I went from not being able to see the big E at the top of the chart (worse than 20/500, but still only 80th percentile bad for people getting LASIK) to having 20/25 vision.
My world looks fundamentally different to me than my pre-corrected vision. All around, it's substantially more like being on LSD all the time. Lights are brighter. Way, way brighter. Blacks are deeper. The contrast has been turned up on my vision by at least an order of magnitude. At night, it makes big light installations more interesting and driving not that much harder.
My ability to perceive 3 dimensional detail is much improved. I can perceive the intricate structure of the leaves of a tree in a way that was previously impossible for me. Current LASIK is good at fixing higher order aberrations and this is what results in the improved 3d vision.
No matter what your doctor tells you, accept that sometimes, LASIK doesn't quite stick and once your vision gets worse than 20/60 or so, you'll need corrective lenses or another surgery. I expect that sometime in the next 10 or 20 years, I will get a LASIK touch-up, then a while after that, a lens replacement. Maybe a lens replacement instead of another LASIK surgery if medical technology improves exponentially or something.
If you can afford it, I would suggest getting LASIK (or PRK or computer-automated derivation of PRK if you don't mind suffering for a week or so, in exchange for not leaving never healing wounds in the middle of your eyes), especially if your vision is significantly worse than normal or you have moderate astigmatism. The world really does just look better.
I'm also a mediocre outcome of modern LASIK surgery! A lot of people get to 20/15 vision. A lot of the bad press for LASIK came 10 years ago or more, before wavefront-guided LASIK. As it stands, LASIK tech these days is brilliant elective surgery.
People tell you about how well they see by saying that they don't need glasses, or by giving their prescriptions, like "hyperopia, 2.5 on right eye, 1.0 on left, plus astigmatism of 1.0 on the right eye..."
Ie prescription tells what kind of corrections you need to get the best possible vision, but doesn't tell how good your best possible vision is. Acuity on the other hand tells you what's the smallest detail you can distinguish over some distance (such as 20 feet in the normal 20/xx expression).
With dioptres, the definition is very clear and based on optical properties of the eye.
I was always told that heavier corrections (I have about -10 dioptrics) were tricky because they would have to laser away to much of your eyes' "back wall". This would make the eye structure weaker which could result in eye deformation (bulging eyes?).
Truth to be told: that sounded possible and scary enough so I didn't investigate further. I'm ready to be proven wrong :)
I think the answer to the question is that it depends on how thick your cornea are, and how far the surgeon is willing to push it. Some surgeons are more comfortable working with thinner margins of error than others. You want a doctor that is conservative on this metric. I would go in and get a (free) scan to find out whether or not you're a good candidate.
Also heavier correction gives not as precise results as small corrections : it depends of the cicatrisation of the eye. You might end up having a better vision but still requiring to have glasses.
It seems there exists alternatives like putting a lens inside the eyes which gives really good results and is also reversible. The lens is visible if you look closely. I didn't try the method though.
About the halo effect around bright points of light after dark that the author mentions -- over a period of years this effect has diminished for me as the seam around the surgery cut has gradually smoothed itself out. Now, after dark, stars and other points of light are nearly as cleanly focused as they would be to one with naturally good vision.
Overall, after over a decade of experience, I'm very glad I got this surgery. Because I'm in my 60s, I need to wear reading glasses for close work (true for everyone at my age), but in outdoor activities like kayaking and skiing where distant vision predominates, activities where glasses were once a real pain, the surgery really pays off.
Other feedback I got on the post was that in some countries you don't need several days of checks before getting the surgery. In some places they do it on the same day.
I live in the U.S. and had my surgery done in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. I didn't have to go through several days of preliminaries -- just an eye exam from a local optometrist in advance of the surgery.
That's the case in Mexico. I was lucky because 10 years ago when I was about to have LASIK (in Cancun), the company that was going to do it had their laboratories completely destroyed due to a hurricane (in Cancun). For this reason they asked some private eye clinic to lend their equipment (for LASIK surgery). BUT this clinic examined throughly all the patients that went for surgery. At the end, I was not a candidate fro LASIK because my cornea is very thin.
