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Getting LASIK eye surgery (bemmu.com)
56 points by bemmu 1705 days ago | hide | past | web | 83 comments | favorite

I had LASIK 1.5 years ago...

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.

This notation 20/* is very interesting: in Brazil they never tell you a number like that.

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..."

Prescription and acuity are not the same thing. Many people do not get "perfect" acuity even with optimal prescription.

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).

It's an American think afaict. I still don't quite get how it works, just that it has something to do with feet.

It's a ratio of distances -- the benchmark distance is 20 feet but that's non-essential. 20/10 means you can see the same level of detail at 20 feet that somebody with "normal" vision can see at 10 feet.

That seems problematic, how is normal vision defined?

With dioptres, the definition is very clear and based on optical properties of the eye.

Are there other people here with heavy corrections that have undergone LASIK surgery?

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 was about -6.5.

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.

Yes, there is a limit to how much correction you can do to an eye with that method. I have a -8 correction and it seems that it's already too much.

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.

I also underwent Lasik surgery, with excellent results. Before the surgery I had a 20/200 eyesight correction (that's pretty severe).

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.

Definitely recommended.

Great to hear it can get better. Even if mine never recovers and I will forever have this halo, I would still go through with it.

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.

> 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.

> In some places they do it on the same day.

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.

Was almost the same when I had the surgery in India 5 years back , at least 5 visits to the clinic before the surgery.

Note that there are tons of different methods for corrective eye surgery with different properties. They are often advertised in a confusing matter (eg. calling everything "LASIK" etc). Vanilla LASIK is not quite the state-of-art anymore. Currently a technique called "ReLEx SMILE" is touted as the "best" laser surgery around here.

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.

Yes, the choice was difficult. So many options. There are some metastudies like http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17074559 that helped ease my mind that LASIK was at least not a terrible choice.

"Currently a technique called "ReLEx SMILE" is touted as the "best" laser surgery around here"

Interesting, what is it based on?

The University of Washington seems to offer LASEK (not LASIK) as the best modern technology.

Apparently in relex smile the laser operates inside the cornea, and as such will leave the surface untouched.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eE6i7odO3PA there is plenty of marketing material about this out there

Get one eye done, then the other a few months later (2nd only if you are happy with results).

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.

Anecdotes aren't worth much. What matters is statistics. What fraction of those who have corrective surgery regret it? The answer: less than 1 in 20. Most of that fraction includes those who are unhealthy: mainly people with high blood pressure. Those who are in risk groups shouldn't go for it. Everyone else should. The FDA, an extremely risk-averse organization, advocates laser eye surgery [1]. In almost all circumstances, those who undergo surgery vouch for it.

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.

1. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/103194.php

How old are you? You might just have a case of presbyopia, which is/was partially countered by your myopia.

From wikipedia:

> 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

> "Anyone that has both eyes done at one time cannot make an objective comparison of advantages/disadvantages."

Erhm. What?

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.

I got PRK (epi-LASEK actually) in 2011. It is without a doubt the best money I have spent. Beforehand I was 20/450 in each eye. Now I'm 20/15 in each eye and 20/10 combined. Although the healing process did take a couple of months, it was definitely worth it. If you wear glasses or use contacts, please consider eye surgery. The risk is minimal and the cost is minuscule when amortized over the life of your eyes.

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.

I had LASEK surgery. I had gone in for LASIK, but was told I wasn't suitable due to the shape of my eyes. Instead of cutting a flap and burning underneath, in LASEK they just melt off the front bit of the cornea, burn the exposed eyeball flesh, then let the cornea grow back after the operation.

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.

I'm too risk averse for eye surgery (read the other comments, it's not perfect for everyone, doesn't always last, and you only have one pair of eyes to play with). I used to wear glasses, because I found contact lenses to be too much hassle.

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.

About 10 years ago I was about to undergo LASIK surgery. Fortunately before the surgery an eye doctor made put me through lots of tests, including one which measured the thickness (for lack of a better term) of the cornea. He suggested me not to undergo LASIK because in the medium/long term I could have complications, so I passed.

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.

> you only have one pair of eyes to play with

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.

Afaik ears also do not heal; once your hearing is gone, then it's gone. Of course that probably is crude generalization, but I believe it to be true for noise-induced hearing loss at least. So take care of your ears, and use ear plugs when necessary.

For those considering it, just keep in mind that getting LASIK will prevent you from getting accepted as a NASA astronaut (due to the risk of explosive decompression of your corneas in the event of a sudden loss of pressure in a space vessel (last I checked)).

