- Sep 26, 2017 at 7:35 am #3493250
See following postSep 26, 2017 at 7:42 am #3493253
Can’t think of a more lightweight solution for vision correction than not needing glasses or contacts at all. And if I like I can now do high-quality laser vision correction at a cost that’s even less than the cost of glasses and contacts over a 10-year period. I’ve avoided it up to now because of risks but it seems it’s gotten safer and safer over time. I’d sincerely appreciate your thoughts:
1) If you’ve had the procedure, have you been happy with the results? Have you had any problems?
2) I’m getting to a point where I could need reading glasses soon, and eye doctors often recommend monovision in this case, which is correcting one eye for distance and one eye for reading. Have you done this and would you recommend it over correcting both eyes for distance and using reading glasses when needed?
3) Did you need, or were you told you’d need, a further correction X years after your initial procedure?Sep 26, 2017 at 7:52 am #3493256
BRYON LBPL Member
I had Lasik surgery in 2002. 15 years later, I hover between 20/20 and 20/15 vision. I have had zero problems; it is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
The doctor I did the surgery with has a lifetime guarantee that as long as you get annual checkups within their network of drs, then they will redo the surgery if your vision declines significantly.
I am 42 years old now, and as I play trombone with something I am reading I can tell a difference between now and a few years ago, but I am not in need of reading glasses yet. I will need reading glasses eventually, but as of yet don’t. Personally, I would not get only one eye done.Sep 26, 2017 at 8:01 am #3493257
Thank you Bryon, really appreciate you sharing your experience. I’ve been most concerned about dry eyes and starbursts around lights at night, which were some of the potential risks I heard about many years ago. My excellent eye doc says it’s very safe and he did it for his 20 year old son because he thought it was better than his son wearing contacts (noting however his son was pretty bad about contacts maintenance including hygiene and often leaving lenses in all night).
When they do monovision they do both eyes, but they optimize one for distance and one for reading so you won’t need any glasses for distance or reading. They say the brain adjusts easily to this.Sep 26, 2017 at 8:18 am #3493259
BRYON LBPL Member
I had starbursts for the first month or so while driving at night, which was expected as the eyes finished healing completely. Nothing since.
To me, main thing is to make sure that your eyes have finished their natural decline in vision, which usually is by your early to mid 20s.
My motivation was that I am extremely squeamish about putting my finger in my eyes (contacts) and glasses were expensive and annoying especially when it came to being active in sports, outdoor recreation, etc.
If they’ve being doing the monovision procedure for a considerable amount of time, then I could see trusting that. The research on these procedures seems to be consistent and such.Sep 26, 2017 at 8:54 am #3493268
d kBPL Member
A musical colleague of mine had the mono vision thing done and has been very happy. But he had worn contacts with the same setup for several years before, so he was used to it. He’s around my age (early 60s) and I believe he was farsighted before.</p>
I could put you in touch with him if you have questions.Sep 26, 2017 at 9:09 am #3493272
Ken T.BPL Member
Opinions will differ as Renee is getting two new lenses, cataracts, and will be doing distance in both eyes. Then just a pair of otc readers.
No astigmatism?Sep 26, 2017 at 9:36 am #3493277
John VanceBPL Member
@servingkoLocale: Intermountain West
I had lasik done 18 years ago. I had to wait for FDA approval since my vision was 9.75 in both eyes and I also had significant astigmatism. I literally couldn’t drive myself home in broad daylight with no one else on the roads, something I thought about often while outside in all types of activities. I carried spare contacts and glasses fearing being left blind and helpless.
I was 20/20 for about five years and then a bit of astigmatism returned followed by a slight change in vision. I am currently 20/50 (1.50 IIRC) and don’t pass the driving eye exam but have no problem getting around without my glasses waterskiing, climbing, hiking, or swimming. As a side benefit of poor distant vision, I don’t need readers to see up close and work at my desk without glasses. With today’s FDA lasik rules I would not be a candidate for surgery as there have been many issues with those with severe vision correction that have had lasik including detached retinas.
