Considering Laser Eye Surgery - Pro's and Con's?

Hi, I've managed to get 51 with really good eyesight, only relatively recently having to resort to specs for reading smaller type or things u close but, in the last 6 months I've noticed that there is steady deterioration, I am becoming increasingly more dependent upon my specs and it is clear that it is only going to keep worsening with age.

I dont really like wearing specs, finding it all a bit of a faff to carry around specs to be able to read labels in the shops and at work to read wiring diagrams etc so am currently considering laser eye surgery

I was wondering if anyone else on here has already had laser surgery and had any pro's and con's that would potentially influence my opinion either way?

for example, I'm pretty shit scared about lying on a table with Clockwork Orange style toothpicks keeping my eyes open! and whether it hurts or not and also, how many years does it last eg will me eyes start to get worse again in a few years or would it basically reset my eyes back to when I was a youngster?

Many Thanks
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
I have still got my original Mark 1 Eyeballs. There are no more to be issued. I'll not risk a botch, thank you. There is astigmatism in one eye, and the threat of cataracts, but I'll trust in the view of my optician (pardon the pun) until he says something needs done.

And since he just said to wear bigger, darker sunglasses when necessary, I do.

I've worn contacts since before Spearpoint, but frankly these days I'm more comfortable in glasses.
 

4(T)

LE
First off, laser eye surgery is both terrifying, but also over very quickly and has immediate results. AFAIK, bad side effects are very rare.

I had it done when I was about 40, and had a fantastic result. I went from being quite short-sighted to having eyes like an eagle. The result lasted a good 10-15 years.


To achieve a correction for age-related long sight, you'll probably have to give up most of your distance vision and will require correction for that. Your optician can give you the brief - definitely worth going along to a laser consultation to get the full facts. These days they can fine tune the treatment to offer you a variety of outcomes.

The problem is that long-sight (can't focus on close things) is an age-related condition - the cornea muscles losing function - and not a lens issue as with short sight or long sight when you are younger.

Most likely they will tell you that, as middle-aged, the result you require will probably last x years before the aging process overtakes it. You most probably will require reading glasses in a few years anyway. I am, however, very out of date with the latest technology. IIRC they can do "varifocals" and other outcomes these days.


The operation itself is scary, but its all in the mind! Anaesthetic drops, some clamps, "look at the light". You don't feel anything, and just have to focus on relaxing. Your view of "the light" changes as your cornea gets sliced, but since your eye is swimming in tears/drops, you're only aware that things are actually happening. Laser (depending which type of surgery you have) makes a few clicking noises, then its endex. 5-10 minutes per eye. I think I was in the chair for about 12 minutes for both eyes.

There is no stitching, or anything like that. The cornea just gets flipped back, and it re-attaches itself in a matter of hours(?). You are required to wear protective eye shields for a day or so, and not rub your eyes! Discomfort is minimal, not much more than if you have an eyelash or something trapped. Its dead easy if you've ever worn contact lens.

Even with eyes swimming in tears/drops, I could see the result as soon as i emerged from the chair. Its quite a feeling, if you've been hampered by vision aids most of your life. By next morning, eyes were back to normal, and the shields could be discarded. It can take a week or so for your brain to fine-tune your vision as the cornea settles down.
 
GOOD : My father had it done at 70, he was chuffed, though after about 6 years his eyesight was degrading.

BAD : Wife of a colleague in Special Branch had it done and she contracted Necrotizing fasciitis in one which spread to the second in 24hrs and to her brain 72hrs after that. Clinical hygiene in the OR, or the lack of, was the root cause of death.

Do your homework on the hospital or clinic
 
GOOD : My father had it done at 70, he was chuffed, though after about 6 years his eyesight was degrading.

BAD : Wife of a colleague in Special Branch had it done and she contracted Necrotizing fasciitis in one which spread to the second in 24hrs and to her brain 72hrs after that. Clinical hygiene in the OR, or the lack of, was the root cause of death.
I think in some cases the benefit is only temp
 

Sarastro

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Hi, I've managed to get 51 with really good eyesight, only relatively recently having to resort to specs for reading smaller type or things u close but, in the last 6 months I've noticed that there is steady deterioration, I am becoming increasingly more dependent upon my specs and it is clear that it is only going to keep worsening with age.

