I'm getting my eyeballs zapped.

But I’m still looking forward to it. They’re gonna Bausch & Lomb Lasik my eyeballs all the way back to 20/20 on Friday. I can’t wait! Sort of.

I’ve got this thing with my eyes. I don’t like people’s fingers near them. When I went in for the pre-surgury exam the person who gave the exam got a little snippy because I didn’t open my eyes wide enough (According to her. In fact, to hear HER tell it I should have been practicing my eye-opening for weeks before my appointment) and when she went to pull them open I flinched. Every time.

I decided to get the Lasik surgury for two reasons:

  1. I can’t read street signs, which is an occupational hazard for a part-time realtor. It’s hardly professional to be asking your client to read the signs for you as you drive along. Plus I have a feeling that it doesn’t inspire confidence.

Me: Is that the . . .HANG ON!

(Screeching of tires)

Client: Ohmigodmhmigodmhmigod!

Me: Now you’ll really like this next house, it’s . . .

Client: Please let me out of the car now. I’ll sign anything you want.

Hmmm. Come to think of it, maybe that’s not such a bad thing.
2. I’m too irresponsible for glasses. I lose them, break them, step on them, and scratch thier lenses. I’m so bad about it that my wife refuses to let me buy any pair of sunglasses that costs more than $5.00. I go through 6-8 pairs of sunglasses a year on average. When I was fishing every weekend it was closer to 12 pairs.

So I’m getting zapped. Any ideas on how to calm myself down so I don’t get all flinchy before the surgury?

Want to be calm about it? Don’t read the rest of this post.

I have a friend who, according to her, was just about blind before she got her eyes lasered. Then she got the “flashy-thing” (on the cheap in Montreal) and things got worse.

It turns out that one in a hundred or a thousand or something people get scabbing in their lenses from being “flashy-thinged”. Then their vision clouds over like they have cataracts. Then they have to got to a totally different eye-surgery place where they cut open your eyes and scrape out the scabby bits while you’re still awake. Then you have to go get the “flashy thing” again and hope you don’t scab up a second time. Apparently, you can do this a couple-three times, and then you need corneal implants.

I recommend tequila.

That was totally uncalled for.
I want my mommy.

My wife had her first eye LASIKed on Monday morning this week. By Tuesday morning she was at 20/20, with residual improvements continuing all through this week. She gets eye #2 done next Monday.

She was a little nervous beforehand, but the nurse talked her through it during the entire procedure, which only took 10 minutes. She’s absolutely delighted, and said it was less traumatic than going to the dentist.

My boss had it done, and is extremely glad she did. No suggestions about being calm, though. I dunno how I’d manage it myself, without drugs.

Of course, we all trust and know that welby researched this thoroughly before deciding to do it. Any type of surgery has its risks, that’s a given. I know several people who’ve had lasik surgery and they were all just fine afterwards. If you are really squeamish about it, I understand they will give you a mild sedative before zapping your eyeballs. At least, that’s what I was told. That may all depend on the person doing the surgery. I’d ask about it if I were you welby cause it sounds like that’d be a good thing for you.

Do remember that just cause you’ll be able to see real good is no reason to go peeping in the neighbors’ bedrooms at night, ok? :smiley:

I assure you, it was the best 3000 bucks I’ve ever spent. I wish I’d done it years ago. MrMaisy and his brother have both done it as well (all in the past year) and each of us have had fantastic results.

They’ll use incredibly numbing eyedrops on you, so you literally won’t feel a thing, not finger-poking, not lasers, nuthin. I’m sure almost everyone has a powerful blink reaction, I don’t think you’re alone there. To keep it under control, after they’ve numbed you up, they tape your eyelids back, and use a metal clamp thingy to keep your eye open. You won’t be able to blink, no matter how hard you try. For me, since I couldn’t blink, I compensated by trying to roll my eyes away. They just tell you to focus on the flashing lights, and by that point I was scared enough that if I rolled my eyes again I might be blind for all eternity. Even though I was afraid I might have moved a little, everything was fine, and I didn’t have any laser accidents or anything.

I think my own reactions are probably pretty normal (of course! Doesn’t everyone?), and it sounds like your flinching shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Just focus (ha!) on the flashing lights, and concentrate, and you’ll be done in a minute or two.

Good luck! (And exgineer, not very nice…)


Well, i haven’t had it done, but the one thing my eye doctor mentioned to me, and I’ve read from various sources - don’t skimp when it comes to lasers and your eyes. If you see someone having a “discount” thing, or some kind of eye-laser sale, stay away from them. Don’t be cheap, pay the full price for a qualified professional to do it. Do research and ask questions, ask other doctors, ask other people who have had their eyes done by them.

Think: Supercuts? Or Paris Salon? Then think: this is for my eyes. Do you want to get Supercuts for your eyes? :eek:

If you’ve already done the research, and you’re not going to them with a coupon, then relax… these guys know what they’re doing.

Surely there will be other Dopers come along here soon and give you some encouraging words. I didn’t mean to make this post sound scary, but informative. Some people have gone to cheapies and have no horror stories to tell, so I’m just telling you what I’ve heard, and what I would do. Take it for what it’s worth :slight_smile:

As for relaxing, ah, heck, I don’t know. A warm bath, chamomile tea, a warm blankey, a kitty or a puppy, a nice stroll, a good book… the usual things. Read some jokes online, have a good laugh. But do your research. Your eyes should be important.

Good luck - I apologise if I was of little help in the relaxing department.

What she said.

