Author Topic: Lasik Eye Surgery  (Read 11841 times)

BBub

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Lasik Eye Surgery
« on: April 11, 2016, 09:17:01 AM »
Hello Mustachians,

I recently scheduled a LASIK consultation for my SO.  I would appreciate any advice, opinions or feedback on this procedure.  For those who have had the procedure, was it worthwhile?

DW is nearsighted & has a difficult time reading signs, driving at night, etc.  She has glasses but rarely wears them.  I am concerned for her safety while driving at night, but mostly I just want her to be able to see the world clearly. 

I've spoken with the doctors office.  The process:

1. Free consultation to educate her on the procedure / answer questions.
2. $150 evaluation / screening / test to determine whether she is a candidate.
3. Surgery $2,250 per eye ($4,500 for the pair).
« Last Edit: April 11, 2016, 11:02:50 AM by BBub »

charis

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Re: Lasik Eye Surgery
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2016, 09:28:37 AM »
I had it done in January, but my nearsightedness was extreme - things were blurry within a foot away,  If I only had to wear glasses for driving, I would not have had the surgery. 

boarder42

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Re: Lasik Eye Surgery
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2016, 09:33:52 AM »
i had it done almost 10 years ago.  its totally worth it.  my left eye however is getting progressively worse and will need to be redone in the next 5 years i think.

ditheca

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Re: Lasik Eye Surgery
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2016, 09:34:08 AM »
I did LASIK ten years ago, and got unusually good results (I still see far better than perfect).

Having since done more research since then on the topic, I'd recommend looking into PRK. It is a similar surgery with a longer recovery time, but reduced chance of long-term problems.  At least at my surgeon, the cost is the same.

DW is scheduled for PRK next week!

ooeei

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Re: Lasik Eye Surgery
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2016, 09:42:38 AM »
I did LASIK ten years ago, and got unusually good results (I still see far better than perfect).

Having since done more research since then on the topic, I'd recommend looking into PRK. It is a similar surgery with a longer recovery time, but reduced chance of long-term problems.  At least at my surgeon, the cost is the same.

DW is scheduled for PRK next week!

I second looking into PRK.  I got Lasik around 5 years ago, and am back down to about 20/40 vision (for the first year I was around 20/15 and 20/20).  It's still way better than when I went in (around 20/200 I think), but I'm at the point where I'm considering wearing glasses again.  I've also had some dry eye issues, nothing too extreme, but during certain seasons I use a lot of artificial tears and always carry redness reducing drops with me. 

If I had to do it again, I'm not sure if I would.  If not for the dry eyes I'd be really ecstatic about it even with the 20/40 vision.  As is I traded the inconvenience of contacts/glasses with the inconvenience of dry eyes.  I'm hoping getting away from a desk job in ER will help someday.

On the plus side, if I get dropped on a desert island I'd rather have dry eyes than not be able to see.

Senor Smallchange Soulpatch

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Re: Lasik Eye Surgery
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2016, 09:51:55 AM »
I had mine done 13 years ago.   Out of all of the things I've spent significant money on in my life this is literally the one that I never had a single second of buyer's remorse on.  I paid about $5k all-in (in 2003 dollars, obviously).

I was something like 20/400 nearsighted (i.e. completely non-functional) without corrective lenses and I sat up from the operating table with perfect vision.  Had to sleep with some mildly uncomfortable goggles on for a couple nights, needed drops every few hours for a couple weeks, and from then on zero issues.

FWIW, your SO sounds nearsighted, not farsighted.  If you're farsighted, your distance vision is OK but you have trouble with things close-in, like reading or computer screens.  Maybe the state of the art has advanced in the last 13 years, but back in ought-three surgically correcting farsightedness was dicey at best, whereas correcting even relatively extreme nearsightedness is fairly straightforward.


SKL-HOU

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Re: Lasik Eye Surgery
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2016, 10:13:46 AM »
I had mine done 14 years ago in my original country for about $500 (total). It was a very experienced doctor. I haven't had any issues. I was near-sighted with astigmatism. It was the best decision I have ever made.

antarestar

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Re: Lasik Eye Surgery
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2016, 10:32:33 AM »
I had PRK about 5 years ago.

Before, my vision was so bad I couldn't even see the Big E. After, I still wear glasses but I can function without them, which was my goal.

Recovery period for PRK sucks. Seriously sucks. It doesn't hurt but it is irritating. Like imagine you have fine grit in your eyes for weeks.

That being said, I would do it again but only if my vision was as bad as it used to be. I'm probably not going to do it again with my vision now.

charis

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Re: Lasik Eye Surgery
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2016, 10:41:27 AM »
Also, she will lose the ability to see things close up and will likely have to wearing reading glasses earlier.

mm1970

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Re: Lasik Eye Surgery
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2016, 10:45:03 AM »
I did LASIK ten years ago, and got unusually good results (I still see far better than perfect).

