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Archive 2012 · possibly OT, but LASIK warning
  
 
RustyBug
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p.5 #1 · p.5 #1 · possibly OT, but LASIK warning


khphoto wrote:
So, in normal every day light you have perfect vision, but at night you need a small correction? But prior to your surgery you basically had to wear glasses all the time and couldn't see anything without them?

As Sheen would probably still say <winning/>


I'd say "compromise" or "trade-off" ... the relative value of which is highly subjective to each individual.



Dec 05, 2012 at 04:24 PM
carstenw
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p.5 #2 · p.5 #2 · possibly OT, but LASIK warning


Bifurcator wrote:
The people on YouTube all seem to agree that PRK is stable vision by 3 to 6 months and completely painless - about like opening your eyes under water for 10s. (I personally have no idea but that's the claim of 5 or 6 folks on youtube anyway)


I am not sure that is worth anything though. 98 people of 100 have no complications with LASIK...



Dec 05, 2012 at 04:56 PM
finnianp
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p.5 #3 · p.5 #3 · possibly OT, but LASIK warning


Really sorry to hear about your experience. That is really tragic. I am in the final stages of recovering from PRK and so far it's been wonderful. I can't even imagine how upsetting it would be to have a complication that's unfixable.


Dec 05, 2012 at 04:57 PM
woos
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p.5 #4 · p.5 #4 · possibly OT, but LASIK warning


I wear glasses and have been thinking about trying to get lasik or lasek for a long time lol...this really makes me think twice about it that's for sure ;-)


Dec 05, 2012 at 05:25 PM
dwerther
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p.5 #5 · p.5 #5 · possibly OT, but LASIK warning


RustyBug wrote:
Major

I too looked into Lasik, etc. ... but I passed, mostly because it doesn't really do anything for the whole "bifocal" thing once you start getting in that range as your eyes begin to incur some elasticity changes, etc.

It would be nice to not wear glasses (viewfinder, etc.), but I'm such a stickler for visual acuity (20/10 & 20/15 corrected, 20/800+ uncorrected, i.e. "What chart?" ) that I wasn't willing to risk compromise @ acuity for convenience.

also....
Certainly a very unfortunate situation..hopefully a possible fix ..
but for me..I'd do it again in a heart beat and I had to
...Show more

I am going to offer up my opinion as a Public Service. IMO both of the above are correct. I am 58 years old now. I had been worse than -8 in both eyes since I was in elementary school. It kept me from playing the team sports, and discouraged me to no end in my film camera days from 1973 until the early 90's, when I just gave up on photography.

Just after I turned 40 Lasik had begun to be more affordable, and my hobbies were snow and water skiing. Ever try to do that wearing contacts or without with -8 vision? For those who don't know, -8 vision basically means if you want to see your spouse's face while you are making love, you have to wear correction. I got Lasik and was reading license plates on the way home an hour after surgery. To say it was a miracle is an understatement.

As it turned out I ended up with monovision - one eye properly corrected for distance and one eye undercorrected for distance but sharp for reading. Unfortunately is was backwards from what I was hoping for (distance eye was not my dominant eye - a real disappointment on the pistol range) however I was fully functional without glasses for the first time since I was 6 years old.

The surgeon said he would be glad to fix the other eye for distance, but that I should plan to stop at the drug store on the way home for reading glasses, because I would not be able to read without them. I passed.

After a couple of years I broke down and got reading glasses to reduce the eyestrain. This is going to happen after about 45 whether you have Lasik or not. It is called Age Related Macular Degeneration and it is why, when you go out to dinner with a group, everyone over 55 breaks out the readers to read the menu.

At age 57-1/2 I finally had to get progressive glasses. Now I can see near-to-far. Theoretically.

Bottom line. If you are over 24 and your vision has stabilized (same prescription three years in a row) and you must put on glasses or contacts from the bedside table to find the bathroom in a hotel room, then Lasik will change your life. Drastically. I wish it would have been an available technology when I was 24. I would do it again for sure.

If you are not very athletic and don't mind wearing glasses or contacts, and your vision is better than -4 in at least one eye, I would sure think long and hard about going thru with Lasik.

