If you are interested in having a vision correction procedure—such as LASIK—doing your homework, researching LASIK online and making sure you know everything you need to know about the surgery is essential to making a good decision for you and your vision. Not surprisingly, if you want to learn about anything, including LASIK eye surgery, you can find a wealth of information online. Using online resources can make it much easier for you to research your vision problem, learn about LASIK procedure options, check on costs and find qualified refractive surgeons in your neighborhood.
To help you get started, the American Refractive Surgery Council offers these tips for researching LASIK online.
- Because vision correction surgery is a matter of your health, it is important to rely on credible, medically accurate information. Use authoritative medical websites such as WebMD, the Mayo Clinic, the Cleveland Clinic or your local medical university to learn about the procedure. Research the risks as well as the benefits and understand what the procedure can and can’t do. For example, LASIK can free you from glasses and contact lenses, or reduce your dependence on them. But it has limitations. In particular, LASIK can’t stop the aging process. Your eyes will continue to age and you may need glasses for reading at some point in the future.
- Use Facebook and other social networking sites to ask your friends and followers about their LASIK experiences. How did they prepare for their surgery? What happened during the procedure? When did they return to their normal routines? Did they have any side effects? Did they get the results they expected? Would they recommend their surgeon?
- Use forums, message boards and online discussion groups to hear other people’s experiences firsthand. Online communities form around common areas of interest where LASIK can make a difference to people’s lives—from parents to outdoor enthusiasts and even pilots. This is a great avenue for finding people who share your interests and hearing about their experiences with the procedure. Many people including bloggers, vloggers and Snapchatters often report on their LASIK experiences. Some are simply interested in sharing their personal journey, some are sponsored. Don’t discount the experiences of those that have been compensated by the sponsor, the FTC requires bloggers disclose their financial relationships. But, regardless of whether the posts are sponsored or not, these genuine first-person accounts can be very valuable.
- If you’re curious about how the surgery is performed, you can check out surgery videos on YouTube or Vimeo and many surgeons post procedure videos on their sites. These videos can be very instructive—but if you are at all squeamish you may not find it comforting to watch any type of surgery.
- You can find out the cost of LASIK online as many LASIK centers advertise special deals, but you should use this as a general guide. You should expect to pay more for a highly-skilled surgeon who is experienced in performing LASIK and uses the latest technologies. Remember, getting a great deal should not be the deciding factor for any surgical procedure. It’s much more important that you select a surgeon who you trust and have a good rapport with.
Finally, some words of advice about using the Internet when you’re researching LASIK online. Because anyone can put anything on the Web, you need to check the source of the material. Make sure the information you find comes from a credible person or organization and verify everything with your ophthalmologist or surgeon. Being an informed patient is a good way to set yourself up for success with LASIK or any medical procedure.