Second time laser eye surgery?
September 20, 2006 1:43 PM   Subscribe

Should I have my eyes lasered again?

I had my eyes LASIKed four years ago, with great success. Since then my vision has deteriorated. At my last check, the optician suggested that I would need glasses for driving soon. I hated wearing glasses and contacts so don't want to go back.

I'd welcome any advice on whether to go for surgery again (and if so, what type and with which (British) company), whether to wait for technology that's coming in the next five or so years, or give up and go back to contacts. Also - is there a limit on the number of times it can be done?

Thanks!
posted by TrashyRambo to Health & Fitness (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
The number of times you can have the surgery re-done depends on the thickness of your cornea, as that is what is being re-shaped in the surgery. Subsequent surgeries will make it thinner, but more correctly-shaped. Your doctor should be able to measure your corneal thickness and tell you whether you are a good candidate for a touch-up surgery. Good luck!
posted by carlitos at 1:58 PM on September 20, 2006


I had an enhancement done to my Lasik surgery, and it went swimmingly... I'm now 15-20 or whatever it is. :P Really good. Anyhow, if you can get it done, DO it. :)
posted by Vamier at 7:42 PM on September 20, 2006


Topography-guided LASIK is just starting to come to market, and is sometimes more appropriate than wavefront-guided LASIK for second treatments. You might want to hold off until you can have your LASIK done that way.
posted by dmd at 7:46 PM on September 20, 2006


(Which is what I'm doing - I had LASIK in 1999, and have had to continue to wear glasses ever since - and have horrific night vision - because an insufficiently large area was corrected. My cornea basically looks like an impact crater - steep walls with a deep pit in the middle. I'm now waiting for topography-guided LASIK to become available so I can get that fixed.)
posted by dmd at 7:49 PM on September 20, 2006


Let me make a pitch for behavioral optometry.

I read an interesting book several years ago called "Take off your glasses and see". Yes, it's a bit pseudo-science-y, and while my vision hasn't improved completely by any means, I actually did improve my vision to a weaker prescription glasses, and haven't needed new glasses for several years now. If nothing else, simply learning how you can use exercises and habits to avoid your eyesight continuing to deteriorate may be worth a lot more than the $N you spend on another round of slicing up your eyeballs, only to show up 4 years from now with worse eyesight and thinner and thinner corneas.

Consider this: how many people do you know who wear corrective lenses/glasses? If it's "genetic" or whatever, then why do so many people wear glasses- surely the human animal could not have survived for millenia of evolution if 40% of us were blind as a bat- is the eyeball the one body part immune from evolutionary advantage?


Quite simply, you took a shortcut approach: you sliced up your eyeball, and for 4 years you had good vision. But you never address the behavioral or environmental cause of the bad vision, and as a result your eyes just keep getting worse. It is akin to getting liposuction to remove a lof fat, but never changing the diet/exercise lifestyle and watching the weight come right back on. Notice how both people in this thread who responded with personal anecdotes- dmd and vamier- have admitted they've gone back to fix the problem... again.


So please, consider talking to a behavioral optometrist first, before you go under the knife. They may be able to help you start some eye exercises or therapy that take a few minutes a day or even week, but stop or even reverse your deteriorating eyesight.
posted by hincandenza at 8:06 PM on September 20, 2006


I would suggest that 40% of us aren't "blind as a bat", we just have some vision problem that we like to correct (and could probably survive in the wild with vision less than that needed to drive at night). And that in the past, people didn't live long enough to worry about deteriorating eyesight. And that those eye exercise systems are a pretty well-known scam.
posted by TochterAusElysium at 9:56 PM on September 20, 2006


nth the - 'depends on cornea thickness'

However, is the deterioration of eyesight due to changes in the lens/cornea or deterioration of the muscles controlling the lense?

At about age 40, the muscles in the eye start deteriorating (resulting in the need for 'reading glasses'). It has nothing to do with the lens/cornea (which lasik alters the function of).

Human growth hormone, typically admistered to undersized children or children who have undergone radiation/chemotherapy are commonly administered to athletes as a performance enhancer. "Word is" that lots of "rejuvination clinics" are giving people HGH to improve the tone of the muscles controlling vision focus. It works. Until you stop injecting yourself.
posted by porpoise at 10:41 PM on September 20, 2006


Consider this: how many people do you know who wear corrective lenses/glasses? If it's "genetic" or whatever, then why do so many people wear glasses- surely the human animal could not have survived for millenia of evolution if 40% of us were blind as a bat- is the eyeball the one body part immune from evolutionary advantage?

See this thread, especially this response.
posted by sixacross at 10:41 PM on September 20, 2006


It's been a while since we were last hunter/gatherer types. I imagine we've picked up a few mildly detrimental, but non fatal, flaws in the genes for our eyes.
posted by borkencode at 11:55 PM on September 20, 2006


« Older Make the hurting stop! I got ...   |  Da Hool: Meet Her At The Love ... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.