So I would definitely suggest people not to scrimp on tests before the operation.
Another fairly interesting technique is ICL surgery, in which a contact lens is injected inside the eye permanently. Supposedly it would give better optical results as the eye is not physically modified. ICL should be also capable of correcting more severe cases.
It would interesting to hear more knowledgeable opinions about the different techniques, as most readily accessible material is just marketing from the corresponding corporations, and thus not exactly objective sources.
Interesting, what is it based on?
The University of Washington seems to offer LASEK (not LASIK) as the best modern technology.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eE6i7odO3PA there is plenty of marketing material about this out there
If you get both done at once, you have no objective way to independently compare whether the results are better than what you already have....
My doctor was pushing me to get both done at once, but I wanted to have a control to compare against, and boy am I glad I did.
Both my eyes were about -6, but I only had my right eye done (left eye not). It is useful having one eye that doesn't need contacts. But it is also useful having one -6 eye because it makes close-up work easy (I can't use the right Lasik'ed eye for fine detailed work - it can't focus on anything closer than 30cm - like long sighted but actually isn't).
With a contact in my left eye, and the Lasiked right eye, the left eye has much better clarity even in day time. The results on the right eye were normal (this situation isn't because things were stuffed up).
The halo effect is due to uneveness/dimples/ripples created, so can never be corrected by lenses.
Anyone that has both eyes done at one time cannot make an objective comparison of advantages/disadvantages.
I had epi-LASEK in both eyes, spaced apart by 10 days. Even though healing times for my surgery are measured in weeks, I could certainly tell the difference between my corrected eye and my uncorrected eye. LASIK is much more pronounced, since one's vision improves within days instead of weeks.
> Myopes considering refractive surgery are advised that surgically correcting their nearsightedness may be a disadvantage after age 40, when the eyes become presbyopic and lose their ability to accommodate or change focus, because they will then need to use glasses for reading
I had both eyes done and I can surely compare before/after; I don't need contacts anymore.
I don't know how long you waited before you had your other eye done, but it takes ~1 year before the eye is fully funcitonal and the brain re-callibrated.
There are many small advantages you'll notice with your improved vision. You can decrease your font size and fit more code on your screen. This is equivalent to using a larger monitor, and it works on portable devices. You can wake up and see. I can't properly convey how that feels, especially if you have east-facing windows to catch the sunrise. When traveling, you don't have to worry about logistics related to contact lenses or glasses. It's amazing.
If you have myopia or astigmatism, please please consider eye surgery. You won't regret it.
LASEK has a longer recovery time, because you have to wait for the cells to grow back across the front of the eye - I was in agony for the first few days, mostly because they gave me the anaesthetic drops to take home with the words "You can take this if it hurts, but it'll probably slow your recovery", so I just left them in the fridge. Helpful. But after a week I had no pain, better than 20/20 eyesight, no noticeable halo effects and only very mild starbursts - noticeably better than the ones I had with glasses or contacts. The only thing that really suffered was my wallet.
I had this done about 3 or 4 years ago, and regret nothing. For the first year I did occasionally wake up with dry eyes - well, ok... without the sugar coating: I did occasionally wake up screaming and writhing in agony when the vulnerable tender cells on the front of my eyes had dried out and stuck to the inside of my eyelids, which I'd then brushed against a pillow and torn the cells off my eyeball. Yeah, I've got to admit, that wasn't pleasant. The problem was that my eyes never really had a chance to heal after the operation, because I needed to use the celluvisc drops for longer than they had initially recommended - once we realised that and I used it every evening for a couple of months, my eyes were able to heal fully, and it has been fine since.
Ultimately it's not going to be for everyone - it's expensive, and at times can be painful. But I hated wearing glasses (I was -6, so could only focus on things if they were touching my nose), I didn't get on with contacts, and I love being able to now do things that normal-sighted people take for granted - being able to walk into a warm shop in winter without needing to de-fog yourself, walking around in the rain without needing windscreen wipers, or slipping sunglasses on when you step into the sun. The novelty still hasn't worn off, and I can't recommend it enough.
