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Hi Nerds, 

I just got back from an optometrists appointment, and brought up corrective surgery. My vision is currently 20/400. With glasses or contacts I have 20/15. There are 80% odds I'd get 20/20, and 98% I'd get 20/40 and not have to drive with glasses. I really like my current 20/15 vision, but doing things like wearing safety glasses, ski goggles, and sunglasses aren't options since I wear glasses most of the time! 

 

So, what would you do? For those of you who have had corrective surgery, are you glad you did or do you wish you wouldn't have? 

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. -Aristotle

Arian, arian, zehetzen da burnia. -Basque proverb

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 Challenges: 11/12.14 - 1/2.15 - 2/3.15 - 15.4/5 - 15.6/7 - 15.7/9 - 16.1 - 16.3 - 16.4 - 16.5 - 16.10 - 16.11 - 16.12 - 17.1 - 17.2

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1 minute ago, Hazard said:

I had laser eye vision correction 5 months ago.  I don't regret it in the slightest.

 

Did you do Lasik or PRK? What was the recovery like?

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. -Aristotle

Arian, arian, zehetzen da burnia. -Basque proverb

Frisian Shieldmaiden level 12 (STR:16) (DEX:16) (STA:23) (CON:22) (WIS:17) (CHA:15)

 Challenges: 11/12.14 - 1/2.15 - 2/3.15 - 15.4/5 - 15.6/7 - 15.7/9 - 16.1 - 16.3 - 16.4 - 16.5 - 16.10 - 16.11 - 16.12 - 17.1 - 17.2

 2017 Goals: Maintain BW BS, 100kg DL - Muscle Up - 1/2 Marathon Condition - Abs

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2 minutes ago, IslandGirl_Becks said:

 

Did you do Lasik or PRK? What was the recovery like?

 

Lasik, at a LasikPlus.  All laser, no blades.

 

Recovery sucked.  The burning was pretty intense. They prescribed medication to help sleep.  I took it, and the recommended 4 hour nap to help healing and bypass the worst of the burning by being unconscious through it.

 

Once the burning subsides, it becomes irritation that feels like your eyes have been clawed and scratched.  (Which they essentially have been, with a laser).  That goes away over time, but it's a war not to rub your eyes while its there.

 

After that, it's just dryness.  A couple of months of slowly decreasing dryness.  They had me use sterile wetting drops for 3 months.  By the end, I was down to sticking a drop in after waking, and a couple of drops at night.

 

What little dryness I still get now is much better than the feeling of dry contacts.  And it usually only happens when I'm tired.  A couple of regular rewetting drops clears it up.

 

 

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I had zLASIK performed a little over two years ago and it's one of the best decisions I've ever made.  The actual surgery was possibly the worst 30min of my life, but I went from needing binoculars at all times to 20/20 vision overnight.  The day of surgery was rough, but I had recovered enough to drive the next day.  I still carry a bottle of eye drops for the occasional uncomfortably dry eyes, but I normally don't need them.

 

I also have a friend who was one of the one-in-a-million to get an infection after PRK, so he essentially had the surgery twice in one week so they could clean it out.  And he's still glad he did it.

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did lasik 5 years ago. actual surgery was scary but i was given mild sedatives so spent it sleeping.

 

had dry eyes for probably 2-3 months and seeing "halos" around lights at night. but it got better and pretty much 100% resolved by the 6th month mark.

 

No regrets at all! It is super liberating. 

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I got LASIK done about 4 years ago and it was one of the best decisions I made. My left eye couldn't correct past 20/40 with glasses or contacts, I couldn't legally drive without glasses, and now I can see like a normal person. The surgery itself was relatively fast, if very unnerving (smelling your own eyeball burning is a weird experience to say the least). The surgeon gave me some very nice drugs and I spent the next 24 hours basically sleeping. I couldn't do any exercise more vigorous than a brisk walk for about a month afterwards, but once it healed I was good to go. Similar to godjira1, I had dry eyes for several months (and still occasionally get them when I'm dehydrated) and saw halos around lights at night but it got better after about 8 months. On the whole, my quality of life is improved in little ways. I don't have to fumble for my glasses in the morning. I don't have to worry about glasses getting crushed. I can see what my haircut looks like while the barber is cutting it (I've got stories).

 

It's not completely without drawbacks. I'm light-sensitive and hate driving at night*. When I'm tired I'll get minor double vision (think of a 3D movie without 3D glasses). I need reading glasses for fine print and sometimes for slightly larger prints when I'm tired.** Also, I'll never be able to do high-altitude skydiving, for whatever that's worth to you.

 

The final consideration I'll bring up is that even if you only get 20/40 out of the surgery, you can still use glasses to get up to 20/15 after the surgery.

 

*[curmudgeons] Part of that is due to this newfangled idea that everyone's headlights should be pure white and 300-trillion lumens...[/curmudgeon]

** On the other hand it gives me a certain amount of gravitas when reviewing reports at work.

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On 10/1/2017 at 12:47 AM, Nomad Jay said:

I'll never be able to do high-altitude skydiving, for whatever that's worth to you.

