Thinking about Lasik

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by red rook, Sep 22, 2012.

  1. red rook

    red rook Rookie

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    Any advice? Im 34 and have toric lenses which bounce around during play. So annoying. Went and got quoted for 3600 for both eyes, either prk or lasik same price. What say my compadres?
     
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  2. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    I had LASIK when I was 36. Had some dryness issues for a few months, nothing too bad. My only regret was waiting so long to do it!
     
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  3. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    I want more details as I'm considering it, especially if the equipment has improved enough to reduce the risks to a very, very low rate. I figure having 20/20 vision would really improve my tennis, as I'm myopic.

    How much did your vision improve? Has the improvement lasted? Have you had any night vision issues?
     
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  4. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    There is a coupon to take off 50 %. or if you get this done in mexico, it only costs $50 per eye.
     
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  5. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I think it can be done cheaper than 3600$.

    But check the record of the place, reputation of the surgeon and so on.
     
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  6. jswinf

    jswinf Professional

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    It's a good option. If you're gonna do it, go ahead, get some more glasses/contacts-free years in before you need reading glasses. (Maybe 10 years or so for you, bucko.) :)

    Price can vary, but you have to be confident in the surgeon and the entire operation. $3600 sounds reasonable, maybe if you whine about the cost a little a staff person will come up with a discount.

    Equipment these days is very good and complications are very rare. Still, it's an option, people can see just as clearly with glasses or contact lenses. If you don't like wearing glasses and contact lenses aren't doing it for you, why not go for it?
     
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  7. red rook

    red rook Rookie

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    The surgeon is in Alexandria VA and claims over 68,000 procedures done. I was thinking 3600 was a little high too? Perhaps its higher because it includes a lifetime warranty. That sounds weird - a warranty for your eyeballs lol!

    I would think it would help my tennis as these toric lenses keep my vision quality low when I'm doing physical activity.
     
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  8. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I knew a person whose laser surgery was botched, and he had to undergo 50 more treatments to correct it. Yes, 50. That is what the warranty is for.
     
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  9. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Don't go cheap on your eyes. I happily paid about the same for my wife and her eyes have been great for over a decade now.
     
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  10. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Hmmm. I was myopic with a grade of -5.75 and -4.50. Vision without glasses was something like 20/150. After LASIK, until today- 20/20. Waking up and not having to grope around for glasses is the best feeling ever :)

    As I said earlier, I had issues with dryness, so I would get a gritty sensation if I forgot to use my lubricant drops. This lasted about 4-5 months, but nothing to worry about. I do get a bit of glare at night, but nothing I notice unless I really try to look for it/be aware of it. And nothing that affects driving or anything else, really. The laser technology used has improved quite a bit from 7 years ago, so the occurrence of these issues are much less now.

    Do make sure to look at the reputation/track record of the surgeon/laser center. Look into what machine/s he uses. Make sure the corneal flap is made using a laser too (bladeless LASIK). Although mine was done with a blade (wasn't invented yet). Like any medical procedure, there are risks involved, so be sure to discuss them with your doctor.

    Good luck!
     
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  11. Dedans Penthouse

    Dedans Penthouse Hall of Fame

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    Recomend it. My baby blues now enjoy 20/10 (L) and 20/15 (R) vision. Good luck.
     
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  12. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    I had it done ~10 years ago.

    I had to go back to glasses 3 years ago.
     
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  13. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I was also told that once long sight sets in with age, glasses will be needed again.
     
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  14. mark999

    mark999 Rookie

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    if cataracts run in your family, ask the surgeon how lasik surgery can hurt your chances of having successful cataract surgery. my sister in law had serious problems with cataract surgery, the result was her vision actually got worse and there was nothing the eye surgeon could do to fix the problem.
    the surgeon said between 25-30% of lasik patients have problems with cataract surgery. something to think about.
     
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  15. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Both my parents had cataract surgeries.
     
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  16. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Guys, cataracts come with age. Yes it can run early in some families.

    The issue with lasik and cataract surgeries is mainly just the preoperative measurements for the intraoclar lens that will replace the cataracts us lens. Today's LASIK evaluation protocols include measurements for future cataract surgeries, so it shouldn't be an issue.

    Yes once you hit 40 or so, you'll start needing reading glasses. Nothing to do with the LASIK directly. If you were nearsighted before, you would not need reading glasses right away, depending on your refraction. But with the LASIK, you take away your nearsightedness, hence the eventual need for reading glasses.

    LASIK changes the shape of the central cornea, changing the focus. Since the laser is done on living tissue- it tries to heal itself. This healing is taken into account when calculating the amount of ablation done. Bt there are outliers, patients whose cornea heals faster/more exuberantly. These are the patients whose vision may regress, needing a follow-up laser treatment.
     
