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Has anyone else had eye LASIK surgery?

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 
I had my eyes LASIK'ed 5 months ago, and think it is awesome.

Has anyone else had it done?

My prescription was very stable so I have my fingers crossed that it going to remain this good. It is awesome having 20/20 vision with no aritical aids.

I went river surfing in February, got plenty of water in the face going through the rapids and could still see where I was going - which was a good thing when they have named one of the rapids 'man eater'. River surfing is great fun if you get a chance, it is going down the rapids on a boogie board - the rapids seem a lot bigger than when you are in a raft, and much more fun.
post #2 of 47
hey Kiwi I'm glad you brought this up , I have been considering getting my eyes done . I still have some concerns on this and thats kinda whats holding me back , getting real interested in getting them done before next season.
post #3 of 47
Thread Starter 
I thought about I long and hard before deciding to do it. When my optician said I was damaging my eyes by wearing my soft contact lenses for too many hours a day, starving me eys of oxygen, I decided it was healthier for my eyes.

The cornea is amazing tissue, it heals really fast. It reattaches itself within a minute of the LASIK treatment. There are risks and you have to weigh them up before doing, but if you get a reputable surgeon the risks reduce. Mine was very professional, I had my prescription measured by two different opticians at the clinic prior to the surgery to make sure the mesurements were correct, and they were double checked as it was fed into the computer. It was all over so fast, and immediately afterwards I had 2/20 vision. Awesome. Bit scratchy for the first day, but no worse than what your eyes feel like after a days skiing in bright sunlight with contact lenses.

There ar two types of laser surgery, I had what they call LASIK here, they cut a flap on the cornea, shape the underlying cornea with the laser and then let the flap backdown. The other method is PRK, they burn the outer surface of the cornea, this is the original laser treatment that has been superceded by the LASIK. It takes longer to recover and you don't get 20/20 eyesight immeidately. They only use this treatment for people who are suitable for LASIK, luckily I was, I don't think I would have PRK.

The clinic I went to said only 50% of people are suitable. Lots of factors are take into account, including how thick your cornea is. My cornea was 500 microns thick (half a millimetre), they only had to remove 30 microns to correct my vision, my prescription was 2.0. This is a minute amount.

I waited until the end of the ski season (September down under), stopped wearing my contacts for 3 months and then got surgey in November. My surgeon said not to wear your contacts for 3 weeks prior to the surgery so your cornea returns to its natural shape. Considering the minute amount they take off, I wanted to make sure it was totally back to its natural shape so there was no risk of it changing further after surgery, so wore my glasses for 3 months - yuk!

My eye prescription has not changed for 8 years. Stability of your prescription is antoher factor. They are effectively shaping the cornea to meet your current prescription. If you keep having to get stronger glasses every couple of years then maybe in a couple of years time you might need further correction.

It's important to keep your eyes well lubricated afterwards. After 5 months I still put drops in when I wake up because they quite dry. Much less hassle that putting contacts in and out.

I'm a convert! In New Zealand it costs $2000 NZD per eye, asn NZD is worth about 41c USD.
post #4 of 47
Thread Starter 
just noticed all my typing mistakes! Hopefully you can figure out what I meant.
post #5 of 47
I'm one of the lucky or "my opto says unlucky" because I do not need correction in my vision. Unlucky because when I finally do need glasses (It will happen eventually) most will have a hard time adjusting to wearing glasses after not wearing them all their lives.
When I talked to him about lasik, (he does not perform but does refer patients to lasik center) His take is if you need "sharp vision" not just corrected vision, Lasik is not for you. A great deal of sharpness to vision is lost when you do lasik. Although the benefit is no glasses/contacts, there is a loss in sharpness of vision. So something to be aware of. If you work in a situation that requires real sharp vision, ie: visual inspections, model building, Photography, painting, stuff like that, talk to your optometrist before plunking down your money for a "quick fix"
I'm not saying it's bad, I'm just saying check your alternatives. Lasik is amazing technology and a great alternative for someone who wants to get rid of the glasses/contacts but it's just not for everyone.
post #6 of 47
Thread Starter 
I must be lucky, my vision is now sharper with LASIK than with contacts or glasses. I am just hoping it is going to last, fingers crossed. Hence I am curious to get in touch with others who have had the surgery for a longer period than me.

Another risk is there can be a halo effect around bright lights at night. I do see a halo but very minor, no worse than with my glasses. I have a friend who is into astronomy and he does not want to risk messing with his night vision.
post #7 of 47
I had it done two years ago - best thing I have ever done. If you are thinking about it, think no longer, it is a no-brainer. It has been so long since I wore contacts or glasses (other than over the counter sunglasses!), that I don't even remember wearing them.

