If you haven’t had Lasik eye surgery, you’ve probably heard of it. The vision-correcting procedure has become hugely popular.
About 600,000 Americans a year undergo Lasik.
You’d think that such a widely used procedure would have been rigorously studied in clinical trials. But the fact is, only a few studies have tested Lasik. And many were authored by doctors or manufacturers with a financial stake in the outcome.
Over the years, more and more Lasik horror stories have come to light.
We told you a few months ago about 27-year-old Army veteran Max Cronin. After he had the treatment, he had pain, dry eyes, and declining vision. He became so depressed that he ended his life.
Now, there is another Lasik-related tragedy.
Jessica Starr was a meteorologist on TV station WJBK Fox 2 in Michigan. Viewers were shocked when the station recently posted this statement on their website:
“Last night we were informed of the heartbreaking news that our friend and colleague, meteorologist Jessica Starr, took her life. All of us here at Fox 2 are in deep shock and cannot believe that such a wonderful, bright, and intelligent individual will no longer be with us…”
Her death could hardly have been more tragic. Jessica was only 35. She was the married mother of two young children.
She committed suicide a month after telling TV viewers she was having a hard time recovering from Lasik surgery. She had the treatment because she wanted to stop wearing contact lenses.
Starr had the procedure in October and took four weeks off. She tried to return to work in November, but made it through only one day before returning home. She looked depressed when she appeared on the air.
She remarked, “I am struggling a little bit so I need all the prayers and wishes. This is a hard go… I just want to get my vision back so I can keep you guys smiling.”
But the struggle was too much for her to overcome.
What You Need to Know About Lasik
Lasik surgery uses a laser to precisely cut and reshape the corneas. These are the areas of transparent tissue at the front of our eyes. In theory, the incision heals quickly and vision improves in just a few days.
Patients can undergo the procedure for nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. It costs from $300 to $4,000 per eye. Insurance usually does not cover it because it is considered elective surgery.
Even though some 10 million Americans have already undergone Lasik, the FDA only recently finished the first thorough and independent study of the procedure.
Researchers followed 574 patients for up to six months after they underwent the eye surgery. They discovered that nearly half (45%) suffered side effects. They included:
- Increased glare
- Halos around objects
- Double or even triple vision
One side effect was particularly common and troubling. One third of patients suffered dry eye. In some cases, it was merely annoying. But in others it caused intense pain.
In some patients, the surgery didn’t even work. They had to return to wearing glasses.
In the wake of the study, the FDA issued a warning. It said, “Patients undergoing Lasik surgery should be adequately counseled about the possibility of developing new visual symptoms after surgery.”
The bottom line?
Don’t get Lasik surgery merely for convenience or vanity. It’s too risky. Stick with glasses or contact lenses if they aren’t causing problems.
3 Supplements for Better Vision
You can help keep your vision sharp and your eyes healthy by taking certain supplements:
Astaxanthin: This sight-saving antioxidant is 65 times more powerful than vitamin C. It improves blood circulation to the eyes. This is critical to keeping your eyesight crystal clear.
Lutein: This compound promotes eye health by preventing light-induced oxidative damage to the retina. Leafy greens like kale, spinach, collards, and turnip greens are good sources. Or take a supplement.
Folate (B9): It prevents glaucoma and macular degeneration. It is hard to get adequate folate from food. Your best bet is a supplement that contains at least 400 mcg.
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