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Laser Eye Surgery - Any Experiences?

(25 Posts)
PennyBenjamin Fri 28-Sep-07 12:06:30

I've just been for an eye test and check up, and my eyes have got worse, yet again. I am now -8.00.

I've always been nervous of having surgery, and always put off by the expense, but have recently come into a bit of cash, and wondering if this is the right time to go for it.

Would appreciate any experiences, good or bad.

BirthdayBabe Fri 28-Sep-07 12:17:31

I had it done a few years back and wish I had done it before. The op itself lasted about 10mn, then 3 days wearing black glasses. I have a perfect vision, but it was not that bad to start with. I have no problem drinving in the dark. The results vary according to the severity of the problem.

chipmonkey Fri 28-Sep-07 12:54:10

Penny, if your prescription is still getting worse, I would think it would be a bad time to get it done. The procedure does not halt the progress of myopia so you could end up back in specs in a couple of years. Have had this happen to a few patients. ( I'm an optometrist)

woodenchair Fri 28-Sep-07 12:59:39

I had one of mine done in 2000, but I was only -2.5. My only advice is if you can afford it go for the more expensive pain free procedure. The recovery on the non pain free one isn't pleasant.

Penny is right, it will not stop your eyes getting worse.

chipmonkey Fri 28-Sep-07 13:27:38

woodenchair, did you have PRK rather than LASIK? Ouch, if so!

chipmonkey Fri 28-Sep-07 13:28:11

Despite my occupation, I am a total wuss when it comes to my own eyes!grin

PennyBenjamin Fri 28-Sep-07 13:57:00

Ooo, thanks for the good advice. My eyes have got steadily worse over the last 15 years, and haven't seemed to stabilise at all. Am now 30, and apparently they should stop worsening sometime soon. Maybe you're right, I should wait. I don't mind wearing contacts at all, just seems like being able to get out of bed without stumbling around the room would be nice!

chipmonkey Fri 28-Sep-07 14:02:22

Penny, do you work on a computer? Or spend too much time on MN?grin

wishingchair Fri 28-Sep-07 14:14:44

I had mine done 2 years ago ... I was -3.5. Perfect now. Best thing I ever did (other than get married and have kids grin). But agree, best to wait for your eyes to stabilise.

I went to ultralase ... not the cheapest but very good, professional with excellent before and after care.

PennyBenjamin Fri 28-Sep-07 15:27:16

Chipmonkey - both!

I've always had terrible eyesight, and hate wearing glasses, so I am showing signs of overwear of contacts. I just wonder how much worse it can get. -8 seems pretty bad!

chipmonkey Fri 28-Sep-07 15:35:21

Penny, I have one patient who is -28.00 but that is not going to happen to you! There may be an underlying reason why you continue to get worse, though. I do find that people who spend too much time doing closework/PC work tend to get worse more readily than someone who works outdoors for example. Also if your eyes don't work well together or if you have a poor ability to focus or converge ( point both eyes in to read) this can contribute to problems. Re the overwearing, what type of lenses do you use?

maisemor Fri 28-Sep-07 15:56:56

Can you feel anything whilst they "operate" on your eyes?

PennyBenjamin Fri 28-Sep-07 16:07:41

Wow, how lucky am I to be getting advice from someone qualified! Thanks!

I am a lawyer, so lots of computer work and reading long documents. Not an awful lot I can do about it I'm afraid.

I wear Bausch and Lomb dailies, and have never had any problems with them, but have been told by optician that I show signs of overwearing.

PrincessGoodLife Fri 28-Sep-07 16:09:53

Do it - you won't regret it.
It was the best thing I ever spent money on.
You don't feel them operate but you can see and smell what is going on. It is very painful for the first couple of days but well worth it iykwim.

chipmonkey Fri 28-Sep-07 17:04:52

Penny, if you wear lenses every day and have no allergies you might be better using a silicone hydrogel contact lens, they let loads more oxygen through and don't dehydrate in the same way as dailies.
I would probably suggest also seeing a behavioural optometrist. This list should list someone in your area. Can't make any promises but it may be possible that some vision therapy may help in stabilising your prescription.

woodenchair Fri 28-Sep-07 20:06:04

chipmonkey, yep I think that's what it was called. when I had it done lasik was quite new and I didn't know anyone that had been through it. Plus it was alot more expensive and I couldn't afford it.

It wasn't a pleasant few days I can say

spudcounter Sat 29-Sep-07 07:29:57

wow chipmonkey...

