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Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 months ago | from the waiting-for-the-laser-vision-option dept.

Medicine 550

gunner_von_diamond (3461783) happened upon Ask Slashdot: Experiences with Laser Eye Surgery from ten years ago, and asks: I was just reading a story on /. from 10 years ago about Lasik Eye Surgery. Personally, I've had Lasik done and loved every single part of the surgery. I went from wearing contacts/glasses every day to having 20/15 vision! In the older post, everyone seemed to be cautious about it, waiting for technical advances before having the surgery. Today, the surgery is fairly inexpensive [even for a programmer :) ], takes about 10-15 minutes, and I recovered from the surgery that same day. So my question is: what is holding everyone else back from freeing themselves from contacts and glasses?

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Astronomy, and general poor night-time results. (5, Insightful)

popoutman (189497) | about 2 months ago | (#47524625)

Given that I have a few telescopes and I have been stargazing for ~30 years, I really value my night sight. Knowing that the majority of the laser surgeries have a significant proportion of post-operation aberrations that would directly affect my stargazing abilities is a real hindrance to my taking up the eye surgery.
Halos and diffraction spikes around bright objects, increased glare at night, are all relatively common issues to be dealt with afterwards. Most people aren't bothered by this as they rarely come across the situations where these aberrations would show up (exception being night-time driving).
If the surgeries were able to correct higher-order aberrations and a proper wavefront restoration across a portion of the eye that would be larger than the relaxed iris, then it might be a possibility for me. However, the tech is not yet mature for this, for my use cases.

Re:Astronomy, and general poor night-time results. (5, Insightful)

BStroms (1875462) | about 2 months ago | (#47524763)

Also the fact that it won't prevent future changes to vision. I'm thirty now, and my vision still continues to slowly get worse. I fear I'd be paying for a 5 year reprieve from glasses and then be back to wearing them with side effects I also have to live with for the rest of my life.

Re: Astronomy, and general poor night-time results (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47524935)

Yes, the older cheaper version of lasik did result in halos and star bursts at night, however for many years now the newer version of lasik does correct for higher order aberrations. I believe it is called 3d wavefront technology. They perform a 3d scan of the eye prior to the surgery and thus can correct for higher order aberrations. The older and significantly cheaper lasik was only a 2d scan. I had lasik done with the newer technology 8 years ago and still have 20/10 vision with no degradation thus far and no post operation issues. I'm fairly certain the percentage of people who have post operation problems is at most a few percent.

Re:Astronomy, and general poor night-time results. (5, Insightful)

swillden (191260) | about 2 months ago | (#47524941)

One common technique for people who are close to or have age-induced presbyopia is to perform the surgery on only one eye, or, depending on the prescription, to apply it in different amounts. The idea is to get one eye which is good for near vision and one that is good for far vision. Sort of the same notion as bifocals, but applied directly to the eyes. Apparently the brain adjusts quickly and effectively to this and you end up feeling as though you have good vision at all ranges as long as both eyes are open.

I'm considering doing that. I'm 45 and my eyes have just begun to change. I'm still generally myopic, but so far the change just requires me to take my glasses off when doing close work. I'm going to give it a couple more years to be sure my eyes have more or less settled, then get surgery on one or both, in whatever degrees will give me the best overall visual acuity and flexibility.

If your eyes haven't actually changed yet, then it's something of a crapshoot. The idea is to adjust your vision based on guesses as to how they're going to change. That said, my optometrist says that they can make very good guesses. The only reason he's recommended that I wait is because I'm not far from the point where guessing won't be required, based on my history of general visual stability and current rate of change.

Re: Astronomy, and general poor night-time results (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47524835)

I had implantable contact lenses put in my eyes 6 years ago when I was 27 because I didn't qualify for lasik. 3 years ago my eyes started changing for long distance vision enough that I had to get glasses again. They have continued to change and I am getting new glasses tomorrow.

Even so, I am very happy with the results as before the surgery I could only focus on a point 2" in front of my eyes. But for the $8k it cost then, people do need to know that eye surgery is not always permanent. Some people may not want to take the risk of shelling out the money only to need glasses again a few years later.

Re: Astronomy, and general poor night-time results (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47524969)

Yes, the older cheaper version of lasik did result in halos and star bursts at night, however for many years now the newer version of lasik does correct for higher order aberrations. I believe it is called 3d wavefront technology. They perform a 3d scan of the eye prior to the surgery and thus can correct for higher order aberrations. The older and significantly cheaper lasik was only a 2d scan. I had lasik done with the newer technology 8 years ago and still have 20/10 vision with no degradation thus far and no post operation issues. I'm fairly certain the percentage of people who have post operation problems is at most a fraction of a percent.

Re:Astronomy, and general poor night-time results. (2)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 2 months ago | (#47524981)

Pretty much this for me too... I'm a photographer, and those side effects would directly affect my ability to shoot. Not worth it.

Uncertainty/fear? (5, Insightful)

robinsonne (952701) | about 2 months ago | (#47524641)

Maybe it's just silly, but I'm really scared of someone shooting a laser into my eye. I don't want to be that 0.01% of cases that has something horrible happen.

