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The Eyes Have It

Ah, the joys of going to the ophthalmologist, a.k.a. the eye doctor. The long wait in the lobby, having to choose the correct lens when tested (who doesn't dread the question "is it clearer this way or this way?"), and the fun of having your pupils dilated all make for an unforgettable experience. On a recent visit, I also noticed a large number of pamphlets, posters, and other promotional materials detailing the benefits of LASIK eye surgery. My physician even mentioned it as an option when discussing a new pair of lenses. The information presented all seemed very positive with promises of getting rid of your glasses forever but the connection of the terms eye and surgery made me a little nervous. Time to do some research.

So, after talking with your physician, how can you find credible information about what LASIK is and whether you want to try it? By utilizing the resources of The New York Public Library Health Information Center of course! If reading a book is your thing, we have several titles in our collection that should help including LASIK: A Guide to Laser Vision Correction and The Official Patients Sourcebook on LASIK Eye Surgery. If Internet resources are more to your liking then check out these health topic pages with many links from MedlinePlus and NOAH. If you want to read magazine and journal articles online, access the databases Health Source: Consumer Edition and Health and Wellness Resource Center using your NYPL library card.

Distill the information down and your main concern may be about safety. Is the benefit worth the risk? Avoid all the promotional material and take a look at credible sources of information that try to weigh the pros and cons objectively. For a detailed listing of the risks involved take a look at the FDA website on LASIK surgery which has an excellent section on the risks of the procedure. If you do decide to go ahead with the surgery, selecting a refractive surgeon can be a major concern. This website from the Eye Surgery Education Council offers ideas on the questions you should ask when looking for a physician to perform the procedure. Do note, however, that the Eye Surgery Education Council is a professional society of ophthalmologists and not a government source of information.

Keep your eyes open, there is a lot of information out there to help you make a decision. 


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