Many questions about lasik...

If you are thinking about having Lasik, IntraLasik, PRK, LASEK, Epi-Lasik, RLE, or P-IOL eye surgery, this is the forum to research your concerns or ask your questions.

Many questions about lasik...

Postby Grace » Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:14 pm

I am a 29 year old woman who has been wearing glasses since about 2nd grade. My astigmatism is advanced but I don't know exactly what my prescription is anymore. I believe I am also nearsighted.

My questions right now are pretty general...

1. Will my eyes progressively get worse as it I had never had surgery? Though my prescription has been the same for about the last 3 years.

2. What percentage of people with higher, more significant astigmatism have success... and how much success?

3. Is there more than one laser procedure that I should be aware of?

4. Are there any common, long term or permanent side effects?
ex. Headaches or the like.

I am really looking forward to getting rid of glasses and I haven't been able to wear contacts since having my son 10 years ago. But I am concerned and very anxious about having someone poking around in my eyes with blades and lasers.

Any insight, personal experiences, websites, professional advice and the like would be really appreciated. Numbers would be good. Success rates for people with high astigmatism are what I've really been looking for.

Thanks in advance for any and all help you guys can give.
:D

Grace
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Postby Betty39 » Wed Feb 28, 2007 12:39 am

Why haven't you been able to wear contacts? If it is because of dry eye INSIST they do tear testing before surgery.
Dry eye is a horrible side effect if it is sever or lasts a long time.
Hopefully that isn't a problem for you.
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Re: Many questions about lasik...

Postby LasikExpert » Wed Feb 28, 2007 1:07 am

Grace wrote:I am a 29 year old woman who has been wearing glasses since about 2nd grade. My astigmatism is advanced but I don't know exactly what my prescription is anymore. I believe I am also nearsighted.


Myopia (nearsighted, shortsighted) means that without your corrective lenses you can see objects near to you well. Mild hyperopia (farsighted, shortsighted) may not be noticeable for someone as young as you.

Grace wrote:1. Will my eyes progressively get worse as it I had never had surgery? Though my prescription has been the same for about the last 3 years.


Three years is considered a stable refractive error. Your eyes will continue to change the same after surgery as they would have before surgery. This includes needing reading glasses sometime after age 40.

Grace wrote:2. What percentage of people with higher, more significant astigmatism have success... and how much success?


These numbers are hard to come by. The FDA clinical trial includes people with higher astigmatism, but results are compiled and include low astigmatism and no astigmatism. As a general rule, anyone with more than about 2.00 diopters of astigmatism or when the astigmatism is more than half the sphere (myopia or hyperopia) will have a less predictable outcome. You should discuss this in detail with your surgeon.

Grace wrote:3. Is there more than one laser procedure that I should be aware of?


Yes, and laser may not be the best depending upon your individual circumstance. Consider too All Laser Lasik, PRK, LASEK, Epi-Lasik, or a combination of one of these plus P-IOL. What is most important is to go to a qualified surgeon with an open mind and listen to what - and why - the surgeon recommends.

Grace wrote:4. Are there any common, long term or permanent side effects? ex. Headaches or the like.


About 3% of people who have refractive surgery (all types of surgery, all types of refractive error) have some sort of unresolved complication at six months postop, with about 0.5% being serious complications that require extensive management or invasive correction. The most common unresolved complication is Lasik and All-Laser Lasik induced dry eyes. If you want to scare yourself, view a list of several Lasik complications.

Keep in mind that there is a big difference between the possibility of a complication and the probability of a complication. There are gazillion things that can harm you each day, but the probability that you will be fine is pretty good.

Grace wrote:I am really looking forward to getting rid of glasses and I haven't been able to wear contacts since having my son 10 years ago.


Why have you not been able to wear contact lenses since your son was born?


Grace wrote:I am concerned and very anxious about having someone poking around in my eyes with blades and lasers.


Being concerned and anxious means that you are becoming well informed. That is a good thing. It is the unknown that is worrisome. Keep doing your homework.
Glenn Hagele
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USAEyes

Lasik Info &
Lasik Doctor Certification

I am not a doctor.
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Contacts

Postby Grace » Wed Feb 28, 2007 8:18 pm

Glenn,

Thank you so much for the answers. I will keep all of it in mind, as a matter of fact I am printing your response so that my fiance and I can go over it later.

I haven't been able to wear contact lenses because my eyes don't seem to want to stay moist enough. I tried them 4 or 5 years ago and couldn't keep them in more than a couple hours. Tried drops, but I have a life to live, I can't stop what I'm doing every 10 minutes to wet my eye balls. And that is exactly what I was doing. I stare at a computer screen for 8+ hours 5+ days a week and I'm sure that doesn't help. It is strange, before my son I wore them for a couple years, I always figured it must have something to do with hormones. Who knows. I'm thinking about trying it again just for the hell of it. We'll see. I know the whole dry eyes thing can be an issue, will that be a factor in determining whether I can have the surgery?

By the way, I was just curious, if you aren't a doctor where do you get all this info to hand out? And exactly what qualifies you as an "expert"? Not looking to rub ya the wrong way, just want to be thorough.

Thanks again!!
Grace
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Re: Contacts

Postby LasikExpert » Wed Feb 28, 2007 8:56 pm

Grace wrote:I haven't been able to wear contact lenses because my eyes don't seem to want to stay moist enough.


This is a concern. All laser assisted refractive surgery techniques can induce dry eyes at least temporarily. Lasik and All-Laser Lasik seem to be a bit more problematic than PRK, LASEK, or Epi-Lasik.

Your dry eye situation needs to be evaluated, treated, and managed before you have surgery. If you cannot wear contact lenses due to dry eye you may be at the threshold of symptomatic dry eye and Lasik may push you though that threshold.

Grace wrote:By the way, I was just curious, if you aren't a doctor where do you get all this info to hand out? And exactly what qualifies you as an "expert"?


I am, essentially, a researcher. As patient questions come up I research various medical journals and trade publications for answers determined by doctors and scientists. We have some great surgeons affiliated with our organization who I can ask specific questions as required. I attend many major ophthalmic medical meetings each year to keep abreast of the latest news.

Grace wrote:Not looking to rub ya the wrong way, just want to be thorough.


There is nothing wrong with wanting to know the source of your information.
Glenn Hagele
Volunteer Executive Director
USAEyes

Lasik Info &
Lasik Doctor Certification

I am not a doctor.
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Postby Betty39 » Wed Feb 28, 2007 10:31 pm

Here I am again...butting in. But....I wore contacts for 21 years with no moisture issues. Never did I use rewetting drops. I didn't even own any. I really never thought about my eyes being dry at all. My doctor didn't see any dry eye issues upon looking at my eyes. I am now 5 months post op and have been through hell because of dry eyes. Now they tell me..."well maybe you were on the threshold before surgery so the surgery made it worse." All that needed to be done to spare me was the Schimer test with the little strips of paper in my eyes. Then if I had low tear quantity, as I do now, I could have opted out of the surgery.
I'm not trying to scare you, I just think everyone should be informed and make a good decision for their particular case. If I had been fortunate enough to find this site pre surgery I am sure my outcome would have been different. I didn't let myself research because I didn't want to scare myself. You are smarter than I was because you are educating yourself.
Just have them test you and like Glenn says get the dry eye issues under control before you choose the surgery. And this dry eye isn't like what I thought dry eye was. It's not just about using drops a few times a day. At least for me. It's about having mild to moderate burning ALL the time and it stinks!!!
Be informed and good luck whatever you should choose!
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