Re:Uncertainty/fear? (1)

Joe Gillian (3683399) | about 2 months ago | (#47524665)

I'm not sure that this is still true, but don't you go blind for a few minutes while the procedure is going on? That's what frightens me - the thought that I might go blind and not have my sight come back.

Re:Uncertainty/fear? (1)

Kryai (976997) | about 2 months ago | (#47524747)

I never went blind during my procedure whatsoever. Your eyes get tired and you close them as they get very sensitive but I was never blind at all.

Re:Uncertainty/fear? (4, Informative)

Nkwe (604125) | about 2 months ago | (#47524805)

I'm not sure that this is still true, but don't you go blind for a few minutes while the procedure is going on? That's what frightens me - the thought that I might go blind and not have my sight come back.

Yes you do (but it is seconds, not minutes). The part of the procedure they don't really tell you about in advance is that they basically use a vacuum cleaner to suck your eyeball out of your head while they do the procedure. Actually they use suction to slightly pull on your eyeball and hold it still while the laser is doing it's work; while this is happening, you can't see out of the eye -- it all goes dark. This part of the procedure (which really only lasts for a few seconds on each eye) is fairly unpleasant and is probably the reason they give you Valium.

Re:Uncertainty/fear? (3, Informative)

danbert8 (1024253) | about 2 months ago | (#47524917)

It depends on the specific procedure. I had PRK done and I could actually see the LED target get clearer with each shot of the laser during the actual surgery. But yes, take the valium... It's extremely stressful to be immobilized for such a long period of time and having your eyelids clamped open.

Re:Uncertainty/fear? (4, Interesting)

Matheus (586080) | about 2 months ago | (#47524945)

Not sure where you went but my procedure involved nothing of the sort... ?

Full disclosure: I had PRK not LASIK. PRK is the older tech that I was forced to have because of a severe case of GPC. The difference at least in simple terms is as follows: With LASIK they use a laser or a blade to slice a flap off of your eye. They do the correction then the flap is repositioned. This results in extremely quick healing because it resembles a paper cut. With PRK they remove the front covering of your eye. Do (seemed like) the exact same correction procedure but then let the surface of your eye grow back from 'scratch'. Healing is significantly longer in duration and discomfort BUT they can use this method where LASIK isn't good (in my case severe risk of hemorrhage) AND they are able to do a better job at repair as well with less of the side effects (my night vision was completely unhindered).

I was fully conscious and had full eyesight for the entire procedure. It's actually kind of surreal as the whole thing is going on then (with PRK) they place a "band-aid" contact on the eyes while they do their initial healing. 5 days later those come off and you enter the "OCD with 5 different kinds of eyedrops" phase for about a month. After the 5 days tho I was fully functional just my comfort and vision improved as the days passed. Completely normal by about 3 months. Immediately after the procedure I tested 20/10 but settled out to about 20/15 as the healing progressed.

Honestly it's the best money I've ever spent. Yes there is the probability that my vision will slip over time but 6 years in with no complications or slide yet and I'm happy with the investment. Eventually as I get older this doesn't stop the tendency towards presbyopia either but I'll take readers over my old vision any day!

Re:Uncertainty/fear? (1)

dargaud (518470) | about 2 months ago | (#47524967)

They'd have to shoot me in order to do that... As someone who's in pain when an eyelash touches my eye but won't even notice a broken ankle for 3 days...

Re:Uncertainty/fear? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47524985)

I can see why they don't tell you. And sounds like a reason I wouldn't want to do it. For one, it's not what I call full disclosure of the process.

Re:Uncertainty/fear? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47525041)

Nope.

Cost (4, Insightful)

Nimey (114278) | about 2 months ago | (#47524659)

I can get glasses that last for 5+ years for a couple hundred dollars, vs. lots more for surgery with its inherent risks. My glasses are generally only annoying when I work outside & get sweaty.

Re:Cost (5, Insightful)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | about 2 months ago | (#47524739)

Also, having worn glasses for so long I've gotten used to the built in "objects flying at my eye" protection they offer. My glasses have caught more than a few flying objects and/or children's fingers.

Then there's reality:
1) Something might go wrong
2) My eyes are unbelievably important to what i do for a living and how I entertain myself, I'm not sure I'd want to live without them
3) I don't like the idea of being concious while someone/thing is cutting on me, especially my eyes

Re:Cost (4, Funny)

dfn5 (524972) | about 2 months ago | (#47524863)

Also, having worn glasses for so long I've gotten used to the built in "objects flying at my eye" protection they offer.

You can still wear glasses. You'll just be doing it ironically.

Re:Cost (4, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 months ago | (#47524907)

Quite frankly, and this sounds stupid, but I'm emotionally attached to my glasses. I'm 42 now, and I've been wearing glasses since I was six. Frankly I don't even remember what it was like without them. I freely admit it's an irrational and emotional response, but I like my glasses.

Re:Cost (4, Interesting)

twistedcubic (577194) | about 2 months ago | (#47524997)

I'm 41, and I've also been wearing glasses since I was 6. However, I don't like them, even though I always wear them. The recent invention of soft toric contacts saved me from ever having to consider Lasik, though.

Re:Cost (5, Funny)

danbert8 (1024253) | about 2 months ago | (#47524925)

It was weird for me after the surgery when in the winter I was all like, "what the hell is this shit pelting me in the eyeballs?"

