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laser eye surgery

(40 Posts)
flipflopson5thavenue Fri 27-Jan-17 09:11:14

not sure if this belongs in this thread...

looking for recommendations/thoughts/experiences about this.

Have you had it done? if so where and how old were you? Are you happy with the result?

I turn 40 this year, wear glasses all the time (short-sighted, but not massively, -3.75) and have never found contact lenses that I'm really happy with, although I will wear them sometimes at the weekend/on rare occasions I go out of an evening. My eyes tend to be quite dry too which I think is often why I find contacts so uncomfortable.

Increasingly I dislike having to wear glasses. I'm feeling old and tired these days and I don't think they add anything to the way I look. The ones I have suit me, but I just don't like myself with them anymore. I'm tired of having them smudged/pulled/knocked off my face by my 2yo and 4.5yo DS. They're always crooked and getting in the way of bear hugs and horse play...!

I keep thinking about looking into eye surgery, but aside from the cost, things I worry about are:

the actual procedure - what if I blink?? or move my eye??
if I get it done in the next year or so, will I be too 'old' to really benefit from it? Should I have had it done years ago?
What are some of the drawbacks? I hear it can make your eyes dry, or make you long-sighted (as in age-related) sooner.

Anyway, just interested in other people's thoughts and experiences really. I know that this is a very first world privileged vain issue too...!

MightyMunki Fri 27-Jan-17 10:09:19

You are never too old! It's the best thing I ever did.

I had it done by Focus on Harley St, cost just under 3k about 6 years ago now. I work long shifts and contact lenses were irritating my eyes and I didn't want to wear my glasses. Your prescription sounds similar to what mine was.

You wont blink as they hold your eye open with a small clamp thing and you just focus on a small red dot for about 20 seconds and that's it.

I haven't had any dry eyes or long-sight issues. Just follow the advice you're given with regards to not wearing makeup, apply the drops they give you for as long as they say and you should be fine.

Cannot recommend it enough, you wont lose anything by going along for a consultation and seeing how comfortable you feel with the idea of it after that.

OldLibrary Fri 27-Jan-17 10:13:08

Watching as am tempted... am a bit older than you and do wear contact lenses, but now need reading glasses too, which makes me feel and look pretty ancient, and is a big pain.

I am really scared of ruining my eyes though.

Mummamayhem Fri 27-Jan-17 10:15:35

Is there a lower limited in terms of prescription they will do it for? Mine are -2 and daily contacts are annoying.

Liiinoo Fri 27-Jan-17 10:29:42

OLdlibrary I used to be very short sighted (over -12min both eyes) and wore contact lenses everyday for most of my life. I looked into laser surgery but I was way too shortsighted for that. When I turned 50 ish and needed reading glasses or varifocals or vari focal contact lenses etc etc I got fed up of juggling things and opted for lens replacement surgery. It is like cataract surgery and they replace the lens in your eye with a custom made varifocal lens. It was expensive (6K) but 4 years on I have not had to pay for any glasses or contact lenses or eye drops etc so it will pay for itself in the next couple of years.

OP - you are probably too young for thar treatment. I think you are meant to wait til the need for reading glasses kicks in, but everyone I know who has had the laser surgery has raved about it (8 people). I don't know anyone who has had complications or regrets.

Mehfruittea Fri 27-Jan-17 10:37:52

I used Optimax about 15 years ago, best decision ever. And I've certainly saved loads on cost of frames, lenses, prescription sunglasses etc.

I do have slightly less than perfect sight at night when I'm driving, I get the halo effect when looking in to headlights driving towards me. It's not dangerous in that I just need to take more time at junctions to be able to see clearly the positions of cars.

JLbaby Fri 27-Jan-17 10:41:37

I had it done almost 4 years ago now. Best thing I ever did, seriously. I had mine done in a place in Harley Street, cost 2.5k. I was about a -5 in prescription I think, so I really couldn't go out without my glasses/contact lenses. I had LASIK (there are different types of laser eye surgery). I now have 20/10 vision and it hasn't changed in the past 4 years.

Re the procedure, as other people have said, you can't blink while it's being done as your eye is clamped open. No you are never too old to benefit from it! The only "drawback" I had was that I had dry eyes for a few months after and had to put eye drops in. I read somewhere that sometimes if you drive at night you can get "halos" from the car headlights, but I haven't had that problem.

