Does Temperature or Humidity Impact LASIK Results? Recent Study Says No

Does Temperature or Humidity Impact LASIK Results? Recent Study Says NoDoes the temperature of the room where you receive your LASIK surgery impact your results? What about humidity? A recent study examining more than 200,000 eyes undergoing LASIK procedures found that temperature and humidity have little to no bearing on the results of LASIK surgery. This is good news for LASIK patients since it was once believed that temperature and humidity had to be closely controlled for optimal results.

A Closer Look at the Study
The study closely reviewed the records of LASIK patients undergoing surgery at Optical Express Inc. locations throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland between 2008 and 2011. All patients were aged between 18 years and 75 years. Before the procedure all patients underwent a comprehensive eye exam that included tear film assessment, slit lamp examination of the eyes and more. Eyes falling within certain classifications were chosen for inclusion in the study. In total 202,394 eyes were reviewed belonging to 105,712 patients.

The study was a retrospective review completed after the procedures and evaluated room temperature and humidity. The mean temperature was 21 degrees Celsius with a range of 15-30 degrees Celsius. The mean humidity level was 40.8% with a range of 20%-80%.

The Study Results
The analysis of the various procedures combined with temperature/humidity data and 1 month post-operative results found no significant differences between outcomes based solely on temperature or humidity. The doctor performing the study suggests that doctors control the climate of their procedure room based on personal comfort levels. He also mentions that expensive machinery to regulate temperature and humidity is probably not needed.

Contradicting Previous Results
Previous studies have been published indicating that temperature and humidity do in fact matter, but this study contradicts their results. One possible reason for this is the large amount of data received. Many of the previous studies only evaluated a small group of patients. With more than 200,000 eyes this study is one of the largest of its types and has sufficient data. Larger studies tend to be more accurate than smaller ones since the large amount of data can overcome small discrepancies and irregularities in the results.

Good News for Doctors and Patients
This study brings good news to both doctors and patients involved in LASIK surgery. Previously doctors would often invest huge amounts of effort into controlling temperature and humidity. Some would hire special engineers when designing a surgery center and others would purchase complex equipment to stabilize temperatures in the surgery room. Some surgeons would even cancel procedures when temperature and humidity levels exceeded certain thresholds. This study can help doctors to relax a bit concerning temperature and humidity. Since the study evaluated a large range of temperature and humidity settings, doctors can be fairly confident that as long as temperatures are within reasonable bounds that surgeries can in fact be completed.

Patients can relax knowing that temperature won’t greatly impact their results. Undergoing surgery of any type can be highly stressful and removing the concern over temperature and humidity may bring some relief to potential LASIK patients.

Other Factors that May Impact Results
While temperature and humidity likely do not impact LASIK results, there are many factors that can play a role in determining how successful a procedure is. Here are some factors to consider before getting LASIK:

  • Medications- Some medications can impact LASIK results. For example some steroids slow the body’s ability to heal increasing the risk of infection and complications. Various diseases and medical conditions may also make LASIK surgery not advisable.
  • Pregnancy- Pregnancy can temporarily change the shape of the eye. In general it is recommended that pregnant and nursing women avoid LASIK surgery.
  • Age- LASIK surgery can be performed on a variety of ages, but it is generally not recommended for those under the age of 18 (in some cases 25).

Other factors may impact your ability to receive LASIK or the success of the procedure once it is completed. If you are considering LASIK talk with your doctor extensively about your expectations, lifestyle, etc. to find out if LASIK surgery is a good fit for you.

The old belief that LASIK surgery results are impacted by temperature has been dispelled by a recent study of more than 200,000 eyes. The study found that temperature and humidity have very little impact on the overall results of LASIK.

Has temperature or humidity affected your Lasik results? If so, post your opinion in the comments below!

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Comments

Good to know that this does not affect the outcome. So much to consider before doing a major procedure such as LASIK. Now all I have to worry about is price.