In spite of all this I have no regrets and would do it all over again. My wife had her eyes done a year after me (3.50 both eyes) and continues to see 20/20 but now uses reading glasses. I was fortunate in hitting a window where I was approved for the procedure and even more fortunate that my eyes remain healthy with good structural integrity.
Initially I had dry eyes and some mild starburst issues, but it was less than what I typically experienced wearing contact lenses. Just moving from Coke bottle lenses in my glasses to very thin lenses has been wonderful. I can’t see most stars at night, much less the Milky Way, without my glasses, but I could certainly navigate my way out of the mountains and drive myself home without them if I had to. This was my goal all along and to that end it was a success.Sep 26, 2017 at 4:00 pm #3493398
Edward John MBPL Member
Best thing I ever didSep 26, 2017 at 4:16 pm #3493401
@jimmyjamLocale: Mid Atlantic
I had it done about 12 years ago. I do need to use eye drops once or twice a day IF I am working and staring at computer screens. I now need to wear dollar store readers 1.00 at night to read books when my eyes are tired. I did have some halo problems at first and they have now returned, but its because I am getting cataracts. It was a good decision , but the scariest 10 seconds of my life when they do the lasik.Sep 30, 2017 at 7:29 pm #3494112
chris smeadBPL Member
@hamsterfishLocale: San Jose, CA
I had my eyes done in 2016 mostly to avoid dealing with contacts on the JMT. The procedure was kind of scary, the pain that night was bad, and my eyes were slightly dry for about 1-2 months. But it was TOTALLY worth it. Less hassle to deal with every morning, and I no longer have to carry a 4oz bottle of contact solution in my pack. Feels like natural 20/20 vision. (Better I think) Tree leaves in particular feel more sharp when I’m hiking.Sep 30, 2017 at 8:21 pm #3494120
David ThomasBPL Member
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
I often skim my wife’s medical journals that are lying around the house (okay, actually just the ones that are next to the porcelain throne). And outcomes of many operations, including Lasik surgery, are a strong function of doing a lot of them. Having done hundreds is better than having done dozens. Having done thousands is better yet. Lasik surgery is well understood, taught and proctored at this point, so even a beginner won’t have a bad rate of complications, but someone who has been doing for years, on average, has several-fold of an already low rate complication rate. If a *doctor* (not the *practice* or *office*) has done 9,000 Lasik operations, that’s great (and over a decade, some docs have done that many). If they don’t say how many they’ve done in their promotional material, they may have a lot fewer.
I’m overdue for an annoying aspect of the “50,000-mile check-up” that involves a few days of clear liquids beforehand. My doctor for that (also a hiking friend) recommended when I make the appointment to pick a day when I can be the first one on the schedule at 9 a.m. Because while he tries to do his best work for all patients and never knowingly rushes, he feels it is both human nature and true for him that he’s a bit more alert and diligent earlier in the day. I’d apply that same logic to any elective surgery, too. Also, like airline schedules, doctor’s appointments tend to slip as the day goes on and emergencies and unexpected things happen, so just from a get-in-get-out perspective, I’d schedule it early. If you have the option of someone who’s been through it before to drop you off and pick you up, they may be more in tune than another simply well-meaning person. For the most, ah, personal surgery I ever had, my fishing buddy was a better escort to it than my ride home who (1) didn’t even have those body parts and (2) actually thought we should go for a hike afterwards.Sep 30, 2017 at 8:40 pm #3494124
David ThomasBPL Member
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
I’ve played a bit with different lens (distance for one eye, reading in the other) and it works for me – I don’t get headaches or anything although I’d never do for sports or anything I needed binocular range-finding to do well. But glasses from Zenni Optical are like $17.95 so I just have computer glasses by my computer, distance glasses for driving, and progressives for errands around town or piloting a boat (I find watching the nautical chart plotter more important than small details on the car’s dashboard – I rarely run my car up on the rocks).