However - if you are 45 or older just forget it. Not worth the few years you will get until you have to wear glasses anyway.

Hope this helps someone.



Dec 05, 2012 at 05:29 PM
RustyBug
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p.5 #6 · p.5 #6 · possibly OT, but LASIK warning


David ... nice post.

+1 @ the monovision strategy of Lasik one eye for near and one for distant (or only Lasik one eye) ... I had forgotten about that part. I wore the contacts for a week to emulate what post Lasik life would be like in a monovision strategy. Obviously, I opted to pass and stick with glasses ... my goals were visual acuity, not convenience / lifestyle change.

Like you, i've worn these silly glasses since I was 8 (vision that was "off the chart"). I played sports regularly, served in the military, surfed with them, etc. I broke a few, and lost a few over the decades, so I always kept around an emergency spare (usually the slightly old script). I tried the contacts several times, but again, the visual acuity was degraded from that of glasses ... and for me, critical visual acuity trumped lifestyle, vanity or convenience.

Glad to hear that yours was so liberating for you (and for others who have had similar success both lifestyle & visually) ... I think your post is "spot on" regarding lifestyle change vs. visual acuity vs. aging.



Dec 05, 2012 at 05:53 PM
BiscottiGelato
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p.5 #7 · p.5 #7 · possibly OT, but LASIK warning


I know the US Military is good and all.. but sometimes good old private competition and reviews is better than blind trust.

I shopped 3 different laser eye surgery place, along with tons of in person interviews/reviews before deciding on the one I chose. Went to all 3 places for eye exam to see if I'm a good candidates, etc. All 3 did pupil dilation to check for max opening, and told me i have some margin before recommending.

What I did was PRK. Not that I'd think that'd make much difference? I did it when I was 25. Can't be happier!

For missing such a crucial but common step before your surgery, you might want to seriously consider legal action and see what can be done from that perspective...



Dec 05, 2012 at 06:46 PM
StevenPA
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p.5 #8 · p.5 #8 · possibly OT, but LASIK warning


RustyBug wrote:
my goals were visual acuity, not convenience / lifestyle change.


This describes me as well. The convenience/lifestyle change would be fantastic, but not at even a small expense of visual acuity. Well, I may change my mind, but I don't think so.



Dec 05, 2012 at 11:37 PM
StevenPA
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p.5 #9 · p.5 #9 · possibly OT, but LASIK warning


carstenw wrote:
You should post with/without photos and make a poll of what we think!


You guys would probably make fun of both looks. ;-) Plus, I'm a bit shy! haha..



Dec 05, 2012 at 11:39 PM
ISO1600
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p.5 #10 · p.5 #10 · possibly OT, but LASIK warning


David, that is a nice post.

Yes, i could/should have been more concerned with visual acuity than lifestyle changes- but as pointed out, even with this possibly minor setback, the overall improvement in my quality of life very well may outweigh the negative.

Have you ever deployed to a combat zone, and had to roll through a 4 day dust storm, but not had RX inserts for dust goggles? That sucks. Next time I go, I won't have to worry about that. Won't have to either go blind, or get sand in my eyes.
Military type stuff (deployments, etc) is a large part of why I wanted to ditch my glasses. It is easier to keep up with a pair of sunglasses (or get replacements) in a bad situation, than normal specs and some RX sunglasses.



Dec 06, 2012 at 03:06 PM
 

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Mirris
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p.5 #11 · p.5 #11 · possibly OT, but LASIK warning


Back in the late 80's I had the now ancient RK surgery. What they either didn't know or tell you was that it eventually heals farsighted. My Dr. put me on Pilocarpine eye drops to constrict the pupils. To make a long story short, I was able to live almost 20 years without the need for glasses. Since I am a Pharmacist, I was able to find the right strength to use. Talk to your Dr about this idea. You might try a low strenght (0.5%) when the light starts getting dark (1 drop). This will constrict your pupils a little bit. It will cut down on glare/starbursts-HOWEVER-it might blur your vision to much to be acceptable. I would only try it when you don't need to drive or go anywhere to see what happens. Again, discuss with your Dr.