Well worth the money considering your yearly purchases of glasses, contacts, solutions etc. For me it was super cheap as my insurance actually covered it! It ended up costing me $350 total.
post #8 of 47
Chugach, you are indeed fortunate! Most insurance policies don't cover this procedure. The good news is the price is dropping. Somewhat disturbing trend locally with doctors and clinics advertising these procedures with come-ons that sound like a used-car ad - This weekend ONLY! Save $500! You won't find a better deal! C'mon, folks, we are talking about surgery on your eyes!

My purely unscientific poll based soley on anecdotal evidence from friends and acquaintances who have had PRK or Lasik surgery is running about 50-50 split to those that have no problems and 20/20 or very close vision and those who have problems such as infections, double vision, etc.
post #9 of 47
I am quite nearsighted, meaning anythin more than 20 feet away looks like colored blurs without contact lenses. But this same nearsightedness means my uncorrected vision within 14 inches is extremely sharp and focused--a great situation when doing very fine, close work. I say this because it is my understanding that Lasik surgery would cause me to lose this very close vision as a tradeoff to having good far vision. So for me, it's contacts and glasses.
post #10 of 47
I'm considering it, for the future. I have an astigmatism, and wear glasses for everything from sitting at the computer, to skiing. But I only started really wearing them about 3 years ago. Since then, my prescription hasn't changed, but I need to see if it remains fairly constant. Plus, I'd like to wait for tecnology to get a bit better, and for doctors to gain more experience. I know about a dozen people who have had Lasik, and all have had great results.

Could you imaging ads; "Neuro surgery and angioplasty SPECIAL!! Get both for only $999! But this offer is only good for the first 100 callers!"

No, I think I'll pick my doctor the same way I'd pick a ski instructor - experience!
post #11 of 47
My opto has said the same thing about sharpness even at distance. so if you need very sharp vision, Lasik is not the way to go. Glasses and contacts are a better solution. Sharp shooters, Target sports, QA inspectors and stuff like that suffer from loss of sharpness. For the General public and for most sports where "Sharp" focus/vision is not a requirement I understand the surgery is fantastic.
Like JohnH though, experience makes a big difference.

My opto wears glasses and refers to a Lasik center and even has stock in visx, but has declined to do his own eyes because he prefers the sharp focus to the slight blurring or soft focus that comes with Lasik..
post #12 of 47

What your opto is talking about is loss of best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) (i.e. the best acuity that you can achieve even with lenses). This is a known complication of LASIK but only 2-5% of people lose more than two lines of BCVA i.e. it isn't the norm. These people may very well have better visual acuity WITHOUT glasses than they did preoperatively without glasses, but their postop acuity WITH glasses won't be as good as their preop acuity with glasses. Of course I'd agree with you that there are some people who absolutely cannot afford to take that risk (and the risk of nighttime glare/halos, loss of contrast sensitivity, etc.) and would rather use glasses. However most people will find this an acceptable risk to take since it doesn't happen to >=95% of people who undergo LASIK.

And no, I don't have any visx stock


post #13 of 47
My Opto said it's more like 10% lose at least 1 or 2 lines.
And like I mentioned even then for most people that's acceptable. Considering the gain of vision without glasses but as I mentioned in an earlier post, I'm a "lucky guy" that seems to have dodged that bullet for now. 20-25 non corrected vision. My whole family wears glasses. I guess I'll be in trouble when my arms start to get shorter.
post #14 of 47
Not yet, but I'm thinking about it.<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Stevie Wonder (edited May 07, 2001).]</FONT>
post #15 of 47
I heard an interesting tidbit the other day that mountain climbers who have had LASIK start to go blind above a certain altitude (above what anyone might normally ski- i.e. Everest and such). Their sight returns when they come back down.

Has anyone else heard this or is it just a wives tale?
post #16 of 47

This definitely happens with people who have had radial keratotomy, an older type of refractive surgery that consisted of making several radial incisions in the cornea. They don't really go blind but they become significantly farsighted (see http://www.slackinc.com/eye/jrs/vol134/creel.htm ). This is thought to be due primarily to lower oxygen tension.

Apparently people who have had LASIK may become nearsighted at high altitude though the study that I saw only used simulated low-oxygen conditions, not actual high altitude, so take it with a grain of salt: http://www.optoday.com/news/news432.asp
post #17 of 47
I had the procedure done in Nov '00. It was quick, painless and immediate recovery (work next day, ski after 7days). Within 48 hrs my vision was better than I had with glasses on. I had very mild dry eyes upon waking for 1st 30days. It is fine now. I would say to anyone eligible that is considering it that it is life-changing.

