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Thread: Laser Eye Surgery

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    Regular Member Vectra_Wilky's Avatar
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    Default Laser Eye Surgery

    I'm considering having laser eye surgery. I just wondered if anyone on here had had their eyes done, where they had it done and what their experiences were? It is a bit of an outlay, but it'll pay for itself in a few years with the cost of glasses and contact lenses.

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    Vehicle : Signum

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    I had it done when 2 years ago, when I was 40, and my prescription had settled down and been the same for a good many years

    I had wavefront LASIK- they open a flap of the cornea with a laser, fold this back, then reshape underneath, then fold the cornea down again. Lasek is where they laser directly onto the eye. Wavefront on either method gives a more accurate correction as it follows the pattern of the surface of the eye tissue.

    Lasik advantages are quicker healing time, instant vision correction, and both eyes are done at the same time. With LASEK you will have blurred vision and pain for a week. LASIK you can see straight away and the intense pain only lasts a couple of hours. However LASEK is supposed to leave the eye in a stronger state as no cutting is involved, so they recommend that you don't do contact sports like boxing/ma if you have had lasik. It's not proved though that the structural integrity of the eye is reduced with lasik as if you do heal completely - the issue is that your corneal thickness is reduced so more susceptible to injury. Some people with excesively thin corneas cannot have lasik, plus you cannot always have lasik redone if further correction is needed if it has made your corneas too thin.

    They bill it as a pain free operation, this is true, but only til the drops wear off and then you will be in a lot of pain and not much use for a couple of hours, so get someone else to drive you there and back. The pain does die down and then you spend a week applying antibiotic drops and wearing plastic eye shields at night. After a few hours I was pain free.

    The op is scary, you lie down, then the laser opens the flap and when the surgeon folds that back you are BLIND in that eye. However when the corrective laser is applied it is cool, you see the lights you are told to concentrate on come into focus. I just concentrated on lying as still as I possibly could. The laser does track your eyes and compensates for movement but it gave me something to think about rather than the fact I was blind.

    As to results, well, my eyes are sharper and clearer than even with contacts or glasses, as wavefront can correct astigmatism, my distance vision is just superb now. My night vision is a little better in that I am more light sensitive however with all laser eye surgery sharp light sources at night like street lights now sometimes have a slight halo. There's some new procedure too that might be worth looking into which is supposed to stop this halo effect. It is very tiny and hardly noticeable unless I think about it. Also I can't focus quite as closely as I could - as I was getting older I knew I'd need reading glasses but now I might need them a few years earlier. This is to do with correcting shortsightedness


    Cost - well they started at 4 grand. We eventually settled at 1700 and I paid over 2 years interest free.

    Would I do it again, hell yes, absolutely. To be glasses/contacts free is fantastic and if you think of the cost of contacts every month it does make sense.

    Cheers

  3. #3
    Regular Member Vectra_Wilky's Avatar
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    Thanks Yugguy, that was really useful. You just don't get that sort of info from the websites; I've certainly not read about being blind during the op an you're right they do say its "pain free".

    Contact lenses can be a hassle and when you've had them in a while they do get uncomfortable. Glasses are a pain, especially in this cold weather when they're steaming up all the time! It'd be better for driving too, as you've no peripheral vision with glasses.

    Where do you get yours done? £4000 to £1700 is a big jump!!

    I'm 24 but my prescription is fairly constant, one of my worries is that I'll pay out a decent whack for them correcting and ended up wearing them again in later life. Reading glasses excluded, that seems to come with age - not to all I know ;-)

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    Regular Member Handyandy-UK's Avatar
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    I had mine done at Optimax in Brum a couple of years back now and (pardon the pun) I've not looked back since.

    I had short sight (uncorrected my clear focus was at about 4 inches) and astigmatism (eyeball more rugby ball than football shaped). Both were corrected at the same time.

    Unlike Yugguy due to damage I sustained in the army I could only have the 'older' LASEK procedure - the surface of the eye is reshaped rather than behind a flap of corneal tissue. Although the results aren't as immediate as LASIK I still found within 5 minutes of the op I could read the large print on the posters in the waiting room well enough.

