LASIK in One Eye Only: Should I Have LASIK On One or Both Eyes?

Dr. Jonathan Woolfson
LASIK in One Eye Only: Should I Have LASIK On One or Both Eyes?

We have a lot of patients come to us who are completely gung-ho about LASIK— they’re excited about having the procedure done in both eyes and are looking forward to seeing more clearly.

However, for some patients it isn’t quite that simple.

In fact, patients often ask us if it is safe to get LASIK in both eyes at the same time or if they should have the procedure done in one eye initially and then come back at a later date for the other eye.

Should I have LASIK on one or both eyes?

Visit Our LASIK Resource CenterAt Woolfson Eye Institute, we get it. It seems logical that you would want to ensure a good result in one eye before moving forward with the other. Patients presume that it’s somehow safer to do one eye at a time, which on the surface does seem like the more cautious and conservative route.

Here’s the problem with that line of thinking:

There’s no evidence that fewer complications occur if the eyes are treated separately. Also, when you add the inconvenience factor to the equation (which doubles your number of consults, follow-up appointments, etc.), it’s easy to see why most people opt to treat both eyes simultaneously.

We’re comfortable treating both together when a patient is a candidate for both eyes (take our LASIK quiz to see if you are), but we do sometimes treat sequentially for patients who find it less intimidating.

Doing the best thing for each and every patient is our #1 priority. We don’t try to talk anyone into having LASIK surgery. We match each patient with the vision correction procedure that is best for them.

Are there times when you recommend treating just one eye?

digital-retinal-scan-square-300x300-5156363Absolutely. Some patients are nearsighted, farsighted, or astigmatic in just one eye. If you have normal vision in one eye and blurry vision in the other, we would of course only treat the eye that needs it.

This is one of many reasons why it is so important to schedule your initial LASIK consultation. We will not perform LASIK on a patient without a thorough eye examination to ensure they are, in fact, a great candidate for LASIK.

What about monovision LASIK? Does that mean you only treat one eye?

Sometimes. Monovision means that we’re performing LASIK with the goal of leaving a patient with good near vision in one eye and good distance vision in the other. We typically determine the dominant eye and then we set the patient up to try contact lenses with distance vision in the dominant and near in the non-dominant.

If the patient is satisfied with the vision they achieve during this “experiment” we will then offer LASIK to accomplish the same result.

For a patient who already has good distance vision in both eyes, the contact lens trial is accomplished by simply wearing a near contact lens in the non-dominant eye. If that is successful, the patient would then proceed with LASIK for nearsightedness in one eye.

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The verdict: Should you get LASIK in one eye only?

stulting-microscope-300x300-7362828As you can see by now, there is no universal right or wrong answer to this question. If patients are a good candidate for LASIK in both eyes, typically, there is no reason not to move forward and get both eyes done at the same time.

If you are apprehensive about having LASIK in both eyes or you only need LASIK in one eye, then of course getting LASIK done in a single eye may very well be the best treatment protocol for your unique situation.

So there you have it! If you are considering LASIK and happen to be near one of our locations (you can find locations nearest you on this page), please contact us today to schedule your LASIK consultation and see if you are a candidate for LASIK in one or both eyes.

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