Hmm, still no long term info, other than the countries where refractive surgery first started now ban in completely. (Russia, Japan) They had enough bad problems from RK and the earliest LASIK that they really want to take NO chances.
And refractive surgery is only good for the amount of time it takes your eyes to change again. Once presbyopia sets in (age 40 or so), you’ll have to have reading correction, or else get ANOTHER surgery (which most reputable eye surgeons will NOT do, except in extreme cases) to set up monovision. (Like monovision in contact lenses, one eye for distance, one eye for near vision. Still not perfect, still a problem after a few years.)
Pretty much, if you can be corrected by contacts and/or glasses, you’d be better off without it. When it works, it’s wonderful. When it doesn’t, you’re pretty much screwed. For about 3 years, I worked in the optical industry. (The signifigant other still does, but I escaped.) We would, on a regular basis, have people come in who had gotten refractive surgery. They could never get glasses or contacts immediately, because there was always a problem. If they didn’t warn the doctor that they’d had the surgery, they had to be re-refracted because MOST people that have had Lasik, RK or PRK refract differently in a dark room that they do in the presence of light. (Why? Don’t know, but it happens.) So, if you fill their prescriptions, you have to re-do it when they can’t see (and the optician eats that, not the doctor, although it’s not the optician’s fault the doctor made an error).
Many people who have refractive surgery can no longer wear contacts (surface of the eye is uneven, or it’s just painful) and those poor sad few who have infections…I can’t stand to think about that. Seriously. Cannot. Stand. It.
Now, to the questions…
Why do you want the surgery?
What is your current eyewear prescription?
Are you correctable with glasses and/or contacts?
And do NOT discount the use of contacts AND glasses. We had a -15.50 patient who was, at that point, out of the range of standard disposable contacts. We put her in -10.00 contacts and made her glasses with a high index lens, because they were still a -5.50, which is kinda thick in CR-39 plastic. When her prescription changed, we changed the contacts and left the glasses alone. (We’d built in some play in the contact range to do exactly that.) She LOOKS ‘normal’, without the very thick lenses that most high-minus prescriptions demand, and with the advent of the 1.71 high index lens (hers are a 1.6 index, and there’s 1.66 available in between) we can keep her in glasses and contacts with no problem for a number of years. Her assorted sisters have had refractive surgery, and 2 of the 4 have had severe problems, so she’s as happy as can be to NOT have someone cutting on her eyes.
OH, the reason that Russia and Japan banned refractive surgery? Twenty years down the road…too many blind people.