2 Eye Care Remedies Throughout History That Were Scarier Than LASIK

woman peering over black rimmed glasses with surprised expression

Vision problems have plagued humans throughout history, so naturally humans have been curious to find ways to remedy these issues. Today, LASIK is considered a convenient and safe alternative to glasses or contacts, but there is a disproportionate amount of fear that surrounds the procedure. LASIK can be performed within an hour at an ophthalmologist’s office, and a patient usually gains clear vision within 24 hours. It has been performed on millions of individuals worldwide, it is a straightforward procedure, and it has received tremendously positive feedback.

Despite this, the idea of blades heading towards your eyes (especially for an optional procedure) has people a little jittery. Perhaps what’s needed is a little perspective by looking back at the lengths people used to have to go to for clear vision.

Imagine Putting a Piece of Glass In Your Eye for Clear Vision

If you think your five minute contact cleansing routine every night is an inconvenience or the thought of getting LASIK is scary, you may not know much about the original contact lenses. While a number of scientists designed contact lenses that could be worn in the eye and allow the wearer to blink, one man is given most of the credit for the prototype of the contact lenses we are familiar with today. Swiss physician Dr. Adolf Fick designed a lens that could cover the entire eye in the late 1800s. Here’s the uncomfortable part: they were made of handblown glass.

While patients could certainly wear them, they were very uncomfortable. In addition, the eyes receive their oxygen from the air, so wearing such a heavy material within the eye effectively cut this supply off making the contacts doubly uncomfortable not to mention dangerous. As a result, patients could not wear Dr. Fick’s contacts for long, but they served as the model upon which developments in contact lens design were built. Compared to putting pieces of glass in your eye, LASIK surgery, which is a long-term solution, quick, and painless thanks to modern drugs, sounds much less terrifying.

Cataracts? Not a Problem – I Know a Guy With a Stick

Cataracts is one of the most common causes of vision loss. In fact, cataract surgery is one of the first recorded surgical procedures in history with the first documented cataract procedure happening in the fifth century BC. Cataract surgery has historically been treated with a method called couching. Although modern advancements in eye care surgery have allowed us to come up with safer, more reliable methods, couching is still practiced in parts of the world where people do not have the money or access for modern day cataract surgery.

After reading about the blunt method of couching, you are bound to appreciate the sophisticated and precise manner in which LASIK surgery is performed. After the lens had become completely hardened and clouded, a blunt object would be used to hit the eye to dislocate the affected lens, and allow it to float into the vitreous cavity. This would restore some vision, but the loss of this important lens would mean the remaining vision would be extremely unfocused. Today, a more precise method is used that involves the insertion of an artificial lens to restore clear vision.

We have come exceptionally far when it comes to advancements in eye surgery, particularly refractive surgeries like LASIK. Don’t be spooked by the prospect of LASIK eye surgery. Book a consultation with Inland Eye Specialists to get all the information you need in a professional and relaxed environment. One of our eye surgeons at our Murrieta or Temecula locations will walk you through the procedure and determine whether you are a suitable candidate for LASIK. Give us a call today!

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