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  17. jswinf

    jswinf Professional

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    It's nice that you feel like you got a good deal when you purchased your wife.
     
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  18. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Is $3600 a good price for a wife? What is the going rate?
     
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  19. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    I think it all comes down to the machine they are using.

    So a place that does a high volume, can often times afford the latest and greatest machine, and won't need to charge as much either.

    Quality and price are not always related. Sometimes there are other factors driving up price. Then the facility in question relies on marketing to be perceived as "higher quality" as compared to "those other guys that do a million of these a day".

    By the way, $3,600 is a steal for a wife.
     
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  20. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I've often wondered what the price per "session" truly is. Probably could get a better deal in the Pro market. :)
     
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  21. limitup

    limitup Professional

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    I'm getting mine done on the 5th. Paying $4200 but like someone else said, your eyes aren't something to cheap out on. I remember I used to see signs around town touting the lowest prices - something crazy like $499 an eye - and I just cringed lol.

    The place I'm going uses the latest and best laser (intralase with wavefront something blah blah blah) and they do the pro athletes in the area. I figure they are good as I'm pretty sure the sports teams vet the doctors they use pretty good.

    Everyone I talk to who has done it say they wish they had done it sooner, so I'm going for it. The worst for me is every now and then when I'm playing I'll get a drop of sweat that falls into my eye just a certain way and it makes my contact move, then I can't see for the next 30 seconds or so. No more!!
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2012
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  22. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    Just look at the machine / technology they are using.

    It could be that this place does so many procedures, that they pay their expenses by volume. The $499 is no indication whatsoever of the quality.

    Also, if you were to inquire, you'll find that nobody actually qualifies for that price. It's just to get people in the door talking to the salesman.
     
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  23. gh65721

    gh65721 Rookie

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    Got mine done 12 years ago, still see 20-20. Never will forget waking up next morning actually being able to see the clock
     
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  24. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    Things are certainly not all rosy with Lasik. "Ophthalmology," the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, published a study in January indicating that problems such as starburst patterns in bright light, decreased contrast sensitivity, and dry eye were "relatively common" in people who've had the procedure. A study out of Ohio State found that a third of people report decreased night vision as a consequence of having had Lasik. Many subjects still need to wear glasses or lenses, though usually of less refractive strength. The notion that one can cut the cornea, either with a laser or a scalpel, and have no risk of adverse consequences, defies reason.
     
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  25. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    That was actually the fan.

    Just kidding.
     
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  26. sixftlion

    sixftlion Rookie

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    About 10 years ago, I was together with a LASIK surgeon, one of the best one in the country. He did personally over 150,000 surgeries. It sounds like a lot, but when the LASIK was extremely popular (2001-2002), he was doing up to 100 surgeries per day. So when you choose your doctor, find one who's done many surgeries and has a lot of experience.

    I worked in the LASIK office myself, for a year or two (on the side of my fitness business), and I used to be the laser operator. The price depends on what laser they use, some lasers (like VISX) have a special card that doctor has to pay for and it will increase the price of the patient. Nidek laser didn't have this extra fee, so the prices could be lower. Not sure if it is so still now.

    Other things came out, like the custom (wavefront) technology which is supposed to be "like a fingerprint" of your eye and make the treatment so much better. Honestly, the regular Nidek/VISX treatment is just as good. For the marketing purposes, they have to promote the wavefront, because the price is so much higher.

    I had LASIK done in 2002, just on one eye. The dryness you experience afterward is normal, and I was putting eye drops in my eye every hour or so and I was just fine. Went to my workouts a few days after.

    The "life-time" guarantee means that they will do any enhancement necessary for the rest of your life. It can happen, because eyes are changing. After 40+ something, people become presbyopic (hard to read) and will need to get another treatment. I used to go to vision therapy and you can actually postpone presbyopsia with training your eyes. I am 47 now and no signs of presyopsia. When it comes, you don't need to wear glasses if you choose the mono-vision option. One eye for reading, one for distance and let the brain figure it out. It works for many people, some people's brain may never adjust. For athletes, it could mean a loss of perfect depth perception... but you can figure out all this later when the time comes.

    I would highly recommend LASIK. It's very safe. If the doctor is skilled, they are hardly ever any complications, other than the patient doesn't listen to the doctor and digs in his/her eye and moves the flap a few days later.

    The low prices $499 are marketing to bring the patient in. Very few people get the price (if you are maybe -0.5D or so), but it does happen. Often the price will climb up. You can get cheaper prices in higher performance centers (a lot of patients) because they compete with the "famous" doctors whom you pay $5K for the same procedure.
     