I dont really like wearing specs, finding it all a bit of a faff to carry around specs to be able to read labels in the shops and at work to read wiring diagrams etc so am currently considering laser eye surgery

I was wondering if anyone else on here has already had laser surgery and had any pro's and con's that would potentially influence my opinion either way?

for example, I'm pretty shit scared about lying on a table with Clockwork Orange style toothpicks keeping my eyes open! and whether it hurts or not and also, how many years does it last eg will me eyes start to get worse again in a few years or would it basically reset my eyes back to when I was a youngster?

Many Thanks
  • Wife says it was the best money she ever spent.
  • Efficacy differs with age, so look into that (as well as get a consultation obviously) - there will be stats somewhere. Generally it makes more sense the younger you are, because the benefit and length of benefit can be quite different.
  • No operation is pleasant but if others can tough it out you can too.
 
I was upset to find I'm unsuitable, I have Keratoconus and also my scan was ugly, would have loved to have it

I can't have it either due to a "pothole" in the lens of my left eye. (got a bit of plastic or something in it in an RTC)
 

RBMK

LE
Book Reviewer
If you're just losing a little near vision at 51, this is normal. It's caused by the eye lense becoming a little less flexible and the muscles a little less efficient. Happens to many people in their early 50s.

The laser surgery may just result in you being able to read but losing some distance vision instead.

I have worn glasses for many years due to a problem in my early teens -- I've worn contact lenses since I was 18 and in my mid-50s got some multi-focal lenses which means I can still read and see long distance. I still have better than 20:20 distance vision. My contact lenses go in when I get up and come out just before I go to bed.

ETA, you're getting old, suck it up! ;)
 
Best thing I ever did 3 years ago.

Had LASIK was over in 20 minutes, sight was full 20/20 in the next 24 hours.

Wish I'd done it 10 years ago in my 20's instead of wearing contact lenses.
 
IMHO it depends on how much of a perfectionist you are. Look at all the opticians who still wear glasses; big hint.

Many "I've got perfect vision" people could actually benefit from glasses, but aren't prescribed them; if you're near enough to 6/6 vision (20/20), there's no need for driving, etc. But if you're a short-sighted sod like me, who has to wear glasses (or lenses) anyway, you might as well get the prescription spot-on. So, a lot of people with glasses operate at better than 6/6, i.e. better than "perfect vision" (wife and I are both 6/4.5).

With the serious gravelbellying, the wife and I were getting our eyes tested every year; my prescription changed. It slowly drifted upwards over a diopter in both eyes from 18 to about 40, and then started drifting downwards again. Each time, I just changed my glasses or lenses; but if I'd had laser surgery, I'd have been a bit cheesed off. Now that I'm an old fart whose lenses are stiffening up, and I'm wearing varifocals, I just take my glasses off to read comfortably - while wife is narked because for the first time in her life outside of the range, she's having to put them on. The prescription is still changing at 55...

Best piece of advice I got regarding varifocals: buy the best lenses you can afford, it makes a difference. And put the effort in when they're fitting your frames to your face, or you'll notice distortion.

Irritatingly, both our sons have at one point tested at 6/3 uncorrected (although oldest now needs glasses, he's reading the very bottom line at the optician with them). Gits.
 
Just to throw this in, I have worn contacts for 25 years, last 15 years I have worn 24/7 lenses changeable every month (I have gone many months without changing).

Eyesight has improved slightly in one eye, eye health is fine, do not know they are in, all covered by my health insurance.

There are alternatives.
 

jarrod248

LE
Gallery Guru
Hi, I've managed to get 51 with really good eyesight, only relatively recently having to resort to specs for reading smaller type or things u close but, in the last 6 months I've noticed that there is steady deterioration, I am becoming increasingly more dependent upon my specs and it is clear that it is only going to keep worsening with age.

