Are Healthy Eyes and Vision Part of Your Goals for the New Year?
If improved vision is on your list of goals for 2019, it is a good idea to learn all you can about the variety of ways you can reach that goal. And while we’re in the LASIK business, it’s important to know there are a few things other than laser vision correction that will improve your eyesight.
For instance, a lot of us resolve to eat better and healthier in the New Year. If you’re one of them, you should consider adding or increasing eye-healthy foods that may reduce your risk of cataracts or help delay their progression.
Studies have shown that eating a diet high in vegetables and fruit lowers the incidence of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a major cause of blindness and visual impairment in older adults. Fruits such as lemons, oranges, and grapefruits are high in vitamin C—an antioxidant recommended by the American Optometric Association. Additionally, fish like tuna, salmon, trout, or sardines contain fish oils that help with dry eyes, and nuts and seeds like flax, chia, or cashews are rich sources of vitamin E.
While eating well won’t correct your bad eyesight, it can help—especially as you age. It’s also important to eat well after you’ve gotten vision correction treatments such as LASIK to help sustain your vision improvements.
All of us can eat healthier diets. It’s simply a matter of choosing different types of foods, which may or may not impact our grocery budgets. But a bigger concern often revolves around how to pay for LASIK surgery—something you may not even have a budget for. Turns out, though, that LASIK might not cost as much as you thought.
LASIK Isn’t As Expensive As You Might Think
One of the questions we hear most often this time of year about LASIK is, “How am I going to pay for it?”
It is a good question and, today, there are many ways to pay for LASIK. You should begin with a conversation with a highly qualified LASIK surgeon to discuss your options and ensure you have the facts about the cost of LASIK. Once you thoroughly understand the cost of the procedure that has been recommended for you and your vision, then you can look into ways to pay for laser vision correction that work with your budget.
One approach is to use your Health Savings Accounts – also known as an HSA. These accounts are offered by employers, carrying with them the benefit of using pre-tax dollars for certain out-of-pocket health and medical expenses. Another option with tax benefits is known as a Flexible Savings Account or FSA. As we’ve mentioned in other posts, HSAs can usually be used any time, while your FSA may have a “use it or lose it” timeline attached. It’s important to understand your options, so consult with your financial advisor if you have questions about yours.
Considerations Other Than Money
While the price of LASIK hasn’t changed much over the years, there has been a tremendous amount of innovation that has gone into today’s advanced LASIK technologies – making what was already a very reliable procedure even safer, with better visual outcomes.
Today’s LASIK treatment profiles are significantly more precise, achieving 20/20 vision for more than 90 percent of patients. More than 50 percent of patients achieve better than 20/20 vision.
This precision translates into an even higher safety record. LASIK’s exceptional safety is further supported with more advanced diagnostic technology that helps to not only guide a more customized vision correction procedure but also provides valuable information to surgeons to help screen out those patients who aren’t good candidates for LASIK.
If healthy eyes and great vision are on your list of must-haves for 2019, it is time to take the next step.
Schedule that eye exam and get the conversation going with your eye doctor about these and other ways you can protect and improve your vision for a lifetime.
Your Next Steps…
If you are wondering about how to make the cost of LASIK more affordable, here are a few tips:
First, find a LASIK surgeon you are confident in and have a thorough consultation which includes an evaluation to make sure your eyes are healthy if you are a good candidate and what the surgeon recommends.
While at the consult, here are a few questions to ask your surgeon about the cost of LASIK.
Then, check with your insurance carrier to find out if you have any vision care benefits that may help and if your surgeon is in your provider network.
Look into your employee benefits to see if you have access to Flexible Spending Arrangements (FSA) or Health Savings Accounts that allow you to set aside tax-free money for qualified health expenses, such as LASIK.
Think about any bonuses, gifts or tax refunds you may be entitled to; these unexpected windfalls are terrific opportunities to invest in your better vision and quality of life.
(source: American Refractive Surgery Council)