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27/12/2021

Many ophthalmologists with refractive errors (myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism) still maintain their eye prescription and, therefore, use glasses or contact lenses. It is not surprising that one of the recurring questions is why they do not undergo surgery using any of the different refractive surgery techniques (laser surgery or intraocular lens implantation) if in this way they would be able to reduce their dependence on glasses, especially those ophthalmologists whose specialty is this.

Many ophthalmologists continue to wear glasses in the same way that not all plastic surgeons undergo procedures in their specialty.

Although there are many ophthalmologists who have undergone surgery, others may not have done so for any of the following reasons:

1. Incompatibility: not all ophthalmologists are eligible patients as they do not meet the requirements for refractive surgery. The technique with the placement of intraocular lenses requires the existence of a space within the eye, while in the application of laser techniques a certain corneal thickness is also necessary that not all people have.

2. Lack of aesthetic motivations, since the fundamentals of refractive surgery are not curative. There are people (and ophthalmologists) who do not mind glasses, or even like to wear them as a fashion accessory. Laser techniques polish the cornea to change its curvature (the myopic eye is larger than normal, while the hyperopic eye is flatter), so this intervention has more to do with comfort, aesthetics, the practice of some sports or other specific professional activities that make wearing glasses uncomfortable. In this sense, many ophthalmologists do not have a special interest, in the same way that not all plastic surgeons have to have interventions in their specialty.

3. Maintaining myopia can be an advantage, depending on the personal circumstances, profession and hobbies of each person. When short-sighted people who wear glasses take them off for a moment, they achieve spectacular near-range vision. For this reason, many people with myopia when they wake up at night and pick up their mobile phone in the dark without their glasses on, they bring the device very close to their face because that way they see the screen better. Under normal conditions, this would be impossible without the support of glasses, especially around 45 years with the arrival of presbyopia. For this reason, many myopic people whose working life requires near vision find this advantage in their refractive defect and ophthalmologists can be an example of this: in eye examinations it is possible to appreciate how the specialist, if he is myopic, removes his glasses to explore us closely with higher quality of vision. Outside the healthcare field, the same happens to professionals who work with small pieces and very close vision, such as jewelers. In fact, this is one of the reasons why many patients are not good candidates for surgery.

There are also other ophthalmologists who have undergone refractive surgery to reduce their eye prescription. For many professionals, due to their lifestyle, personal circumstances and preferences, the surgery is worthwhile and also has multiple benefits.

Doctor José Lamarca, ophthalmologist in the areas of Cornea and Ocular surface, Refractive Surgery and Cataracts at the Barraquer Ophthalmology Centre.

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