Realize that your range of focus reduces your entire life as you age and it quite consistent between people. If you get corrected to distance vision, you’ll need more correction for reading and for computer work (slightly different corrections). If you get corrected to some middle distance, you’ll increasingly need prescriptions for both reading and distance, but they’ll be ore mild. Most people go for no glasses at distance and then get increasing strengths and subdivisions (bifocals, trifocals, or progressives) as they age. I’m doing the reverse since my natural vision needs -2.5 / -2.75 for distance work, but reading glass (if you’re 20/20 at distance) are +2.5. So with no surgery, I’ll never need reading glasses. (i.e. my “reading glasses” are simply taking off my distance glasses – so all my shirts have a chest pocket.)Oct 1, 2017 at 2:56 am #3494178
I think there was another thread on this topic. But I guess with this one you may get folks who’ve more recently had surgery.
I had my lasik in 2003, and the right eye didn’t get corrected to 20/15 like the left, unintentionally. So my right was about 20/40. (Left is still 20/15 and right is now 20/50). I opted not to have it redone for free – agree with the poster that said those few seconds were pretty scary! Especially since my Valium didn’t kick in til later (that happens to me with many drugs).
So I didn’t need reading glasses until just this past few months. I can still read without them, but am more comfortable with them. I also found that my night vision wasn’t as sharp as I wanted, so I use glasses for night driving. This isn’t inconvenient for me since we only have night for half the year. I don’t have halos or anything like that, just needed a bit sharper vision at night. I don’t take glasses of any kind when hiking or camping, joy!
Now that I’m older, I do get dryness when working at the computer for long periods. I don’t know for sure, but I would say that is less about the lasik and more about age and menopause for me. They’re not terrible, just have to tend to them more.
i have no regrets getting it done. Winter skiing, no fogging, rain and no misting, sun and I don’t need prescription glasses, etc. very convenient!Oct 3, 2017 at 9:06 pm #3494650
John WBPL Member
I was thinking about laser correction as well. I did not do it and not going to now after a little research.
Please have a glance at some articles on endmyopia.org before you do something irreversible to your eyes. The site is made a bit like hell to navigate without paid subscription but there is useful info available for free on where does myopia come from, how it is made worse by conventional glasses/contacts use and why LASIK is evil.Oct 3, 2017 at 9:18 pm #3494654
Have a glance, yes, but also remember that there are all sorts of nutcases on the web. Political, medical, financial …
Also remember that eyes change over time. That’s perfectly normal and expected.
CheersOct 4, 2017 at 4:15 am #3494726
John W, that site is hard to navigate because it is a hoax! Just a joke, a troll having fun. A darned good one too, that I can use with my students as a critical evaluation exercise. Nothing on the site is intended to be factual in any way. If you don’t believe me, try: http://endmyopia.org/2020-for-free-the-opposite-of-welfare-mentality/
Then I highly recommend a visit to your nearest library, where the librarians will help you find quality peer-reviewed articles on lasik surgery outcomes. That plus a consult with one or two highly recommended eye docs should help.Oct 21, 2017 at 3:47 am #3497743
Jesse JakomaitBPL Member
Got my LASIK in 2000 and now have 20/25 & 20/40 vision, it was the best money I’ve ever spent even though I don’t have perfect vision but its good enough to drive and amazing to do all the stupid outdoor things I love to do without ever having to deal with glasses again! I got mine done in a small town in the Great White North, I’m sure choices out there now are exponentially better than what I had to choose from but I’d still follow David’s advice closely and find the “best”.
Oct 22, 2017 at 12:40 am #3497800
- This reply was modified 5 months, 4 weeks ago by Jesse Jakomait.
Geoff CaplanBPL Member
@geoffcaplanLocale: Dartmoor, Devon
I’m glad that people had good results, but recent research shows that LASIK surgery is much riskier than the industry will admit, particularly for night vision.