Dec 06, 2012 at 04:46 PM
ISO1600
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p.5 #12 · p.5 #12 · possibly OT, but LASIK warning


Mirris, thank you very much for the suggestion. I will do this.


Dec 06, 2012 at 04:54 PM
bellyface
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p.5 #13 · p.5 #13 · possibly OT, but LASIK warning


that really blows Chris. Sorry to hear about this. I considered this a few year, my eyes are pretty screwy. Astigmatism, nearsighted, etc., I almost went with lasik, but decided against it at the last minute. I went with my inner voice that told me to go with contacts. So here I am 40 and using contacts for the first time, which is weird.


Dec 06, 2012 at 06:54 PM
DougVaughn
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p.5 #14 · p.5 #14 · possibly OT, but LASIK warning


I had LASIK almost 10 years ago, and it was one of the dumbest decisions of my life. I thought I had done my homework, but made the mistake of thinking the risk of being in that "extremely small percentage" (according to doctors) was worth the reward. I will have to deal with what is thankfully relatively minor eye discomfort and eye drops 3 - 4 times per day for the rest of my life. The worst thing is my vision is degrading slowly as I age to the point I'll probably need glasses again in the near future.

I echo the advice to think long and hard before you do it, and I recommend to anyone that asks simply DON'T do it.



Dec 07, 2012 at 01:06 AM
jamesdak
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p.5 #15 · p.5 #15 · possibly OT, but LASIK warning


Well to be fair I thought I'd chime in with my experience. But first I'd like to tell the OP that I am sympathetic that things did not turn out for him. Ok, so years ago I volunteered for a test program while in the Military to have my eyes done with PRK. Our military Dr's where actually in training by civiilians Dr's when I was done. Like the OP I have very large pupils in the dark but the Dr's were compentent enough to spot that. They warned me of a possible halo effect at night if I proceeded. Knowing this I still opted for the surgery. Before surgery my left was around 20/600 and my right was bad but still considerably better. After the surgery I tested 20/20 in both eyes and 20/15 together. But I did wind up with some halo effect in the left eye. Would notice it some while driving at night but it's not that bad. In fact it's been around 15 years now and I can honestly say I don't even notice it at all nowdays.

As part of the test program I spent a year or so afterwards being repeatedly tested. The tests were done every couple of months and usually took pretty much a whole day. So the military did due diligience IMHO in studying the effects of the surgery. Out of all of us in the test group I can remember only one individual having problems after the surgery and he was another borderline case to begin with.

For me it has been the greatest thing ever. I was pretty blind without my glasses, a bad thing for someone in today's military. I don't regret a minute of it. No worrying about glasses, RX inserts, contacts, etc.

So fast forward around 15 years to today. My far vision still tests at 20/20 or 20/15 according to the day. But I am in reading glasses now. That happended about 2 years ago. But I was also warned of that prior to the surgery. Losing the near vision as you age was more a muscular problem then lens shape if I remember correctly. So in my view, to be expected and no big deal. And having to worry about having my reading glasses with me all the time makes me appreciate having done the PRK all that much more.

So, all that said, I will actually echo to OP's advice. Think long and hard about it and do your research. But unlike him I am totally happy and would certainly recommend it to anyone. Oh and from a photographer's view. Does not effect my work at all. Even now with needing reading glasses. 90% of my photography is done manually focusing using alternative lenses. Could not be happier!




Dec 07, 2012 at 01:54 PM
NatDeroxL7
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p.5 #16 · p.5 #16 · possibly OT, but LASIK warning


I had it done. Its been almost 7 years now since I had it. I was practically blind before. My left eye managed to go all the way to 20/10, but my right eye is just ever so slightly under 20/20. Some eye tests I can get 20/20 with it but sometimes I have to guess on a letter or two on the 20/20 line.

It actually is really annoying because when one eye is 20/10, 20/20 looks terrible. It actually scares me that for the general public 20/40 is okay to drive with no glasses after seeing 20/10 and 20/20 compared.

If you hold out chances are within 10-15 years another major advance in eyesight medicine will come to be. With the increasing rate of technological advancement, time is on your side.