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  27. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    my corneas weren't thick enough, so they performed PRK. Later on, under the microscope another eye doctor told me, there's no sign that anything was done to my eyes, unlike Lasik.
     
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  28. sixftlion

    sixftlion Rookie

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    Yes, Mick, PRK is great too, only the post-op care is much more painful for about two weeks or so. Some patients don't like to deal with that discomfort. LASIK post-op is pretty much pain-free. But if you have thin corneas, of course, you have no choice. Also, contact sports athletes, pilots etc have to have PRK so they wouldn't risk moving their flap.
     
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  29. red rook

    red rook Rookie

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    I read that Tiger Woods and Lebron James had Lasik. Kind of surprised they did.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2013
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  30. mark999

    mark999 Rookie

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  31. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    Lasik does not take away the need for reading glasses.

    The eyes can accomodate or change the shape of the eye lens to change focal length when people are younger. Almost everyone loses the ability to adequately accomodate between say 45 & 55. Then you need reading glasses (unless you were near sighted before).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accommodation_(eye)

    Lasik is usually done to reshape the cornea to focus at distance with both eyes. There is a Lasik option to have one eye for distance and the other eye for close up, 16" for reading. Then you don't need reading glasses. My friend has that and has been very pleased. I would not be interested and would want both eyes focused for distance. My friend says that depth perception is no problem once you get used to it but I would rather use reading glasses and have both eyes the same.

    A new lens lens for cataract treatment is the Crystal Lens. It has a special mechanism that uses the old muscles that focused the removed eye lens to move the replacement lens in & out to focus. My wife could see both distance and was able to read in the treated eye. She usually prefers using 1.25 diopter reading glasses (one of her eyes is untreated and needs a reading lens.)
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2012
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  32. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Medical needs do not work like that ......
     
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  33. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    ^^ I read that Michael Jackson and Melanie Griffith had plastic surgery. If it's good enough for them...
     
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  34. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I am thinking of having a kidney removed because I heard many celebrities had it done.
     
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  35. limitup

    limitup Professional

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    Wow. Had my intralase wavefront lasik yesterday and it's simply amazing. Went home, took the valium they gave me, slept for about 4 hours, woke up and had 20/20 vision. Not one ounce of discomfort at any point either during the surgery or after. Totally freakin' crazy. I have to keep reminding myself to be careful and not touch my eyes because I honestly keep forgetting I just had it done.
     
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  36. red rook

    red rook Rookie

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    Congratulations! What was your vision like before? Have you had any drawbacks?
     
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  37. TonyB

    TonyB Hall of Fame

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    Congratulations. Glad things worked out for you.

    Please be sure to keep us updated if you have any relapses or discomfort. Seems like there can be complications with this type of surgery and some people complain of light sensitivity, shift in visual acuity (declines from 20/20), etc.

    I'd like to get it done, but the horror stories make me stay far, far away from the surgery. Wearing glasses isn't THAT bad where I would risk having headaches all day, every day from a botched eye job. Or having to wear sunglasses every day because the light hurts my eyes. Yeah, I know the odds are slim, but that's exactly why I'm scared. I have bad luck.
     
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  38. red rook

    red rook Rookie

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    Well decided to update my thread with my results.

    Had PRK done last November and so it's been about 12 months. I'm now 20/20. I don't even think about it anymore. I was -6.00 and -5.75.

    Would recommend PRK but you must be patient the first couple of weeks. And it was painful for 2-3 days I'm not going to lie. But I can see better now than before with contacts.

    Overall I would recommend it.

    Tom
     
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  39. limitup

    limitup Professional

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    I had custom wavefront lasik just about 12 months ago. After the first week or so I was 15/15 in both eyes. After another few weeks though I developed somewhat of a "dry eye" problem in my right eye which kind of sucks. My vision is now 15/20 but I have dry eye symptoms in my right eye and some "starbursts" at night in my right eye. Overall still very happy I did it, and still hoping that over time my right eye will go back to normal ...
     
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  40. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    I heard many years ago that Lasik was most effective for nearsighted corrections. Since then the capability to correct strong farsighted eyes has probably improved, but to what degree? Has anyone had a strong farsighted correction done by Lasik? For example, suppose the corrective lenses for glasses are +4 diopter (similar to reading glasses, only stronger), has anyone had that strong a correction made by Lasik?

    One issue to be considered is any need for cataract surgery. If there's a know need for cataract surgery in the future, the correction could probably be done then. ??
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2013
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  41. Posture Guy

    Posture Guy Professional

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    a few observations:

    1. I had Lasik done in 2004. Still see great at a distance. Starting to need reading glasses at 52. DEFINITELY helps tennis not to have to wear glasses.