I did it way back in 2000. If you want a blow-by-blow account of what the surgery is like from a first-person perspective, I wrote one in this thread: Gettin’ my eyes lasered…

Key phrase toward the end:

Can you actually see what they are doing to your eyes even if you can’t feel it?

I couldn’t. All I could see was the little flashing light show against a dark background. But they did let me bring a videotape to record the procedure on - the closeup magnified view that the doctor sees. It’s very cool. I burned it to a DVD, but not many people seem to want to watch. I also printed out some stills to put in my scrapbook.


I am (hopefully!) getting this done as a mutual graduation present from both my parents. My mom suggested it years ago, but because of our financial situation I didn’t think she could afford it, so I thought it wouldn’t be approrpiate to nag her about it after college (after all, I am an adult here) but then yesterday she mentioned it again.

Since she works for Kaiser she would get a discount. Though not as much as you’d think.

Whoop, just wanted to mention: family discount =/= coupon/sale type discount :wink:

I just wanted to clarify that, because originally I didn’t leave any loopholes. There’s always a loophole. Hooray for loopholes!

Everyone I know who has done it is thrilled that they did.

I’m too much of a wuss.


I saw it, and it was the freakiest thing I’ve ever seen. There was no pain and after a mild relaxant, it didn’t bother me. Just really freaky. They do one eye at a time so there is no depth perception (and you get to watch twice!) You stare at a bright light, kinda like the handheld light an optometrist uses. Off to the side you can see a red laser pointing at you. It’s not blinding as it’s off to the side, but it is distracting. When they cut the flap and fold the lense, your vision goes all wavy and distorted, like someone playing with Photoshop filters. There was also some wateriness and blurriness in there at some point. The best part is somehow, maybe with the scooping out of stuff or from the replacement of the flap, you actually see your vision get better. Things are blurry and then all of a sudden everything starts coming in focus. You want to jump up and down and announce your joy to the world, but that’s a bad idea when you take in account the laser pointing at your eyeball.

If there was a way to sell the visual experience to people (maybe via virtual reality) you could make millions. Freakiest thing I ever saw.

I’ll chime in as well.

First, what Anastasaeon said. I spoke to my regular eye doctor about LASIK before I did it and recommends 2 doctors in the area to his patients. Two. There are the usual number around here - he told me that a lot of doctors do LASIK as a side business purely for the money (since the overhead is low and the profits are huge). Remembering that you only have one set of eyes, make sure you choose your surgeon wisely.

That having been said, I had mine done on a Friday. The surgeon prescribed 2 Valium tablets - one for pre-surgery and one for post. I probably could have done it without the drugs, but it was easier and less stressful with. So ask your doctor if he can prescribe something to take the edge off. The whole surgery takes like 1/2 hour or so, and then you spend another 30 mins or so waiting to make sure everything is cool before you go home. I had mine done, then a friend took me home, I took the other Valium and went to sleep. Woke up several hours later, ate, back to sleep.

By Monday I was fine.

Just to encourage you, I had mine done in Feb 2001 and haven’t any problems that I can mention. I wear sunglasses all the time now, but that is mainly cause I like to and because I don’t have to swap between prescription glasses anymore. When I went to my doctor after the 1st of the year, he said “There is absolutely nothing I can do to make your vision any better than it is already. Everything I tried makes it worse”. Mine is somewhere in the 20/18 range in both eyes.


I had my eyes done about a year ago. My vision was 20/500 going in, with astigmatism in one eye. Now my vision is 20/20. The procedure wasn’t even close to the ordeal that I had myself worked up to expect. The thing I was most worried about was moving my eyes while the doctor was working. Turns out that even if you can’t keep your eye perfectly still, the machine and doctor are very good at shutting things down quickly. I think the worst part of the day was actually the drive home. The light hurt my eyes a LOT. Even with my eyes shut, wearing a cap and sunglasses, riding in a car with tinted windows, and shielding my eyes with my hands, there was still enough light to give me a headache. Overall, it was the best money I’ve ever spent. If you haven’t looked in to it already, you should see if the doctor you’ve chosen gives a discount for certain types of vision insurance. I don’t know if any insurance pays for Lasik yet, but my doctor gave a 20% discount because I had a vision care plan that he accepted.

Cool, I can’t wait to get this done! :smiley:

Frankly, this type of thing would make a much better graduation present for me. I’ve always wanted to see how people see me without the dumb glasses, always getting dirty and crooked, not having to fuss with contacts, etc. (Actually I usually take my glasses off for photos anyway. I and personall I feel much more handsome without the silly things)

I had Lasik less than a month ago. I was very nervous about having done and almost cancelled on the day of the surgery. There are many threads that deal with Dopers’ experiences with this procedure and reading everyone else’s thoughts was a big help.

I was given a mild sedative when I got to the facility but the whole procedure’s over so quickly, there was scarcely time for the medicine to kick in. It did help with taking a good long nap afterwards. Oh, and you get to sleep in goofy goggles for a week. :cool:

In one day, I went from 20/400 with astigmatism to 20/15 in my left eye and 20/25 in my right. I had some lingering pain in my left eye that has finally gone away. It was NOT an infection or anything like that. As near as the doctor and I can determine, it was strain in the muscles, the left eye compensating for the right eye being slightly weaker. My vision isn’t absolutely perfect (which they never promise you that anyway) but it is so much better than it was and I don’t need corrective lenses at all. It’s still amazing to me to wake up in the morning and be able to see the clock. I still find myself reaching to take off my glasses before I go to bed at night.

My husband got to watch the entire thing on a monitor and will be having the procedure done himself in the spring. I can’t say I’d want to go through it again but I’m glad I had it done. Definitely.