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Why Millennials Are Looking Into LASIK Eye Surgery
Millennials love social media, selfies, snap-chatting and binge-watching on Netflix, Amazon or Hulu.
To make the most of these platforms, more and more millennials are turning to LASIK eye surgery. And like everything else on their radar, they want it … now. Search and online chatter about LASIK is on the rise, according to the American Refractive Surgery Council (ARSC). As a result, a growing number of LASIK surgeons report an uptick in Millennials– adults aged 18 to 34 — requesting information about LASIK.
This is likely just the tip of the iceberg, says ARSC member Greg Parkhurst, MD, a San Antonio, Texas-based LASIK eye surgery specialist.
Where one millennial goes, others follow. “The under 35 crowd look at LASIK as an adventure, something to humble-brag about – like sky diving. They find ways to capture and share their experiences on social media, tagging their friends,” he says. “For example, over the last couple of months in my practice, several young adults have used Facebook Live during their procedure so they can share the experience in real time and get support and encouragement from their friends and followers who can’t be there in person.”
LASIK stands for Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis. It is a procedure that permanently changes the shape of the cornea (the clear covering of the front of the eye) using a laser. LASIK aims to improve vision and reduce the need for glasses or contact lenses. It can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.
“Patients having LASIK at the youngest age possible reap the vision benefits for the longest period of time,” Dr. Parkhurst explains. “The best age to have LASIK is now.” The sooner a person undergoes LASIK eye surgery, the sooner these benefits start to accrue, he says.
There are other LASIK perks for the millennial sect. Sunglasses and other specs are a big part of millennial style. “Glasses have become very popular, but there is a difference between fashion accessory and strong, thick glasses that you can’t see without,” he says. “It can be difficult, not to mention prohibitively expensive, to express yourself with prescription glasses,” he says.
Uncool specs can mark an otherwise stellar selfie or online dating profile, and contact lenses are not without their issues either –namely cost and/or the chronic red eye that must be deleted with photo-editing apps.
“When contact lenses are worn properly, they are safe. But millennials, including college students – tend to wear daily lenses for months and end up coming in with irritation and infection due to poor contact lens care,” he says.
LASIK is also a relatively hassle-free procedure, perfect for the millennial who is perpetually on the go due to FOMO or “fear of missing out,” a common millennial malady. You have to pack a lot of gear when you wear contacts and glasses too can be bulky and easily misplaced.
If you are thinking about having LASIK, ARSC can help you make an informed decision.