Questions to Ask About the Cost of LASIK

Questions to Ask About the Cost of LASIK

While LASIK surgery is an extremely wise choice for any candidate, the decision to proceed with surgery and a particular surgeon should always be approached with an inquisitive mind. The facility, the surgeon’s experience, and your individual goals following the procedure should all be greatly considered. Above all else, one of the most pressing topics we get asked about are questions related to the cost of LASIK. Check out some of the most popular questions to ask your surgeon about the cost of LASIK.

Does insurance cover LASIK surgery?

This is probably the most asked question when it comes to LASIK. Overall, LASIK is not a medically necessary procedure, meaning there are other options (like contacts and glasses) that can be explored to correct one’s vision outside of LASIK. Because of this, insurance does not cover the cost of the procedure, in the traditional sense. However, if your plan offers an HSA or an FSA, there is a good chance that those funds can be used towards the cost of LASIK! Always check with your insurance provider prior to scheduling to see what is covered under these add-on policies.

Are there financing options for the cost of LASIK surgery?

While the total cost of LASIK may seem high, chances are a good provider offers some form of payment plan. Sometimes they may make payment arrangements internally within their office, while others allow payments through third-party financing companies, like Care Credit. Plans can vary greatly in interest and fee schedules; some boast 0% interest, some can spread payments out over several years. Regardless of the plan, the great thing is that LASIK is more affordable than you may have previously thought!

Is there an Assurance Plan for LASIK surgery?

A good LASIK surgeon will offer all patients an assurance policy incorporated into the total cost of LASIK. An assurance plan is usually limited to a specific time frame and it covers any type of fine tuning that may be needed when specific criteria are met. This will give patients a great peace of mind, and it also gives them the best possible outcome.

St. Cloud LASIK’s Answers

St. Cloud LASIK is the region’s premiere LASIK provider, offering unsurpassed vision care and the industry’s leading laser technology. Our commitment to technology and comprehensive vision care ensures you receive the best possible outcome for your vision.

Continuing this standard of excellence, at St. Cloud LASIK we pride ourselves on going above and beyond the industry norm in regards to the financial side of LASIK. We believe everyone who is a candidate for LASIK should be able to go forward with the procedure, which is why we offer many financing plans all the way up to 48 months! We also believe continuing care is vital to a successful outcome, so we offer a complimentary assurance plan for 2 years following your surgery, when all routine post-operative criteria is met.

For more information on the costs associated with LASIK through St. Cloud LASIK, and to determine if you are a candidate for the procedure, please request your free LASIK screening online.

 

9 Ways to Protect Your Eyesight

Protecting the health of your eyes is one of the most important ways you can help maintain your quality of life. It’s easy to take for granted, but your vision can be damaged by injury, disease or – most common of all – age. One in six adults over the age of 45 experience some degree of sight-threatening problems. Fortunately, there are things anyone can do to help prevent loss of vision. All About Vision has shared these 9 ways to protect your eyesight:

  1. Learn your risk for eye diseases. Early diagnosis for eye diseases reduces the risk or severity of vision loss from a sight-threatening disease. Only regular eye exams can help track their progress. Factors that increase your risk for certain eye diseases include a family history of diabetes or high blood pressure, being over the age of 65 or having African-American heritage and being over the age of 40.
  2. Schedule regular physical exams. Your overall health affects your vision so it’s important to be regularly screened for diabetes and high blood pressure to avoid conditions like diabetic retinopathy or glaucoma.
  3. Watch for warning signs. Has your vision changed noticeably? Do you have hazy vision, problems seeing in low light or double vision? These, plus symptoms like flashes of light, floaters, eye pain or swelling may be indicators of serious eye health issues. See your eye doctor immediately if these occur.
  4. Exercise. Even your eyes will benefit from regular physical activity because it may reduce your risk for age-related macular degeneration by up to 70%.
  5. Wear shades. No matter the season, it’s important to protect your eyes from harmful ultraviolet radiation (UV rays) from the sun to help prevent problems like cataracts.
  6. Protect your eyes. Playing sports, working with tools or even riding a bike can put your eyes in danger of injury. Wear safety goggles, swimming goggles or available shields anytime you can.
  7. Focus on balanced nutrition. Chose antioxidant-rich foods like fruit and dark green or colorful vegetables to reduce your risk for cataracts. Eating fish full of omega-3 fatty acids reduces your risk for developing macular degeneration. Supplemental eye vitamins are available to ensure the health of your eyes.
  8. Have your eyes checked every two years (at least). Not only will your prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses be up to date, at a regular comprehensive eye exam you can also be checked for major eye diseases and discuss your risk factors with your doctor.
  9. Don’t smoke. Smokers have an increased risk for developing age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.

