Should I have laser eye surgery?

I’m 41, I’ve worn glasses since I was 14. I hate glasses. I hate contact lenses! Having to wear them is like having to wear a prosthetic limb! I honestly believe that not having perfect vision is a handicap! It is! Part of my body doesn’t work the way God/nature intended it too!

I went through all the pre-op counseling and test, and am a good candidate for laser eye surgery. I can easily afford this.
My wife, however, is very opposed to it. She’s worried about this and that, and her oposition is the only thing that’s holding me back.
Honestly, the only person I know personally who has had this done is my Uncle (age 52). He is very happy with it. But I know of no one else.
Have any of you had this done? I want to hear first hand experience, no “I read somewhere…” stuff.
After all these years in glasses, is this something I should do? Money is not an issue.

I went through it a year ago, then again 6 months ago.

The surgery itself is painless and it’s hard to screw up as long as you have a competent doctor and you follow his/her insturctions. The worse thing during the surgery is being nervous. THat and the fact you can’t just close your eyes and pretend it’s not happening(well, one eye is covered, the other is held open with a special device).

The worst part is the evening of the surgery. You will not be allowed to drive yourself (so have a SO or friend drive you there and back). Once you finish, your eye(or eyes, if you got both done) are dry, icthy and irrated. You are NOT allowed to rub them for several days and are asked to wear googles while you sleep to make sure you don’t do it while you are asleep. Where I went, I got a medical kit, with pain pills, sleeping pills, and various kids of eyedrops to help the pain. You don’t have to use any of them, but there are there if you need them.

Basically, the night it happens, going to bed early is a good idea(since your vision goes in and out for the evening(which makes it really hard to watch TV or Read, and the aforementioned pain). My eyes felt normal the next day in both cases.

Usaually you’ll be asked to come back for appointments at regular intervals for checkups(at least I did). Unless something goes horribly wrong, you won’t need glasses anymore, or less dreadful, you won’t need ones nearly as thick.

However, there are several risks invovled. There’s a low chance(less then 10%, can’t remember the exact number) that the surgery will make your vision worse and any good clinc/doctor will inform you of these risks and make sure you understand them before you pay. I was asked to watch a 10 minute video detailing all the risks and was asked if I understood and to sign a waiver to that effect. They should also test your eyes and vision to make sure you aren’t at risk for this these kinds of problems.

Another problem, though less dangerous, is that people with large pupils have a greater chance of having issues with lights in the Dark (Haloing, which can affect your night driving). I have medium-largish pupils and did have some issues with this, but nothing that created problems in my life. Most people it goes away after 6 months. Some people it will stick around forever(those with large pupils are prone to this).

Again, this depends on your Doctor/Clinic, but if you don’t get your eyes fixed all the way to 20/20 (and some people will never be able to get all the way there, 20/25 being the best it can be corrected too), you will probably be able to get an enhancement to take it the rest of the way. Some places will likely charge for the 2nd surgery, while others (like the one I went to, basically said everything for a year was covered by the intial payment. Making the 2nd surgery essentially free :smiley: )

But I’m sorry…I disgress. I wasn’t sure how much you wanted to know. I apologize if I bored you.

My case was this. Went in Last Spring with medium-largish pupils and Coke-bottle glasses, but was still a good candidate. Told because of vision problmes since I was a kid, I’d never be 20/20, but rather a best of 20/25.

Signed the papers, payed them, and went through it. The next day, no glasses and saw a lot better then I could without glasses before. However, as time passed, I noticed that I still couldn’t see as well as could before with glasses. Late last year, after many checkups, I was told I had only been corrected about halfway between where I started out and best case enhancement.

I did it again. Now I’m about 20/20 or so and the haloing at night is not noticable(Or I’ve gotten so used to it that I don’t notice). I’ve been released from regular checkups(now just annual). No glasses other then sunglasses (I’m still a bit light sensitive because of my pupil size and that will probably never go away. However, I don’t mind because sunglasses are a hell of a lot cooler then regular ones).