Regardless of how this issue is downplayed by LASIK industry representatives, the truth is that night vision disturbances after LASIK occur frequently and may be permanent and incapacitating.
This research isn’t a one-off – there have been many other studies that have raised concerns, though the picture is complicated by the fact that techniques have been improved.
But what is clear is that the procedure is not risk-free, and that the industry is downplaying the potential problems. So it might be wise to really do your homework and fully understand the risks before you commit.Oct 22, 2017 at 1:05 am #3497806
Geoff, who do you think created that .com site and why? Did you notice the author isn’t listed, nor their credentials? Can you contact them with questions? And they’ve cherry picked data, omitting many studies counteracting the stories they’ve focused on. The site also quotes garbage tabloids like the Daily Mail.
Please folks, don’t use random .com websites, authors unlisted, as your info source. You have a variety of anecdotes here from us yahoos on BPL, now go ask a few licensed medical professionals. I firmly believe that if someone isn’t willing to sign their name on information they’re providing, they are absolutely untrustworthy.
Oct 22, 2017 at 1:41 am #3497811
- This reply was modified 5 months, 4 weeks ago by Karen.
While I agree in principle with Karen, I must say the web site does quote many articles in accessible journals. So – it’s not totally nut-case and it’s a worry.
I also note that the website Geoff cites is only one of a number which are reporting serious complications with LASIK, especially at low light levels when the pupils dilate. The FDA has a MedWatch form for recording such problems as well.
More to the point, even with LASIK, you will still need glasses when you are older. Your eyes may be able to see distance vision perfectly, which is great for driving, but your eyes will lose what is called ‘accomodation’. That means they lose the ability to adjust their focus, the same as with a pair of binoculars. So you will need reading glasses, or distance glasses.
Old age may be measured by the number of pairs of glasses you need. Sigh.
CheersOct 22, 2017 at 4:27 pm #3497866
Jeffs ElevenBPL Member
“So it might be wise to really do your homework and fully understand the risks before you commit.”
OMG That’s like, so last century. What, are you like 100 or something?Oct 22, 2017 at 8:32 pm #3497886
Maybe that’s how you manage to reach 100? ;)
CheersOct 23, 2017 at 3:38 pm #3498022
Geoff CaplanBPL Member
@geoffcaplanLocale: Dartmoor, Devon
Jeff’s Eleven – Well, I’m approaching 100 (or at least it sometimes feels that way!)
Karen – The page I linked to cites the FDA study that it summarises. The other claims on the page are also cited so you can verify them for yourself, and many are peer-reviewed.
Here’s a slightly dated but more extensive survey of the safety concerns that’s also extensively cited: http://www.healthy.net/Health/Essay/Laser_Eye_Surgery_A_Shortsighted_Solution/619
<div>As Roger says, you don’t have to look far to find other sources expressing concerns, and many of them are highly credentialed. And the concerns apply to the current techniques as well as the discredited PRK technique.</div>
<div>It’s not that refractive surgery doesn’t work for many – it’s that many clinics are over-promising on results and under-informing on risks and under-reporting to the authorities on complications.</div>
<div>For example a study published in the BMJ (2011) found that night vision issues are under-reported, and the leading consumer rights charity Which? has accused the UK industry of not making customers aware of the real risks, stating:</div>
<div>Laser surgery could revolutionise your vision, but it does carry risks and clinics should be making these clear upfront.</div>
<div>A group of MPs are working towards more rigorous regulation as they have serious reservations about current standards of practice and marketing.</div>
<div>My father was the judge who made a landmark ruling requiring all UK physicians and surgeons to ensure that patients are given all the information they need to give informed consent. There have been large damages awarded in the UK courts to refractive surgery patients who were not fully informed of the risks, and UK courts do not make medical negligence awards lightly.</div>
<div>So I stand by my position that it would be wise to look beyond the industry PR and do your own research before committing to something as serious as eye-surgery.</div>
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