Common Misconceptions About Eye Surgery: Prescriptions Aren’t Stable

Sub Title

Contact lens on finger
by Dougherty Laser Vision

Myth: My Prescription is Not Stable

While I will not perform surgery on a patient whose prescription is not stable, many patients come to me with the mistaken belief that their prescription isn’t stable. Stability is defined as one diopter or less of change in the prescription over the previous year. This is exceptionally unusual in patients older than their teens or early twenties. Because the accuracy of testing refractive error (glasses prescription) is not perfect, with some variability from a visit to visit, you may have some minor changes from year to year that are of no significance. In some circumstances, patients are told that “they need new glasses” even though there has been only a minor change that will not really make a difference for them. Such minor changes do not represent instability that would prevent you from having surgery.

Surprisingly, Your Prescription Might Actually be Stable for Surgery!

The best way to determine your own stability is to check your vision with your current glasses or contacts; if you are unstable and have had a significant change, you would not be able to function visually with your current prescription. Regardless, we will carefully check your stability by reviewing the power in the glasses you bring with you, as well as reviewing any information we can obtain about old prescriptions. If you have an optometrist who you have seen more than once who has referred you, he/she would have already checked the stability of your vision before making the referral.

Contact us with any questions you have regarding vision correction surgery or call us at 805-312-7671.

Paul J. Dougherty M.D.