51 years old, Farsighted, Astigmatism

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.

51 years old, Farsighted, Astigmatism

Postby LindaT » Sat Feb 16, 2008 6:05 pm

Hi there, new here!

I have worn monovision contacts for years and LOVED them, until about a year ago. I guess my prescription has changed to the point that monovision isn't working for me anymore.

So now I'm comtemplating getting Lasik, but wonder if I'm going to accomplish what I REALLY want to accomplish. My biggest problem (or shall I say, pain) is not being able to groom my own face. Make-up, pluck eyebrows, touch-ups throughout the day, etc. I need my glasses on to see , but of course, as you know, you can't put make-up on while wearing glasses. The Lasik consultations I have had all recommend correcting me for distance and then wearing readers. They checked me out to show me how monovision Lasik would be, but I don't think it will work. My eyes feel like I'm cross-eyed. How do other women do it? How do you put on make-up???
LindaT
 
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I'm in the same boat

Postby capolst » Sat Feb 16, 2008 7:15 pm

Hello, I am also 51 & farsighted (also need readers). I have also been considering Lasik & started wearing monvision contacts in Jan. to see if I can adust. I am having a terrible time making up my mind. For the most part the contacts are great- especially for the things you mentioned- I can now see putting on makeup & grooming, etc. This is the part I love. I don't like reading for long periods or driving at night. These are the concerns I have with going through with Lasik. The dr. I am going to has said they could do monovision & then correct my reading eye later if I'm not happy with it (I'd then be back to glasses for any reading). If I do Lasik I really don't want to wear glasses at all (at least not for 90% of my activities)- this would be my purpose in doing Lasik- to get away from them. What is your prescription? I don't know what mine is- only my contact strengths. I am +1.50 for my distance eye & +3.25 for my reading eye. The Lasik administer at this site recommended trying the refractive lens exchange instead of Lasik (you can read about it at this site). I have tried finding out if someone has done this, but haven't gotten any responses. So, I am in a similar place as you are. I've decided to not do anything permanently until I can feel really secure in my decision.
capolst
 
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Postby lscha » Sun Feb 17, 2008 3:16 am

I am almost 60 and had Lasik done on January 10th. I am farsighted with astigmatism and was wearing tri-focals. I was not a candidate for contacts. I gradually worked up to a magnification of X10 for makeup. I hated it. I had to drag this mirror camping and hunting and any place I was going overnight.

I am so happy I had this done. The healing process is alot longer for my condition but I immediatly no longer needed any magnification for makeup application. I wear +1.00 cheaters for reading novels and small print but can usually see regular print pretty good. This will probably change as my distance becomes clearer. And it IS becoming clearer. I have ghosting due to dryness and edema but this fluctuates and doesn't bother me much because I knew what to expect. I can see fine to drive and have no trouble at night. Glare and halos are not a problem with me but were a problem with my glasses.

Every day I'm discovering things I love about not having to wear glasses all the time. I love to be able to just move my eyes instead of my whole head to see something clearly (progressive lense blur). I can now wear really nice sunglasses, I don't have rain and snow collecting in front of my eyes because of glasses, I haven't had any headaches since I stopped wearing glasses...... Too many nice changes to list.

Bottom line: I was always told I could not be corrected with laser. SOME Farsighted with Astigmatism is now correctable.

A good eye surgeon is the key to success.
lscha
 
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question for lscha

Postby Mack » Sun Feb 17, 2008 8:48 am

What was your original script and what laser was used for your lasik?
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Postby lscha » Sun Feb 17, 2008 5:12 pm

Mack, I assume you're talking to me. My scrip was: +175+100x180, +2+050x005. My surgeon uses the Baush n Lombe Zyoptix 217 Z, Flying Spot Excimer. He never moves it from his one clinic even tho he has other clinics for workups.

Laura
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Postby LindaT » Sun Feb 17, 2008 6:22 pm

Thanks Everyone for your replies!

Capolst: I don't know what my prescription is. I see from reading this message board that I probably should know. So I'll find out this coming Thursday when I go for yet another consultation. (I've talked with two docs. Dr. Assil, who is well-known in Beverly Hills, and Dr. Tooma at TLC Eye Center in Newport Beach. They both have excellent reputations around here.) Please keep me posted if you decide to do it, and I'll do the same. Actually, I have an appointment with Dr. Tooma for the surgery in July. I'm waiting until then because my Flexible Spending dollars aren't available until then. You save quite a bit if you use pre-tax $. Another reason I'm waiting is because I'm SCARED TO DEATH THAT I WON'T GET THE RESULT I'M HOPING FOR! I'm still doing research.

I was told I'd experience excellent close-up vision AT FIRST. But by about 3 months, it would have gradually decreased to where I'd need readers. They said in the beginning my close-up vision would be BETTER than the final result will be, and the distance would not be as good as it's going to get.