Having since done more research since then on the topic, I'd recommend looking into PRK. It is a similar surgery with a longer recovery time, but reduced chance of long-term problems.  At least at my surgeon, the cost is the same.

DW is scheduled for PRK next week!
I went in for a LASIK consultation and turns out my corneas are too thin.  I could do PRK if I wanted.  Sadly, the recovery time was too long at the time.  I have two kids, one of them was 2 at the time, and I can't imagine 2 weeks off work where I couldnt' do much of anything.  This year kids are older but still, I've used all of my PTO for sick time.

markbrynn

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Re: Lasik Eye Surgery
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2016, 10:53:12 AM »
I had LASEK about 5 years ago. Very happy with the results. To correct (at least from my experience) the statement made by an earlier poster about recovery "sucking," it was pretty uncomfortable for about 24-36 hours. I kept my eyes closed most of the time and slept, listened to radio/TV. There was minor pain/discomfort from moving eye around while it healed. There was also pretty significant light sensitivity (difficulty looking at a computer screen of any type) for about a week. So, in my experience, it was a bit uncomfortable, but nothing like "grit in your eyes for weeks."

My overall summary, very glad I did it. No more glasses, contacts, solutions, etc. No problems with rain, fogging up, playing sports, etc.

Cassie

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Re: Lasik Eye Surgery
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2016, 11:02:41 AM »
Although in general people are satisfied with the results some times things go bad. I worked for an agency that included SErvices to the Blind and we would see the clients where things went wrong. They would come in for retraining etc because they could no longer do their jobs. Occasionally it was due to the surgery. One person had double vision all the time, one person was legally blind, etc.  I would only do one eye at a time so if something goes wrong you still have one good eye.  Within a few years most people need reading glasses so it is most effective for distance vision.

bobechs

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Re: Lasik Eye Surgery
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2016, 11:09:06 AM »

On the plus side, if I get dropped on a desert island I'd rather have dry eyes than not be able to see.


If I get dropped on a desert island, I'd rather have an EPIRB than LASIK.

BBub

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Re: Lasik Eye Surgery
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2016, 11:10:06 AM »
Thanks for feedback & corrections.  Original post modified to reflect that DW is nearsighted - not farsighted.

Most responses range from "best thing ever" to "not perfect, but it was worthwhile & I'd probably do it again".

Also, we will look into PRK.

This is helpful.  I've been reading up via the web, but most of the info out there seems to either be glowing testimonials probably paid for with LASIK marketing dollars, or horror stories likely funded by trial lawyers.

Also, she will lose the ability to see things close up and will likely have to wearing reading glasses earlier.

Jezebel - Can you elaborate?  Is it common for nearsighted patients to lost the ability to see things close up after Lasik?

Is there anyone else here who was nearsighted, had the surgery & lost the ability to see things close up?
« Last Edit: April 11, 2016, 11:12:13 AM by BBub »

Cassie

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Re: Lasik Eye Surgery
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2016, 11:13:11 AM »
Most people that I know that had it done need reading glasses within a few years.

Travis

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Re: Lasik Eye Surgery
« Reply #15 on: April 11, 2016, 11:18:42 AM »
I had PRK done 10 years ago.  I went from 20/200 to 20/20 in both eyes.  The biggest catch after the procedure is my eyes dry out very easily so I have to stay hydrated.  It was painful for the first few days, but after a massive regimen of medicine eye drops for a month I went from nearly blind right after the surgery to my current quality. 

ooeei

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Re: Lasik Eye Surgery
« Reply #16 on: April 11, 2016, 11:31:38 AM »
Thanks for feedback & corrections.  Original post modified to reflect that DW is nearsighted - not farsighted.

Most responses range from "best thing ever" to "not perfect, but it was worthwhile & I'd probably do it again".

Also, we will look into PRK.

This is helpful.  I've been reading up via the web, but most of the info out there seems to either be glowing testimonials probably paid for with LASIK marketing dollars, or horror stories likely funded by trial lawyers.

Also, she will lose the ability to see things close up and will likely have to wearing reading glasses earlier.

Jezebel - Can you elaborate?  Is it common for nearsighted patients to lost the ability to see things close up after Lasik?

Is there anyone else here who was nearsighted, had the surgery & lost the ability to see things close up?

I don't think a side effect is losing near sight.  Lasik does NOT prevent age related vision deterioration, however, which is often your up close vision.  If you're in your 40s and get lasik, it won't prevent you from needing reading glasses in a few years (if that runs in your family).  Basically it only corrects what you currently have going on with your vision, it doesn't prevent future deterioration.

