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  1. #1
    Senior Member gman26's Avatar
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    LASIK eye surgery - pros, cons, comments, experiences...

    Thinking about LASIK, sure would be nice not to have to wear glasses for distance and night driving.
    Anyone here had it done, good or bad experiences?
    Were you nearsighted or farsighted?

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    As a healthcare risk manager who has handled many LASIK claims, I would not have it done to my eyes. Pay particular attention to the issues of LASIK patients with night vision and the 'halo effect' before you make a decision.
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    Cue
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    What about PRK?

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    Old enough to know better willmw's Avatar
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    Here's my rule of thumb:
    When my eye doctor stops wearing glasses and I find out he's had it...I'll then consider it.
    Dangit, I almost only post in Foo, so my post count is abysmal.

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    Senior Member gman26's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by willmw View Post
    Here's my rule of thumb:
    When my eye doctor stops wearing glasses and I find out he's had it...I'll then consider it.
    good point.

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    Lasik is superior to PRK.

    I had the procedure done over ten years ago. Prior to that I was nearsighted at 20/250. Couldn't see alarm clock without glasses. Couldn't see shampoo without them, so was in a hazy fog while showering. I mostly used contacts, but stopped the last year or two as the low humidity really was drying them out.

    Today I'm still 20/20 (maybe 20/25). Mostly crystal clear vision, even after a long ride. I do have very minor haloing at night, but I remember it being worse with glasses/contacts due to the optics. Even with super light (and expensive) lenses, my glasses still had that coke bottle look. I hated it.

    People can post all the downsides they want. Heck, just look up the "dangers of the microwave oven" threads. Bottom line, talk to your doc, get an evaluation and see if you're a good candidate. Then make a decision.

    Oh, and eye docs are not a good metric for this decision. Mine has lost a lot of money of the past ten years due to less frequent visits and not paying them for frames/lenses/contacts. Of course they will not openly endorse lasik. I'll bet some of them had it done and wear fake glasses to keep up appearances. Ok, maybe not.

  7. #7
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by willmw View Post
    Here's my rule of thumb:
    When my eye doctor stops wearing glasses and I find out he's had it...I'll then consider it.
    I'm kind of in the same camp here. I hate wearing glasses and don't like wearing contacts much either but they work. I'm always afraid that I would be park of the statistics if something goes wrong.


    I do have sort of a phobia about wearing glasses. I sometimes think about, what if I ever got myself into a bad situation like Tom Hanks character in Castaway. Last thing you would want to worry about is your glasses.

    More realistically, in addition to bicycling, I also enjoy sailing. I would like to some day do a major crossing, maybe even sail around the world. I would most likely be doing this alone and relying on glasses would be a real handicap.

    I sort of had a little taste of this in a tour to Italy. I had forgotten my glasses at home (don't know why but last minute though I would switch to contacts for the plane ride). I had my contacts but really can't wear them 24/7. It was a major pain trying to find someone that could make me glasses.




    Quote Originally Posted by palesaint View Post
    Lasik is superior to PRK.

    I had the procedure done over ten years ago. Prior to that I was nearsighted at 20/250. Couldn't see alarm clock without glasses. Couldn't see shampoo without them, so was in a hazy fog while showering. I mostly used contacts, but stopped the last year or two as the low humidity really was drying them out.

    Today I'm still 20/20 (maybe 20/25). Mostly crystal clear vision, even after a long ride. I do have very minor haloing at night, but I remember it being worse with glasses/contacts due to the optics. Even with super light (and expensive) lenses, my glasses still had that coke bottle look. I hated it.

    People can post all the downsides they want. Heck, just look up the "dangers of the microwave oven" threads. Bottom line, talk to your doc, get an evaluation and see if you're a good candidate. Then make a decision.

    Oh, and eye docs are not a good metric for this decision. Mine has lost a lot of money of the past ten years due to less frequent visits and not paying them for frames/lenses/contacts. Of course they will not openly endorse lasik. I'll bet some of them had it done and wear fake glasses to keep up appearances. Ok, maybe not.
    Sounds like your eyes are worse than mine (but not much). It is surprising that you were a good candidate. If I had normal corneas I would have been an at risk candidate but because I was born with thicker than normal corneas, this put me into the safety zone.

