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Eye Surgery(49 Posts)
Thinking about Lazer Eye Surgery to correct my vision and stop having to wear my glasses/lenses -has anyone had it done (is it painful?), where did you have it done, cost etc and have you any advice?
Several people on MN have had this done. I wear corrective lenses at night which change the shape of my cornea and mean I can see perfectly during the day. This doesn't work for everyone, nor do all opticians offer it.
If this isn't what you're interested in, tell me to butt out. If it sounds like something you'd consider, then either post again on this thread or CAT me (or search MN for Ortho-k as that's what the lenses are called and I've posted about them before). Another poster got cross with me for mentioning it on a previous laser eye surgery thread!
My friend has just had the laser surgery and he said it only hurt a bit on the first day after it was done. Basically he came out and could see and the vision is increasing all the time. He has to wear goggles at night for the first five nights as you shouldnt rub your eye but his vision after five days is better than when he wore glasses.
He got it done in Manchester and it costs about 1,700.
HM - I'm interested - is this a permanent fix, or will you always have to sleep in the corrective lenses?
I had Lasik done two years ago and I am very pleased with it. It's not at all painful and the healing process is very quick. It's amazing to be able to clearly see the clock right in the theatre.
Flobbleflobble, yes, will always have to sleep in the lenses, which is why it's not for people who want a permanent fix, but I wanted something that was wholly reversible (it is) and only had the risks I was already taking by wearing contact lenses every day. I wasn't comfortable with the idea of laser surgery, but realise that many people are happy with the results they get and are happy to take what are, imo, greater risks.
I'll post a link to more info later on - got to go and feed DS now!
I am interested in Lazer Eye Surgery but I am scared of the thought! Can anyone tell me if there are any long-term risks or is it just the general surgery risks? Is eyesight restored to the point you dont have to wear glasses/lenses again or does it deteriorate again with time? As many details as poss please. (even the gory bits!)
As for the corrective lenses - that sounds an option to - can you give me more details?
Previous thread here for more info on ortho-k lenses
As for laser surgery, the things that turned me of fit were that if something goes wrong, that's it. And some people have irritated eyes, they still need to wear glasses, and occasionally they have permanent vision disturbance afterwards. Lots don't obviously, but with my track record, I didn't want to take those risks! Plus the longterm effects haven't been measured adequately for me.
It's still a bit iffy, talie - it hasn't been going long enough for the possible long-term effects to be known. Also there is a risk of permanent irreversible damage during the procedure, as hm says.
Also, most opticians are not having it done, which speaks for itself.
This new lens thing, although it's not a quick fix and continues to cost, sounds a much safer bet at the moment.
Which report on laser eye surgery - it might not let you see it if you're not a subscriber, let me know and I will copy and paste.
Talie, the most common negative outcomes of Lasik is haloing - ie problems with night vision where there is a distracting halo around street lamps and car headlights. This sounds bad, but it has only been reported amongst Lasik patients who went in with very poor eyesight (over -7.0) or with large pupils. Most Lasik practictioners will not operate on unsuitable patients, or will offer different technology.
It's possible that the Lasik will not correct to 20:20, and that an 'enhancement' will be necessary around 6 months after the initial surgery (usually for an additional fee).
As for immediate complications: infections are guarded against by taking antibiotic eyedrops for several days before and after the surgery. A lot of people suffer from dry eye for several weeks or months after the surgery and have to take replacement tear drops.
On a personal note, I have felt that I need brighter light when reading and especially when reading small print. This may have something to do with my age as well. I only needed eye drops for a couple of weeks.
Lasik will not stop any need for reading glasses once you get into your forties.
talie - I did quite a bit of research when I was thinking of having it done, and for me the risks far outweighed any benefits and I'm going back to the idea of lenses. I'd choose hunkermunker's corrective lenses if I could afford it but I can't! Can't remember all the links, but I have definitely posted some in conversations on the topic in the past of why Lazik is still in its infancy and should be avoided - a search in archived conversations should dig them up.
Talie, I'm an optometrist and I'm not having it done! I have also noticed that very few Ophthalmic Surgeons have it done! Having said that, most people who have it done are pleased with the results. The two main problems are:
1/ Loss of contrast sensitivity. Effectively, this means difficulty driving at night, About 70% of people who have it done have reduced contrast sensitivity, of these about one-third will notice the difference.
2/ Dry eye. Some people, a small minority, develop a dependency on lubricating eye-drops afterwards. If your eyes are at all dry beforehand its best not to go ahead.
Like I say people who have these problems are in the minority. If you do decide to go ahead, just make sure you go to a reputable surgeon.
chipmonkey, I haven't had laser surgery but have had lens replacement (because they had deteriorated to the point where I had astigmatism of about -5 on top of myopia of -10 and they had gone yellow too. I couldn't recognise faces a few feet away.) I now have fantastic distance vision, but can't focus, so have to wear varifocals. (I sort of miss my -10, it was brill for looking at photographs!)