There has been at least one space tourist with eye surgery (PRK, not LASIK though): Richard Garriott.

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

Richard Garriot was a paid space tourist, not a NASA astronaut, regulations about eye surgery notwithstanding.

Wow, they've changed that a lot from when I first looked into it, which predates the oldest form I could find now in the Wayback Machine.[1] The brochure used to not mention LASIK either way. I was told about the LASIK ban by Bob Cabana. It looks like they've changed their policy now.

1. http://web.archive.org/web/20021209140301/http://www.nasajob...

Also, they allow (really require) only once specific kind of corrective eye surgery for fighter pilots. On a bright side, Air Force will pay for your procedure if they accept you.

I'm sure glad I didn't get this. I wore glasses for years and hated them, until I read about vision therapy. My vision has definitely gotten better, without any lenses or surgery, for free (well ok, I bought a book about it), and I'm sure it could be even better if I wasn't lazy about it.

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.

I was told by an eye doctor that vision therapy is pseudo-science.

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).

Well, they're just as credible as any eye doctor IMO. I try to be skeptical about everything, and I'm not 100% sure of this--it's hard to explain how some people have really bad eyesight from an early age. Then again, there's an entire industry built around corrective lenses, so it's not surprising that an eye doctor would dismiss vision therapy as pseudo-science--he'd be out of a job otherwise. That would also explain why there's not a ton of research being done on this, since somebody's gotta pay for it.

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

I'm glad that you've found a faith that speaks to your heart, but it's really not necessary to push it onto other people.

Which vision therapy are you referring to?

It's not the Bates Method,[1] is it?

[1] - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bates_method

Which book did you get? Curious to find out what's in it.

> ... 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?

Well, I did too--I started wearing glasses at around age 4. Books and TV would certainly contribute as well--as I understand it, "nearpoint stress" is the main cause of myopia. The eyes are tuned for scanning the horizon for faraway threats; we're naturally more far-sighted. Focusing your eyes closely causes strain, where your eye muscles must contract the lens constantly. Your eyes accomodate this stress by keeping the lens in a contracted position, and by lengthening the eye.

Oops--I forgot the book. It was this: http://www.amazon.com/Improve-Vision-Without-Glasses-Contact...

(though mine has a more modern looking cover, I guess I have a newer edition?)

Doesn't it become another tooth brushing?

Well, sort of--there's habits you should keep (looking at faraway objects and blinking more) while staring at the screen. But that's just because you're using your eyes in a very unnatural way.

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).

Eagerly awaiting your responses to the other replies to your original post.

Yes, sorry--a man's gotta sleep. Hope everyone interested sees my followups...


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...

Yes, was told not to do any office work or spend time focusing near for about three days.

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.

I had LASIK done in 2002. Only diagnosed with myopia in high school, it was relatively mild, and I hated having glasses/contacts on my face/eyes. My experience was very similar to the one described, including the halos, which faded within months. I was in my early 20s so I was told there was a small risk of needing further treatment in future, as I was relatively young, but fortunately that hasn't been needed. Unless I'm reminded of the surgery, I forget that I had it done at all - except for 20/20 vision in both eyes.

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.

Bilateral keratoconus. It's been stable for the last 10 years but it rules out any form of LASIK as my corneas are already thin enough thankyouverymuch.

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.

I did FS-LASIK exactly 1 year ago. I didn't have very bad sight at the time only had to use glasses/contacts when driving a car but I felt this was just a hassle.

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.

I got LASIK in Thailand (TRSC) in 2006; went from 20/80 and 20/60 to 20/10.

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.

I'm assuming it's cheaper now in Thailand. I paid less than that for mine 14 months ago in Iceland.

Also surprised that the halo lasted so long for you, my light sensitivity was back to normal after 3 days.

The halo was only around point sources of light at night. I happened to be driving a lot at night at the time, so it was more noticeable. It turned into just "star bursts" around lights, then went away.

Did you visit Thailand specially to get the procedure?

Basically. I was living in the Middle East and often going to HK, and the airline I used had a stopover in BKK.

I had LASIK just over 6 months ago, and I'm really happy with the results.

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.

I had femtolasik in The Netherlands in 2012, which is like intralasik. Costs are around 3200 EUR total (~4300 USD), but with a healthcare insurance return of 500 EUR. Operation itself took about an hour (around noon), after which I could go home again under guidance. I could see a bit again the same afternoon, and got back to work two days after.

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.

Thanks, I understand your first and second paragraphs completely, but the last sentence is a bit confusing— I'm not sure what is meant by "no physical contact to the eye." Do you mean that no instrument touched your eye during the operation, just the laser?