I would highly recommend at least going for a consultation to see if you are suitable. Do your research and go to various different places and see where you feel the most comfortable, that's what I did.

bijouxxx Fri 27-Jan-17 10:43:16

I've not had it but my DH has. He doesn't regret it but he did have to have it done twice as they messed it up the first time (he got it done free through work but laser express covered the cost of the second). Before this he was wearing soft contact lenses so likes not having the faff of them but does suffer with dry eyes and has to use drops daily. One more thing, he does still need reading glasses which I believe is common. Overall he believes the benefits outweigh the negatives but his eyes are still not perfect.

MightyMunki Fri 27-Jan-17 10:59:16

Mummamayhem - I don't think there is a lower limit, I was about -2.25/-2 and it was fine.

I'd highly recommend going for a consultation, they carry out lots of test and check suitability based on your prescription and astigmatism etc, and let you know which type of surgery is suitable for you. Mine was LASIK too.

Dowser Fri 27-Jan-17 11:18:22

My exh had it done in Florida about 15 years ago.
He had no problems. Just couldn't swim in our pool for the rest of our stay
Was about $2000 for both eyes.
He'd worn glasses for 30 or so years
We wanted our daughter to have it done but she just wasn't prepared to do it even though her dad had a good experience

LadyOfTheCanyon Fri 27-Jan-17 21:42:31

My only caveat ( I'm -6 in both eyes but have had no surgery) is that if you have any eye problems in your family like cataracts and may need surgery later on, previous laser work on eyes ( which leaves scarring) MAY mean that it is more tricky or impossible to go over the same area twice.
My father had a lot of laser work on his eyes and eventually they had to give up as the scarring was so bad.
I'm terrified that I will end up the same way, so even though I'd love to explore surgery, I'm saving my Joker in case I need it further down the line.

BeastofCraggyIsland Fri 27-Jan-17 22:38:21

I was thinking about starting a thread pretty much exactly like this so am following with interest. I'm short sighted (-4.25 left eye -4.75 right eye) and prescription has been stable for the last 5 years or so. I've used contacts since I was in my late teens, so about 15 years now, and haven't really had any issues with them, but it would be amazing to get up in the morning and just be able to see without having to put my glasses on or poke around in my eyes with the contacts. DP has offered to get me laser eye surgery as a birthday present this year so am just starting to look into it. On paper it sounds amazing but I'm also a bit apprehensive about the procedure and also if it's actually going to work - what I don't want is to go through it and still need glasses or contacts afterwards just in a lower prescription!

busyboysmum Fri 27-Jan-17 23:02:33

I had mine done about 10 years ago now. Manchester Eye Hospital. I had astigmatism and was pretty short sighted and it was a pain given all the activities we do with the boys. I had the op where they don't cut a flap and so a longer healing time. Took about 2 months altogether to get perfect vision. Best thing I ever did.

busyboysmum Fri 27-Jan-17 23:05:49

I was 37 then and am 47 now and forget I ever was short sighted. It is wonderful.

I think eventually I'll need glasses for reading but not there yet.

LotsoNumbers Fri 27-Jan-17 23:09:12

I had mine done about 6 or 7 years ago and I'm now back in glasses full time at the age of 30. I have dry eyes and light halos at night to boot which I never had before the procedure.

Have it done by all means if you hate your glasses, but it's not the miracle cure it pretends to be.

LotsoNumbers Fri 27-Jan-17 23:09:48

Not always the miracle cure I should have said

Whywonttheyletmeusemyusername Fri 27-Jan-17 23:22:50

I had it done 18 months ago. Best thing I ever did, and you do literally, get off the table and have perfect vision. The only thing that nobody warned me about, was the pain once the anaesthetic wore was horrific. But only lasted a couple of hours, and sooo worth it

LotsoNumbers Sat 28-Jan-17 00:40:07

I didn't get off the table and have perfect vision, mine sharpened up over night and was better the next morning but still took time to improve

TrollTheRespawnJeremy Sat 28-Jan-17 00:43:30

i had lasik a couple of years ago.

the procedure and immediate aftermath were not pleasant. i remember thinking 'wtf have i done!?'

but i had worse eyesight than you, and two days later i REALLY saw a tree. it was this lovely moment that i felt like i was seeing things properly.

it won't prevent macular degeneration so i'll probably need glasses when i'm older but to have a decade of glasses-free-ness. it's been worth it.

