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Psychological Effects in Patients after Laser Vision Correction Exploratory Essay


The importance of vision is huge indeed for the vast majority of people: the way of how people can see influences considerably human skills, abilities, intentions, and behaviour. In case a person is not able to observe the world around, it is hard to define the main priorities and interests because having good vision is considered to be overwhelming.

During the last several decades, people get an access to use appropriate medical treatment and improve their health with the help of different surgeries. One of the most frequent and effective is regarded to be laser eye surgery, also known as laser vision correction, or LASIK (Jendritza, Knorz, & Morton 2007, p. 274).

In many European countries as well as in the United States of America and some countries of South America, the professionals find it very important to contribute the sphere of laser vision correction and provide patients with a possibility to look at the world in a different way and see everything clearly.

Leach et al. (2006) admit that “millions of patients have undergone refractive surgical correction over the last few decades… radical keratotomy (RK), photorefractive keratectomy (PPK), laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK), and lesser performed procedures such as LASEK (epilasik)” (p. 131).

A variety of the existed surgeries to improve human vision is impressive indeed, and the outcomes of such activities have a number of positive impacts on human life. In this paper, much attention is paid to the psychological factors which are observed after laser vision correction and influence a person’s life.

Improved lifestyle, re-evaluated quality of life, and constant intentions to get more from this life are considered to be the outcomes observed after laser vision correction procedures. People who undergo laser surgeries may gain confidence about what they are doing and thinking, change their mood, and become free from the duties they have to do day by day.

From a pure psychological perspective, the impact of laser vision correction is important indeed: those people who lose their hope to see everything around clearly are provided with a chance to improve the quality of their lives, to get an access to various possibilities, and to prove that their achievements deserve attention and recognition.

Very often positive outcomes from a psychological side are more important for people than those of medial perspective.

The Reasons of why People Agree for Laser Vision Correction

Nowadays a number of women and men are eager to try an eye surgery to make their dream come true and to abandon their glasses or contact lenses (Segal 1995).

To understand the idea of psychological effects on a person’s life after the vision correction procedure, it is crucially important to underline the reasons which made a person accept an idea of such procedure, evaluate the expectations, and focus on both primary and secondary studies in order to identify what is already known in the field and what has to be discovered.

In the chosen theme, there are many issues which are properly disclosed and evaluated; primary studies help to define the advantages of laser vision surgery.

However, during the process of evaluation, it has been noticed that some factors are still missing. For example, only few researchers focus their attention on negative outcomes of vision correction (Consumer Reports 2009), much information remains to be unknown to the patients (Fiordo 2009), and the vast majority of results are based on the experiments conducted within a certain group of people.

What is missing in the chosen study is the necessity to evaluate all aspects of poor vision, the backgrounds which cause vision problems, and physical conditions of patients. In some chosen investigations, the authors make a decision to investigate vision problems of older people (Kulmala et al. 2008), and Bailey et al. (2003) take into consideration gender difference between patients.

Still, in most cases, attitudes to laser surgery are positive, and the reader is in need for thorough investigations and ideas to get a clear picture of laser vision correction and its psychological factors.

As a rule, the main reason of why so many people select laser vision correction is the necessity to improve their health and deprive themselves of the necessity to use glasses or contact lenses on a daily basis.

So much time and money are usually spent by people to improve their vision; however, the outcomes are not always satisfactory. Carol Lewis (2001) investigates the backgrounds of LASIK and admits that people want to “minimize their dependency on glasses or contact lenses” with the help of offered correction procedures (p. 25).

Due to the current technological progress and opportunities in medicine, people usually expect their vision being even better than the one they have while wearing lenses or glasses. However, the professionals inform that it is wrong to expect such improvements from the surgery and it is better to be ready to observe fewer vision changes still full independence from lenses and glasses (Dufour 2003).

This is why to overcome psychological challenges after laser vision surgery, it is necessary to comprehend the main purposes of the procedure and to realize what may be expected from laser intervention and what may not.

In the vast majority of ideas, assistance of professional psychologists is missing, this is why it is possible to believe that the psychological readiness for after surgery outcomes is not as perfect as it could be with professional assistance.

