Laser vision improvement.

I never before thought about someone with good vision getting lasik, but the tone of that commercial really emphasized the “many patients report results better than 20/20” phrase, and I know how vain some people can be. And there have been many reports of quackery in the field. Too bad they abuse something that has helped so many.
Lasik is surgery, but they reassure you that there’s no knife work involved. The risk for the latest procedure is quite low.
My right eye is perfectly normal, and retains good vision for someone my age. My left eye (the devil’s eye ;)), though, has has had glaucoma, a terrigium (sp), and a cataract. It’s all under control now, thanks to an excellent doctor.

I had a discussion with my eye doc about this. He said there are two components to vision. One is the physical aspect of focusing the image on the eye and the second is the optical nerve/brain performance in processing that image. According to this doc (who is quite expert in Lasik) optimal patients can be physically corrected perfectly but then, whether you end up with 20/20, 20/15, or 20/25 depends on nervous system performance.

With glasses I can be corrected to a touch better than 20/20 but, due to my astigmatism and age, he is skeptical that I would get perfect Lasik results and doesn’t really recommend it yet. On the other hand, my wife ended up better than 20/20 with Lasik.

My optometrist told me that nearsightedness is caused by your eyeball being elongated, which in turn is caused by muscles in your eye not being able to relax. No one knows why it gets progressively worse, but never better.

Laser surgery serves to shorten the distance between the surface of your lens and the back of your eyeball. To me this seems to be a stopgap measure. If you have a very curved lens, great, you have room to improve. If your lens is relatively flat, they can’t shave much off to shorten that focal distance. It isn’t surprising that voguevixen’s vision got worse after surgery, perhaps her eyes compensated for the new farsightedness by focusing harder - elongating the eyeball. There are no guarantees.

My optometrist had an interesting fix that didn’t involve surgery. He called it “orthokeratology”. Essentially he fitted me with gas permeable hard contacts that had a slightly flatter inner surface than the shape of the lens of my eye. What this does over time is force the lens to flatten slightly.

If you wear contact lenses all the time, you can get progressively flatter lenses and achieve the same end as with laser surgery. Unfortunately, the results are temporary if you stop wearing your lenses for a time, but it might be an option for people who need to past an uncorrected vision test (pilots, etc) or those who occasionally need to take their contacts out while maintaining good vision.

For obvious reasons this won’t work with soft lenses.

I did notice a definite improvement, when I wore my contacts all the time. I didn’t go back for periodic adjustments though, so I didn’t see the optimal result.

One thing I have wondered about is whether having Lasik surgery while young will simply mean that the far-sightedness as you age will simply come earlier and be worse. I started wearing glasses in 4th grade and my eyes pretty much stabilized at that point. Until my grandson destroyed them about 8 years ago, I was still using a pair of glasses that I got in HS. I was 20/40 in one eye and 20/50 in the other with very mild astigmatism. So when I turned 40 and my wife, with perfect vision, started to need glasses and now has bifocals, I just started using my glasses less and less and took them off for reading. It was only last winter, about when I turned 66 that I finally decided I needed reading glasses. I can still read ordinary print in bright light and am reading the computer screen right now at about 30" without glasses. Had I had Lasik surgery when I was 20, wouldn’t I be in the same position as my wife? As it is, it seems that my slight myopia is a reasonable trade-off for extending my ability to read unaided by 25 years.

Just for the record, I was required to get glasses in order to drive when I was 15. I have always worn glasses (I turn 41 Saturday) and they are “normal” to me. Corrective surgery is in most cases elective and expensive. I considered having it done but then I thought, “What if mine is the one in a thousand case where the doctor fucks up?”

I wonder if there is any truth to the rumor that left handed people have better eyesight. I read that in one of those gimmick books you sometimes stumble upon while browsing the humor section of a bookstore( you know those books that hav caricatures of famous left handed people and have the binding on the other side)

Years ago there was an urban legend (back then we called them old wive’s tales) that pregnancy can cause myopia.

Babies are born farsighted. The eyeball grows with the head, but is supposed to stop growing at normal vision. The growth occurs when the lens is tensed from focusing. Historically, we would focus on the horizon. Today we focus on a computer screen so our eyes often keep growing and we wind up nearsighted. Put on glasses and the procedure keeps going and some people wind up very nearsighted.
of course, your mileage may vary.