'The procedure does not halt the progress of myopia so you could end up back in specs in a couple of years'

I didn't know this. I'm shortsighted too and was considering having it done, but I'm nearly 44 (sthg like -8) and also wondered whether I'd still have to wear glasses for longsightedness in a couple of years (not showing signs of that at the moment though).
But why do people have it done if they're going to still progress myopically? Doesn't seem worth it if after a few years I might still have to wear glasses for short-sightedness and possibly long-sightedness.

MrsSeanSlater Sat 29-Sep-07 07:39:45

Spudcounter, i think that's why they suggest you wait till your eyesight is stable. If it has been stable for a few years then you'd be unlikely to have to go back to glasses.
I was thinking about having this done but checkened out (I'm a -9ish prescription).
Is Lasik really pain free?

scienceteacher Sat 29-Sep-07 08:21:46

I had mine done over 4 years ago and am very happy with it. My prescription was about -3.5, and the place I went to didn't generally do Lasik on anyone over -7. Most of the problems with Lasik are with the very short-sighted. They also stipulated 2 years of stable eyesight, and no contact wearing for something like 3 months.

As for the procedure, the eyes were thoroughly mapped ahead of time, and the data programmed into the laser computer. I was offered a valium pill just before going in (it was to help with sleeping afterwards rather), and then my eyes were given anaesthetic drops. My eyes were clamped to push back the eyelids and keep them steady, and then I was zapped. It took about 30 seconds per eye. I then went back to the waiting room for 20 minutes (during which time two other patients were zapped), and then the opthalmologist had a check that all was well and sent me home.

The recovery regime was to sleep for a few hours (hence the valium), and wear eyeshields at night for the first week. There were also a few eyedrops to take before and after.

I had a check up with the optomitrist the morning after the procedure - drove myself there - and then regular checkups afterwards.

I was warned at all stages, including in the Laser Room, that I would still need reading glasses in the future.

My eyesight is still perfect for distance after 4 years, and I don't need readers. The only thing that I have noticed that's not so good is that I seem to need more light for close work, such as sewing.

CaptainCaveman Sat 29-Sep-07 08:33:53

I had mine done in June 06 and have had perfect vision since then. I was -3.5 and had been stable at this for around 4 years.
Had lasik and wavefront, cost £2k but worth every penny. I really struggled to wear contact lenses due to dry eyes, even high water content ones (sorry if my lack of knowledge is embarrasing here chipmonkey!).

It is so cool being able to see when you wake up in the morning without scrabbling around for glasses!

fakeblonde Sat 29-Sep-07 12:11:35

Anyone know if this will ever be available on the nhs for us poorer folk ?

wishingchair Sat 29-Sep-07 12:19:44

that's the thing I love about it ... being able to wake up and immediately see. I was told will probably need readers as to most people as they get older.

I had Lasik and wavefront ... cost £3k altogether! But used interest free credit deal so not so bad.

Didn't hurt whilst they were doing it ... lots of anaesthetic drops. I was terrified about the eye clamping but it's really weird ... you still feel like you're blinking so it was fine. Hurt afterwards but only like you've got grit in your eyes. And you have to sleep with plastic shields on your eyes so you don't accidentally rub them. That's attractive ... but not for very long.

It's just a wonderful invention smile

chipmonkey Sat 29-Sep-07 14:36:21

Spudcounter, most eye surgeons worth their salt will advise against the procedure if the myopia has not stabilised itself. There should have been no increase in your shortsightedness in the past 2 years. But even people with "normal" vision start to require reading glasses after the age of about 45. This is also true for someone who has had laser eye surgery. A lot of surgeons get around this by leaving one eye undercorrected ( still shortsigted) so they can see in the distance with the perfect eye but still see up close with the shortsighted eye. If you were thinking of doing this I would try it out with contact lenses first to make sure you can tolerate it; not everyone can.

elfsmum Sat 29-Sep-07 14:47:10

I had mine done a year ago.

right eye went o.k., went to do my left eye and the flap didn't form properly, so I had to wait for 3 months until it healed then they did it again.

i couldn't wear a contact lense for 2 weeks, which was very uncomfortable, perfect vision in one eye and the other still blurred.

I still have a slight prescription in both eyes (was -2.75 and -2.50, now am -1.50 and -0.50) and wear glasses for driving, but don't need them generally.

They have said I can have them done again, but it's my decision not to, the risks increase with each treatment so I don't want a 3rd one on my left eye.

that said, I'm reasonably happy with them, and it is nice to be free of contacts, especially when swimming.

I also find that my vision deteriorates when I'm tired.

chipmonkey Sat 29-Sep-07 15:13:41

and elfsmum that small amount of shortsightedness will be an advantage when you're older. Probably no reading specs till your 60's!

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