Anyway what I find now is that a) I have a bit of haloing, b) I am very susceptible to sun striking from the side, and c) am always tripping up and down small steps in the dark - is that what you mean by loss of contrast sensitivity? It's a real nuisance!
Janh, it sounds like it all right but is more likely to be "flare" probably because you are young to have your lenses replaced and probably still have large pupils. Most people get lenses replaced because of cataracts and tend to be older. And your point about missing the closework would be true for a lot of people. Can be annoying to need glasses for reading when you managed just fine before.
Chipmonkey, if optometrists recommended laser eye surgery - think about it - they would lose patients which obviously is not to their advantage.
Had laser eye surgery in 1993 for first eye and 1994 for second and was and still am delighted with the result. I know lots of people who have taken the plunge and are completely bowled over at seeing clearly without specs or contact lenses.
Your point about night vision, a lot of short sighted people have difficulty even with specs or contacts.
Your other point about dry eyes, a surgeon wouldn't deem the patient suitable for surgery if s/he had this condition.
Finally, I would imagine that, if you are right, that very few ophthalmic surgeons have had the op this is because there is a very small chance that you can lose small detail which wouldn't matter to a non-surgical person, however, when operating, clear close vision is crucial.
I didn't though, chicpea - my night vision was fine at -10. Now I have 0 (or whatever it's called!) strange places in the dark are a nightmare, I literally have to hold on to somebody unless it's well lit or definitely level.
I honestly don't believe there is a hidden agenda in optometrists not recommending it - Which? magazine doesn't either and what do they have to gain?
ChicPea, opticians in the main aren't having it done themselves though. Not just not recommending it.
My optician wears the same lenses I do though. And Puff wears them too
Which magazine is crap, though - very non-scientific, and they hate things that they deem expensive.
It's simple with Lasik - people who have had it done love it. If you trawl the internet, you will find horror stories (often not about Lasik), but those people should not have had it done in the first place - Lasik isn't for everyone - just for people with mild to moderate myopia with otherwise healthy eyes. Those that would never have it done are most negative - well, that's hardly a surprise.
Lasik is a very personal choice. This first thing to do, IMO, for anyone considering it, is to find out whether they are a candidate (amount of shortsightedness, stability of vision, pupil size etc.).
10 Common Sense Reasons Not to Have Lasik . Not horror stories, but the full stats and explanations of both common and not so common complications. How Lasik companies target advertising at "early adopters" knowing they're less likely to ask too many questions (they're the ones with a real interest in your money after all!). How the pre and post testing of your eyesight is extremely poor. And most importantly how Lasik damages and weakens the structure of your eye.
Lasik just hasn't been around long enough to assess the long term effects. It's also your eyesight you're messing with. If it does go wrong, it's not like a car or a new computer you can take back or easily get repaired...
(It's a .pdf file, so you'll need acrobat reader to view it)
I spoke to my optician about this and asked whether many eyecare professionals (aside from those offering the surgery) have had it done. She said no-one in her profession that she knew of had opted to have it done. I asked her why and she said that it is a risky procedure and that the lazer eye hospitals idea of 'perfect corrected vision' is far from accurate. In fact she showed with using some of her lenses from the standard eye test kit the standard of vision these places considered to be a successful treatment. It really wasn't great, I certainly can't imagine driving etc with (uncorrected) vision like it. It scared me, TBH.
btw, 'no-one in her profession', I mean none of her friends and close-ish colleagues, not all opthamologists...
NomDePlume, your optician set out to scare you and succeeded. Good for her - you'll continue to go back for your specs/contact lenses for ever more.
I am going to get an expert to read through this and come back with all the answers to the points raised.
ChicPea, as an optician I have never recommended that someone should not have LASIK done and I have even referred several patients on to Opthalmic surgeons when they are interested in having the procedure done. I will, however point out potential risks to people before doing so, especially if the person in question makes a living by night-driving i.e a taxi-driver, truck driver etc. I will also point out to patients approaching 40 that they will eventually require glasses for reading unless one eye is left shortsighted. And some surgeons have said to me that if someone is a happy contact lens wearer that ^ they^ will advise against the procedure because they cannot guarantee the same level of clarity. If someone is an unhappy contact lens wearer, thats a different story. And as optometrist we have all had patients, thankfully in the minority, who do come back to us with less than perfect vision, and who are disappointed wiyh their results. NomdePlumes optician was not scaremongering. She was simply doing her job.
Talie, as a general rule, if you are over 21 and your myopia has been stable for 2 years then it is unlikely to worsen again. I say unlikely, it can sometimes get worse unfortunately! From personal experience, my hunch is that people who do a lot of closework/computer work are more likely to get worse, even into their late 20's. Getting LASIK done would not affect the likelihood of this happening but if you do have the procedure done at a time when your eyes have not stabilised you may end up shortsighted again. The procedure can be repeated but you would have to check with the surgeon whether that would be advisable in your own situation.
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