Lastly (Hold in there, I’m almost done), I can’t back this up from personal experince, from what I’ve been told, apparently it does get slightly trickier around the age of 40 due to natural eyesight decay. However, that’s probably been dicussed with you.

gets off the soapbox

Sorry for the long digression. I hope this helps you.

Having wron glasses since age 6, I would do it in a minute if I could afford it.:cool:

Wore glasses from age 10 to 42, and hated every single minute of it. Tried contacts, but was never comfortable in them. At 42, I had laser eye surgery, one eye at a time, because I was a little scared. First one was PRK, second was LASIK. In my case, the PRK eye came out a little better; the LASIK eye, two and a half years later, is still a little dry when I don’t get enough sleep. The recovery period was a bit easier and much quicker with LASIK, however. Both have excellent vision.

Whenever I’m asked about it, I always respond that it’s the best thing I’ve ever done in my life. Even now, I often wake up in the morning and just stare around the bedroom, marvelling at how clear everything is, even without reaching for glasses. No more rain spattering on my lenses, no more steamed up lenses when I sweat, no more aching ears and nose. I can go swimming and actually see those bikini-clad girls that I used to only hear.

I do still use reading glasses for very fine print, especially if the light isn’t good. I’m told this is more or less inevitable at my age, but it doesn’t bother me. Wearing glasses when trying to be active is what bothered me. I encourage you to encourage your wife to encourage you to do it.

I had it done three years ago, and the results were great. Went from 20/200 to 20/25.

I don’t really have much to add except another “go for it”. It has made such a difference in my life.

Max Torque gave a really good description of what LASIK involves in this thread.

I did mine back in October. I started a thread about it, and a quick search will show plenty more including the Max Torque one.

It worked great for me…a few years of glasses and 25 years of hard contacts. Had mine done back in October and I’ve been 20/20 ever since without a single problem.

Expensive? Yep, but IMHO so unbelieveably worth it.

Just out of my own curiosity, what makes a person a “good candidate” for this surgery?

The only thing that I could assume right now is that maybe your eyes have stopped getting worse and have plateaued (sic?). That’s just an assumption on my part, though. I really have no idea.


I’ve been leery about getting laser surgery because I have a hunch that I’ll eventually need glasses again. My eyes are getting slightly worse all the time, and from what I’ve read, laser surgery won’t stop the progression. I’ve been looking at alternatives, and as it turns out, there is some alternative technology for vision correction.

For example, here is a site that describes intacs and some other alternatives.

I offer the following only for balance, but this site is staunchly anti-lasik and has transcripts the FDA Devices Panel, a description of a class-action lawsuit for price-fixing, and the cite of a scientific paper about aerosolization of infectious virii by excimer lasers.

That said, I’m very happy for all of you who love the results!

Heck. MY eyesight is 20/650!

After much hesitation my wife had this done. This was about 1.5 yrs ago and she never regretted it. I can see (no pun intended) how it is easier for her to do things.

I have 2 friends who have gotten it done with great results. They both went to Canada after much research and a Dr. recommendation, from what I understand it is more reasonably priced there. I know some people have heard horror stories about getting this done in Canada, but I can see no reason why it matters where you get it done, as long as you know your Dr. is reputable. There is nothing inherently wrong with going to Canada, right? RIGHT?

Interface , I know one reason you can be denied for the surgery is if your corneas are too thick. Your Dr. should check for this before having the surgery, I’m sure there are other reasons too.

I would love to do it but it is not on my priority list right now as far as money goes. I wear soft contacts and have had no trouble since I switched to disposables, though.

LASIK surgery is fine if the doctor does it right.

I would caution you, however, to make sure you get a lot of background information on your doctor. If the laser is improperly calibrated, it is possible to either underpower it (resulting in ineffective surgery) or, as has happened several dozen times in the US in the last decade, overpower it. Errors in using too much power with the laser can cause the retina to be completely burned away or the fluid inside the eyeball to boil and cause the eyeball to burst. In some cases, negligent doctors have accidentally burned holes right through the patient’s brain. Be careful!