    2. I am of the opinion that the reason r2473 had to get glasses 3 years ago was because of acute bacon deficiency.

    3. $3600 could POSSIBLY be a great deal for a wife. Completely depends on the wife. Would need much more information to accurately assess the value of that transaction.
     
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  42. Tamiya

    Tamiya Semi-Pro

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    Cataract = your lens has gone opaque

    to fix they cut it out & implant a synthetic lens,
    can be made to any spec you need to correct focus.

    Post-op the new lens can be further corrected by LASIK.
     
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  43. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    how does it help you in tennis ? can you pick out the ball as soon as it is on the strings of your opponent like Federer ?
     
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  44. Raul_SJ

    Raul_SJ Professional

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    I wear glasses (to correct near-sightedness), while playing tennis

    I have not found wearing glasses to be a problem.

    I am skeptical that Lasik would make a difference on the court... I figure that the glasses are correcting my vision to 20/20, doing essentially what Lasik would do.
     
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  45. Posture Guy

    Posture Guy Professional

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    How did it help my vision?

    Glasses are not stable. They move, and as they do they distort and degrade your visual acuity.

    Glasses tend to not stay perfectly clean, particularly for me on a tennis court. I'd clean them before I went on the court but I sweat a lot and was routinely having to clean them. Before cleaning them, there would be sweat on them. To the degree ANYTHING was on them, they degrade visual acuity.

    My perspective was that seeing something through a glass or plastic lens an inch from my eye provided a different visual experience than seeing without that intermediary. Your mileage may vary.
     
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  46. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I may need Lasik.

    After 35 years of wearing contact lenses, I have developed an allergy to my contact lenses. Now I can only wear them a few hours here and there. I use them to play tennis and that is it.

    My ophthalmologist has been working on this by prescribing antihistamines and periods of rest. He is also going to try me in daily lenses.

    If that doesn't work, then LASIK is my only hope. I am not enthusiastic about this idea because of the risk and cost, and also because it would probably cost me what is left of my ability to read without glasses.

    Poor pitiful me. . . .
     
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  47. boosted180

    boosted180 New User

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    I didn't get a chance to read all the replies, but here's my take on LASIK (and other refractive surgeries). I'm an Optometrist and have co-managed many LASIK patients.

    First thing is be very careful of those "promotions" - esp. for places that quote you a fee that is much lower than everyone else. Quality and experience of the surgeon is much more important than saving a few hundred or even a thousand bucks. I've had a few patients with horrible outcomes who went to one of those assembly-line style practices that focus on volume vs. quality. They see tons of patients at low fees.

    I would say a reasonable fee is somewhere b/t $3500-$5000for both eyes, everything included. (some places will quote you a fee for the procedure and then add on the pre-op fee, post-op fee, fee for high astigmatism, fee for drops, etc.)

    The best way to find a qualified surgeon is to go to your regular eye care provider (Optometrist or Ophathalmologist) and see who they recommend or co-manage with.

    As far as age, the further away from 40, the better so that you have the most number of years of clear vision without needing glasses. After 40, you will need glasses for near - generally speaking. There are ways around it, but for the majority of patients, plan on needing glasses for reading/ computer, etc.
     
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  48. IA-SteveB

    IA-SteveB Professional

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    I had this done a few years ago, but I have the luxury of working for one of the top 25 lasik surgeons in the country. I was a person who couldn't wear contacts and thought I looked ridiculous in glasses, so I just played all sports with bad vision and did it quite well. I only wore them at night when playing baseball just because it was impossible to pick up the ball off the bat and track it. I didn't like glasses because it seemed to limit my peripheral vision and was a nuisance to me in general. My lasik surgery went great and my only side effect was dry eyes, which took over a year to fall back into line. It is way better now and I rarely need to use drops. Needless to say, it is nice to be able to see the ball better. I was fine outdoors on bright sunny days but indoors in dimmer lighting was a problem. My vision tests at 20/10 now so I got better than expected results. I hope it lasts. :) I can't really comment on how it affected my tennis because I just started playing a year and a half ago post lasik surgery. The fact I could see better sparked me into getting back into tennis since I hadn't played since high school.

    Obviously, you have to get a consult done to even see if you are a candidate. You will get rejected if your cornea is too thin, your eyes are too dry or you need too much correction for lasik to overcome. Most of all, go to a trusted surgeon and don't fall for a cut rate place. Eyes are too important.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2013
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  49. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Isn't that an ethics violation or something :)
     
    #49
  50. MisterP

    MisterP Semi-Pro

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    Tom,

    I'm curious to know if you have had any problems with halos, blurriness, glare, etc when playing tennis at night under bright lights. This is one of the primary concerns I have with getting eye surgery.

    Thanks.
     
    #50

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