    The whole 'pain free' question - the op... fine, if a bit odd knowing something's holding your eye still yet not feeling a thing.... and they don't tell you about the sound/smell of cooked bacon as the laser does the job. But laying there concentrating on the red light which starts to come into focus as the laser works is a tad weird too.
    After op... the first day/night would've been fine if I had done as I was told and used the eyedrops at the specified times... but as I got a bit tired and nodded off, I ended up waking up in the early hours feeling like someone had sprayed a gallon of tear gas in my eyes. The moral... do what they tell you to do!
    First check was after 1 week - all healing well and I was ok to go back to work. After 2 weeks they cleared me as legal to drive again. Then we moved to once a month, once every 3 months up until they were happy all had fully healed and signed me off.

    As Yugguy said my close up focus isn't quite as good as it was, but that's normal as you age anyway. General focus is great... I have no problems day or night.

    Costwise was far less than Yugguy at around the 1k mark, but then costs will vary due to type of op and degree of correction needed.

    I should note though, I had checks as to if I could have laser buy a few of the companies and Optimax were the only one who found the damage on my eye I already knew about. All the others said they'd happily do LASIK on me, while Optimax Birmingham explained how that would most likely cause major problems and refused to offer me that procedure.

    I have no links to Optimax other than being a former patient of their Birmingham clinic and would happily recommend them.... plus I can get dosh for recommending someone (who also gets a discount).

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    No worries. By blind I meant that going from being able to see to just seeing light or dark - like looking thru a frosted plain of glass. To be fair this doesnt last long, the actual time the corrective laser is on is a matter of seconds. Oh, and you get a nice smell of burnt flesh, which is lovely.

    Aye the pain free bit makes me laugh - yeah, for about 5 minutes and then AAAAAHH. For about 2 hours my eyes streamed with tears and felt like acid was in them. It was bearable though and it does go away. I couldnt have driven home and wouldn't have wanted to have to try and look at train noticeboards so you want to get a lift there and back really.

    I got mine done by optimax in milton keynes, they have branches all over tho. I think all the big companies are basically the same. With money just hold out, and they'll down the price...

    In my 20s my prescription did move up and down by about 1.0 overall, but had been the same from when I was about 35 onwards. everyone's eyes are different tho, my missus's have been the same since she was 25, and she's now 37.

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    Regular Member Handyandy-UK's Avatar
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    I should also add just how wonderful the little things are.... I wake up and I can read my watch on the bedside 2 feet away..... I can see when I go swimming.... I don't get the twitching nerves around my eyes .... I can see where the soap is if I drop it in the shower .... I can wear shades when I need to..... I don't get wet specs in the rain.... I don't get misted specs in the cold.... non specs wearers will never quite understand these things....

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    Wavefront put the cost of mine up a bit.

    Interesting what Andy says about lasek - my dad had it done 20 odd years ago and it took a few days for him to get full vision back - I think since then the lasers themselves have got much better and much more accurate. And he's right about the things you notice that if you've never had spectacles you just don't appreciate. It's over two years now but I still sometimes wakeup and think "sweet, I can see", or go for a **** in the night and not have to fumble for specs, or go from cold outside to warm inside without steaming up.

    One thing though, certain professions, pilots, armed forces, police, it used to be they only allowed you in if you'd had lasek and not lasik, dunno if it's still the case.

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    Regular Member C-Owner's Avatar
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    Im a coward ....... I'll stick to my 3 pairs of glasses

    Eye ball cutting done me in I was all up for it till then.........

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    Regular Member Caveman_nige's Avatar
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    I had mine done a few years ago.. had the LASIK and the wavefront done at optical Express. cost me about £800 cash an eye... I got a discount for taking an appointment at short notice, it fills in the holes in their appointment diary etc..

    Since then, my sister has been and had hers done and so has my old mum.. both of them had been wearing glasses since they were 13..

    Well worth it.. if i need to go back for a tweak as i get older I will without a doubt...

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    Regular Member Mark-R's Avatar
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    I would love to get mine done i so hate wakening up and having to put my glasses on to see even if i get up and go for a toilet i have to put them on or i will end up with a sore head all day.
    Last edited by Mark-R; 16th January 2013 at 18:53.

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