The ideas of Rosanne Colosi (2003) help to identify that more than 1.5 million Americans undergo laser vision surgeries in order to correct their nearsightedness, astigmatism, farsightedness, and other vision problems (p.64). Though it is hard to understand what people actually expect from such surgeries, still, they are ready to try something new and take a step to changes their lifestyle.

The main flaw in such studies is the fact that people are ready to change the quality of their vision but not ready to all those psychological changes and challenges in future. This is why a new study has to consider different aspects of surgeries, and professional psychologists should be the centre of the investigations.

Life before and after Laser Vision Correction

Current technologies make the laser vision correction procedure safer and less painful: with the help of appropriate diagnostic tools and ophthalmologists’ advancements (Ciccolella 2007, p. 77), medical staff is able to guarantee the patient successful outcomes and vision improvement.

To gain positive psychological mood after the laser vision correction surgery, a person may evaluate his/her life before the procedure and define what he/she wants to do having good vision. For example, those people who cannot drive a car with glasses may easily pass the drivers’ test without glasses after an appropriate surgery on eyes.

Studies show that about 98% of people with laser vision correction pass successfully the tests and enjoy of driving their cars (Spindel 1998, p. 38). This is why the psychological factors which influence human decision to pass through the surgery and improve their vision are all about making personal dreams come true and dependence on personal desires only.

Laser vision correction presupposes several changes in a human life. Improvements may be observed every morning when a person opens his/her eyes. People who have poor vision and are in need of glasses or lenses can enjoy the very first seconds of the day as the picture they see is dim and unclear. People who take the laser vision correction surgery are able to open their eyes and enjoy every moment of a day.

Though this approach is more philosophical, it is still urgent for the vast majority of people. At the same time, 94,2% of patients who undergo eye surgeries admit that their lives become better: their relations with other people improve considerably, their productivity levels show high rates, and their vision is improved so that it is high time to forget about glasses and lenses (Brown et al. 2009, p. 645).

Psychological Perspective in Laser Vision Correction

It has been already mentioned that the success of laser vision correction depends considerably on how patients and medical workers define possible outcomes and succeed in preoperative steps (Farid & Steinert 2009, p. 253). Still, the investigations in the chosen field are not as thorough and definite as they should be: not many people are eager to share their experience and achievements several years after the surgery.

Long-term results of LASIK or other type of eye surgery are not identified or at least not clear, and people are afraid to worsen their vision with time (Fiordo 2009, p. 142). For example, one the one hand, the studies in the article from Consumer Reports (2009) inform that 55% of patients under investigations have to continue wearing glasses or contact lenses even after they undergo laser vision correction.

But on the other hand, at the end of the experiment offered by Bailey et al. (2003), 97% of the patients under analysis make a decision to recommend the same procedure to other people including their family and friends as the results of the surgery are more than successful.

Psychological researches help to evaluate the sphere of visual correction and recognize the debates regarding visual problems and after-surgery outcomes.

Taking into consideration personal interviews, questionnaires, and discussions, it is possible to identify that in spite of loud and frequently mentioned positive aspects of surgery, there are still negative consequences which may influence human behaviour and cooperation with other people around.

This is why after the surgery, it is possible to observe changes in motivation (people are eager to change as many things in their life as possible), perception of the reality (even if the quality of glasses and contact lenses is high, there is still a difference of how the world looks like when a person observes it without lenses), personal attitude to everything around (even if a person looks at the mirror without glasses, there is still a possibility to discover something new inside), and, finally, the necessity to re-evaluate the chosen lifestyle appears (healthy food to provide the organism with the necessary vitamins, new haircut to underline some face lines, etc).

The history of laser therapy is not new (Munnerlyn 2003; Sakimoto, Rosenblatt, & Azar 2006), still, the outcomes of laser vision correction surgery seem to be impressive indeed.

Quality of Life after Vision Correction

In spite of the fact that some researchers prove that visual problems are more inherent to old people (Dhital, Pey, & Stanford 2010), various chances in visual components may be notices among young people who prefer to spend much time in front of their computers or TVs and find the Internet as the only reliable source of information.

Current youth can hardly imagine their life without PC or other technology that considerably influence their vision. It is not a surprise to clear up that more than 30% of patients who are eager to improve their vision with the help of laser correction are people before 30. Young people want to forget about the necessity to use glasses day by day or to take care of contact lenses but enjoy the life and make use of possibilities.