 

I've already done that, so as long as I can still do high-altitude adventures (hiking) it's good. The ability to wear sunglasses is an okay trade with me in return for having some glare at night. I wonder if one can get un-tinted polarized lenses for night driving... 

 

I'm calling my optometrist this morning to set up a pre-surgery appointment! I am still a little nervous about the dry eyes thing (I can't wear contacts 2 days in a row or they start sticking), but we'll see what they say at the appointment!

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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. -Aristotle

Arian, arian, zehetzen da burnia. -Basque proverb

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 Challenges: 11/12.14 - 1/2.15 - 2/3.15 - 15.4/5 - 15.6/7 - 15.7/9 - 16.1 - 16.3 - 16.4 - 16.5 - 16.10 - 16.11 - 16.12 - 17.1 - 17.2

 2017 Goals: Maintain BW BS, 100kg DL - Muscle Up - 1/2 Marathon Condition - Abs

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I had Lasik 16 years ago (yes - 16).  Best $$ I've EVER spent.  I researched the HELL out of my doctor - he was not cheap by any means.  I went from being legally blind in one eye and an astigmatism so bad in the other that I might as well have been.  Immediately after surgery they pointed to a clock on the wall and I could tell the time (before surgery it would have been a round blob).  The next day I was 20/20.  30 days later (and for quite a few years) I was 20/15.  I NEVER corrected to better than 20/30 with glasses.

Post surgery there were some pain meds (and yes, there's lots of burning) and a sleeping pill.  I took both and went to sleep (I was one of the last surgeries of the day).  The next day I could see and had no further burning sensation - just dry eyes and drops.  I recall my eyes being dry and needed drops for a month or 2 - but that's it.  When I had the surgery - it was before it was ALL laser - and that was the worst part.  I needed more valium in hindsight and I only stayed in that chair and didn't move PURELY with willpower.

 

16 years later I'm down to about 20/25.  And the last 16 years without glasses have been GLORIOUS!

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On 10/2/2017 at 4:39 PM, IslandGirl_Becks said:

I'm calling my optometrist this morning to set up a pre-surgery appointment! I am still a little nervous about the dry eyes thing (I can't wear contacts 2 days in a row or they start sticking), but we'll see what they say at the appointment!

 

The doc should give you some lubricating eye drops after your surgery to help with that. Make sure you use them before bed too! I learned that the hard way.

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"If you would improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid." - Epictetus

"You just gotta listen to your body, unless it's saying anything about stopping, pain, your joints, or needing water."

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My husband had Lasik surgery and I had PRK surgery done in 2012.

 

While the end-result is the same, PRK and Lasik differ by procedure and recovery time. For Lasik, the doctor actually created a flap over my husband's corneas by cutting with a laser; his procedure took less than a half hour. For PRK, they simply scratched the surface of my eyes instead and my procedure was about 14 minutes. My husband could see clearly about 2 hours after his Lasik, but my vision was blurry for about a week. I was told to expect pain for the first 24-72 hours and given pain medication, but it didn't really hurt so I didn't use it.

 

We both see 20/15 now and are extremely happy with those results! If you have the means and your doctor approves you, DO IT! You'll be glad you did! :D

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14 hours ago, jtnkkm said:

I'm thinking of getting LASIK too, is it expensive?

 

In my area, it's looking like it'll be $3800 total for both eyes.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. -Aristotle

Arian, arian, zehetzen da burnia. -Basque proverb

Frisian Shieldmaiden level 12 (STR:16) (DEX:16) (STA:23) (CON:22) (WIS:17) (CHA:15)

 Challenges: 11/12.14 - 1/2.15 - 2/3.15 - 15.4/5 - 15.6/7 - 15.7/9 - 16.1 - 16.3 - 16.4 - 16.5 - 16.10 - 16.11 - 16.12 - 17.1 - 17.2

 2017 Goals: Maintain BW BS, 100kg DL - Muscle Up - 1/2 Marathon Condition - Abs

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Around here they used to advertise $1000 per eye.  It may have increased since then but I stopped paying attention.

 

It seems common when you sign up for the surgery to get a package that covers ALL pre and post-op checks, however many it takes.  Of course the clinics have payment plans, but you still commit up front to paying one big fee.  A few people need to go back for more lasering after they've healed from the first round, so that should be included.

 

My parents both got their eyes lasered (separately, don't get it done same time as your partner!) years ago and they seem happy.  They do wear reading glasses but I'm told that's normal at their age, even for people without lasered eyeballs.  They both still drive at night.  For a few weeks after her surgery Mom couldn't chop an onion, but she got better.  They still use eye drops once in a while.  Neither of them complained of pain.

 

I wear glasses and have considered the surgery, but my eyeballs don't seem to want to settle into a shape (my prescription changes every few years), and I don't mind my glasses, they look good on me.  Also it's expensive.  Maybe one of these years.