Re:Cost (1)

justthinkit (954982) | about 2 months ago | (#47524753)

I agree with your points, with the exception that I especially like wearing my glasses outside. Walking down an overgrown trail, I have less concern that a bush will whip into my eye.

Also, whenever I am using a hammer or skill saw, I have more eye protection that someone not wearing glasses. No, they are not a full replacement, but then again I am only referring to "around the home" situations.

Re:Cost (1)

SQLGuru (980662) | about 2 months ago | (#47524803)

I get mine from Zenni Optical for a lot less than that.

But yes. Glasses only bother me when I'm sweaty (but I avoid that as much as I can). I like wearing glasses and like the way I look in glasses. I could go with non-corrective lenses for the look, but I think at less than $100 every few years, the ROI isn't really there.

If it ain't broke.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47524661)

I rather like my glasses, so I don't see this as a horrible burden to be freed from.

NASA (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 2 months ago | (#47524663)

Last I looked, you couldn't become an astronaut if you had laser eye surgery?

Re:NASA (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47524741)

Yeah, that probably explains the vast majority of the cases.

Re:NASA (1)

Fallen Kell (165468) | about 2 months ago | (#47524867)

No you can't if you had laser eye surgery that involved cutting of the cornea. You can if you have LASEK which does not involved any cutting of tissue, as the integrity of the eye is maintained with this surgery (since there is no cut made creating a weak point). However, the recovery from this is much longer and much more painful as the outer layer that is cut in LASIK is moved aside (the layer is separated using an alcohol solution and spun aside). Because this entire layer is moved, the healing is more painful due to every blink of your eye possibly shifting the layer slightly which causes pain.

I like my glasses! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47524667)

I like my glasses. I also have other priorities for what to put the money into.

What's stopping me you ask... (4, Informative)

jzarling (600712) | about 2 months ago | (#47524681)

...my astigmatism is too great for lasik.

Re:What's stopping me you ask... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47524937)

+5.0 Prism...

No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47524695)

The part where they slice off a tiny piece of your eye.

Plus, y understanding is that you may still need glasses for up close work like reading and computer use, anyway... So no point for me. Plus... The whole slicing off a piece of your eye thing

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47524811)

The part where they slice off a tiny piece of your eye.

That's way, way past where I draw the line. I have a problem with anything getting close to my eye, even if I put it there, possibly after having my sclera scratched as a kid. I had enough trouble putting eyedrops in on the very few occasions that I needed to, so even contacts are completely out of the question. If I even push my glasses too close, my eyes start to water. My eyes are watering even thinking about it.

Strabismus (2)

Serenissima (1210562) | about 2 months ago | (#47524701)

My eyes don't line up in the exact same place when I look at things. I had surgery when I was 15 to correct it, after 20 years, it's coming back a little (although to a much less significant degree). Fortunately, it's small enough that I can use lenses to correct it - I have to wear bifocals now - but that also means that Lasik will never work for me to improve my vision. I could have better than perfect vision in each eye and I'd still need corrective lenses. :|

Color vision? (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | about 2 months ago | (#47524703)

Has anyone ever done a comparison of color vision before and after laser eye surgery?

Re:Color vision? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47524881)

Lasers change the shape of your cornea, like a built in contact lens. They don't alter your retina where the rods & cones turn light into signals your brain sees as color vision.

(Yes, I know only rods OR cones detect color, but it's not import here.)

Re:Color vision? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47524965)

It shouldn't be affected if the lens keeps it's filtering properties. The artificial lens installed during a basic cataract surgery, on the other hand, do change the color vision via allowing more ultraviolet light in. It would be nice to know if a modern, higher-end lens could stop that.

My reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47524709)

The recommended age for laser surgeries are 25 years because at that age the myopia stops.. but mine did not stop until recently... and know Im almost forty and at this age the myopia starts to going backwards... and if I get operated it is quite probably I will soon start to need glasses to read... so... I prefer to use contact lenses and do not need any kind of glass to read.
That`s my reason.

Re:My reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47525039)

Same here, post 35 or so my eyes (nearsighted) have actually improved a little bit over time.
That plus, at this point, I've been wearing glasses for so long it's just natural for me - even contacts (when I wore them) had me continually putting my finger into my eye just from being so used to having glasses there.
And I don't exactly see it as a big "problem", hitting 50 in a few days, why screw with what isn't a big issue for me?

not a good candidate (5, Interesting)

forgottenusername (1495209) | about 2 months ago | (#47524711)

I don't have enough material in my cornea. If they mess it up, there's not much they can do for adjustments.

As long as your eyeball remains parabolic, they can correct your vision more or less indefinetly assuming there's no other issues going on. Once you get lasik, your cornea becomes flattened so they can't really correct stuff with optics so well anymore.

I'd rather be safe and be able to have my vision correctable by contacts and glasses than take a chance at having really terrible vision that is then uncorrectable.

I feel like that's something people need to be made more aware of - lasik flattens your cornea so corrective lenses won't really work as well.

not a permanent fix (3, Interesting)

hguorbray (967940) | about 2 months ago | (#47524713)

my gf got it about 7-8 years ago and is very annoyed that it has 'worn out' (of course that's just macular degeneration or whatever) and assuming it could be done again it would still cost her another few thousand

I don't know if they didn't know how long the Lasik would last, but they certainly didn't tell her that it could wear off in less than a decade....

