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June 29, 2012


My wife had Lasik around 7 years ago and has loved it. No problems at all. I could benefit from it but have never bothered to get it. Good luck!

I've had it done. My correction pre-surgery was something like -9 diopters in each eye, with approximately 1.25 diopters of astigmatism. I was corrected to 20/15, which meant that I could do everything without glasses. A couple of years later, my near vision started to fail, which meant I had to start using magnifiers for close work. Magnifiers are not for enlarging; they are for achieving focus.

Your near-vision loss will have nothing to do with your far-vision correction, if that's what you have. Loss of near vision is due (as far as I am aware) to loss of ability of your eye to deform the lens to achieve near focus, which has absolutely nothing to do with what that lens will be doing when you're looking at things further away.

I didn't have Lasik, just to be clear; I had PRK. PRK doesn't involve a corneal flap, so it's a bit more painful in the short term. My only problems have been episodes of night-time halos around streetlights, and occasional eye pain in the morning when I haven't had enough sleep. It's been completely worth it, though.

My correction pre-surgery was something like -9 diopters in each eye...

Does that imply severe near-sightedness? My wife, when speaking to others who need correction, throws out 9.5 and 8.5 (iirc) as numbers for her prescription, and people usually say something along the lines of "Wow, I thought my eyes were bad. I've never met anyone with worse vision than mine." (I have freakishly good vision, so I don't know what any of it means.)

At any rate, she was told she was not a candidate for Lasik, but that was a few years ago.

I had lasik done. No more contacts, no more glasses. It was in the early 2000's.

My eyes tended to be a little dry with contacts, I would carry a bottle of tears around. I think they still tend to be a little dry - but I only occasionally use tears. Usually it's related to staying up really late, smoky places, etc.

100% satisfied, no regrets, life changing.

My wife has had secondary lens implants after childhood cataracts. We had some complications, but her vision is back. She would do it all over again to avoid requiring glasses and contact lenses.

Having good vision without contact lenses / glasses is wonderful.

my wife had Lasik six or seven years ago. but, her eyes apparently weren't done changing, so she's back to glasses for reading. she loved it, while it lasted.

LP--have the topography of your eyeballs mapped. I've had RK and LASIK. I now wear bifocals. My internal topography changes over time. Some people are just that way. If you are like me, your vision will change over time and you will lose the benefit of the surgery.

hsh, I was not a candidate for Lasik because my corneas weren't considered to be thick enough. That's what made me a PRK candidate.

I've heard of PRK correcting something like 12-14 diopters of myopia.

I still remember the first time I went water skiing after the surgery. I could actually see the houses on the lake, the ski boat, the water texture...all the things I had been missing.

Oh, I thought you had Lasik. But how bad was your vision before PRK, just in qualitative terms? Without correction, my wife can't see anything clearly that isn't within inches of her face. I saw a "9" and thought you might have been in the same boat.

I had no place where I could focus. In high school, I could focus at some point about 9" in front of my face, but by the time I got PRK that focal distance had moved in closer than my near-focus limit.

"I still remember the realization that you could actually see individual leaves on a tree."

Man, did that comment ever nail it. It was, I think, in 3rd grade, that I got a teacher who seated us in reverse alphabetical order, ended up at the back of the room instead of the front, and got sent to the principle's office to have my eyes checked. A week later I had glasses, and for the very first time realized it was possible to see individual leaves. Saw a star for the first time in my life! Didn't drive me mad, but it was an amazing experience.

I could never get Lasic done, my corneas were too thin to qualify for enough correction. But chemotherapy in 2010 gave me cataracts, which led to a different sort of surgical correction, and I now see clearly without glasses. (Except for reading...) I tell people that, if I'd known what it was like, I'd have gotten cataracts years ago.

Yeah, leaves on trees and writing on the blackboard. I was in jr high school when my parents figured out that I couldn't see the blackboard (20/400 will do that). Hadn't even been able to. I was getting by in schools by paying close attention and reading the books. Glasses were a revelation.

Even more amazing. I could always see a huge, and very blurry, full moon. But I could see at least seven (7!) crescent moons, all somewhat blurry. I wonder what kind of cosmology people would come up with if everybody had that level of astigmatism...?

But I have to say, there really is something pleasant about a world with soft, fuzzy edges, instead of hard, sharp edges. But that may just be because I grew up with it.

My mother-in-law had Lasik several years ago (she's 67) and it seems to have kept without any complications. Having watched videos of the procedure, there is no way I could ever have that done. Just watching those made me panicky.

Question for the gatekeepers: This being an open thread, would it be inappropriate for me to post a link to a fundraising ride I'm doing for the National MS Society in August? I don't want to shit up the place with inappropriate begging links, but I couldn't get Congress to pass a mandate that you all have to donate to me.

I have no problem with it. The link, I mean; not that other thing.

Too late, I already called Sherrod Brown and we're getting this thing passed.

But seriously, the first weekend of August I am once again doing the Pedal to the Point fundraiser for the National MS Society. Last year was my first, which I did as a one-way 75 mile ride as a personal challenge. This year I'm doing 2 days, 150 miles; but more importantly, my sister was diagnosed with MS earlier this year, so it's more important to me and my family.

If anyone would like to make a donation, you can do so at:


Every dollar I raise goes directly to the National MS Foundation.

(I'm really looking forward to this ride because I bought a new road bike this year which has totally changed my riding; since March I've already put more than 1,000 miles, compared to 1,250 miles I rode all of last year on my old bike. I'm also signing up to do the NYC Century Ride, a 100-mile ride through the four contiguous boroughs, in September.)