In Japan the total cost was about $3500.

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.

You may have ended up doing a vastly superior LASIK by that decision. In the USA, it remains a common marketing technique to advertise prices for non-wavefront LASIK and then upsell everyone to wavefront LASIK by telling them that you might be crazy to get non-wavefront LASIK done.

Another difference -- here the surgeon suggests the benzodiazapines. You would have been given surgery without valium if you hadn't asked your general doctor?

The one I got turned out to be wavefront.

Yes, there would have been no sedatives. Seems to be normal here, also at dentist you get no sedatives (anesthetics though of course).

I actually really like wearing glasses, but most people seem to hate it. I didn't start wearing them until quite late in my life though, so maybe I'll get sick of them in ~5 years. Mostly as well it's the healing process that puts me off, I know how long it took for a friend to feel like it was fully done and I'm not sure I have the patience.

I had Radial Keratotomy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radial_keratotomy) done in 1991. It was done by hand with a SCALPEL. Valium was my friend that day.

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 chose LASEK instead of LASIK because all my research years ago recommended those doing sports or very physical activity have higher risks with LASIK, mainly due to the the flap.

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.

The LASIK itself is not something interesting, but the results after 10 years - that's what matters. Would be great to read if there are any long-term problems real people are experiencing.

It's been at the back my of mind for years but I haven't found the courage to do it. The reason may sound silly: I feel extremely squeamish with anything that involves contact with eyes. It's the same reason I've stayed away from contact lenses and keep wearing stupid glasses instead. If there was a way to fix my eyes without me or anyone else having to come in contact with them (at least when I am conscious), I'd do it in a heartbeat. Anyone else with the same hang-up?

Have you ever had contacts put on your eyes ? I think that almost anyone who wears contacts has had the same reaction as you ; I tried contacts for the first a few years ago, and I thought exactly the same thing, that I could never, ever, touch my directly my eye with my fingers. The doctor put them for me the first time, and it turns out that it's something that you can learn to do (and not fear) pretty quickly.

You're definitely not alone. I cannot stand anything getting near my eyes, so there is no chance I could ever wear contact lenses.

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.

Actually the laser itself is the least of my stomach-turning thoughts. It's things like this from TFA: "a thin wire kind of thing was slightly poked into the side of my eye to see how many tears I would shed in a certain period" and "an instrument was physically pressed against eye, which vibrated in and out slightly". No way Jose.

Oh god oh god the cutting oh god!

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 actually got PRK myself last year and logged the whole experience, including the entire procedure and healing process on video: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL4518F9CBDA82E865&...

I'm happy with the results.

I wrote about my LASIK surgery and the risk tradeoff here: Plastic Surgery To Make Other People Look Better : http://kybernetikos.com/2007/06/08/plastic-surgery-to-make-o....

His diary almost exactly mirrors my own experience, but I would say there is really no need to go to your doctor to get prescribed diazepam or anything else just to get through it unless you are an exceptionally nervous person.

You should consider donating your glasses: http://www.volunteerguide.org/minutes/service-projects/eyegl...

Ironically the post's font is extremely hard to read, at least on Windows.

Better now?

Yes, much. Thanks!

I have a permanent side effect from LASIK which is dry eyes. it's supposed not to last more than a couple of weeks, but it's essentially permanent in my case.

Has anyone autistic had it done? I fear moving when I shouldn't, and know that general anaesthetic isn't an option. Do they offer anything special?

Having gotten a new pair of glasses just this week, and having worn a variety of glasses and contact lens over the past 25 years, I consider laser surgery every now and then, discuss it with the eye surgeons, but then stop when I consider one point - they are willing to perform the surgery, and are happy to recommend it, yet they wore glasses - they did not seem willing to have it done on their own eyes.

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.

Are the doctors older? LASIK doesn't help if your eyesight gets worse due to old age. Your eye muscles will get worse and then you cannot focus as well on near objects. That is the reason many "old" (it may start as early as 45 or not until well into the 60s) people need to wear glasses.

Just an idea, but a better alternative would be to ask them why they still wear glasses.

One particular surgeon was not too old, his glasses corrected mild myopia and a slight astigmatism. When I actually put him on the spot about the laser surgery question, his reply, which was reasonable and honest, was that surgery is a personal choice, and he personally appreciated the advances and refinements in the techniques employed, but still preferred to wait and see re: long term effects in patients.

I imagine the minor risks that are acceptable to most people could be career-ending for a surgeon.

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