News & Blog
LASIK Surgery Can Change Lives
20th January, 2014
Laser Surgery Eye has discovered that LASIK surgery has been used to give a quadriplegic man the ability to communicate. How is this possible and what does it tell us about the limitless opportunities offered by laser eye surgery?
LASIK surgery means a lot of things to a lot of people. To most it means the ability to see with 20/20 vision. To other it may mean the ability to drive, to play contact sports, to wear more intricate makeup etc. However to some people the tag we often attach to it, ‘revolutionary’, really is the case.
Take Stephen Smith, 39, for example. According to Livewell Nebraska he suffered a brain injury when he was 19, knocking his head on the pavement, which left him without the ability to speak. His mind still functions the way it is supposed to; he can think and feel and hear; he just can’t move his muscles in his mouth.
As a quadriplegic communication wasn’t so easy for Smith. At first the only way to communicate was to blink in answer to peoples questions, or he would point to a letter on a chart. Then a new type of technology came along.
Two years ago he started using a computer device designed to track eye movement, typically each letter he focused on. However the thickness of his glasses caused the results to be sporadic at best; often the glare on the lenses would confuse the machine.
Mary Coons, his sister, commented to Livewell Nebraska that “it’d work for a while. After two or three minutes, it couldn’t find his eyes anymore.” This lead her to create a YouTube video telling his story and to contact Dr Lance Kugler, an Omaha, Nebraska based surgeon on August
He took on the case pro bono, calling Smith’s condition “unique” and being moved by it so much he couldn’t charge for the procedure which has yet to take place, but it is expected to be a success. It is expected to give Smith the full capability to use his machine and communicate again.
This highlights something that many people forget. Today we often see treatments such as LASIK as cosmetic; people want to get them so they can stop wearing glasses, so they can play contact sports, so they can wear makeup etc. However for some people it gives them their lives back.
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