I imagine the people who needed reading glasses a few years after the surgery would have needed them anyway, and it's a coincidence they got lasik beforehand.

James

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Re: Lasik Eye Surgery
« Reply #17 on: April 11, 2016, 11:42:10 AM »
Got corrected about 10 years ago, love it. Might need a revision in the next few years which is fine. Same with my wife, her vision was worse and now she wears glasses again, but just for a minor correction so it's not a big deal like her old glasses were.

Yes, it might mean reading glasses earlier, but talk to the doctor about your actual circumstance. There isn't a hard and fast rule about these things. For me it would be absolutely worth it to have reading glasses sooner, but others may differ. And yes there are risks, there are always risks. Minimize risks by going to a doctor that has done many thousands and you should be fine. Most complications happen early when the doctor is learning the procedure. So ask how many he/she has done and verify he is doing the actual procedure, not someone else training to do it.

This is one purchase I have never regretted, another was buying a good camera when the kids were little even though it cost what seemed a fortune back then. It's easy to get caught up on buying "good" things, there are very few major purchases I've had completely positive results with, but this is one of them.

charis

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Re: Lasik Eye Surgery
« Reply #18 on: April 11, 2016, 01:11:54 PM »
Thanks for feedback & corrections.  Original post modified to reflect that DW is nearsighted - not farsighted.

Most responses range from "best thing ever" to "not perfect, but it was worthwhile & I'd probably do it again".

Also, we will look into PRK.

This is helpful.  I've been reading up via the web, but most of the info out there seems to either be glowing testimonials probably paid for with LASIK marketing dollars, or horror stories likely funded by trial lawyers.

Also, she will lose the ability to see things close up and will likely have to wearing reading glasses earlier.

Jezebel - Can you elaborate?  Is it common for nearsighted patients to lost the ability to see things close up after Lasik?

Is there anyone else here who was nearsighted, had the surgery & lost the ability to see things close up?

I don't think a side effect is losing near sight.  Lasik does NOT prevent age related vision deterioration, however, which is often your up close vision.  If you're in your 40s and get lasik, it won't prevent you from needing reading glasses in a few years (if that runs in your family).  Basically it only corrects what you currently have going on with your vision, it doesn't prevent future deterioration.

I imagine the people who needed reading glasses a few years after the surgery would have needed them anyway, and it's a coincidence they got lasik beforehand.

I am saying that it is a side effect because that was my personal experience.  And it is certainly not a coincidence.  I could see very well super close up, but now I cannot focus on things that are too close to my face.  I am well under 40 and if this is any indication, I will probably need reading glasses sooner than I probably would have.  Reading glasses do not run in my family.  I have no idea how common this is, but I had the surgery in January, so maybe it will improve.

Also, my doctor specifically told me and everyone at the info seminar that if you are at least 40 when you get the surgery, you may need reading glasses afterwards, due to the surgery, not because of normal aging.  LASIK correction of nearsightedness reduces the ability to focus as well close up - particularly for older people.

meandmyfamily

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Re: Lasik Eye Surgery
« Reply #19 on: April 11, 2016, 01:20:42 PM »
I got mine done 7 years ago and it has been so worth it!  I highly recommend it!  I paid $3,000 for both eyes which includes any touch-ups as needed.  I haven't needed any so far.

Meowmalade

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Re: Lasik Eye Surgery
« Reply #20 on: April 11, 2016, 01:38:50 PM »
Is there anyone else here who was nearsighted, had the surgery & lost the ability to see things close up?

I was very nearsighted (-9 contacts for both eyes) and got PRK about a year ago.  I used to joke that I had a superpower which was the ability to see every detail for things that were inches away, which meant that I could see every pore and errant hair on my husband's face  ;)  Now I can't focus closer than about 6 inches, but losing the superpower was completely worth getting crisp normal sight!

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Lasik Eye Surgery
« Reply #21 on: April 11, 2016, 01:40:27 PM »
Had it done 14 years ago.  Went from something like 20/500 (!) to 20/20.  The past few years it has degraded to 20/40 or so, I'm guessing, and I'm going to ask the eye doctor about a touchup when I have an appointment in the near future.

I haven't experienced dry eyes, but night vision is not completely improved--there's still some "starburst" kinda stuff when looking at headlights while driving down the highway.

But 100% worth it.

Fred2004

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Re: Lasik Eye Surgery
« Reply #22 on: April 11, 2016, 01:51:52 PM »
I had it done almost about 8 yrs ago.  I haven't been to the eye dr. lately but I was 20/10 same day after surgery and a year later...I still get halos, but I bet a pair of glasses would help at night (like shooting glasses)

I couldn't tell my eyes were dry but had to do drops for 6 months to year after...I guess my eyes don't close all the way when I sleep?

I need to get a check up but it was totally worth it except for the dry eye thing, I'm hoping it lasts another 10 yrs or more!

