This post is brought to you in partnership with Horizon Eye Care. All opinions are our own.
If you’re between 24 and 39, you probably didn’t notice when LASIK emerged two decades ago as the newest way to improve vision. But you’re the reason it’s making a comeback now.
The FDA approved Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis in 1998 to treat nearsightedness, astigmatism and farsightedness by reshaping corneas. Soon, the revolutionary surgery became routine. By 2007, the annual number of procedures had risen to 1.5 million.
The economic recession the following year and the aging-out of the initial target market reduced that number to 600,000 by 2015. Yet LASIK is poised for a resurgence, due to renewed interest among millennials.
They’ll pass baby boomers in 2019 as the largest U.S. generation, so the pool of LASIK candidates keeps growing. (In fact, most eye surgeons now consider LASIK an alternative for patients over 18.) Flexible Spending Accounts and interest-free financing options have put elective procedures like this one within financial reach of younger people. And because many of their parents or grandparents had the outpatient surgery, the idea seems more commonplace to millennials.
Eye doctors like the ones at Horizon Eye Care have geared up for the rush. Horizon has put half a million dollars into new technology; doctors now do a topographic analysis to fix minute spherical aberrations and further refine improvements in vision. The practice has recruited doctors who’ve performed LASIK on thousands of patients. Many of these patients’ livelihoods depend on crisp vision, including fighter pilots, Marines, race car drivers and football players.
Not everyone’s a candidate, of course. LASIK works for patients who fall within certain parameters of nearsightedness and astigmatism, though that range keeps growing, and whose corneas are thick enough to stand restructuring. The body’s response to any surgery varies patient to patient. Though the procedure has a 98 percent success rate, people may fall short of their vision targets, experience dry eyes or see glare or halos around lights at night.
Millennials who want to maximize vision during the years they’re most active keep signing up. And that is why Horizon offers new conveniences to LASIK patients, including a no-wait concierge service with consultations at Horizon Eye Care’s Cotswold, Mooresville and Waverly locations.
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