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LASIK May Save Military Lives?

LASIK has been one of the most liberating medical procedures for millions throughout the world, with a 96%  satisfaction rate.  Many people from all walks of life have enjoyed the freedom associated with reducing or eliminating the use of eye glasses and contact lenses. For a sensibly priced medical procedure that offers the reduced need or the omitted need for eyeglasses or contacts the same day, you may think what more is there to know? For starters, many appreciate that LASIK positively influences other aspects of life. Now, LASIK may save a life!

Indeed, our soldiers fighting for worldwide freedom have reported that LASIK did just that. Examples abound, such as, the ability to see a live trip wire that would have otherwise exploded and resulted in serious injury or even loss of life.

Sailors, Soldiers, and Airmen in the U.S. military have a different take on the spectacle/contact lens wear vs. independence they typically experience following LASIK. Hot, blowing sanding environments makes contact lenses impractical, and even unsafe to wear; eye glasses can fog up during shipboard operations; and it can be difficult for aviators to effectively use night vision goggles if they have to wear optical correction. As Dr. Steve Schallhorn, a LASIK surgeon in San Diego CA, adds, “I was honored to serve in the Navy as both a pilot and physician.  In my role as the Navy Director Refractive Surgery, we extensively studied and then offered laser vision correction that improved the performance of our military members.  It may have actually saved lives also.  We know how liberating it is for people to reduce or eliminate their need for glasses and contacts in daily life. Now, we appreciate that LASIK has the potential to better protect the lives of our military members in combat.”

Of course, the average American may not be concerned about tripping over live wires. Yet, the life enhancement that civilians may experience following LASIK can be equally as rewarding. As Dr. Karl Stonecipher, Refractive Surgeon of Raleigh, North Carolina adds, “LASIK technology today also allows for vision quality enhancement in low contrast lighting environments to see finer images under demanding conditions, such as, the ability to read a road sign at night while driving. Consequently, we are seeing many patients with better results, often 20/20 vision or better the day after surgery, and they report positive changes to their lives.”

A consultation with a LASIK surgeon may be just as inviting as the benefits you receive from the LASIK procedure itself.  So, why wait? We invite you to investigate and take advantage of the independence that LASIK has to offer.  People interested in LASIK often release their inhibitions in consultation, set reasonable expectations, and experience independence following LASIK. In consultation, misconceptions are cleared up. Within 24 hours after LASIK, the vast majority of people appreciate the simplicity and safety of the procedure, as well as, the benefit of restored vision. Over time, quality of life may be enhanced as well.

In the end, we turned to Dr. Jeffrey Dello Russo, a Refractive eye surgeon of New York and Jersey to describe what he thinks people misunderstand about LASIK. As he explains, “I do see a general public misunderstanding is that there are no treatment options available for people who have astigmatism or hyperopia. Depending upon the magnitude of the astigmatism or hyperopia in a patient, patients may qualify for LASIK. There are also a variety of other refractive options available for vision enhancement for those who don’t qualify.” In fact, Dr. Dello Russo’s practice donates LASIK surgery to members of the military once annually, totaling over 100 members to date.

LASIK Complications and Candidacy

As with all medical procedures, there are risks. Though rare, the risks of LASIK include: temporary eye discomfort, dry eyes, eye infection, over or under correction, appearance of halos, double vision, inflammation of the cornea, and keratoconus. Some people are at an increased risk for complications and your eye doctor will review your level of risk during consultation. Some people are not candidates for the LASIK procedure. Complications may be managed with physician intervention, such as, additional surgery.

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Your Health Access

LASIK is a cash pay medical procedure in the community.  There are patient financing companies available, offering a flexible option with no or low interest loans and reasonable terms. The monthly payment is typically affordable. Fortunately for armed forces members, the procedure is offered free of charge at the several military refractive surgery centers throughout the U.S.  The benefit of restored vision to them is generally real and significant; not only in daily lives but also during combat.

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It is important to recognize that all information contained on this website cannot be considered to be specific medical diagnosis, medical treatment, or medical advice. As always, you should consult with a physician regarding any medical condition.