 

Btw, if you're paranoid or a slow healer, you might consider lasering just one eye at a time, then waiting to recover before you do the other eye.  That way if something horrible happens and your eye is damaged, you'll still have your other eye and you won't be blind.  My father did it this way.  Takes longer to heal of course, but you're hedging your bets.

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I had PRK done a few years ago, it was a great decision! 

 

I had PRK rather than Lasik for a few reasons

  • Tiny scar on one eye that, depending on the depth, might be completely removed during the PRK process (it was)
  • Playing contact sports - apparently, even years later, you can still  lift up the flap that Lasik leaves, so they recommend PRK if you're doing things where you might get fingers in eyes and whatnot (fwiw this clinic had previously treated pro CFL players)
  • Something else that I forget now

The healing process for PRK involves having a bandage contact lens in for a few days, removed by an optometrist when your eye has healed enough. It took about a week for my vision to get to the point where I could drive again, and then a while after that (a week or two I think) to finish improving as my eyes healed. During the first few days you're supposed to sleep as much as possible and otherwise not use your eyes (so no reading, no computer, no tv), so I spent a lot of time listening to podcasts.

 

When I did it, it was around $3500-4000, iirc, but I had insurance through school that covered some of it, and they also had a student discount, so it ended up costing me a lot less than the actual price. 

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All right, 'yall - I did it! Thanks so much for your feedback and encouragement!!!

 

@Anim07734, @godjira1 - you were right, the actual procedure was scary. I kept kicking my feet out of stress, and the doctor kept asking me to stop. I walked out thinking "This is the most traumatic medical experience I've had... oh, wait! I can see!!"

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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. -Aristotle

Arian, arian, zehetzen da burnia. -Basque proverb

Frisian Shieldmaiden level 12 (STR:16) (DEX:16) (STA:23) (CON:22) (WIS:17) (CHA:15)

 Challenges: 11/12.14 - 1/2.15 - 2/3.15 - 15.4/5 - 15.6/7 - 15.7/9 - 16.1 - 16.3 - 16.4 - 16.5 - 16.10 - 16.11 - 16.12 - 17.1 - 17.2

 2017 Goals: Maintain BW BS, 100kg DL - Muscle Up - 1/2 Marathon Condition - Abs

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On 10/3/2017 at 9:08 AM, Athaclena said:

I had Lasik 16 years ago (yes - 16).  Best $$ I've EVER spent.  I researched the HELL out of my doctor - he was not cheap by any means.  I went from being legally blind in one eye and an astigmatism so bad in the other that I might as well have been.  Immediately after surgery they pointed to a clock on the wall and I could tell the time (before surgery it would have been a round blob).  The next day I was 20/20.  30 days later (and for quite a few years) I was 20/15.  I NEVER corrected to better than 20/30 with glasses.

Post surgery there were some pain meds (and yes, there's lots of burning) and a sleeping pill.  I took both and went to sleep (I was one of the last surgeries of the day).  The next day I could see and had no further burning sensation - just dry eyes and drops.  I recall my eyes being dry and needed drops for a month or 2 - but that's it.  When I had the surgery - it was before it was ALL laser - and that was the worst part.  I needed more valium in hindsight and I only stayed in that chair and didn't move PURELY with willpower.

 

16 years later I'm down to about 20/25.  And the last 16 years without glasses have been GLORIOUS!

My eye doc said that Lasik isn't good for very long and your vision will deteriorate in your mid thirties anyway. He just told me that 2 weeks ago.

I'm 33.  So I was like "well damn".

But I know people that have had it done and it seems to be holding fine for them. You said you're doing well after 16 years? ? That's encouraging to hear, I may into it some more. Though I just found out I have glaucoma, so that may change things for me.

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I'm 45 and I feel like I need glasses, but the ophthalmologist is telling me I don't until it's down to 20/30. I say it's "worth it" for 10 years without glasses personally. What happens in your 40's is muscular, so it's a different mechanism. I will say there are a lot of docs that would just take your $$ and not WARN you first though, so there is that. Of course, everyone's experience will be different - and glaucoma may TOTALLY change things.

 

If you have the $$ to spare and you have a good prognosis, I'd say go for it. If it would put your finances in jeopardy (or the beginnings of glaucoma make it a no-no) - I'd hold off.

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On 2018-01-28 at 1:31 AM, PinkNinja said:

My eye doc said that Lasik isn't good for very long and your vision will deteriorate in your mid thirties anyway. He just told me that 2 weeks ago.

I'm 33.  So I was like "well damn".

But I know people that have had it done and it seems to be holding fine for them. You said you're doing well after 16 years? ? That's encouraging to hear, I may into it some more. Though I just found out I have glaucoma, so that may change things for me.

FWIW, my mom didn’t even have hers done until her... late 40s? Early 50s? And she’s 66 now and still doesn’t need reading glasses. And when she got it done it was back in the early days of it. So it could still be worth it!

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