About three years ago I swapped to "silicone hydrogel" continuous wear contact lenses. After getting used to them, I can leave them in for a month at a time, and then throw them away (no cleaning!). I forget I'm wearing them, and wake up being able to see. If you have severe short-sightedness (I'm -8) having contacts makes everything bigger than with glasses, it's much better. I recommend giving it a go; opticians often fall over themselves to give you a free trial.
Edit: the precise lens type I'm using is Comfilcon A (Biofinity, CooperVision), which wikipedia describes as "3rd generation" silicon hydrogel. There are other types, and apparently different people get on with different ones.
Fast forward 10 years, I have a colleague who had LASIK surgery done without those tests... he also has a thin cornea and now he is having a lot of problems with one of his eyes.
So I guess LASIK is not for everyone.
Of course they are less durable than most other body parts,
I think it wasn't until I recovered from my lasik that I fully understood that eyes, like any other part of the body, heal if damaged. Except maybe teeth.
edit: found a actual reference for requirements: http://astronauts.nasa.gov/content/broch00.htm#bqr
The refractive surgical procedures of the eye, PRK and LASIK, are allowed, providing at least 1 year has passed since the date of the procedure with no permanent adverse after effects.
edit2: fixed, not a astronaut per se. thanks glurgh
It makes sense to me, how could humans naturally get such bad vision, when it can be so disadvantageous in an evolutionary sense? Environmental factors (such as staring at a computer screen...) would seem an obvious cause, and the evidence seems to confirm it.
How credible are your sources? Could this be quackery, or do you have solid reason for believing it is legit? (No insult intended -- it is an important question for anyone looking into vision therapy).
As far as sources, I honestly haven't done a ton of investigation (but more than I did before I started wearing glasses at ~4, of course...). From reading the book, and noticing a strong increase in vision soon afterwards while I was actively doing the exercises (and a corresponding decrease when I returned to mindlessly staring at computers :)), it's enough for me personally, I only have so much time in the day to waste on this.
If you want more sources, this site seems to have some pretty reasonable evidence for myopia being environmentally caused (scroll to the bottom): http://www.myopia.org/page2.htm
It's not the Bates Method, is it?
 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bates_method
> ... so disadvantageous in an evolutionary sense? Environmental factors (such as staring at a computer screen...)
Well if you're arguing that it's a nurture thing, there are plenty of us who had bad vision at childhood, right from before the dawn of the computer age. You could say that it was not computer screens but books that caused it, but how far back can you make this argument? Any sources for this claim?
(though mine has a more modern looking cover, I guess I have a newer edition?)
LASIK is the equivalent of dental veneers in your example, or maybe using liposuction to "cure" obesity (while glasses/contacts would be just riding around on a rascal scooter).
Did LASIK about 5 years back. This post makes me feel bad about not maintaining a journal of the process.
Was very sensitive to light for the first day, couldn't bring myself to open my eyes(Middle Of summer in INDIA!! ). But the next morning, where i could see every small detail without the spectacles(Which I hated) was awesome.
A bit of advise if you had done the surgery recently, is that give your eyes a bit of time to heal and stay away from TV, Computers for at least a fortnight... Not absolutely necessary, But you know...
That light sensitivity part was strongest after they put in eyedrops as part of some test on the second day of testing. That day it might have been a good idea to go home in a taxi and use sunglasses. Less strong after the surgery itself.
At the time, if you had asked me, I would have assumed that most short-sighted middle-class South Africans would have done the operation in 10 years time (at about R15-20k, prices have fallen in real-terms over the last decade). Instead, it seems there's a lot of FUD surrounding it, and people prefer to struggle with contact lenses.
I've worn glasses since I was 11 so I don't mind. I'm 20/60 in one eye and 20/200+ in the other but with glasses (no special expensive lenses) I can get 20/15 overall vision.
I have prescription sunglasses for cycling and skiing (or I just use glasses under goggles for adverse skiing conditions). I have prescription swimming goggles but I've no problem swimming without. I play 5-a-side football in glasses with no problems.
Toric lenses would be best for me but I just didn't get on with them. Soft lenses can't cope with the keratoconus and I really didn't get on with hard/gas-permeable lenses.
