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20/20 Blog

Find Out Why Dr. Fisher is Passionate About LASIK and Refractive Surgery

Patients often ask what made me choose to be an eye doctor and why I work at a Refractive Surgery center. The simple answer is that I am passionate about improving the quality of life for people with vision impairment. I understand what it is like to have vision challenges. I started wearing glasses when I was 2 years old because I had a “lazy” eye. My mother always impressed on me what a large positive impact getting my glasses had on my life. From my perspective, I thought they were hideous! I always did everything I could to get out of wearing them. My mom would find my glasses in the bottom of the toy box, bottom of the winter boot box –basically anywhere but on my face. Now that I am an eye doctor, I am forever grateful to my parents who made sure my vision was corrected at a young age. I see so many patients who were not as fortunate and have permanent vision loss from a “lazy eye” that cannot be corrected. The vision issues as a child gave me a passion to choose a profession that allows me to impact vision correction in a positive way. I began my journey by going to nursing school. I was a surgical ICU nurse for 8 years and even though I enjoyed giving care to my patients, there was something missing. My heart still was longing to become an optometrist. So, at age 30, I went back to school and fulfilled my passion at age 35. Having also been a surgical nurse since 1992, Refractive Surgery is a perfect blend between my medical and optometry experience. My experience with LASIK, PRK, KAMRA and other refractive procedures has been nothing short of amazing. Every day I come to work, patients tell me what a wonderful experience having refractive surgery has been for them. I view what I do as assisting people to enjoy their journey to visual freedom. For people who have never had issues with vision, it is difficult for them to understand what it is like not to have 20/20 eyesight. Things like waking up and seeing the clock; not fearing that if you lose a contact or your glasses fall off of your face that you can’t see where you are going or if you have a fire or intruder in your home and you don’t have your vision correction, you are scared you may not survive the situation. Often patients are nervous when they come to see me for their LASIK, PRK or KAMRA evaluation, which is completely understandable. There has been a lot of conversation regarding the benefits and risks of refractive surgery. I always want my patients to understand the complete story for their refractive surgery recommendation. I think it is unfortunate that the vision and health benefits of refractive surgery are not widely published. Just yesterday, I had a patient with 20/500 vision come in for an evaluation and she had extensive corneal scarring and abnormal blood vessel growth from wearing contact lenses. She had never been informed of these conditions by her eye doctor. The conditions were so extensive that she was disqualified for LASIK. Thankfully, she did qualify for PRK – a safe alternative to LASIK. Unfortunately, this is not the first time I have encountered this situation. Studies show that extended wear contact lens wear increases the chances of developing a sight threatening condition 40 times more than any risk with the LASIK or PRK procedure. When she has her PRK procedure, her cornea will no longer be suffocated by her contacts and even though we cannot reverse the damage that has already been done, we can prevent further damage to her eyes. The longer I work in the refractive surgery arena, the more I become passionate about how it is such a great alternative to glasses and contacts. Over the past 25 years, it has been proven to be a safe procedure as long as patients seek treatment at a facility that focuses on providing the patient with all the information regarding their specific condition and provide excellent technology and patient care. Just like with any procedure, it is necessary to make sure the provider is experienced in the procedure they are offering and dedicated to providing excellent follow up care, so that if a procedure does not go 100% according to plan, a patient has confidence that the provider is there for them every step of the way to assist them through any challenges that may occur. If you are like many of our patients who are dependent upon vision correction and have the challenges with dry eye, uncomfortable glasses on your face or irritating contacts, nervous about your safety because of bad vision or just don’t like wearing glasses or contacts, I encourage you to call us to learn about the refractive surgery option that would be best for you.