Should I Get LASIK?
By Bryan Caplan
Hansonian doubts aside, I’ve been thinking about getting LASIK (laser corrective eye surgery) for a couple of years. By making a small investment of discomfort and cash, I could save about 30 hours of time per year (cleaning glasses, doctor appointments, eye care store visits) for decades. And I could see and swim at the same time. For someone like me who strives to maximize expected utility with a zero discount rate, this sounds like a good deal.
But what about the risks? The Wikipedia article was by far the most informative source – actual numbers, with excellent documentation. The one that worried me the most was elevated risk of chronic dry eyes – about 5% for Caucasians (relative to a baseline of something like 2-3%).
My other problem is that I’m incredibly squemish. If I had an appointment for LASIK in two weeks, I’d be stressed for the full two weeks.
So, Econlog readers, once you know the facts, what would you, as my health economists, advise?