She may not be a candidate, I know a lot of women who wanted to do it around the time I did, and their corneas were not thick enough, so it may not even be an option (I spent around $3-4k on it through my FSA)

It's really good for people who are ACTIVE IMO...I run, bike, swim, surf, climb...so it's nice to be able to see w/out specs during those activities (I still wear sunglasses)

ketchup

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Re: Lasik Eye Surgery
« Reply #23 on: April 11, 2016, 02:19:35 PM »
Although in general people are satisfied with the results some times things go bad. I worked for an agency that included SErvices to the Blind and we would see the clients where things went wrong. They would come in for retraining etc because they could no longer do their jobs. Occasionally it was due to the surgery. One person had double vision all the time, one person was legally blind, etc.  I would only do one eye at a time so if something goes wrong you still have one good eye.  Within a few years most people need reading glasses so it is most effective for distance vision.
My parents are both optometrists and would never recommend LASIK to anyone.  Better to need glasses than to have your vision potentially permanently damaged further.  I don't know the specifics but they also mentioned a lack of long-term studies (the process hasn't been around for all that long).  When I tell people that, they joke about "job security" but my parents are serious.

I wear glasses with a pretty mild prescription and can function without them (-0.75 in one eye, +1.50 in the other) so it's not something I would consider anyway at this point.

I do know four people that have had LASIK done and seemed pleased with it.  Three of them about two years ago and the other about eight years ago.

Gondolin

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Re: Lasik Eye Surgery
« Reply #24 on: April 11, 2016, 02:28:21 PM »
Father got lasik about 10 years ago. Says it was the best decision of his life. Went from -8 prescription to 20/20. Wears reading glasses now (current age 56).

GF had lasik 2 years ago. Went from -6 prescription to 20/20. No complications (current age 24).

I'm going in for surgery on Friday. My vision is not particularly bad (-2.25 prescription) but, it would be great to ditch the glasses.

It's odd that they charge for the candidacy examination. Most places I've looked at do the evaluations for free.

Abe

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Re: Lasik Eye Surgery
« Reply #25 on: April 11, 2016, 02:43:55 PM »
I can provide some data to help guide your decision.
The most common type of corrective eye surgery, LASIK, has a extremely low serious complication rate (<0.01%) but have a moderate (1-5%) minor complication rate such as dry eyes, need for early re-operation, and its effects are not permanent. Patients with worse vision at baseline will have higher complication rates, so an exact percentage is difficult to provide. There is, in fact, good long term data that your ophthalmologist should provide based on your vision. Complications leading to blindness are less common with modern corrective systems, but private clinics may not have the most updated equipment. Ask your ophthalmologist about that too.

My opinion is that the procedure is usually cosmetic (there are non-cosmetic reasons to perform corrective surgery), benefits are not worth the complication risks for me (career-ending if serious) and thus I would not have it performed. If your field is very eyesight dependent, I'd caution against it. In the end, like all cosmetic surgery, it's a risk-benefit analysis that your physician should help with.

Guses

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Re: Lasik Eye Surgery
« Reply #26 on: April 11, 2016, 02:58:57 PM »
I had PRK done a while ago because I did not like the idea of my eyes being sliced open and my cornea hanging on by, quite literally, a tiny piece of eye.

Even years after a LASIK operation, it is still very easy to dislodge the "flap".

PRK was the best 300$ I ever spent (seriously paid that much).

shuffler

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Re: Lasik Eye Surgery
« Reply #27 on: April 11, 2016, 03:15:07 PM »

charis

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Re: Lasik Eye Surgery
« Reply #28 on: April 12, 2016, 07:28:58 AM »
Is there anyone else here who was nearsighted, had the surgery & lost the ability to see things close up?

I was very nearsighted (-9 contacts for both eyes) and got PRK about a year ago.  I used to joke that I had a superpower which was the ability to see every detail for things that were inches away, which meant that I could see every pore and errant hair on my husband's face  ;)  Now I can't focus closer than about 6 inches, but losing the superpower was completely worth getting crisp normal sight!

+1  My sight was in the -5 area.

meghan88

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Re: Lasik Eye Surgery
« Reply #29 on: April 12, 2016, 07:48:53 AM »
My sister and I are terribly nearsighted.

She got cataract surgery and her vision is almost perfect as a result - she says it's the best thing that ever happened to her.