So now she has gone back to wearing glasses, which are covered by healthcare

-I'm just sayin'

Re:not a permanent fix (1)

Kryai (976997) | about 2 months ago | (#47524777)

Your eyes will change with age and Lasik does not address the natural degradation over time that happens to most people. Depending on her age she would likely have worse vision today if she didn't have it done earlier.

Re:not a permanent fix (1)

Rakarra (112805) | about 2 months ago | (#47524813)

Is it the same long-distance vision issue?
Lasik only fixes long-distance vision, but doesn't affect whether you'll need reading glasses to look at near objects. The short-distance vision issue is just something that will happen with age, independently of whether you have lasik surgery or not.

My eyes change too much every year (3, Informative)

Erioll (229536) | about 2 months ago | (#47524721)

I'm not a candidate because my eyes never stop changing. So if I had it, in a year or two I'd just need glasses again.

When the figure out a way to "stabilize" the eye itself, or whatever's affecting things, then great. But until then, glasses/contacts for me.

Loss of near vision (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47524723)

I had Lasik about 10 years at about age of 50 and love it. My wife, a long time glasses wearer, never wanted it since the near vision goes away. It is true that she can take off her glasses and see objects close to her face while I have to put on reading glasses to see clearly up that close. On the other hand she has to fumble around in the morning to find her glasses so that she can see past 5 feet while I can hop out and be ready for the day. Maybe she just thinks she looks better in glasses? Who knows? Sometimes it is hard to know another person's thoughts even if you have been with them for years.

Loss of near vision (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47524843)

...

Sometimes it is hard to know another person's thoughts even if you have been with them for years.

You could, you know, ask her.

captcha: cornea

Keratoconus (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47524733)

I have keratoconus, which means it can't be done, otherwise I would have jumped on board a long time ago.

There is actually a treatment available for it, which Europe has been doing since 1998 with great results (something like 90% of their patients see improved eyesight with 9% having progression of the disease stopped, and 1% experiencing any negative effects which usually are temporary,) but our glorious FDA overlords still won't approve of the operation in the US. Meanwhile those who do have the disease eventually progress to blindness and require a cornea transplant. There's even a pharma company with big pockets (Avedro) who is trying to push for FDA approval, but even they can't get them to budge.

Re:Keratoconus (1)

Serenissima (1210562) | about 2 months ago | (#47524897)

Save up some money to go to Europe and do the treatment there?

Oedipus got laser eye surgery (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47524743)

And he did some gross stuff so NO THANKS!

Re:Oedipus got laser eye surgery (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47524773)

+1000

Re:Oedipus got laser eye surgery (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47524853)

LOL

Cost and Usefulness (1)

Halifax Samuels (1124719) | about 2 months ago | (#47524749)

The surgery costs far more than many years worth of glasses, and my eyes are still changing slightly year-to-year. I'm not getting a surgery knowing that my vision will still deteriorate afterwards. Maybe I'm just imagining the cost is higher than it is. Call me when it's $300 and I'll start looking into it.

Fear (3, Insightful)

Tempest_2084 (605915) | about 2 months ago | (#47524751)

Plain old fear and nothing more. My contacts are rarely a hassle and I've been told that I look really good in my glasses, so I'm loathe to do anything to my eye that could harm it in any way. I still wonder what the long term (30 years+) consequences are and if a better procedure will eventually be developed. Until I can't wear my contacts anymore, I'm inclined to wait.

Re:Fear (3, Insightful)

Rakarra (112805) | about 2 months ago | (#47524829)

This. I want to know what the 20+, 30+ year outlook is like. I'd be fine with the laser surgery if I knew that there would be no complications from it when I'm 60 or 70.

Iritis (1)

Scottingham (2036128) | about 2 months ago | (#47524761)

I've had a few flare-ups of iritis (it really sucks) and I'd be afraid of it coming back due to the trauma associated with the surgery.

Interestingly enough I stopped having problems once I started eating more collard greens.

Re:Iritis (1)

twistedcubic (577194) | about 2 months ago | (#47525051)

I also have recurring iritis/uveitis. I grew up eating collard/turnip/mustard greens, but now eat them infrequently from laziness. Might as well give this healthy choice a try.

Longterm/Lifetime effects? (4, Interesting)

Faizdog (243703) | about 2 months ago | (#47524767)

The thing that's holding me back is what are the long term effects? The technology really hasn't been around for a long time. I'm in my early 30s; I could maybe live for another 50 years! What will be the effects when I'm in my 80s?

I've heard that people who get the surgery may need to have it redone in 10-15 years. What happens after the 3rd or 4th redo? Can one even see? Are there other potential sideeffects?

That's really the only thing holding me back. My vision, present and future, is too important to risk. Glasses get the job done just fine.

BUY LASIK NOW!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47524781)

Mostly because as a general technical rule I don't trust my balls with private institutions unless they're highly regulated, and as a general ethical rule I'll go for the option that hasn't been mostly brought to market by one private company but which is either offered in the public sector or by many smaller competing private sector firms.

