Laser vision improvement.

I saw a commercial last night claiming that laser surgery can give vision “better” than 20/20. I know what 20/20 means.
I want to know if people who’s vision is 20/20 are getting getting the surgery so that others won’t have vision “better” than theirs. I have heard people brag that their vision is better than 20/20.

I had the surgery done with great results, but it IS a surgery and there ARE risks. I highly doubt anyone with 20/20 vision would go through the prodedure for maybe getting 20/10 vision, which would be a marginal improvement at best.

And the results, while great, are not guaranteed to be perfectly accurate. Everyone’s eyes are different, so there is always a chance your 20/20 vision could get slightly worse.

I also don’t think an ethical doctor would perform the surgery on someone with good vision. But this is from a layman’s viewpoint, so don’t quote me. =)

I wouldn’t do it either, but I’ve known people (women, in my case) who have fine features and bodies get, at some risk, cosmetic surgery.
Generally, there’s no advantage to other than 20/20 acuity.

I’ve also heard that the procedure doesn’t last long. Some say no more than five years.

Is this true?

20/20 is perfect, or rather, average. That number says “at 20 feet distance, I can make out an image as well as the mode people can make it out at 20 feet distance.” There’s no problem if your eyes are 20/19 or 20/21 (the second number indicates the necessary distance for YOU). I have different prescriptions for each eye, but my left is worse at 20/6 or so. I have to come closer to make an image come into focus than most people. It also means that I can put my nose to a sheet of news and read it as fast as normal (not terribly useful :slight_smile: ). Farsightedness is the opposite condition, where you have to stand further away from an image to make it out than the normal person. It’s generally not a problem; you have to hold books at arm’s length, but unless your vision is 20/200, you can still drive and play baseball and all the other things which involve medium-and-long-distance vision.

There was one fellow at my prep school who was legally blind because of his farsightedness. I think he was originally 20/250 or so, but he had an eye operation and wore enormous glasses that made him functional. Pretty cool fellow, if you got used to him never looking you in the eye.

AFAIK, laser surgery is good for correcting shortsightedness like mine, but not farsightedness. I know for a fact it’ll work for me, I’ll be doing it once I’m completely done growing and my prescription stabilizes. I don’t think you’d want to get lasered for anything except 20/20 vision, or nothing far from that, anyway.

I don’t think it happens much anymore, but make sure you go to a reputable doctor with thousands of these surgeries successful. A while ago, while the technology was new, people were being blinded frequently by imperfect control over the laser. I’m not taking any chances myself.

Mr. Blue Sky, if it’s done to a person over 25, it will last your life. Or rather, it will last until the time your lenses become stiffer (40-60yrs) and you need reading glasses or bifocals.

Odd. I’d always thought it was the other way around. Say, 20/80 vision (which is what I have, and I’m nearsighted) means that at 20 feet, I can make out an object that a normal person could see at 80. However, that would mean that 20/6 is in fact extremely farsighted, so I could be wrong.

I am 40 and was thinking about getting it done next year. Would it be a waste of money?

Oh, dear. I reversed it. <urk>

Blue, don’t ask me, ask your eye doctor. It might be wasted money, it might give you super-powers.

Here’s what 20/20 means.
None of you would get the surgery for bragging rights, right? Cool.
I’m trying to do a little research to see if any doctors would, or have perform the surgery for someone who has 20/20. I’m sure getting tired of typing “20/20”. :wink:

Hey, cdhostage! Backofff! :wink:

Are people getting this done for moderate but not disabling vision problems? Like 20/40?

one thing to remember is that 20-20 just means you can make out the letters on the 20-20 line. it says nothing about reduced contrast, double vision, distortion etc.

some people have great results with laser eye surgery, some less so:

I had lasik done in July of last year, and my vision is now 20/15, which means I can read the tiniest lines on the eye chart without a problem. I understand that I was one of the lucky ones, not everyone is able to be corrected to such a degree. I highly recommend the procedure if you’re tired of glasses/contacts. There are several myths about lasik, I think most correction facilities have mini-seminars which address the myths and help you to determine if you are a candidate.

I had mine done about 4 years ago when I was 28ish. I had 20/20 in one eye and 20/15 in the other for about 3 years and all of a sudden I had to get glasses again last year. It’s nothing like it was before though. Pre-surgery I was 20/400+ and now I just need a light prescription to drive and see the tv, etc. It certainly didn’t stay perfect though, and I have no idea why.

Disclaimer: I work in an Ophthalmology department but am not a doctor or nurse; we do laser/PRK treatments here but I am not involved in that aspect. I am not selling the services of my facility.

Sometimes, your prescription can continue to worsen. My husband’s nearsightedness has basically stabilized, while mine (in my early 30s) is still getting worse. He is considering LASIK now that his vision is stable.

It is also true that this will not prevent any natural farsightedness that may occur with age, and so you might need reading glasses as a result.

Reader99 is correct in pointing out that complications may occur. However, this is true of any surgical procedure, not just LASIK.

And to address the OP but unfortunately stray into IMHO rather than GQ, I would find it highly unlikely that a reputable facility would perform the procedure on someone with essentially normal vision in order to “improve” it. I also suspect that many people who were interested in “better than normal” vision would be turned off by the potential side effects, including haloes around lights at night, and so forth, some of which may be experienced temporarily by even those with a good surgical result.

I would hope people aren’t asking for it, and I’d really hope the surgeons aren’t accepting patients with already decent vision.

Ethical issues of cutting into someone who’s for all intents and purposes “normal” aside, the success point for LASIK is usually considered to be 20/40. Anything better is gravy. When I had LASIK done about a year and a half ago, I could have paid about 25% extra for “insurance” that I’d get 20/40 or better, and stay that way for 2 years. I didn’t pay the extra, and had no guaranteed outcome. Happily, the surgeon I had was honest and didn’t recommend I paid the extra - I wound up with about 20/15.

If a person with 20/40 or 20/20 vision underwent LASIK, they’d stand an excellent chance of no change at all or worsened visual acuity. (Not to mention the halos around lights at night and other side-effects.)

I see those halos and I never had lasic. I have 20/20 vision. I thought everyone saw them. Live and learn I guess.

FTR, my vision is 20/1200 left & 20/1350 right and has stablized in the past few years. One doctor told me I’d probably be better off getting interocular implants.