Anyone else have that?  Is it basically the same as Lasik?

mm1970

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Re: Lasik Eye Surgery
« Reply #30 on: April 12, 2016, 10:20:41 AM »
Although in general people are satisfied with the results some times things go bad. I worked for an agency that included SErvices to the Blind and we would see the clients where things went wrong. They would come in for retraining etc because they could no longer do their jobs. Occasionally it was due to the surgery. One person had double vision all the time, one person was legally blind, etc.  I would only do one eye at a time so if something goes wrong you still have one good eye.  Within a few years most people need reading glasses so it is most effective for distance vision.
My parents are both optometrists and would never recommend LASIK to anyone.  Better to need glasses than to have your vision potentially permanently damaged further.  I don't know the specifics but they also mentioned a lack of long-term studies (the process hasn't been around for all that long).  When I tell people that, they joke about "job security" but my parents are serious.

I wear glasses with a pretty mild prescription and can function without them (-0.75 in one eye, +1.50 in the other) so it's not something I would consider anyway at this point.

I do know four people that have had LASIK done and seemed pleased with it.  Three of them about two years ago and the other about eight years ago.
My eyes are along the lines of 20/400 and 20/500.  One reason why I finally asked about LASIK was I found myself in my early 40's, heading to the water park and the beach a lot, because I had kids late in life.  I have prescription swim goggles, but it's a pain, especially to wear them around a water park.

I don't mind wearing glasses the rest of the time because, well, I've been wearing them since I was 9, and now I'm almost 46.  Of course, now I need progressives (that's on my list of things to do this week).

lilactree

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Re: Lasik Eye Surgery
« Reply #31 on: April 12, 2016, 10:30:34 AM »
I had it done 6-7 years ago in a developing country where I speak the language, for much cheaper than here in the USA (even factoring airfare), at a good eye hospital. I have been very happy with it.

If I were to do it over again I would make sure to watch them do it on someone else first (either live or a video), because I didn't think to ask whether they do one eye, stop, prepare, and then do the second eye. They did one eye and then immediately moved on to the next eye. I'm someone who has to psyche herself up to stay still, so this freaked me out slightly and I flinched, so they had to stop and start over again on that eye. No harm done, I just had some redness that went away on its own. Good thing I paid a little extra to have them use a laser rather than a blade; if it had been the latter, we would have had to wait 6 months to finish up on that second eye.

Also, the doctor had explained that there were 3 options: blade, laser and custom. Custom is the most expensive and what a fancy place in the US had suggested to me. This doctor told me that since my eyeball shape is pretty standard, the only difference custom would make would be for me to give him more money. So he suggested either blade or laser, with laser being more forgiving if you have to stop for some reason and start over (which ended up happening, lol!).

Recovery was no big deal (and I did have a very nice friend coming into my room with my eyedrops at the appointed times while I napped that day) and I went out to dinner that night with just some blurriness. By that night I was looking across the living room at the wall clock with no difficulty! I was fortunate to have a great experience for a relatively low price. I should disclose that I am overdue for an eye checkup, but as far as I am aware, there haven't been any problems so far.


ohana

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Re: Lasik Eye Surgery
« Reply #32 on: April 12, 2016, 10:34:12 AM »
I had lasik in 2000, and it changed my life.  Being able to see -- truly see -- was a revelation.  I hadn't realized that even with proper corrective lenses, a person's understanding of the space around them is warped.  Once I could see without lenses, I realized I was much better at anything that involved eye-hand coordination.  I could judge distance better and understand space around me better.  Plus working on boats was way easier, since salt spray didn't get all over my glasses.     

I spent the big bucks and had mine done at the Duke Eye Hospital.  They're the ones who fix all the bad lasiks people get at malls, so I figured they were the ones to start with.  The surgeon told me a story of someone who had their eye dislodged from its socket in an accident, but the flaps were still holding on tight, so I didn't worry too much about those flaps. 

I did have a corona at night for about a year.  Be sure to understand the side effects, and realize she will still eventually get presbyopia like the rest of us.  Otherwise, I enthusiastically recommend it.

goldensam

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Re: Lasik Eye Surgery
« Reply #33 on: April 12, 2016, 10:34:48 AM »
I had LASIK in 2012. I was near-sighted with astigmatism in both eyes. I have been very happy with the results. At my last eye exam in 2015, I was 20/15 in both eyes.

Spork

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Re: Lasik Eye Surgery
« Reply #34 on: April 12, 2016, 10:45:12 AM »
My sister and I are terribly nearsighted.

She got cataract surgery and her vision is almost perfect as a result - she says it's the best thing that ever happened to her.

Anyone else have that?  Is it basically the same as Lasik?

Cataract surgery is usually an actual lens replacement.  It's a little more invasive, but it's been around for a really long time.  My understanding with Lasik (and I could be wrong) is that it is a constantly changing field.  The machine costs a metric ton of money and doctors generally have to go from one-on-one care to cattle call care in order to pay for it.  Once it's paid for, you have to get another machine to be competitive. Wash, rinse, repeat.