    My optometrist a new surgery also discussed a new surgery with people with really poor vision. It is similar to cataract surgery but instead of the lens being replaced, a permanent contact lens is placed under your cornea. It is more expensive and has a higher risk of infection but it is supposed to be completely reversible and will work for just about anuyone.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

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  8. #8
    Watch This! laduckslayer's Avatar
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    I had it done two years ago. Three hours of discomfort and 20/15 in both eyes since. I chose to have both eyes done, knowing that I would need "cheaters" for reading. I love being able to see. I have choices with sunglasses and don't have to worry about contacts. I only wish I would have done years earlier. By the way, no halos, star burst or streamers. I see better at night than I ever did.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member skiahh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by palesaint View Post
    Lasik is superior to PRK.
    And why do you say this?
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  10. #10
    Administrator CbadRider's Avatar
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    I had lasik over 10 years ago. I was nearsighted and had asigmatism to the point where I could not see the alarm clock or see to blow dry my hair in the bathroom mirror. I wore contacts for years but was getting tired of them. I do a lot of marathons, and trying to put contacts in your eyes at 4 am before a race got to be a pain.

    I have a little bit of halos that I don't even notice any more. My eyes are also a little bit dryer. I now need reading glasses because I can't focus up close, but I consider that a small trade-off to the fact that I can ride my bike or exercise without needing glasses/contacts.

    If I had to do it over, I'd get one eye done for close-up reading and the other eye done for far-away. My sister had that done and loves it. It wasn't offered when I had my lasik done.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member skiahh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CbadRider View Post
    I had lasik over 10 years ago. I was nearsighted and had asigmatism to the point where I could not see the alarm clock or see to blow dry my hair in the bathroom mirror. I wore contacts for years but was getting tired of them. I do a lot of marathons, and trying to put contacts in your eyes at 4 am before a race got to be a pain.

    I have a little bit of halos that I don't even notice any more. My eyes are also a little bit dryer. I now need reading glasses because I can't focus up close, but I consider that a small trade-off to the fact that I can ride my bike or exercise without needing glasses/contacts.

    If I had to do it over, I'd get one eye done for close-up reading and the other eye done for far-away. My sister had that done and loves it. It wasn't offered when I had my lasik done.
    Which LASIK wouldn't/didn't affect. If you hadn't done the LASIK, you'd now have bi-focals.
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  12. #12
    Administrator CbadRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiahh View Post
    Which LASIK wouldn't/didn't affect. If you hadn't done the LASIK, you'd now have bi-focals.
    I could focus up close without my glasses before I had the lasik. The lasik surgery took away that ability immediately. I still would have needed reading glasses, but not so soon.
    Quote Originally Posted by toddles View Post
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  13. #13
    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    I'm 43, still have 20/20 vision and have self-pleasured plenty. Go figure.
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    Ski, bike and wish I was gay.

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    Banned. ModoVincere's Avatar
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    blind as a bat 6 yrs ago. prescriptions were in the -7 range (short sighted as hell). Had lasik surgery and 20/20 vision for about 4 1/2 yrs. Back to wearing glasses all the time now, but I can at least see the alarm clock to turn it off in the mornings before finding my glasses.

  15. #15
    Senior Member eric von zipper's Avatar
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    i had lasik done last century (1999) and haven't had a problem or complaint.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiahh View Post
    And why do you say this?
    Mostly because it is better for severe nearsightedness like mine. See:

    http://www.lasik1.com/LASIK_Advantages.html

    There are risks of course. But I believe it's summed up at the end of the article well:

    "The LASIK procedure is dependent upon the surgeon's operating skills, as well as the computerized precision of the excimer laser being used."

    I completely agree with this. Sure, sometimes **** happens. But when they claim 1% complications, I'll bet 99% of those are human error. Which makes unavoidable complications more like .01%. Find out your surgeons track record, number of procedures completed and equipment used. Mine had done something like 10,000 eyes and had a far lower complication rate than average.
    Last edited by Siu Blue Wind; 10-05-09 at 09:09 AM. Reason: going around censor

  17. #17
    OnTheRoad or AtTheBeach stonecrd's Avatar
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    I had Lasik in June. I did both eyes at the same time and elected to do monovision. The procedure is uncomfortable but not painful. Expect to be off the bike for 1-2 weeks and it takes about 2-3months for your vision to stabalize. I now have perfect vision and do not need reading glasses. The monovision took me about a month to get use to and now I love it as I need no glasses for reading.