So, the vast majority of people find the idea of laser vision correction as a rather effective and interesting first step to improve the quality of life.

McGhee et al. (2000) introduce captivating data on how laser surgery may influence the life: more than 97% of patients are satisfied with fast visual improvements; more than 93% of people are satisfied as they managed to meet the goals set by the surgery; and more than 97% believe that the quality of their life is improved (p. 508).

Quality of life is not easy to change and, what is more important, improve. Still, it is necessary to take the first step and make sure that there are some backgrounds to rely on. It is possible to use eye surgery as an integral motive in life and believe that if a person is able to look at the world independently without glasses or contact lenses, there are many other aspects which may undergo changes.

Variety of Ways of how People Perceive the Life

One of the evident psychological changes that may be observed in people who undergo laser vision operation is the perceived quality of vision and life. The point is that those people who had poor vision realize what they can lose in case and be deprived of. When they have a chance to improve their vision, they appreciate such possibility as no one else and try to take as much as possible from life.

Quality of life increases, more professional and personal goals are achieved, and laser surgery proves that its impact on human life is great. Kulmala et al. (2008) investigate how vision may become a predictor of mortality and prove that lower vision may correlate mortality in some cases.

Visual problems should not bother young people and become a kind of message of coming death or other health problems. If a person has a chance to improve vision with no pain and challenges, it is better to use it and forget about the problems. Some tests, evaluation of eye movement (Wiggins et al. 2007), and measurement of visual acuity should be considered before the last decision is made.

Lifestyle and Possible Improvements Made by People after Laser Vision Correction

The idea to use laser surgery and improve vision is supported by the psychological factor that helps to change personal lifestyle. A person should understand that the success in life is certainly predetermined by the chosen lifestyle, and it is necessary to change mindset and do what is wanted.

Lifestyle cannot be defined in one or two sentences; it is unique for every person; it is obligatory and significant part of life; this is why it is hard to investigate.

Lifestyle is the way of how person is confident in personal steps and ideas. It happen that glasses or contact lenses distort the reality, and a new look that is not biased by lenses helps to realize what is wrong. Improved lifestyle is the most pleasant outcome of laser vision correction, and if person manages to achieve some changes, the success of eye surgery is justified.


Laser vision correction is considered to be one of the most exciting advancements in ophthalmology (Lewis 1998, p.32). It is not only a kind of medical intervention that aims at improving health and vision. It is a chance to evaluate the life from a new perspective and achieve good results in personal and professional fields.

People have to be provided with appropriate medical care and psychological support to be ready to change of lifestyle as well as some other psychological changes in life. The above-discussed researches are powerful indeed, still, some perspectives remain to be mission, this is why the need of a new properly organized study where psychological aspect is evaluated is evident and has a number of powerful grounds to be conducted soon.

Reference List

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Brown, MC, Schallhorn, SC, Hettinger, KA, & Malady, SE 2009, ‘Satisfaction of 13,655 patients with laser vision correction at 1 month after surgery’, Journal of Refractive Surgery, vol. 25, no. 7, pp. 642-646.

Ciccolella, C 2007, ‘Laser vision correction’, Vision Monday, vol.21, no. 6, pp. 77.

Colosi, R 2003, ‘I can see clearly now’, Dance Spirit, vol. 7, no. 3, pp. 64+.

Dhital, A, Pey, T, & Stanford, MR 2010, ‘Visual loss and falls: a review’, Eye, vol. 24, pp. 1437-1446.

Dufour, R 2003, ‘Leading Edge’, Journal of Staff Development, vol. 24, no. 2, pp. 71+.

Farid, M & Steinert, RF 2009, ‘Patient selection for monovision laser refractive surgery’, Current Opinion in Ophthalmology, vol. 20, no. 4, pp. 251-254.

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Jendritza BB, Knorz, MC, & Morton, S 2008, ‘Wavefront-guided excimer laser vision correction after multifocal IOL implantation’, Journal of Reflective Surgery, vol. 24, no. 3, pp. 274-279.

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McGhee, CNJ, Craig, JP, Sachdev, N, Weed, K & Brown, A 2000, ‘Functional, psychological, and satisfaction outcomes of laser in situ keratomileusis for high myopia’, Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery, vol. 26, no. 4, pp. 497-509.

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