I grew up in a "medical family".  We were always advised to
1) never fear / always embrace surgical procedures when required
2) never have surgery that isn't absolutely required.
3) never trust a doctor (or lawyer or accountant...) that advertises.  Good doctors have more work than they can do.  (I am sure there are Lasik docs that DON'T advertise.  But holy crap, it would be hard to find them amongst the chaff.)

For those reasons, I avoided it always even though I was blind-as-a-bat.  Glasses/contact lenses worked fine for me and I had no ill effects from them.

Cassie

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Re: Lasik Eye Surgery
« Reply #35 on: April 12, 2016, 11:16:33 AM »
Spork you are so right. Every surgery/procedure has risks and no sense in taking them unless you have too.

Guses

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Re: Lasik Eye Surgery
« Reply #36 on: April 13, 2016, 10:08:02 AM »
I grew up in a "medical family".  We were always advised to
1) never fear / always embrace surgical procedures when required
2) never have surgery that isn't absolutely required.
3) never trust a doctor (or lawyer or accountant...) that advertises.  Good doctors have more work than they can do.  (I am sure there are Lasik docs that DON'T advertise.  But holy crap, it would be hard to find them amongst the chaff.)

"When required"/"absolutely required" is very subjective.

If you go back far enough, people with broken limbs that healed wrong made do with a cane and a weird gait. Nobody today would actually settle for that as there is a relatively risk free medical procedure to fix this. Yet, this is not "absolutely required" either.

Millions of people have had corrective eye surgery since it was introduced. There are only a handful (I know of only 2) of cases where the patients ended up blind as a result and very few cases where the person is worse off than before. As medical procedures go, that is an incredibly safe surgery!
   




pbkmaine

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Lasik Eye Surgery
« Reply #37 on: April 13, 2016, 10:23:44 AM »
I delayed eye correction surgery for years. For so long that I developed early cataracts, quite common in extremely nearsighted people. The surgery I had was entirely covered by insurance and involved implanting new lenses.

The right eye got a distance lens and the left an intermediate lens, which gives me 20/20 at 18 inches. This is called mono vision, and not every brain is able to adjust to it. The ophthalmologist had me wear contact lenses to test the mono vision before deciding on it.

My vision is now excellent for the first time in my life. I do wear reading glasses to sew, do my nails, and read extremely fine print, but can get along fine without them.

The ONLY downside to the experience is that I look better in glasses! I have bags under my eyes, and always wore glasses to conceal them.


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MishMash

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Re: Lasik Eye Surgery
« Reply #38 on: April 13, 2016, 10:35:17 AM »
We have both PRK and LASIK in our house.  DH had PRK courtesy of the military, severely painful recovery, he was out for about a week, first few days of stupid pain.  I had LASIK 5 years ago, one eye had to be re adjusted to get me down to match my other eye (one was 20/15 other was 20/30 post surgery and it was screwing with me) but I wouldn't have changed it for the world.  I frankly think it's teh BEST thing I have ever spent money on.  No more glasses, no more contacts, for the first time since I can remember I can just SEE something.  I was back at work later that day, zero pain from the procedure.  They did have to like quadruple dose me on the XANAX prior to the procedure to get me to sit still enough. 

The best part...no more waking up in the morning, going to reach for my glasses, only to realize the cat stole them again.  This was usually followed by blind groping for contacts and praying not to walk into a wall...then spending a few hours looking for said glasses, which were usually someplace random, like in the bath tub....fucking cat.

Spork

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Re: Lasik Eye Surgery
« Reply #39 on: April 13, 2016, 10:37:39 AM »
I grew up in a "medical family".  We were always advised to
1) never fear / always embrace surgical procedures when required
2) never have surgery that isn't absolutely required.
3) never trust a doctor (or lawyer or accountant...) that advertises.  Good doctors have more work than they can do.  (I am sure there are Lasik docs that DON'T advertise.  But holy crap, it would be hard to find them amongst the chaff.)

"When required"/"absolutely required" is very subjective.

If you go back far enough, people with broken limbs that healed wrong made do with a cane and a weird gait. Nobody today would actually settle for that as there is a relatively risk free medical procedure to fix this. Yet, this is not "absolutely required" either.

Millions of people have had corrective eye surgery since it was introduced. There are only a handful (I know of only 2) of cases where the patients ended up blind as a result and very few cases where the person is worse off than before. As medical procedures go, that is an incredibly safe surgery!
   

When required *is* subjective.  But personally, I have been able to solve pretty awful vision with glasses/contacts.  I'd say not required.

It is *really* hard to find good data on Lasik outcome.  You find mostly 2 things: People advertising for Lasik (avoid them!) and kind of nut-case sites pretty much telling you you're gonna die.  And it's a hard thing to measure, because Lasik technology has been changing ever since its inception.   It's hard to get long term, non biased data on a procedure that is continually evolving.

