What's that smell? Oh, it's my eyeballs crisping.
February 8, 2008 8:47 AM Subscribe
LASIK: Considering eye surgery, have new questions for those who've had it. I'd like to hear from people who know what they're talking about.
posted by cuddles.mcsnuggy to health & fitness (17 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
So I'm seriously considering custom LASIK, strongly enough that I plan to apply for the financing and schedule the procedure today for within about a month from now. I'm 33, nearsighted, about -5.25 in one eye and -6 in the other. I currently wear glasses and occasionally, soft contacts. With my glasses on, I see very crisp and clearly. I do not have astigmatism and have already gone through an evaluation with a clinic I trust, and am told I am a good candidate. I have some questions which I have not seen addressed in previous Askme threads and am hoping for additional insight and experiences from those of you who've had the procedure done.
Caveat: I'm aware there are tons of older Askme threads on Lasik, and I've probably read them all, and have weighed the pros and cons offered therein. Please don't point me to these prior posts, as I'm seeking different perspectives from what's already out there. Thanks!! :-) So that said, here's what I'm wondering:
- I know that Lasik does not prevent the potential need for reading glasses in middle age, because presbyopia is due to lense changes which corneal alterations from Lasik would not affect. Also, given that Lasik may not prevent all vision changes and my sight may still decline again later, will having had Lasik prevent me from being able to see well at long & short distances with *regular prescription glasses* in old age? Or will I be stuck with blurry long distance vision (should such a decline happen) and only be able to wear reading glasses for up close?
- If my vision were to decline again as I age, would having had Lasik mean I would never be able to wear contact lenses again? Do contact lenses irritate or damage the laser-altered corneal tissue?
- Those of you who have had eye surgery many years ago; have you noticed any vision decline as you get older? In what way? Can you see well again with glasses, like in the old days?
- Night driving: I'm aware of the possibility of halos and heard that if they occur they may decrease over time as I heal. However, would wearing glasses for driving prevent halos?
- My doc explained the laser touch-up process in the event that the work needs to be enhanced with more lasering within the year after the first surgery. She explained that the same flap is lifted open in later procedures that was cut in the first one, and made it sound like the flap is just kinda always there, "flapping" for lack of a better term. This squicks me out. Does the flap eventually heal fully and seal itself down for good? How long does it take?
- Does having had Lasik mean I won't be able to have surgery or treatment for cataracts later in life, should I develop them? Basically... I'm wondering if Lasik means I could never have any additional surgery done the eyes ever again.
- Hayfever and allergies: in terms of itching, redness, noseblowing, runny eyes, etc. -- Those of you who had Lasik, how do your allergies affect your eyes now? Any differently from before Lasik?
- More on the allergies thing, also regarding headcolds: Sometimes I use pseudoephedrine or other otc meds to dry up my nose. Any contraindications for using these after Lasik? Will they cause too much eye dryness?
- What about smoke? Like campfire smoke or incense (we use incense a lot around the house). Is smoke any worse for lasered eyes than for normal eyes?
- Crying: I'm an emotional softy. Sometimes I cry. Will fountains of tears and the eye pressure/redness resulting from said crying cause damage or problems with lasered eyeballs? Pain? Flap issues?
- Ladies: Eye makeup. Anything bad happen when using mascara or eyeliner? Doc said not to use makeup for the first couple of weeks after surgery but didn't expand on that or mention if it could cause problems later.
- Cat hair and other debris: We have five cats. Sometimes I get a hair in my eye. Or I get dust or eyelashes or whatever in there & have to pick them out. Would this have the potential to cause major corneal damage even after the flap has healed? (I know it would in the first few weeks during the "hands off" period... but what about years later?)
And finally: What does the procedure feel like? I'm a little scared that I'll see the flap-knife & the laserbeam coming at me & I'll be emotionally scarred for life. Does your vision go black before the blade looms? Are the numbing drops effective enough? I heard it doesn't really hurt. Is it pointy feeling? Just wondering what to expect.
That's all I can think of for now. Thanks in advance for insight!