I dont really like wearing specs, finding it all a bit of a faff to carry around specs to be able to read labels in the shops and at work to read wiring diagrams etc so am currently considering laser eye surgery

I was wondering if anyone else on here has already had laser surgery and had any pro's and con's that would potentially influence my opinion either way?

for example, I'm pretty shit scared about lying on a table with Clockwork Orange style toothpicks keeping my eyes open! and whether it hurts or not and also, how many years does it last eg will me eyes start to get worse again in a few years or would it basically reset my eyes back to when I was a youngster?

Many Thanks
The only people I’d trust are Moorfields eye hospital. That’s where people go when the high st screws them up. Can’t afford it, don’t do it is my advice.
 

tiv

LE
The only people I’d trust are Moorfields eye hospital. That’s where people go when the high st screws them up. Can’t afford it, don’t do it is my advice.
Another vote for Moorfields. They sorted out a tumour in my right eye and I can't praise the treatment I received highly enough.
 
I had laser eye surgery (LASIK) back in 2007 at Optical Express in Glasgow prior to enlisting in the army. In retrospect, it was an absolute ballache as it added over 2 years to passing all the medical hoops before I could finally start phase 1, but I was adamant I didn't want to go infantry encumbered with glasses.

Regarding the army, it killed my night vision in no light environments, I was virtually blind in those dense wood blocks during training, quite unsettling, I think LASEK didn't impact night vision though.

My treatment has only degraded very slightly in 14 years, and I had a significant prescription (like minus 5-6 each eye) plus astigmatism prior to surgery, so all things considered it was a success. I think surgery puts you at greater risk of cataracts, glaucoma etc at older age, but it's not something I thought about at 21.
 
Just to throw this in, I have worn contacts for 25 years, last 15 years I have worn 24/7 lenses changeable every month (I have gone many months without changing).

Eyesight has improved slightly in one eye, eye health is fine, do not know they are in, all covered by my health insurance.

There are alternatives.

I'm afraid that I get vey squeamish about my eyes and touching them so contact lenses are not really my bag - I'm even more squeamish about possible laser surgery but if it was just a one off for 10 mins I could probably cope with that more than fitting/removing contact lenses
 
I'm afraid that I get vey squeamish about my eyes and touching them so contact lenses are not really my bag - I'm even more squeamish about possible laser surgery but if it was just a one off for 10 mins I could probably cope with that more than fitting/removing contact lenses
It’s hard to explain, but you can train yourself, I know what you mean and everyone is different so no further comment :)
 
IMHO it depends on how much of a perfectionist you are. Look at all the opticians who still wear glasses; big hint.

Many "I've got perfect vision" people could actually benefit from glasses, but aren't prescribed them; if you're near enough to 6/6 vision (20/20), there's no need for driving, etc. But if you're a short-sighted sod like me, who has to wear glasses (or lenses) anyway, you might as well get the prescription spot-on. So, a lot of people with glasses operate at better than 6/6, i.e. better than "perfect vision" (wife and I are both 6/4.5).

With the serious gravelbellying, the wife and I were getting our eyes tested every year; my prescription changed. It slowly drifted upwards over a diopter in both eyes from 18 to about 40, and then started drifting downwards again. Each time, I just changed my glasses or lenses; but if I'd had laser surgery, I'd have been a bit cheesed off. Now that I'm an old fart whose lenses are stiffening up, and I'm wearing varifocals, I just take my glasses off to read comfortably - while wife is narked because for the first time in her life outside of the range, she's having to put them on. The prescription is still changing at 55...

Best piece of advice I got regarding varifocals: buy the best lenses you can afford, it makes a difference. And put the effort in when they're fitting your frames to your face, or you'll notice distortion.

Irritatingly, both our sons have at one point tested at 6/3 uncorrected (although oldest now needs glasses, he's reading the very bottom line at the optician with them). Gits.

I have bifocals - my prescription on the top half for long vision is absolutely minimal so I just need to look down to read through the higher mag on the bottom 1/3 rd of the lens but when I tried out varifocals for some reason I started feeling a bit sick and dizzy so didnt like them- the optician did say to me that varifocals can have that effect on a small amount of people
 
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