PreemptiveSalvageEngineer Sat 28-Jan-17 01:02:10

Had it done about 4 years ago, same complaint as everybody: should have done it sooner. smile Mine cost a fair bit, because my prescription was pretty strong and with astigmatism. YOU WON'T BLINK! grin I wouldn't describe it as a clamp - it felt more like a suction tube that just keeps your eyes in place. But they'll have been numbed anyway, and there that red spot to look at. Besides, by the time you get to the actual procedure, you'll have gone through so many "stare at this" eye tests it's easy to psych yourself into thinking this is just another test. I that helps you be less nervous. smile

EBearhug Sat 28-Jan-17 01:06:36

I had mine done in 1999/2000 (a couple of months between each eye. I did a lot of research into the possible side effects and went with a Moorfields surgeon. I'm starting to need reading glasses, but they told me at the time that that would always be the case.

I remember the excitement of not having to make decisions like steamed up and blotchy vs blurred for activities like walking or cycling in the rain. Seeing the end of the pool when I went swimming. Seeing from the Needles to Old Harry when I went to swim in the sea, and see my bag on the beach. A year or so later, I went travelling and I would never have tried things like whitewater rafting I'd I had had to wear glasses. (I wouldn't try white-water rafting again, but that's because of being terrified, not blinded.) No falling asleep while reading to wake with glasses digging into the side of your nose. Being able to read the clock when you first wake.

You need to have had a stable prescription for a year or two. There are some conditions which would be contraindicated. There are risks of side effects - most people don't get them, but a few do. But if your eyes are suitable - I've definitely never regretted it.

MojoMoon Sat 28-Jan-17 09:12:42

I had it done about five years ago at moorfields eye hospital.
It is where you end up going for repairs if someone else screws it up so I think best to start there and avoid doing it on the cheap with less experienced doctors
It was about 3000. I was -4.75, now have perfect vision.
The thickness of your cornea dictates if you have LASIK or LASEK. As mine were thin, I had the one with a slightly longer recovery time as I had to take dilating eye drops for two days after which meant I needed to just sit in the dark for 48 hours. But after that it was all fine and being able to suddenly see was amazing. My sister had it done but had thicker corneas as got to have the other type so was back at work the day after.
Eyes were drier for a couple of months, used some artificial tears to lubricate but then all fine.
Sister had a bit of a night halo effect with headlights in the dark for a little while but nothing too bad and it resolved itself.

Don't skimp and go somewhere cheap. It definitely is something worth going to an experienced doctor at a proper establishment for.

You can't blink or move. You are given an anaesthesia eye drop just before surgery so your eyeball is numb and therefore you have no blinking reflex. It only last a few minutes but the surgery iteself takes abiit 20seconds per eye.

It can't correct age related problems in advance of them occuring. I had it done at 25 so if I may need age related reading glasses or another set of laser later on when middle age hits.
My aunt had it done at 60 so had the underlying short sightedness and age related corrected at the same time.

EmzDisco Sat 28-Jan-17 09:17:20

Had it done a few years ago for moderate short sightedness, completely amazing!

The procedure itself was of course a very bizarre experience but so incredibly quick. There was maybe an hour or two of pain and extreme sensitivity as the anaesthetic wore off. But then suddenly I was all "oh my god I can see! I can see!"

Now I can't believe I had to faff about with glasses and contact lenses all the time.

LoadsaBlusher Sat 28-Jan-17 09:23:17

This is so interesting , I have been seriously considering this for the last year. I'm currently 35, would I need to take any time off after work to recover or is it ok to be back at work the next day ?

DivaBeliever Sat 28-Jan-17 09:40:18

I had mine done 6 years ago. -3 with astigmatism and -5. Had LASIK at Manchester Eye Hospital performed by consultant eye surgeon. Would second MojoMoon -
Don't skimp and go somewhere cheap
Procedure not pleasant and very uncomfortable afterwards but all manageable. I had the procedure later in the afternoon and then went home and went to bed! (Wearing the goggles supplied) Woke up the next day with perfect vision.

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