But also because 1) my eyesight will change over time, so I'd need repeat surgery; 2) costs more than glasses, which seem to work fine thanks; 3) small risk of its going wrong not worth it; 4) high risk of small changes to night vision.

Re:BUY LASIK NOW!!! (4, Funny)

Rakarra (112805) | about 2 months ago | (#47524833)

Mostly because as a general technical rule I don't trust my balls with private institutions unless they're highly regulated

If you go in for Lasik but they end up operating on your balls, I think there's a real problem there.

got his spherical organs mixed up (2)

Thud457 (234763) | about 2 months ago | (#47524979)

If you go in for Lasik but they end up operating on your balls, I think there's a real problem there.

That's why not Zoidberg. That right there.

Re:BUY LASIK NOW!!! (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 2 months ago | (#47525011)

Mostly because as a general technical rule I don't trust my balls with private institutions unless they're highly regulated

If you go in for Lasik but they end up operating on your balls, I think there's a real problem there.

That might be overly discounted discount LASIK, probably the kind done in a van with a laser pointer. I would not advise taking up that offer.

However minute, risks remain. (5, Informative)

MouseR (3264) | about 2 months ago | (#47524785)

I'm missing part of a finger, but I can manage.
I could live with a limp.
But eyesight is a pretty big gamble. Yeah its small. But still higher than lottery.

That's why I opted for orthokeratology [wikipedia.org] . I put my lens for one night, once every 7-ish days, and have 30/20 vision for the first 24h and then 20/20 for the rest of the week.

Because (4, Interesting)

ledow (319597) | about 2 months ago | (#47524787)

In Britain the DVLA are looking at their policies.

Drivers who have had eye surgery are generally marked as never requiring corrective lenses. But the DVLA have found numerous instances of drivers eyesight falling below minimum standards after laser eye surgery.

This laser eye surgery is not, in all people at least, permanent.

Obviously, in the DVLA's case, their answer is "We don't care... if you're below minimum standard - whatever the reason - you need to report it to us and wear some kind of corrective lens until you can prove otherwise". Which is sensible.

As a glasses wearer all my life, my eyes have stabilised. But laser-eye surgery is not only vastly oversold by marketers posing as doctors, but also not permanent. I could spend several thousand pounds and risk my eyesight (no surgery is without risk) in order to get out of a habit I've been in for the last 20 years that doesn't actually affect my life often at all (my prescription is unchanged for 10+ years, I've had the same three sets of glasses - including sunglasses - for 10+ years, I rarely break things like that, and the microsecond it takes to put them on in the morning and take them off at night is negligible).

That's why.

My coworker had a bad experience (4, Interesting)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | about 2 months ago | (#47524791)

He had Lasik and they messed up, but it was partly due to a pre-existing issue he had with his eyes. Now he has to take some medicine & eye drops every day.

Not worth the risk (1)

willthiswork89 (2885827) | about 2 months ago | (#47524795)

I can wear my glasses, contacts any time i want with no loss of vision. I can buy a new prescription with brand new glasses for a fourth(or less) of the cost of lasik. I guess for me, the thought of having my vision permanently disabled because my lense doesnt heal back properly after they slice it open, or they mess up some terrible way it enough to keep me using the non-surgical routes. I'm a developer, if i lose my eye site, i lose my job. Not worth the risk.

Nothing. Did it 4-5 years ago @ $5,000-$7,500 USD. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47524817)

My experience was good. I'm young and didn't have to have it re-done immediately after (which can happen if thye don't get it perfect the first time) nor since then (that said I really need to make an eye apointment as I was suppose to do it every year- and ops).

Multi-focal contact lenses... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47524823)

Apart from the stories I've heard of corrections gone wrong, I don't really want to get rid of my glasses for nearsightedness to only have to get new glasses for reading as my eyes age. Multi-focal contacts allow me to shed both, so that's what I'm sticking with at the moment.

10 years isn't long enough imo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47524827)

Come back in 30 years when those people are old and bring the statistics for people that developed diseases like RA and other stuff that's on the can't have surgery list.

Elective surgery on a critical organ (5, Interesting)

SuperBanana (662181) | about 2 months ago | (#47524837)

That's how a friend's father, an eye surgeon, put it.

It doesn't always go right, and (yes, rarely) it goes very wrong. There are no take-backs with the laser surgeries.

If you must, do the surgery that is reversible - they insert a small piece of plastic that corrects the lens shape.

Re: Elective surgery on a critical organ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47525035)

Also my reason for staying with glasses. I asked an eye surgeon and he himself choose glasses.

I have bought an array of different glasses for different situations.

One pair of everyday, modern-looking light glasses.
One pair of corrective sunglasses.
One pair of big-glassed photochromatic skiing/cycling glasses (large glasses = good wind protection)
Aquagoggles for swimming.

Unfortunaly I cannot wear lenses.

o rly (-1, Troll)

ourlovecanlastforeve (795111) | about 2 months ago | (#47524841)

> the surgery is fairly inexpensive [even for a programmer :) ]

Oh you programmers have it so hard.

With your three thousand dollar a month apartments.

And that Honda Fit you drive just to show the world that you don't need the finer things in life.

You should be required to work a year in retail in the same way some countries require a minimum of military service.

And your three hundred dollar bottle of scotch that you sample alone in your newly remodeled kitchen so you can tell the Internet about what a beverage snob you are.