My doctor told me that it would take about 1 year before my brain calibrated correctly, these "spikes" (dunno what to call it) around for instance car lights goes away after that time because the brain needs to "get use to it".
According to my doctor my result was better than expected, I've got as perfect sight as possible after the operation. I did however spend a couple of days in bed even thought I was told that I could work within the next couple of days (I wanted to be on the safe side though).
People have asked me if I would do it again and I sure would.
It did increase dryness for a year or two (but, I was also in a desert), and caused "halos" around lights at night, but that went away after a year or two.
Probably the best $2500 (for two eyes; wavefront!) I ever spent. I had a huge ($60/night) hotel suite at the Royal Meridien for a week, and took the hotel limo to/from the center, since I didn't want to deal with navigating Bangkok or taxis while blind. I could read by the next day, by setting my laptop to 80x24 full-screen mode, but mostly just drank, ate, and slept in my room for a couple days.
Also surprised that the halo lasted so long for you, my light sensitivity was back to normal after 3 days.
How much does it cost in the US? Down here in NZ, it cost me NZ$5750 (~US$4877) for intralase (laser-created flap) on both eyes.
I didn't have a lot of those follow up tests mentioned where they poke your eye. I had a follow up the day after, then a week after, then a month, then two months after. All they did at each appointment was get me to read from a chart and examined my eyes with some kind of digital microscope.
Annoying parts were the preparation (one week eyedrops) and the eyedrops after the operation for two months that take some time. And the fact that during the operation you realize that your eye is more attached to the huge laser machine than to your eye socket. Good thing that only lasted a minute.
No physical contact to the eye, just some checkups.
Some clinics claim to do it for half that price, but it seems like they will try to upsell you to a more expensive type of surgery (supposedly more accurate one) after getting you to commit. They even called it "premium lasik".
I could not figure out from any online sources whether there would actually be a difference between the two types of surgery (and if there was, what kind of a doctor would really allow a lesser surgery in such an important situation?), so I decided it was probably just an upselling attempt and decided to go with a clinic that was more straightforward with their pricing and had a less marketing-savvy look to their landing pages.
Another difference -- here the surgeon suggests the benzodiazapines. You would have been given surgery without valium if you hadn't asked your general doctor?
Yes, there would have been no sedatives. Seems to be normal here, also at dentist you get no sedatives (anesthetics though of course).
I've had 20/20 vision until recently. I wore glasses from the time I was 9 years old until I was 21. I'm now beginning to see my age affect my vision (at 42). The surgery was a life-changing experience and the difference was immediate - I sat up from the surgery, looked out the window, and could see individual leaves on the trees outside.
There are always risks to be considered, though. I found out when going back in for a follow-up that a new test showed that my corneas were too thin. If I had come in as a new patient after that test was implemented, they wouldn't have done the procedure.
I'm not sure if I should feel lucky I went before that test was added, or just lucky I didn't have any issues.
I gained further confidence when I discovered that many flight schools and special ops military schools accepted (or used to accept) PRK/LASEK, but not LASIK.
Even though the recovery time is longer for LASEK and you need to take more care for longer than with LASIK during that recovery, I felt it was worth it.
I have had 20/10 vision for six years now and I consider it one of the best decisions I ever made. I cannot recommend it enough for those whose vision has stabilized.
I don't mind my glasses, mainly because I'm very short-sighted and really need them if I'm driving or walking around outside, but if I had the guts I'd probably get the surgery. The thought of having lasers shone into my eyes while I'm still conscious is enough to make my stomach turn.
I see that it's a fantastic procedure, and I'm -8.0 in both eyes, but I'm gonna stick with contact lenses at $30 a month I think.
Just too squeamish.
I'm happy with the results.
Always struck me as a bit odd - like a pub landlord who refuses to even taste any of his beers. Not the best indicator for trust and confidence.
That said, I have two friends who opted to have it done, one had perfect results, the other has a persistant issue with halo/floater artifacts in one eye.
Just an idea, but a better alternative would be to ask them why they still wear glasses.