I also heard about the RK altitude issues, and thought it was pressure related. Someone else warned me that removal of tissue necessary for the laser correction could compromise the integrity of yer eyeballs at varying atmospheric pressure (high altitude). Eye Surgeon said not true; procedure is approved for Navy and USAF fighter pilots who regularly undergo pressure extremes many times that of high altitude climbing/skiing.
post #18 of 47
Thread Starter 
I had not heard about the altitude thing. But I wonder about the additional exposure to UV light and glare in the mountains. I wear my sunglasses a lot as they are sensitive to the sun, not no more so than with contacts. To help protect my eyes I have also been taking a caretonoid anti-oxidant supplement which is excellent for eye health, it has natural extract from spinach, broccoli, eggs and I guess carrots. I was taking it for its anti-oxidant properties for the whole body, but studies have shown that long term supplementation can reduce occurence of glaucoma, and help eyes fight the free radicals of UV etc. My optician is amazed at how well my eyes healed so I am womdering if the caretonids had anything to do with it. They are all natural so I'll keep taking them just in case. You only have one set of eyes.....
post #19 of 47
hey All. My hubby is planning on having lasik in about a week. They told him that he could not do any water sports for 2 weeks. we are trying to plan a scuba trip do you think a week would do it or do you really need a full 2 weeks.
post #20 of 47
I would not take the chance of a scuba trip. Beside the healing process (water sport) you have to remember that there are a lot of pressure changes in the eyes when scuba diving. I think if you asked the lasik center about flying after laser surgery it would be even longer. Diving to 15ft is like coming from 6000 ft alt to sea level in a few seconds.
post #21 of 47
thanks dchan, he was able to move up his procedure. Now we are trying for the lodge reservation. http://www.jaguarreef.com/index.html

Last minute travel plans you know.
post #22 of 47
Good thinking Kima.

I assume you mean the surgery moved farther in to the future. I'm envious. I want to dive the tropics sometime. Good luck and good diving...
post #23 of 47
Thread Starter 

My surgeon said no swimming for 3 weeks, and no contact sports for 3 months. Another clinic said 2 weeks. I agree with th eother bears in that the pressure would me more of an issue.

I have been diving twice in the tropics inFiji, absolutely awesome. I am not certified, a one hour lesson in the swimming pool is all they require in Fiji. Enjoy............
post #24 of 47
Thanks Dchan hopefully it will all come together, just waiting on flights now.

2kiwis: After that your weren't hooked on diving? Get certified, a little more training would be a good idea. Actually you had more training than I did. My first dive was in the Bahamas 20 years ago. They just put a bunch of weights on me and hurled me over the side. I fell in love, cried when we had to leave.
post #25 of 47
Thread Starter 
Kima, I thought about getting certified, but my husband burst his ear drum a while back so he can't dive. It would be a good sport if we could both do it. He got very envious in Fiji, he could only snorkel around and watch me below.

Plus the waters around where I live are very cold and we have great white sharks cruising by , I would not want to dive at home. The sharks only seem to bite the surfers, but you never know. Local fisherman have had great whites cruise by that are longer than their boats, making them bigger than Jaws.
post #26 of 47
yikes! Sorry about your hubby, I probably would not dive if mine did not love it also.
post #27 of 47
Wow, great discussion and very helpful -- I'm currently debating whether to do Lasik. My biggest concern (before hearing about the altitude issue) was that we have no way of knowing how the scar tissue will heal or what kind of complications it may have 20 to 30 years after the procedure since the procedure is so new. But the testimonials of those who have done it are consistently so positive. Hmmmm.
post #28 of 47
Most of my time is at Loveland. Altitude is between 10K & 12K feet. Had lasik last July. No problem with altitude. Correction to 20/15. I needed reading glasses before, and do now. Was over corrected for a few months.

post #29 of 47
Has anyone undergone the corneal ring segment refractivy surgery? See http://www.kellogg.umich.edu/patient...earingseg.html for specifics. This seems like an intriguing option since it is very flexable and less invasive than any other proceedure that I have seen. It also seems to permit later changes in the ring size/shape to fine tune the result.
post #30 of 47
I had Lasik in April of 1999. The results have been excellant. After 30 years of soft contact wear I had gotten to the point where my ability to wear the lenses was limited. There have been no issues with either altitude or night vision.

One major consideration is the experience of the surgeon performing the procedure. Prior to my surgery one of my clients (an opththalmologist) strongly suggeted that a surgeon needs a minimum of 300 procedures before the complication rate declines. My surgeon had performed over 4,000.

Additionaly, my surgeon indicated the mono vision procedure, which would have eliminated the need for reading glasses, be avoided by anybody who deals in an environment where depth perception is important.

All in all I would highly recommend the procedure.
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