Re:o rly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47524891)

why? most coders I know drink their scotch in their cube along with everyone else :)

Re:o rly (0)

gunner_von_diamond (3461783) | about 2 months ago | (#47524953)

> the surgery is fairly inexpensive [even for a programmer :) ]

Oh you programmers have it so hard.

With your three thousand dollar a month apartments.

Actually, I bought a house when I was 22.

And that Honda Fit you drive just to show the world that you don't need the finer things in life.

I drive a Honda Accord, not a Fit, but close.

You should be required to work a year in retail in the same way some countries require a minimum of military service.

I worked at Best Buy (Doing Retail) for 3 years while I was in high school and college. It was a huge motivator for me to get my comp sci degree.

And your three hundred dollar bottle of scotch that you sample alone in your newly remodeled kitchen so you can tell the Internet about what a beverage snob you are.

And I've never drank scotch.

If you're so envious of programmers, there's still time to learn the skills to become a programmer. Heck, you can even teach yourself online.

Reality (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47524857)

Reality is stopping me from getting laser eye surgery.

I'm nearsighted. So I need glasses to see anything clearly that is further than about 15-20cm. I could get surgery and risk my eyesight, but instead, I'll keep my glasses that I now buy on Zenni for $10 instead. A few points,

1. UV protection - I would need sunglasses anyway or risk cataracts or worse
2. I would soon enough need reading glasses.
3. Safety glasses, anyone?

So, WTF is the hullabaloo about eye surgery? So you can buy expensive sunglasses or need reading glasses around your neck? No thanks! I'd rather keep my eyesight as is, don't risk uncorrectable side-effects and still need glasses anyway for other things (reading, UV protection, etc...)

And if I want to change my look, I'll just buy another pair of $10 or $15 prescription glasses. I can change glasses, can't change my eyeballs.

Got it 8 years ago. Best $2400 i've ever spent. (1)

Barlo_Mung_42 (411228) | about 2 months ago | (#47524861)

That said, it was a fairly terrifying experience at the time. Head strapped down and being told repeatedly not to move. Then there was the smell of burning eyeball. That was the worst part.

But not needing to wear glasses under my motorcycle helmet has made up for all of that. From the people I've talked to they say they're use to glasses / contacts and they don't feel it's worth the risk / expense.

The "Your mileage may vary" problem (1)

dpbsmith (263124) | about 2 months ago | (#47524885)

Bodies vary. No two surgical procedures are the same.

People are always saying something like "a hernia repair is nothing," when what they mean is "MY hernia repair was nothing."

Even if YOUR LASIK went well... ...even if MOST LASIKs so well... ...even if ALMOST ALL LASIKs go well... ...you have to multiply the probability by the consequences.

First, start thinking about what a 1% chance means. For example, I've had blood drawn literally hundreds of times, and donated blood dozens of times. The phlebotomists always tell me I have "beautiful veins." It's nothing. Nothing at all. Then one day, for absolutely no reason I could tell, I was having a blood draw for some tests, didn't hurt, didn't feel clumsy... and ten minutes later there was a big black and blue lump that didn't go away for days and hurt enough to be annoying. That was probably an example of a "less than 1% chance" where the risk showed up.

The thing is, a 1% chance of getting an annoying bruise is no big deal. But a 1% chance of lousing up one of your eyes is.

Given a refractive error that can be completely corrected a) without surgery (i.e. a lens) or b) with surgery, one should be cautious about choosing surgery. It is, after all, UNNECESSARY surgery.

Cornea has a 'fog' (1)

eclectro (227083) | about 2 months ago | (#47524905)

My cornea has what the doctor says is a 'fog', an unknown disorder which makes me a very poor candidate. Sister has it as well.

More like almost nine years from now! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47524919)

http://ask.slashdot.org/story/04/07/23/1912226/experiences-with-laser-eye-surgery

Ick, that will be my 49th birthday...

Because I Can't (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47524929)

Not a candidate, My corneas are basically already flat(and I am very nearsighted).

Loved every bit of it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47524933)

Do you enjoy the dentist too?

Sensitive eyes (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 2 months ago | (#47524943)

My eyes are actually beyond sensitive, an eye phobia is probably a better way to describe it. When I go to my ophthalmologist they occasionally have to bring in additional people to hold my eyes open so I can take the dilation drops (even though I do that every year and have for decades).

So no, I am not a candidate for Lasik. Not now, and likely not ever.

7 years later, no regrets! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47524947)

I Lasik on both my eyes 7 years ago, and it was the best $4000 I ever spent. Went from 20/50 and 20/200 to 20/15 and it hasn't changed since. My big concern was dry eyes. Mine were dry frequently at first but after about 6 months it went away and now it's like I had good vision from the start, I don't have to take any extra care than average. I don't have any haloes or night vision problems either. Sometimes at night I still marvel at how crisp all the neon lights look from a distance.

