurs when damage to nerve endings in the cornea inhibit the natural lubrication of the eye. Other complications include subconjunctival hemorrhage (ruptured blood vessels in the eye), improper healing of the flap which may lead to a second procedure, and visual abnormalities such as double-sight, decreased contrast, and halos. Lasik eye surgery cost should be weight alongside these risks when making an eye treatment decision.
Lasik Eye Surgery Recovery
Immediately following Lasik eye surgery you are allowed to go home, as long as you have someone to drive you there. It is common to experience some irritability in the 4-6 hours following this surgery. In the days following the procedure, it is recommended that you sleep as much as possible, and you may be given a protective eye shield (not covered in the cost of Lasik surgery) so that you don’t accidentally scratch or rub your eyes (potentially dislodging the corneal flap) during sleep. It is possible to return to work the day following Lasik, but it is commonly suggested that you schedule a few days off. It is helpful to include lost income in your calculation of Lasik eye surgery cost.
Does Lasik Eye Surgery Hurt?
It is not uncommon to experience some discomfort following Lasik eye surgery, but the actual experience of pain is rare. The positioning of the eye is noticeable, and the suction used prior to making the corneal flap is often experienced as a large amount of pressure, but not enough to be categorized as pain. Before the procedure, anesthetic drops are applied to the eye. However, it is possible that the flap may be cut before the numbing effect has sufficiently taken effect, causing a slight amount of temporary pain. Otherwise there are very few complaints of pain during the procedure. In rare circumstances, pain medication will be needed for some time after the procedure, and this will not be included in the quoted Lasik eye surgery cost.