At EyeCare 20/20, we love celebrating other cultures and getting to know more about our friends across the Atlantic and around the world. After all, every country and culture has their own great traditions and festivals. More exposure to other countries and peoples means more parties to go to during the calendar year. QED.

Speaking of parties, Oktoberfest is almost upon us, and that means you’ll likely be seeing advertisements for Oktoberfest parties in your area. But have you ever been to the original Oktoberfest in Germany? It’s amazing the way that German heritage has spread through the U.S. over the course of our nation’s history.

In honor of Oktoberfest, and plenty of other great cultures and traditions, we thought we’d take a look at eye care and LASIK around the world—what’s new, what’s interesting, and even what’s puzzling. Take a look!

The UK

In the UK, the number of LASIK patients has been halved in the last eight years. That decline has been caused by several factors. Part of it is a weakened economy and high housing costs that don’t leave a lot of disposable income lying around. Another aspect is some skepticism about the quality of service provided by some of the chain providers in the UK. This has been amplified by the internet and some media reports.

However, patients are still seeking out high quality LASIK practices despite the financial pressures. There are also plenty of candidates for LASIK out there, but they’re still too young or are waiting for a larger income before making the decision.

Spain

Spain is going through a steady period in the number of LASIK surgeries, and it’s expected that this steady state will last for a while. There are generally waves of up and down years for LASIK in Spain. The current state is not as high as it once was, but it’s not in a wave “trough” so to speak.

The Czech Republic

The cost of LASIK has decreased in the Czech Republic, with more SMILE procedures being performed. The competition is fierce, with some smaller clinics even having to close as prices drop. For the most part, PRK is not normally performed.

Austria

In Austria, there is less price sensitivity than in the Czech Republic, and the rates of SMILE and LASIK are lower. PRK is used more commonly in Austria than in the Czech Republic, and the overall volume of refractive surgeries is lower.

China

In China and a few other countries in the far east, there has been a dramatic rise in the incidence of myopia. More people than ever are developing vision problems. Over 40% of primary school children are now nearsighted. What’s going on?

Researchers have found that it isn’t something genetic. Instead, it has to do with cultural factors. More young students in China are pushed to succeed academically, while outdoor playtime is simultaneously deemphasized. More time focusing on things close up, like books and screens, and less time outside has resulted in the increase in nearsighted Chinese.

Which, of course, creates a large future market for LASIK providers in that country, especially among the wealthy citizens—where the concentration of myopia is highest.

Have these stats piqued your interest in LASIK? Then give us a call at EyeCare 20/20. We may not be worldwide, but we’ve been serving New Jersey for over 30 years.

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