If you look at Consumer Reports on Lasik (http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2013/02/lasik-eye-surgery/index.htm) they say that about 80% of people are "satisfied" and that about 66% of people still have to wear glasses after surgery.  In my book, that speaks volumes.  Your mileage may vary. 

I once read a very long and detailed expose written by an ophthalmologist that was published in a medical journal.  I cannot for the life of me find it now, but it was a good read and explained why she stopped doing it and went in depth of her opinion of the industry.  Again, with rapidly evolving procedures, even that expose might no longer be valid.

I am really amazed at the number of ophthalmologists I've talked to that recommend against the procedure.  I think that is telling as well.

Guses

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Re: Lasik Eye Surgery
« Reply #40 on: April 13, 2016, 10:52:49 AM »
Yeah, it depends on your vision. If you only need glasses sometimes, it is one thing. If you need them all the time, it is quite the handicap.

@Spork

You should delve a bit more into contact lenses and their long term risks. When comparing risks of a surgery (which are mostly infection related) versus wearing contacts every day for years, I think the surgery might be safer in that regard.

esq

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Re: Lasik Eye Surgery
« Reply #41 on: April 13, 2016, 11:46:54 AM »
Is there anyone else here who was nearsighted, had the surgery & lost the ability to see things close up?

I was very nearsighted (-9 contacts for both eyes) and got PRK about a year ago.  I used to joke that I had a superpower which was the ability to see every detail for things that were inches away, which meant that I could see every pore and errant hair on my husband's face  ;)  Now I can't focus closer than about 6 inches, but losing the superpower was completely worth getting crisp normal sight!

-8.00 (seeing far with right eye) and -6.50 (reading with left eye) here.  I call what you describe my evil eye.  I take a contact out to pull out the tiniest splinter literally one inch from my eye, or examine closely other things.  I can clearly see the tiny flaws of the diamond in my wedding ring.  Just now I'm remembering how I'd take them out so I could gaze at the breathtaking detail of my babies' tiny perfect little faces.  If you've never experienced this, you won't know what I'm talking about.  Of course, the downside is you're blind as a bat LOL.  Someone once told me this is a Jewish thing, and that's why Jews are so often jewelers.

The cost of LASIK is way out of my budget, so I'm just happy with my contacts and occasional evil eye.

charis

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Re: Lasik Eye Surgery
« Reply #42 on: April 13, 2016, 11:51:19 AM »
I started wearing contacts in middle school, and I wore them poorly for YEARS (esp. college) do to my immaturity.  For the five past years leading up to my surgery, I couldn't wear contacts for any length of time comfortably - I had to wear glasses constantly, even while jogging in the rain.  I am glad that I am not in that position anymore.

The superpower vision is great for staring at babies :)

MishMash

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Re: Lasik Eye Surgery
« Reply #43 on: April 13, 2016, 12:16:33 PM »
Thanks for feedback & corrections.  Original post modified to reflect that DW is nearsighted - not farsighted.

Most responses range from "best thing ever" to "not perfect, but it was worthwhile & I'd probably do it again".

Also, we will look into PRK.

This is helpful.  I've been reading up via the web, but most of the info out there seems to either be glowing testimonials probably paid for with LASIK marketing dollars, or horror stories likely funded by trial lawyers.

Also, she will lose the ability to see things close up and will likely have to wearing reading glasses earlier.

Jezebel - Can you elaborate?  Is it common for nearsighted patients to lost the ability to see things close up after Lasik?

Is there anyone else here who was nearsighted, had the surgery & lost the ability to see things close up?

I had it done, didn't effect my ability to see things close up, I can still read the inside carat markings on jewelry with ease, I'd say it's "slightly" more difficult, but I'm also older now as well.  It's a fractional change and I"m talking about like 2-3 pt font.  Regular reading etc, not an issue.

Mr. Green

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Re: Lasik Eye Surgery
« Reply #44 on: April 13, 2016, 12:52:28 PM »
I had mine done 13 years ago.   Out of all of the things I've spent significant money on in my life this is literally the one that I never had a single second of buyer's remorse on.  I paid about $5k all-in (in 2003 dollars, obviously).

I was something like 20/400 nearsighted (i.e. completely non-functional) without corrective lenses and I sat up from the operating table with perfect vision.  Had to sleep with some mildly uncomfortable goggles on for a couple nights, needed drops every few hours for a couple weeks, and from then on zero issues.
I will second this. As someone who had to spend every waking second wearing contacts or glasses, lasik was priceless, though I doubt I would have spent that kind of money for 20/40 vision.

BTDretire

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Re: Lasik Eye Surgery
« Reply #45 on: April 13, 2016, 01:13:30 PM »
Yeah, it depends on your vision. If you only need glasses sometimes, it is one thing. If you need them all the time, it is quite the handicap.