Protect your vision and enjoy the life you love.

Seeing Through Sound: New Hope for the Visually Impaired

It has long been thought that people who were blind from birth would lack the ability to process visual information, even if their sight were restored. A recent study at Hebrew University’s Safra Center for Brain Science suggests otherwise.

The authors of the study developed “a visual-to-auditory sensory-substitution algorithm,” a method to transmute visual information into audio information to create what the researchers called “soundscapes.” Participants in the study would listen to these soundscapes and report what they “saw.” As reported in the journal Neuron, the participants were initially able to identify simple objects and shapes, but with additional training could actually identify letters and facial expressions.  In videos released with the article, the subjects describe what they are “seeing.”

Even more remarkable than what the participants reported is what was happening in their brains. The researchers observed that when the visually impaired participants–individuals who had never processed any visual information–were “seeing,” their visual cortex was engaged in the same ways that a sighted person’s cortex would be. The part of the brain that usually processes letterforms is called the visual word form area, or VWFA. Conventional wisdom indicated that this area would remain dormant in a congenitally blind person, since the person would never have developed that capability. MRI scans revealed activity in the VWFA, regardless of the type of sensory input involved.

This is exciting for two reasons. First, the technology used to create these soundscapes may literally open new worlds of possibility for blind and visually impaired individuals.  As the algorithms are refined, and with more training, there is reason to believe that people using this technology may be able to receive and process very complex amounts of information that would otherwise be inaccessible to them. Second, as new treatments and technology allow more people to recover their sight, their brains (specifically the visual cortex) may be able to learn to process visual information after decades of inactivity.

Food for Thought

There has been a lot of research published about Omega-3s and their role in healthy vision. But did you know that Omega-3s aren’t the only nutrients that help maintain healthy eyes? Many foods contain different ingredients that improve visual function, eliminate free radicals, and protect your eyes.

Here is a recipe chock full of ingredients that are good for your eyes; a quick and delicious pasta dish perfect for a summer evening get together!

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 10.5 oz penne pasta
  • 3 zucchini
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 2 red apples
  • ½ sweet pepper
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation

  1. Wash and clean the vegetables and cut them into strips.
  2. Put onion and olive oil in a pan, and heat until the onion start to fry.
  3. Remove from the heat and cool.
  4. Drain the oil (discarding the onion) into a blender; add all the sliced vegetables; blend until a creamy mixture is obtained.
  5. Add salt to taste, then add pepper, basil, and parsley.
  6. Cook the pasta in abundant salted water; drain but do not rinse as this would remove the salt used for cooking; spread onto a tray to allow to cool. Add a small quantity of oil to prevent the pasta from sticking together.
  7. Mix the pasta and the blended cream together in a dish and mix well.

Why It’s Good for Your Eyes

  • Zucchini are rich in carotenoids and vitamin C and E, important for visual funtion
  • Sweet peppers also contain carotenoids, especially luteine which helps protect your macula
  • Tomatoes are a great source of vitamins and oligominerals, and are the best source of lycopene which helps eliminate free radicals
  • Onions contain vitamin C and flavonoids

Buratto, Lucio. The Eye and Nutrition. Thorofare: SLACK Incorporated, 2010. 170-171. Print.