Dec 08, 2012 at 12:23 AM
michael49
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p.5 #17 · p.5 #17 · possibly OT, but LASIK warning


RCicala wrote:
I am an MD and it's a funny thing - we tend to avoid procedures. Doesn't matter how great the results for 98% are, we know the 2% all too well....


I have to echo this sentiment. I perform minor surgical procedures multiple times per week and I try to avoid them when unnecessary, but I always do my utmost to inform patients of the risks of every procedure.

As Roger says, those of us who do procedures regularly on patients have experienced the 2% (or the 0.01%) of cases when things don't go well and none of us wants our patients to go through that - it is a horrible feeling not only for the patient, but also for the provider, when things don't go as expected.

My goal is to treat every patient just as I would my father or my sister. I got into medicine to help people and when there is a problem I feel sick over it - I lose sleep over it.

But, as I remind my patients, everything has a risk associated with it. Approximately 50,000 people in the US die in car accidents every year (and many more are permanently disabled) , but do you think about that every time you get behind the wheel? Every procedure has risks - its simple statistics - and, especially in the US, I think people often forget that.



Dec 08, 2012 at 03:20 AM
MarkJones
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p.5 #18 · p.5 #18 · possibly OT, but LASIK warning


ISO1600 I,m really sorry to hear of your difficulties after LASIK. I must apologise that I have not read all the posts so may duplicate what has been said.
Did your surgeon measure the size of your dark adapted pupils? That is did they get you to sit in the dark for 20 minutes and then measure. This is simple stuff, in the ABC of laser surgery as it is a known problem. If he didn't measure this I would say he was negligent.
I am an optometrist by profession and the issue of pupil size crops up even when fitting contact lenses, especially with OrthoK lenses which are worn overnight ONLY, removed in the morning and you can see all day without help. They work on a similar principle to laser surgery but they are reversible AND for youngsters can slow down the progress of myopia. However, night vision problems are a known side effect of refractive surgery as are dry eyes. There may be other reasons for your night vision problems such as a wrinkle in the flap or ingress of epithelial material.
If the problem is really bad they you could get a specialist contact lens fitter to fit an opaque contact lens that has its own pupil. But as has already been mentioned with time your pupils will get smaller. Personally I would not want to use pilocarpine as you are still likely to get night vision problems because your pupils won't open up at all not to mention the side effects like brow ache or headaches. This drug was commonly used for the treatment of glaucoma but is rarely used now for these reasons.
My advice is to find an expert in refractive surgery. I'm sure there are plenty in US. Here in the UK there is one of your compatriots, a Professor Dan Rheisnstein who heads the London Vision Clinic. He is first class and has acted as a Mr Fixit for those procedures that the chains have got wrong or don't have the know how to fix. He also helps develop the laser surgery equipment for Zeiss. There are others that I would trust, David Gartry of Moorfields, Sunhil Shah.
Have I had it done? No. Even now I can't be guaranteed to get the same visual acuity after the procedure as I am now plus I am presbyopic=I, like most 58 year olds need help with reading. So what do I do? I have a lovely pair of Zeiss Individual varifocals in brown Photofusion. I had them made with iScription=higher order aberration control. They are brilliant. Incredibly sharp at all distances and you are not aware that they are varifocals. They are even made in Oberkochen. At work or indoors or on pC I use their RD lens. Sorry if that's all OT.



Dec 10, 2012 at 09:17 AM
phuang3
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p.5 #19 · p.5 #19 · possibly OT, but LASIK warning


15 years ago when I got near-eyesight I asked my doctor about the possibility of laser surgery. I remembered he was unhappy about those doctors who persuade people to do LASIK or whatever it is to make money. He said only few of them would gave up their glasses and performed the surgery on themselves.


Dec 10, 2012 at 02:44 PM
Mike Tuomey
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p.5 #20 · p.5 #20 · possibly OT, but LASIK warning


Thanks so much for sharing this difficult part of your life. Know that it will help me in any decisions I make re eye surgery. Still have my contacts and glasses, still wistful about a life with less dependency on them, but much too anxious to have the procedure.


Dec 10, 2012 at 02:57 PM
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