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O/T: HEALTH Laser Eye Surgery / Lasik

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Mutant

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Seeing as I just typed this whole thing up for a fastlaner, I figured I may as well share here too incase any else goes looking for opinions on whether or not to get laser eye surgery!

Ok, so here's my overall thoughts on laser eye surgery, some of which might not apply to you, but just in case.

Firstly, if it's just the possible ways it could go wrong that are putting you off, then it's only fair to reassure you that it mostly doesn't. Nothing we do comes without risks, so I'd think about the most risky thing you do, perhaps skiing for example, & look at comparing the odds. Saying that it "mostly doesn't" go wrong is not a bad thing. Only you can judge for yourself whether the risks are acceptable to you. I can only say that working in an opticians for two years, I didn't really hear any horror stories. In fact one of the opticians I knew had it done, obviously understood fully what he was doing, and was very happy.

That said, I wouldn't do it. Here's why for me:

1) It might not be permanent

Some people's prescriptions change over time, so you might end up needing glasses again anyway. Only your optician can give you the best estimate as to whether yours will or won't over time given your history - but it's still a best guess (again, look at the odds & weigh it up). For people with a very high prescription though, potentially ending up with some thin & light glasses might still be a win for them.

2) It ISN'T permanent

Presbyopia comes to us all eventually. You see those middle aged & older people that need reading glasses? The reason they need glasses (or to take their glasses off if they were wearing distance glasses) is different to why a 25-year-old might need glasses. The crystalline lens in your eye that is super squidgy when you're young & helps you effortlessly refocus at different distances, gets harder & less squidgy as you age, & therefore less able to bend & flex to accommodate the distance you want to focus on. That's why varifocals blend between different prescriptions so you can see at different lengths. In the old style bifocals, you could clearly see the two prescriptions - the distance one up top, & the reading one in the little section at the bottom.

Here's the thing, laser can only make one prescription. Yes you could laser in your reading prescription, but then you'd need glasses for distance & vice-versa. The only way I know of to get around this is to have your dominant eye lasered with your distance prescription & your other eye lasered with your reading prescription. Some people have genuinely done this. Yes your brain learns to work it out. Not sure what it does to your depth perception, but I guess that might depend on how big a difference there is between the two. And yeah, if you're still young, you don't know what your reading prescription will be.

Point is, if you're lasering young, don't be fooled into thinking you'll be set for life. Counter to that, if you're lasering young, you get more years without glasses or contact lenses. The closer you get to middle age (though there's no completely "set" onset time) the less it becomes worth it unless you have a particular reason, such as Ewan McGregor apparently had his done so he could go on a round the world motorcycle trip - very off the beaten path - without faffing with contact lenses whilst camping. A pretty darn good reason IMO.

3) It's done by cutting the cornea

Very accurately with lasers, sure. But for me, it just wiggs me out that they'd be cutting my perfectly healthy cornea - solving the problem, but not the cause of the problem. For me, I became short sighted because my eyes grew a little too long in puberty (very common), not cornea problems. But that's only an issue in my mind. It needn't be in yours!

Hope I haven't been too one sided, & has given you some thinking points at least. I hear it's "life changing" for some, so I'd hate to blanket blast it - it's just not for me.
 

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SlowlaneJay

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The best money I have ever spent on anything, ever, in my entire life was laser eye surgery. Hands down. If you've had glasses your whole life and are on the fence, just do it.

In addition to being able to see like a normal human, you can: do contact sports, leave buildings into humidity without foggy lenses, lean your head out of a window worry-free, watch your hair get cut, see while you take a shower, see while you're in the pool, wear sunglasses, lie sideways and read/use your phone… the list goes on.

More than anything, people treat you with more respect.

Changed my whole life. If my vision starts to die, I'll do it again. And again.

I remember the day my vision was healed and I could see again. It was like seeing the world for the first time. I vividly remember staring at stuff like grassy parks or red brick buildings. The detail blew me away. Everything was so sharp and… real. Like switching from an old-school plasma TV to a top-of-the-line 5K. I'd never felt so much joy from something as simple as the texture of bark on a tree. Just overjoyed. At the same time, I was almost heartbroken that I'd never seen the world like this before— the way everyone else does.

If you can afford to laser your eyes, do it. I spent years saving and it's still the best investment I have ever made.
 
Last edited:

Saavedra

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Aug 4, 2013
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The best money I have ever spent on anything, ever, in my entire life was laser eye surgery. Hands down. If you've had glasses your whole life and are on the fence, just do it.

In addition to being able to see like a normal human, you can: do contact sports, leave buildings into humidity without foggy lenses, lean your head out of a window worry-free, watch your hair get cut, see while you take a shower, see while you're in the pool, wear sunglasses, lie sideways and read/use your phone… the list goes on.

More than anything, people treat you with more respect.

Changed my whole life. If my vision starts to die, I'll do it again. And again.

I remember the day my vision was healed and I could see again. It was like seeing the world for the first time. I vividly remember staring at stuff like grassy parks or red brick buildings. The detail blew me away. Everything was so sharp and… real. Like switching from an old-school plasma TV to a top-of-the-line 5K. I'd never felt so much joy from something as simple as the texture of bark on a tree. Just overjoyed. At the same time, I was almost heartbroken that I'd never seen the world like this before— the way everyone else does.

If you can afford to laser your eyes, do it. I spent years saving and it's still the best investment I have ever made.

You described it perfectly. i would add swimming is much nicer experience, even if contact lenses work with goggles it is still cumbersome. did you ever use contact lenses before? i tried night lenses too, it was a mess though. it did give a sneak preview of the lasik.

I only wish i had done it I'm my early 30s / late 20s, and also in another country were it had been cheaper, otherwise is all you wrote, word by word.

laugh my a$$ off everytime i see a news piece about the dangers of lasik; the 4th power of the system doing the dirty work of lying so that you end up paying more, and specially more taxes, the rest of your life.
 

kkompoti

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I have done it when I was 17. No I am 33 and the problem came back.
 

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