I have no idea how it got noticed that I need glasses (for astigmatism, otherwise the eyes are near perfect), although it runs in the family. I think I got my first set in pre-school. I am so used to wearing glasses, that I'd probably still do, if my eyes miraculously corrected themselves.
Having studied chemistry adds to that. Not wearing glasses means removal of protection and that makes me feel uncomfortable. I am also of the opinion that I look less bad with them than without.

I did not have lasik but did recently have my cataracts removed. Since I have always been near sighted in one eye and far sighted in the other, I elected to continue that status. Fantastic. I now see clearly, do not need spectacles at all and can comfortably wear sunglasses (no need for special spectacles or double pairs of glasses). If lasik is half as good as cataract surgery, it is great. My son who had lasik says it is at least that good since he had lasik several years ago.

I've had Lasek. I went from having no fucntional vision to being legally blind. I am grateful.

Being an elective medical procedure that is generally paid for out of pocket, the cost of Lasik surgery has dropped about 20% over the pass ten years while the technology has continued to improve.

Here in Japan, the cost is about 30,000 yen a eye (a phrase that makes me cringe a bit, but never mind) The dollar has been weak for a while, (80 yen to the dollar), and I don't know if it will get better, but I think that overstates the cost, and a rate of 100 yen to the dollar is probably more realistic. It will have to be paid out of pocket, but I should be able to deduct it from Japanese income tax.

Cost of LASIK Eye Surgery and Other Corrective Procedures

It will have to be paid out of pocket, but I should be able to deduct it from Japanese income tax

Why is the government of Japan mandating that you get eye surgery?

That's the end of Japan as we know it.

No exaggeration.

I had good insurance as part of my union benefits and that paid for my eye surgery.

Incidentally, the last time I got my eyeglass prescription updated, (No, not the very last time, that was when the optometrist called the exam short, and told me to see an ophthalmologist.) I was informed that, for economic reasons, it would be smart to get Lasik even if I couldn't get complete correction. It would save me money in the long run by getting me into cheaper glasses.

Seems that the cost of eyeglasses, especially for strong prescriptions, is trending up. Due, said the optometrist, to so many people getting their vision corrected with Lasik that the market for eyeglasses is shrinking!

I remember when health insurance payed in full for the basic glasses and the user payed for the frame unless is was an unfashionable 'Kassengestell' (literally insurance company frame). These days it is a fixed amount for glasses, everything above that is payed by the patient. Admitedly there were not that many extras available in the old days while these days 'no extras' is almost a can't-do. The last but one time I needed new glasses and a new frame I had the choice between a 40€ and a 400€ frame (difficult to find a suitable one at all since my preferredshape and size is out of fashion), while iirc the glasses were still below the insurer limit. The last time it was cheaper with first-class antireflection and anti-scratching coating than without and frame and glasses came at about the same prize.
I do not see glasses get out of fashion here. To the contrary, I think many people forego surgical/laser correction in favor of fashionable glasses. I even get the impression that there are far more optician shops than 10 or 20 years ago, some even specialising in certain types of frames.

I only wear glases when I am driving. yhey correct my bad eye by 50%. I need bifocals for the good eye but can't wear a coke-bottle prescription on one side and bifocals on the other--glasses like that would induce confessions from prisoners in Gitmo. So my specs correct for long distance in the good eye and help the bad eye.

So frames don't matter to me. I'm always sitting o them or dropping them anyway.

Somehow, people who buy frames as a fashion statement seem similar to those who buy cars in order to make a statement. For me, glasses, like cars, are primarily about function. If several options all do the job, you can then think about fashion. But if it doesn't do the job, fashion is a really stupid reason to select something.

And yet many people apparently do. Guess I'm out of step as usual....

I had LASIK done about 6 years ago, and it was easily the best $2,000 I've ever spent. I didn't get the Wavefront mapping because it was an extra $1,000, but nowadays when it is an extra hundred bucks or so, I would think you should get it.

The leaf thing is interesting. One of the first things I said to my mom as a little kid when I got glasses was "trees have leaves even far away!!!"

What I want in a frame for glasses is
a) stability
b) it should sit well (not permanently scratching the nose etc.)
c) size
That more or less dictates the shape.

Unfortunately the trend clearly goes towards tiny glasses with frames that bend and break from merely looking at them and cut deep into the bridge of the nose

Hartmut's comments remind me that all my college classmates who went to Germany on exchanges came back with the standard issue National Health plan glasses, which seemed very fashionable when they got back in the US. Those of us who went to France didn't get glasses, but I'm trying to remember if that was because they didn't offer them or because we were too busy drinking.

I had Lasik back in 2000. I had dry eyes before (a co-worker noted that i used drops more than anyone he knew - i was wearing gas permeable hard lenses then). I use Refresh Plus quite frequently.

I also was out 9 diopters, so that eye (my left) has drifted back & i have monocular vision now.

So I wear glasses for driving & sometimes reading glasses at night, so there is downside. Overall nice not to have to wear glasses or contacts, but there is a downside.

I've been wearing glasses for forty years, and there's no way I'm letting anyone chop up my eye. The odds are pretty good--only about one in a thousand surgeries winds up with uncorrectable side effects--but that's not good enough for me.

I do know several people who have been completely satisfied with their procedures, though one of them now has to use artificial tears. The nerve that drove the auto-lubrication feedback loop got snipped....

Hi there - I had RK (radial keratotomy) surgery in the mid-80s to correct very bad nearsightedness. Lasik is an improvement over RK. After the surgery the side effects were minor - for instance, I would see oncoming headlights as starburst patterns when driving at night which was a little disorienting - and my eyes did tend to get a little dry. The benefits were amazing, however. Now, 30 years later, my vision is fading a bit and I need readers. But my vision is still far better than it would have been had I not had the operation. It sounds much scarier than it is.

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