My advice on the whole thing:
1 - Don't cheap out, you only have 2 eyes. Go to the best place in town. They offered a "custom wavefront" option for a few hundred more, basically it was a better/more automated scanning technique that helped customize the procedure for my eyes and I went for it. The procedure I had used a laser to cut the corneal flap and I think the entire thing was automated, the doctor just verified everything and then hit "go".
2 - Follow all their instructions to the letter and beyond. I wore the night goggle things twice as long as they said to and was religious about taking the different eyedrops, not swimming, not touching my eyes, etc etc. I didn't rub my eyes for 18 months but now I do whenever I feel like it. I wear safety glasses when I'm doing woodworking but the occasional chip still sneaks in there and it doesn't cause any more problems than normal. Anyway I didn't have a single hint of a complication and I think following the directions went a long ways towards achieving those results.
3 - Wait until your prescription doesn't change for a few years before getting lasik. I had to wait until my mid 20's.

Slashvertisement (1)

horm (2802801) | about 2 months ago | (#47524955)

The whole summary reads like a radio ad. DICE doesn't even try to hide it anymore.

Two grand is not inexpensive (4, Insightful)

Oligonicella (659917) | about 2 months ago | (#47524957)

My contacts cost me $70 for a one year supply. That's about thirty years in comparison. If my contacts become micro-scratched, I throw them away. If lasik gives me halos, I'm screwed. No contest.

chiming in (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47524963)

All these points were already covered, but I want to echo them:

1. My eyes are super important. The risk is too great, even if it's statistically small.

2. My glasses give constant projectile, particle, and UV protection.

3. Structurally, my eyes are sound. I do a lot of outdoor adventuring stuff (e.g., mountain biking), and I wouldn't want to compromise the basic structural integrity of my eyes in any way.

4. Glasses aren't a big deal. They're cheap and robust. So there's not huge motivation to seek another solution.

5. In fact, glasses are so easy and so nice that contacts seem a huge bother in comparison.

6. Lasik hasn't been around for decades. Who knows what will happen decades from now. Glasses, in contrast, have been around for centuries (in some form), so I know exactly what will happen in the future.

Re:chiming in (2)

CWCheese (729272) | about 2 months ago | (#47525019)

7. Every opthamalogist that I know hasn't had Lasik done on themselves, they still wear glasses.

People think you're smart if you have glasses (1)

allquixotic (1659805) | about 2 months ago | (#47524977)

As trite as it sounds, it's true: in a professional context, if you wear glasses, your opinion will tend to be valued more. I've seen it both with male and female coworkers of many different races: in meetings, large and small, the folks who wear glasses can almost trivially get everyone to quiet down and listen when they open their mouth. A few words starting with "in my opinion" and everyone else is nodding their heads in agreement.

It's a subconscious thing that still pervades society due to the stigma of glasses-wearers being especially intelligent "book worms" (or now "computer geeks", I guess), but it's still a way to get a leg up in your career. I wore contacts for years, starting late in high school and up through part of college. Group discussions were miserable; I would speak, then get shouted down, and a few minutes later someone with glasses would meekly restate my suggestion and the group would dutifully follow along.

You may THINK that you don't treat glasses-wearers specially, but I can tell you from experience, if there were 100 people reading this message, at least 50 of you would subconsciously be more likely to accept analyses, opinions or facts if they are stated by someone wearing glasses. It doesn't matter if you're male or female, young or old, black, white, yellow, orange, Martian, transgendered, religious, atheist, whatever -- these attributes may also have an effect on the (positive or negative) biases your coworkers may place on you, BUT, if you wear glasses, you will, almost without fail, receive a "benefit of the doubt" when it comes to knowing WTF you're talking about (assuming that no one in the room has readily-available evidence that incontrovertibly contradicts your statements).

I wear glasses, and they only come off when I go to sleep at night.

It's all about the Bokeh... (1)

VTBlue (600055) | about 2 months ago | (#47524987)

I like the way Clash of Clan looks on my iPhone 5 three inches from my face while reality fades to a soft and silky blur. (Nearsighted)

Eyes & high G forces... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47524993)

I always wondered if eye surgery would degrade the ability of the eye to handle high G forces, like during a car crash. It's a rare event. You pull hundreds of Gs of force for a very short period of time. You pull like every muscle in your body, and hurt for days. But you live. With eye surgery, would you now be blind?

I had it done and have had problems ever since (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47524995)

I had it done about 11 years ago. The day after I had it done, one of the flaps came loose (left eye) and I had to go back to have it re-seated. Then the day after that it came loose again, so I had to have it reseated (again). The day after that it came loose AGAIN, so they put a contact on it and left it there over the weekend, and even after all that, one of the edges of the flap became wrinkled, which makes that eye see more blurry in low-light conditions.

About a month later, my right eye had a sharp pain, so I went to the doc who said nothing was wrong. For the next 6-8 months, I had vision in my right eye that was torqued and weird looking, giving me massive headaches. I went back for a checkup at that point, where they said the edge of the flap on my right eye had come loose, and cells from the surface of that eye had grown under the flap. So we scheduled another appointment, where they lifted that flap, cleaned it out, and put it back. It has stayed in place since then, but there have been other effects:

I can't get less than about 7 hours of sleep per night for longer than a few nights in a row, otherwise my right eye dries out and gets blurry and the headaches come back, I can't sleep on my front because my eyes dry out and I can't see, I can't rub my eyes hard, night vision is significantly worse than day. For about 4 years after the re-seat on the right eye, I had to carry lubricating eye drops around with me all the time.

