When Corrective Lenses Are a Hazard: Why You Should Consider LASIK If You're a First Responder
When you’re the first on the scene of an emergency, you have no time to waste. Seeing clearly is essential to handle urgent situations–it could even save a life.
“For most people, eyeglasses and contacts are just an inconvenience,” says Eric Donnenfeld. M.D., F.A.C.S. and member of the American Refractive Research Council. “But for emergency personnel, eyeglasses and contacts can actually be a hazard. They can interfere with the ability to do the job safely and effectively.”
Dealing with smudged glasses at the end of the day, or dry eyes after several hours of wearing contacts, can set you back several minutes when you’re on call, placing all parties at risk. There are yet other situations when the corrective lenses themselves can be downright dangerous:
Glasses could be knocked off your face during a foot pursuit or altercation with a dangerous subject.
Smoke and water could cover your glasses, obscure your vision, or damage your contacts, thus injuring your eyes.
Glasses or contacts could shift or fall as you engage in physically demanding work, such as moving or resuscitating a patient.
When accurate vision is of utmost importance to job performance, LASIK can give you a significant edge. The U.S. Navy and Air Force rely on LASIK to maximize the eyesight of pilots and special operations personnel, as does NASA for their astronauts. As a first responder, you may discover that LASIK means the difference between life and death.
What is LASIK surgery?
LASIK surgery is an outpatient procedure that uses lasers to reshape the cornea as a way to treat nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. Most LASIK patients find themselves back to work within a matter of days, seeing better than they ever did with corrective lenses.
Am I eligible for LASIK?
Not all people are good candidates for LASIK, which is why it’s important to research, find an experienced surgeon, and understand the procedure and risks involved. A quality ophthalmologist can help you decide whether LASIK is right for you and your career as a first responder.