@Spork

You should delve a bit more into contact lenses and their long term risks. When comparing risks of a surgery (which are mostly infection related) versus wearing contacts every day for years, I think the surgery might be safer in that regard.

 I've worn contacts for over 15 years, 4.5 and 5.25. I also wear a 2 diopter glasses when on my computer or reading. The first time I put them in they just disappeared and I could see! 
Didn't even feel them. It was amazing.
  Re: the infection problem, I have been lucky, I wear mine 24 hrs a day for at least 30 days.
If I have any irritation, I'll take it out for 30 minutes, clean and reinstall. I am finding over the last couple of years, I'm have a little more problem with an edge getting folded under, so I need to remove and reinstall.
 Over all I'm happy with my contacts, if I had to remove them nightly and reinstall in the morning, I would not be happy.

Guses

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Re: Lasik Eye Surgery
« Reply #46 on: April 13, 2016, 01:38:59 PM »
Yeah, it depends on your vision. If you only need glasses sometimes, it is one thing. If you need them all the time, it is quite the handicap.

@Spork

You should delve a bit more into contact lenses and their long term risks. When comparing risks of a surgery (which are mostly infection related) versus wearing contacts every day for years, I think the surgery might be safer in that regard.

 I've worn contacts for over 15 years, 4.5 and 5.25. I also wear a 2 diopter glasses when on my computer or reading. The first time I put them in they just disappeared and I could see! 
Didn't even feel them. It was amazing.
  Re: the infection problem, I have been lucky, I wear mine 24 hrs a day for at least 30 days.
If I have any irritation, I'll take it out for 30 minutes, clean and reinstall. I am finding over the last couple of years, I'm have a little more problem with an edge getting folded under, so I need to remove and reinstall.
 Over all I'm happy with my contacts, if I had to remove them nightly and reinstall in the morning, I would not be happy.

My wife had no issues for several years wearing contacts. Then she developed an infection and her cornea got damaged. She could not wear contacts ever again.

I was luckier, only experiencing mild issues with contacts. The worst was when one of my dailies ripped apart in my eye and a piece got lodged behind the eyelid. I was eventually able to remove the piece with a pair of plyers. Not fun. 

Mustache_In_Training

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Re: Lasik Eye Surgery
« Reply #47 on: April 13, 2016, 01:46:07 PM »
I'll add my experience. I had Lasik about 4 years ago, I still have mixed feelings about it. I love being able to wake up in the morning and see the clock. However, I traded 5 minutes of blindness in the morning before I put my contacts in for dry eyes. I have to put in eye ointment at night and still wake up with dry eyes in the morning. If you have dry eyes now, it will get worse! If you don't have any issues with dry eyes already, I would go for it. For years afterwards I would keep a bottle of eye drops in my pocket, just in case however I finally feel comfortable enough not to do that.

I actually used a Groupon for Lasik! It sounds sketchy, but I got 50% off so ended up paying around $2k total.  Oh! Last thing, I've noticed my night vision is not as good as it was before (when wearing contacts). Definitely more sensitive to lights and glare.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2016, 01:48:52 PM by Mustache_In_Training »

Spork

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Re: Lasik Eye Surgery
« Reply #48 on: April 13, 2016, 02:26:57 PM »
Yeah, it depends on your vision. If you only need glasses sometimes, it is one thing. If you need them all the time, it is quite the handicap.

@Spork

You should delve a bit more into contact lenses and their long term risks. When comparing risks of a surgery (which are mostly infection related) versus wearing contacts every day for years, I think the surgery might be safer in that regard.

This is one of the reasons I wore hard lenses.  I wore them from about age 16 to age 49 with no issues.  I have very dry eyes to start with and at about 49 they just became too dry to continue and I abandoned them for glasses.

The fact that there are many, many decades of information on contact lenses (especially hard lenses) is a good thing.  The risk is much better known.  The long term risks of ever-changing Lasik are harder to know.

Everyone has their own risk tolerance.  Certainly don't let me stop you from getting it (or if you already have it and love it: congratulations!). 

Meowmalade

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Re: Lasik Eye Surgery
« Reply #49 on: April 13, 2016, 05:19:24 PM »
The doctor I went to is one of the top in the country, and I found out while Googling around that he had offered a Groupon the previous year!  The surgery is so short that I'm sure he could schedule 20 people a day if he really wanted to; most of the time is spent in the pre-ops.  I had PRK and had surprisingly quick and painless (I did take drugs!) healing, with 20/20 sight the next day (which then regressed over the next few months and has stabilized at very mild farsightedness a year later-- apparently all this is expected).  My optometrist said that my healing was probably the combination of the surgeon's super-fast laser plus these new drops that were supposed to enhance healing.