Comparing LASIC Surgery with Vision Training

Every day we see ever more alluring advertisements offering us 20/20 vision through a surgical procedure taking less than 15 minutes. Indeed, a widely-read publication like Time Magazine has run a cover story on LASIK laser surgery giving details of a treatment that seems to be becoming more and more popular. LASIK is undoubtedly a wonderful procedure for some people but the huge amount of money involved is too tempting for many LASIK centres, and there are some that violate ethics by taking short cuts. 
Actually, the application of the surgical laser to the cornea takes less than 60 seconds and a corneal or refractive surgeon can schedule ten patients in a 15-minute period and generate $50,000 of revenue in just one morning. This is a huge business. Perhaps because of the large amounts of money involved the British Advertising Standards Authority has upheld complaints of misleading advertising for LASIK surgery by three leading centres (Boots, Maxivision and Optimax). On 13 March 2008, the New York Times published an article by Abby Ellin titled “LASIK Surgery, When The Fine Print Applies To You”. Click on the title to read this very informative article in full.
On 12 April 2011, CNN featured an interview with former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) chief, Dr Morris Waxler, who participated in approving LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis) surgery in the 1990s. Dr. Morris emphasised the potential risks involved with LASIK surgery and stated that the procedure and its dangers have not been sufficiently studied.
Dr. Morris also said that the LASIK failure rate is high and that only about 60% of patients who have had the surgery are able to see without glasses or contact lenses. Moreover, Dr. Morris claimed that 18% or more of patients suffer glare, halo, dry eyes, and other similar problems but that less than 1% have suffered the consequences of having a cornea that is too thin.
Previously, Dr. Waxler had stated that if he had known then what he knows today, he would not have recommended the approval of LASIK surgery.
Here is some information often omitted from reports.

The cuts that never heal

Lasik surgery involves cutting a thin flap of the cornea and altering the thickness of the cornea with lasers. Here is a shocking conclusion from an article in the Journal of Refractive Surgery in 2004:
"The corneal flap of approximately 160 μT, or one third of the thickness of the average cornea, has been shown to never fully heal, Seiler and Marshall, (2000). Approximately 22 million corneal fibres are intersected, but their severed ends never rejoin, meaning that the flap is held in place only by glycosaminoglycans and peripheral scar tissue.” To put it more simply, “the corneal flap after LASIK provides no more corneal strength than the wearing of a contact lens,”
Jory W. “Corneal Ectasia after LASIK”, J Refract Surg. (2004 May-Jun); 20(3):286.
"Furthermore, if [LASIK] interface transparency is indicative of absent wound healing, one might expect that the interface remains a potential space and flap adhesion is impaired for the lifetime of the flap”, Ursea and Feng, (2009).
The above is from which features many interesting articles about what can go wrong. There is also a LasikTube section with videos from 2010 broadcasts (ABC and CBC) as well as videos from people talking about their experiences after Lasik.

How well will I see after Lasik treatment?

There is also a growing controversy over the specific criteria as to how results are measured. The old-fashioned eye-chart test is commonly used to verify visual acuity (20/20 vision). However, being able to see the 20/20 line on the eye chart is only one of the criteria used to determine good vision. Many reports claim a better than 80% success rate within one Diopter of targeted vision. The targeted visual acuity – the ability to see – is commonly defined to vary from 20/40 to 20/20. There is a 20% difference between someone who can see 20/20 and someone who can see only 20/40. So we are presumably talking about a margin of 20%. If you have a one Diopter correction, your unaided vision is clear to one metre. Someone who has had a two Diopter correction will be able to see clearly only fifty centimetres.
Promising 20/20 vision after LASIK treatment clearly means what it says. However, more and more lawsuits are being filed by patients whose vision has not only been corrected but damaged beyond repair. An indicative result of this is that insurance premiums are going up for ophthalmologists practicing LASIK surgery. You can also see a huge number of web pages from lawyers promising disgruntled LASIK patients compensation.
Settlements currently run into millions with US$7,500,000 million a record high in 2005. Surely that is a pittance when compared to being able to see both naturally and clearly.
Unfortunately, most LASIK doctors do not report complications. Hundreds of patients were injured by Alcon’s defective LADAR 6000 surgical laser, which had to be recalled in 2007, yet only a minority of surgeons reported injuries caused by this.

So, is there a natural alternative?

Fortunately, there is a viable alternative to both glasses and LASIK surgery. The idea that it was possible to train your eyesight originated with a New York ophthalmologist by the name of William H. Bates, M.D. The main theory proposed by Dr. Bates was that common vision problems, such as myopia, presbyopia, astigmatism, lazy-eye, and strabismus are functional. That is, they are learned or are the consequence of habits people have adopted. For example, most computer users know that their distance vision is blurrier after having worked in front of the computer screen the whole day.
This is a phenomenon known as Ill-sustained Accommodation, which also happens when you spend a lot of time reading. There appears to be an almost linear relationship between academic achievement and poor vision. For example, in a recent study, 92.5% of the medical students at the Taipei Medical School were found to be near-sighted.
Through simple exercises you can regain your naturally clear eyesight. There is no surgery, nothing to buy or wear, and no medicine to take.
Leo Angart himself was severely nearsighted (-5.00 Diopters) for 26 years, and he has developed an effective approach to the common vision problems that is both natural and has lasting results.

Here is what you can expect:

• Notice an almost immediate improvement
• Steady progress towards natural clear vision, which will last
• No regression (if you are unwell the illness may affect your vision, but your vision will be regained once you recover)
• To do eye-exercises only until your vision has been recovered
• To do eye-exercises for 5 minutes about 10 times a day and in total about an hour every day.
• No risk of physical or visual problems afterwards.
• To know that dry-eye can actually be improved.
The above may seem too good to be true but Vision Training has been practiced since the early 1900s. In 1986, the American Optometrist Association endorsed the effectiveness of vision therapy and vision training in a policy statement supported by no less than 238 scientific studies. Leo Angart’s approach has evolved even further and focuses especially on the training aspects of vision and what can be done with specially designed exercises.
Taking Vision Training is a very personal decision and must eventually be made by you so the full picture about what is possible must be disclosed.

Resources: - the Federal Drug Administration, the agency that approves the
procedures. - a website that brings together articles and videos concerning problems with this type of surgery.

Some video reports from You Tube

Leo Angart


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