So I've spent the last hour or so reading up on laser eye surgery instead of packing my crap into boxes for the big move on Saturday (I'm a professional procrastinator). Having worn glasses the majority of my life, and am now heavily dependent on contact lenses, I find my extremely poor eyesight a nuisance (especially when it comes to travelling, and having to purchase contact lenses + solutions + glasses every few years).
After reading a rather lengthy forum on whirlpool for trusty advice and to aid my decision on which type of laser surgery I might want to get, I do believe I am more confused than before I started. When I went to my optometrist a few months ago, I inquired about laser surgery. I was worried that my eyesight may worsen when I get older, as they are quite already shocking (I'm talking -8 for contact lenses). To my surprise, my optometrist actually said that it is a good idea as it will help prevent the worsening of my eyesight to a state that is beyond repair. He did warn me that if my cornea isn't thick enough, I will not be eligible for LASIK.
You may be wondering what the hell is LASIK and what is the other option to LASIK? To my understanding (I may be wrong), the two options that I'm considering are:
- LASIK: Laser in Situ Keratomileusi. This is where the laser cuts a flap in the cornea, and then laser reshapes the cornea. There are quite a few disadvantages of LASIK. Firstly, the flap created may "unflap" in the future, which is quite scary (at least in my head). Secondly, eligibility is an issue, as the cornea has to be thick enough for the flap to be created. Lastly, the cost is astronomical compared to the second option. It's about $6000! However, the upside is that there is minimal healing time. Eyesight is restored almost instantly (i.e. you can drive the next day... without glasses or contacts!!!) Also, it's relatively painless.
- LASEK/PRK: Not sure what it stands for (not that it matters all that much to me). There is no flap created in this procedure. Instead, they sort of exfoliate the eyeball, removing a layer of epithelial cells. The laser then reshapes the cornea. The main disadvantage of this procedure is the healing time! Apparently, day 2-3 post surgery is the worst. I've read that people experienced swollen eyes, grittiness (like sand in your eyes), dry eyes, and light sensitivity (although people who went with LASIK also experienced dry eyes and light sensitivity). People have also experienced blurred vision 2-3 months post surgery and the eyes completely heal after a year. The advantage is that it costs about $2000.
Have you had laser eye surgery done? If so, thoughts and experiences? What would you do if you were in my shoes?
P.S. Sorry for the lack of photos in this post. I just wanted to write down my thoughts on laser eye surgery.