    As for side effect, as mentioned your eyes will be drier if you live in a desert or cold climate where humidity gets low you may need to use eye drops. My night vision is no worse than when I used contacts but not quite as good as with glasses. My only regret is not doing it sooner.

    Make sure you selects a good Dr and look at his reference etc. Do not go to the cheapest place you can find. If you do it in the States it will be around $1,500 - $2,000/eye. This includes a year of followup and in my case insurance did not cover a dime. You can save 50% going offshore but if you do that you should trust someone local in the country you go to so that you get a good Dr.
    The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard and the shallow end is much too large

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    Quote Originally Posted by CbadRider View Post
    I have a little bit of halos that I don't even notice any more. My eyes are also a little bit dryer. I now need reading glasses because I can't focus up close, but I consider that a small trade-off to the fact that I can ride my bike or exercise without needing glasses/contacts.
    Is that from lasik that you've lost near-focus or presbyopia that set in with time after the lasik? I was led to believe that if I waited on lasik until after age 50 (after presbyopia process completed) that they could take care of near and far all at once.

    edit:
    I could focus up close without my glasses before I had the lasik. The lasik surgery took away that ability immediately. I still would have needed reading glasses, but not so soon.
    Wow. I don't remember hearing about that risk. But I haven't had it done so didn't bother reading the finest print...

  19. #19
    OnTheRoad or AtTheBeach stonecrd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg View Post
    Is that from lasik that you've lost near-focus or presbyopia that set in with time after the lasik? I was led to believe that if I waited on lasik until after age 50 (after presbyopia process completed) that they could take care of near and far all at once.

    edit:

    Wow. I don't remember hearing about that risk. But I haven't had it done so didn't bother reading the finest print...
    No the surgery cannot fix presbyopia the same way you cannot correct it with a single prescription in glasses or contacts . You either adjust so that both eyes are full distance and go with reading glasses or you do the monovision and allow your strong eye do the distance and the weak eye do the close work. This has been done with contacts as well for some time now. Most people have no problem but some cannot get use to it. My Dr said he would correct the weak eye for distance if I found it was a problem for me.
    The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard and the shallow end is much too large

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  20. #20
    Blocking your fire exits coffeecake's Avatar
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    My optometrist really pushed laser for me as I've had the same prescription for four years. I'm -5 and -3.75. Brother in law had his done a couple years ago but needs to use glasses again. An acquaintance I met said that she still has a white haze on her one eye from the surgery. The price and discomfort, along with the eventual reversion rate doesn't appeal to me.
    I prefer to spend money on bikes . If I figure it at $4000 for the procedure, that works out to $200/year. I spend less than that on frames.
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  21. #21
    Senior Member skiahh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by palesaint View Post
    Mostly because it is better for severe nearsightedness like mine. See:

    http://www.lasik1.com/LASIK_Advantages.html

    There are risks of course. But I believe it's summed up at the end of the article well:

    "The LASIK procedure is dependent upon the surgeon's operating skills, as well as the computerized precision of the excimer laser being used."

    I completely agree with this. Sure, sometimes **** happens. But when they claim 1% complications, I'll bet 99% of those are human error. Which makes unavoidable complications more like .01%. Find out your surgeons track record, number of procedures completed and equipment used. Mine had done something like 10,000 eyes and had a far lower complication rate than average.
    I have to disagree with your assessment, then. Your reference, from www.LASIK1.com is a bit biased and, of course, would tend to favor LASIK. From a marketing perspective, LASIK is far better because it's less painful and quicker recovery. When I had mine done in 2000, PRK was a safer option (not to mention the only option if I wanted to keep flying for the military; it still may be the only option for pilots because LASIK isn't proven enough to be safe under all conditions).

