Can having LASIK improve your golf game? If you listen to the hundreds of professional golfers who have had the procedure, the answer would be a big yes. Golfers, it seems, have seen a change in their scores after LASIK.
Roughly estimating, one caddie, one spotter, a few thousand spectators, a corps of PGA or USGA officials and a half-dozen television cameras with zoom lenses are all trained on every ball a Woods or a Funk or a Singh hits in competition. So how good does a pro golfer’s eyes have to be? It’s not like he’s out there thrashing alone on the rare occasions when he misses the fairway. You might think as long as the golfer has seen the ball down there on his tee that he’s good to go.
Well, out on the tour, everybody has a perfect or nearly perfect swing. LASIK isn’t going to help you there. But all golfers will tell you the same thing – where it really matters is your putting. The improved vision in both eyes instantly gives the golfer a fuller, more rounded sense of the hole and the breaks on the green. You have much better 3-D perception of how the putt is going to roll. Every golfer I have performed surgery on, hundreds, have told me the same thing.
Trends develop quickly out on the tour. Our own Maryland native Fred Funk was one of the first professional golfers to have the procedure back in 1997. When Tiger Woods then had LASIK in 1999, he validated the procedure for other golfers and it really became a hot ticket.
Before laser eye surgery, Tiger, without contact lenses, could barely see the ball on the tee. Tiger went from worse than 20-400 – legally blind – to 20-15. If you think about it, he grew up thinking the hole was smaller and fuzzier than it was. After LASIK, golfers say that the hole looks bigger because their eyes are that much sharper.
Today, there is a long list of professional golfers who have had LASIK, including Zach Johnson, Jesper Parnevik, Scott Hoch, Vijah Singh, Dottie Pepper, Aaron Baddely, Mike Weir and Bobby Clampett. In addition, hundreds of other players, caddies and club professionals credit LASIK for improving their games. And while there is no guarantee LASIK will improve your golf game, it in fact may eliminate your need for glasses and contacts.
But most of the over two million people worldwide who have had LASIK are people just like you and me. I had my own procedure back in 1995, so I understand the benefits it can bring. And while it might have improved my golf game a little, mostly it has improved my daily activities. The majority of patients surveyed would recommend LASIK, and wish they’d had the procedure sooner.
Of course, LASIK is a surgical procedure and results can vary so be sure to discuss your individual expectations. The most important decision you can make is the choice of surgeon. Experience matters. Choosing a surgeon who has years of experience and has performed tens of thousands of LASIK procedures can improve your chances of having the best outcome. Look for a surgeon who will meet with you personally before the procedure and discuss all expectations and risks. You will have a thorough eye consultation before proceeding to make sure you are a good candidate. A well-educated patient can enjoy the vision of a lifetime, for a lifetime, with LASIK. So, bring your eyes and your handicap to the eye surgeon’s office. You can expect to improve them both.
Over two million LASIK procedures have been performed worldwide since 1995. And LASIK is the most widely performed elective procedure in the United States today. Technology and results from the procedure are better than ever. The procedure itself is very quick. The actual laser time for each eye is only about 15 seconds and your time at the laser center is less than 30 minutes. Most patients say there is little or no pain during the procedure, and they are back to their normal activities the following day.
Maybe you have been interested in having LASIK for years. You know many people who have had the procedure and who love their results. Many people have fears or misconceptions about LASIK that hold them back from moving forward with this life changing surgery.
Astigmatism. Many patients still think that LASIK will not help their astigmatism, but for many years we have been effectively treating this along with nearsightedness and farsightedness.
Severe Nearsightedness. Some patients think their eyesight is too bad to correct with LASIK. Tiger Woods could not even see the ball on the golf tee before he has his LASIK procedure. Today, he has 20/20 vision. While there are many factors a surgeon will consider while evaluating you as a good candidate for LASIK surgery, having a severe correction need not rule you out.
Affordability. Potential patients are always concerned about the cost of LASIK and how they will be able to afford the procedure. Good news for those having their procedure in Southern Maryland is that they can experience pricing as much as 40% below that in the Washington DC Metro Area or Annapolis. And this is for the latest All-Laser, Customized LASIK with a highly experienced surgeon. Ask about 0% financing options to spread your payments out over time. Using your flex-spending or health-savings account can provide an additional 20%-30% tax-free savings. Ask about special discounts, such as for active-duty and retired military, plus their families. When you consider the money you spend on contacts and glasses, you can quickly calculate that in the long run LASIK is a good investment. In addition to the pure convenience and lifestyle freedom, which is priceless.
Age. A good candidate for LASIK is at least 18 years old with a stable prescription for one year. Many parents, who have experienced their own life changing vision surgery, are giving the procedure as a gift to their children for birthdays, graduations and holidays. Patients under 30 years old are the fastest growing group of LASIK patients.
Results. Laser vision correction has been performed since the late 1980s, first beginning with PRK and then LASIK. A recent survey of patients who had LASIK beginning in 1995 showed that the majority believed that LASIK improved their overall quality of life and would recommend the procedure to others.
LASIK is a surgical procedure and results can vary so be sure to discuss your individual expectations. Read the informed consent and discuss all risks and consequences with your surgeon. The most important decision you can make is your choice of surgeon. Choosing a surgeon who has years of experience and has performed tens of thousands of LASIK procedures can improve your chances of having the best outcome. Look for a surgeon who will meet with you personally before the procedure and discuss all your expectations.
It’s normal to feel both excited and nervous as you prepare for your procedure. Ask questions. Read about the procedure. Talk to former patients. State-of-the-art technology advancement, in the hands of an experienced surgeon, has made the LASIK procedure better than it has ever been. A well-educated patient can enjoy the vision of a lifetime, for a lifetime with LASIK.
A recent study from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor has associated smoking with fine wrinkles all over the body — including the face.
“We examined non-facial skin that was protected from the sun, and found that the total number of packs of cigarettes smoked per day and the total years a person has smoked were linked with the amount of skin damage and wrinkles a person experienced,” said Yolanda R. Helfrich, MD, lead author and assistant professor of dermatology at the UM Medical School. The study appears in the March issue of the journal Archives of Dermatology.
If skin that is protected from the sun by clothing experiences significant harm leading to wrinkles, just think what the skin on your face must be suffering as a result of continuing to smoke. And if that isn’t enough to get you concerned about your appearance, smoking also turns your teeth yellow and can cause damage to your gums.
Recent studies have shown that tobacco use may be one of the most significant risk factors in the development and progression of periodontal disease. How does smoking increase your risk for periodontal disease? As a smoker, you are more likely than nonsmokers to form calculus – plaque that hardens on your teeth and can create deep pockets between your teeth and gums, leading to loss of bone and loss of your teeth.
In addition to the obvious benefits to your appearance, quitting smoking reduces your risk for many other serious medical problems such as lung disease, cancer, heart disease and low-birth-weight infants. Another health problem associated with tobacco is emphysema, which, when combined with chronic bronchitis, produces chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Smoking also increases the risk of oral, uterine, liver, kidney, bladder, stomach, and cervical cancers.
Dr. Andrew Weil author of Natural Health, Natural Medicine as well as dozens of other books on wellness, has recommended hypnotherapy to stop smoking, alleviate pain, lessen the side effects of chemotherapy, alleviate symptoms of autoimmune disease, counteract fears and sleep problems, and even to get rid of warts. Dr. Weil says, “In general, I believe that no condition is out of bounds for trying hypnotherapy on.”