Even as I type this, my right eye is slightly dry and blurry, giving me a headache. I realize I'm in the 0.1% of people who have issues, but I wish I had just stayed with glasses/contacts. At least you can take those off or out and they don't permanently damage your eyes.

Skip Lasik: Go PRK (1)

bigdady92 (635263) | about 2 months ago | (#47525001)

http://www.allaboutvision.com/visionsurgery/prk.htm

I live a very active lifestyle. I do martial arts, dive, play sports, a whole bunch of things that having that lil 'flap' be a problem if it were to ever 'pop' open. Thankfully I spent the extra cash and went with PRK which is the same surgery Air Force pilots get.

What is the big difference? : Simple, there is no flap. They carve off the top of the cornea's layer is removed and is then grown back. No flap, no popping, no worries.

What is the downfall: 3 days of light blinding pain whenever bright light occurs. Thankfully this is negated by modern medicine and covers for your eyes.

What is the upside: This is the first type of LASIK ever invented so it's been done brazillions of times. This is perfected to a state of art and I've had no issues in the 10 years since I've done the surgery. Best money ever spent and not one chance if getting poked in the eye or underwater accident that this 'flap' may (1/1000) pop open.

Was it overkill? Perhaps. But that's one less thing I ever have to worry about.

Hipster uniform (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47525007)

What's holding me back? Don't you know that glasses are the mandatory part of the hipster uniform?

What's holding me back? (1)

mmell (832646) | about 2 months ago | (#47525009)

I'm fifty-five years old and my vision is still 20-20.

A few reasons (1)

dohnut (189348) | about 2 months ago | (#47525017)

Risk - Odds are everything will go fine but my eyes are pretty important to me. Is it that big of an inconvenience wearing contacts? Not for me. Been wearing them for over 25 years with no issues. If I couldn't wear contacts though, laser surgery would have been more tempting. I don't like the narrow field of vision and other visual aberrations you get with glasses.

Age - I talked about laser surgery with my eye doctor when I was in my mid-to-early-30's. He said don't bother because you will need glasses for reading before long. I'm 40 now and still on my same prescription, but my eye(s) did start to decline slightly on my last visit. I'll be using bifocal contacts / reading glasses in the not-so-distant future.

Shark Laser Head Meme MUST DIE! (1)

MildlyTangy (3408549) | about 2 months ago | (#47525021)

Please, for all that is good in this world, for the sake of us all, please, can we finally end the recurring nightmare of the Shark Laser Head Meme.

Do the right thing, and let it die.

Think of the children, think of the humanity, think of all that is right and good and sacred in this world. Do the right thing for the sake of humanity itself, do the right thing because you care and want to do something significant that will add just a little bit more Good in this world.

This world is a terribly shitty place, but each and every one of us can really do something that will make it just a little bit more bearable.

Let the Shark Laser Head Meme DIE!

PLEASE!

Medical reasons (2)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | about 2 months ago | (#47525029)

I have a condition called Keratoconus, a weakening of the structure of the cornea. I cannot have LASIK done. Unfortunately this condition is often asymptomatic until you are in your 20's, for some it will stay asymptomatic (correctable with glasses) but they still risk serious damage to already weakened corneas if they undergo LASIK. So have it done, sure, but please get your eyes examined by a professional beforehand.

Failure is NEVER written about. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47525033)

My sister-in-law is nearly blind now thanks to Lasik. It is only as good as the doctor and as doctors are human, we know that there are far too many with too many failings.

Why risk total blindness for a minor discomfort? I suppose some people don't expect that and feel that it 'can't happen to them'. I for one, having become disabled and living a life of great pain know that bad things do happen, and not to tempt fate.

My eyes are too far gone. (1)

Narcocide (102829) | about 2 months ago | (#47525043)

I was informed by the doctor that at best they would be able to effectively halve the strength of my eyeglass prescription. I would still be so nearsighted that I would not be able to drive legally (or safely for that matter) without prescription lenses, and while I would see measurably better, I would still not see enough better that it would bear any logistical improvement in my daily life. The television would still be a giant blur to me from the couch. Summary: NO THANKS. I will wait until they can fully replace my defective eyes.

Dryness (1)

John Da' Baddest (1686670) | about 2 months ago | (#47525049)

I investigated having this surgery a few years ago, in my late forties, with a thorough check at the Kellogg eye center at the University of Michigan. Their conclusion was that my eyes are too dry to be good candidates for this operation. It would cause irritation and even more dryness, and the side effects of halos would be worse with my eyes. Sadder and wiser, I skipped the procedure. I used to wear contact lenses but gave that up after a while for the same reasons. My latest glasses are very lightweight and not much of a bother to wear.

Implanted contacts plus Lasik (1)

mhouseco (552071) | about 2 months ago | (#47525065)

I have always been very near sighted, around a 10 diopter correction. Lasik on it's own wasn't enough to correct my vision, so I looked into getting a contact lens implanted in my eyes. Scared me thinking about it, but it's been almost five years now, and I've not had any problems. The difference in my life has been huge, I can see when I wake up in the middle of the night, and I can see when I swim. Before this without my glasses or contacts I couldn't read anything more than 4 inches from my face. I do have some glare at night I didn't have before, but having lived this experience now I would definitely do it again.
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