    My surgeon was (still is) a leader in the field. Here's an article in a neutral (LASIK vs PRK wise) journal that explains both and features the guy who did my eyes: http://www.eyeworld.org/article.php?sid=3652

    According to the article, PRK - while more painful and with a longer recovery time - still seems to have a slight edge in overall vision recovery.

    I really don't care either way; my vision is still 20/15 (near vision is starting to slip, though). Just make sure you know the "rest of the story" before you try and scare people or make absolute statements of fact... without the facts to back them up.
    Last edited by skiahh; 10-06-09 at 01:57 AM.
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  22. #22
    K2ProFlex baby! ilikebikes's Avatar
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    Make an appointment for the exam, ($100.00) I did, they took a peek at my eyes before the exam, (free) then they told me not to waste my $100.00.
    You see, their morals, their code...it's a bad joke, dropped at the first sign of trouble. They're only as good as the world allows them to be. I'll show you. When the chips are down, these...These "civilized" people...they'll eat each other. See, I'm not a monster. I'm just ahead of the curve

  23. #23
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiahh View Post
    I have to disagree with your assessment, then. Your reference, from www.LASIK1.com is a bit biased and, of course, would tend to favor LASIK. From a marketing perspective, LASIK is far better because it's less painful and quicker recovery. When I had mine done in 2000, PRK was a safer option (not to mention the only option if I wanted to keep flying for the military; it still may be the only option for pilots because LASIK isn't proven enough to be safe under all conditions).

    My surgeon was (still is) a leader in the field. Here's an article in a neutral (LASIK vs PRK wise) journal that explains both and features the guy who did my eyes: http://www.eyeworld.org/article.php?sid=3652

    According to the article, PRK - while more painful and with a longer recovery time - still seems to have a slight edge in overall vision recovery.

    I really don't care either way; my vision is still 20/15 (near vision is starting to slip, though). Just make sure you know the "rest of the story" before you try and scare people or make absolute statements of fact... without the facts to back them up.
    Well, I did present facts to back up the points I was considering. Your article doesn't really say PRK is heads above Lasik. It does give a slight nod to PRK for overall vision quality, but even states that might not be true now with the latest Lasik technology.

    I certainly won't argue with vision quality - as mentioned above, I do have very mild haloing at night. It's not enough to even remotely bother me, but it is there. I still stick by my article that states that Lasik is a better procedure for people that need high correction. Your article doesn't address this probably because most aviation correction isn't that dramatic (coke bottle glasses probably never enter the military aviation field). Factor in that with less pain and quicker recovery, with no absolute guarantee that vision recovery will be worse, and I believe Lasik is the better option.

    At least we both agree that getting the best surgeon is paramount. My eye guy was, and I believe still is, the best in this region for Lasik.

  24. #24
    Senior Member skiahh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by palesaint View Post
    Well, I did present facts to back up the points I was considering. Your article doesn't really say PRK is heads above Lasik. It does give a slight nod to PRK for overall vision quality, but even states that might not be true now with the latest Lasik technology.

    I certainly won't argue with vision quality - as mentioned above, I do have very mild haloing at night. It's not enough to even remotely bother me, but it is there. I still stick by my article that states that Lasik is a better procedure for people that need high correction. Your article doesn't address this probably because most aviation correction isn't that dramatic (coke bottle glasses probably never enter the military aviation field). Factor in that with less pain and quicker recovery, with no absolute guarantee that vision recovery will be worse, and I believe Lasik is the better option.

    At least we both agree that getting the best surgeon is paramount. My eye guy was, and I believe still is, the best in this region for Lasik.
    I was -4.00 in both eyes when I had mine done. I know some guys in the -6.00 range and, if I remember right, someone who was over -7.00. PRK and LASIK are the exact same correction procedure. It's how you expose the cornea for the correction that is the difference. Once you either create a flap or remove the epithelial layer of the eye, the correction lasing is the same. This is as explained by CAPT Shallhorn to our group when I had my PRK done as part of the initial study for aviatiors.

    As I understand it, neither PRK nor LASIK can offer a 100% guarantee that your vision won't get worse as a result of the surgery. But I've never had a LASIK pre-op brief, so I'm guessing on this one.
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