Laura, did they tell you that? Do you think your close-up vision will later decrease to the point of needing some magnification for putting on make-up? Of course our prescriptions are most likely very different, so we would probably get a different result. I know what you mean about moving your head about all the time. I have been wearing progressive lens bifocals and I hate them.

Laura, PLEASE KEEP US POSTED WITH YOUR PROGRESS. I'll be following your updates. If you don't update on this thread, let me know where to look. Thanks again!

Thanks again to all for your replies.
LindaT
 
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Location: Southern California

Postby lscha » Sun Feb 17, 2008 6:38 pm

LindaT,

I expect to eventually be using stronger cheaters but I'm an avid hunter and I need distance vision without glasses. That is my goal. Yes, I was told that the end result would be better far and worse close than I have right now but I've got all the magnifications covered in my makeup mirrors if I need them down the road. Ha, Ha. My close vision is still supposed to end up better than it was before Lasik tho.

Cheaters are cheap and I can have them all over the place where I need them. At least I won't be blind without glasses any more.

I'll keep you posted.

By the way, my husband and I had this done at the same time. It was a Christmas gift to each other. He only needed one eye done and his was for nearsightedness. Needless to say, his vision has been perfect since the first week. He is delighted. We both go in for our month check up on Tuesday.

Laura
lscha
 
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Location: Michigan

Postby capolst » Mon Feb 18, 2008 12:17 am

LindaT, I see we are both on CA. I have seen a DR. in Bakersfield who is well-known for doing Lasik. At his office they have said my Lasik would be just like what my monovision contacts are like. Did you get different info when you saw your Dr.? I think you said in your thread that monovision didn't work for you, but that you had worn monovision contacts for a long time. I am curious, because I am partly basing my decision on what they've told me about monovision contacts. I have worn the contacts for about 1 1/2 months & it was tough getting used to, but it is getting better. That was a good idea about using flex spending. I am not signed up for it right now, but that option is available(I have to sign up during an open period). I may wait & try it that way. I am very cautious about making any permanent decsion involving my eyes. I too am afraid I won't be happy with the results.
Laura, I am glad your progress is going well. I think you responded to one of my threads right after you had it done. It's encouraging to hear that you are doing well. Keep us posted. Carol
capolst
 
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Postby capolst » Mon Feb 18, 2008 12:18 am

Oops, I mean IN CA.
capolst
 
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Postby lscha » Mon Feb 18, 2008 12:59 am

I also forgot to mention that we used Flexible Spending Account also. BIG savings!!!

Laura
lscha
 
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Postby LindaT » Mon Feb 18, 2008 1:48 am

Carol: I, too, was told that monovision Lasik would give me the same result as with mono-contacts. The problem is, monovision contacts aren't working for me anymore. It seems my distance and close-up prescriptions have passed the threshold where the correction will work in harmony together. Meaning, the prescriptions are too far apart. I 'took' to monovision contacts immediately many years ago. I had zero adjustment to make. This was probably twenty or so years ago or more. I have been completely satisfied with it and if it were still working for me, I don't think I would put myself through the Lasik ordeal. I have been working with my optometrist for over six months trying to find a contact lens (different types, manufactures, etc.) that will work. The last straw was trying to fit me with semi-gas-permeable lenses (hard lenses! They hurt!) and that was IT! I decided to see if Lasik was for me. At the Lasik center, I was given a contraption to put on that simulates how monovision would look with my prescription. Woah! I was crosseyed. Each of my eyes seemed to be competing for my brain's undivided attention.

Now I'm thinking if I get Lasik to correct for distance and have to wear readers, then I might just get contacts for distance and wear readers over them. That doesn't help me put my makeup on but neither does the Lasik solution I'm being offered. Contacts are a hassle, but I'm nervous about becoming a Lasik statistic. I suppose I have lot more research to do before finding a comfort zone.

I have to wait for open enrollment to use my Flexible Spending dollars too. I have never signed up for it before...duh! I'm finding out what a dumb idea that was! Ignorance on my part. Could have saved on the kids' braces too. Sheesh! My open enrollment is in June and benefits start in July. Most peoples' benefits start in January. Hopefully you'll be able to wait until you have that available. You'll save about one third!

Talk soon,
Linda
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Postby capolst » Mon Feb 18, 2008 4:08 am

Linda, I am glad to hear someone else is going through the same struggle I am (well, not glad, but at least I feel I'm not alone in this). I was supposed to go to the optometrist who works at the Lasik dr.'s office on Friday to try different contacts. I've decided to stick with contacts until at least summer before I make a Lasik decision. I have never worn contacts & am absolutely loving being able to see putting on makeup, etc. I also want to get her take on Lasik for my type prescription. Also, I want to ask her about bifocal (multifocal) contacts. Did you try any of these? I am also curious to hear what your prescription is when you find out- I wonder what the span is. I have worn +3.50 in my reading eye & +1.50 for distance- it was ok, but the +3.25 for reading helps my eyes focus better together. I am really not wanting to go through Lasik & then have to wear glasses. My sister had Lasik right before Christmas. She had a similar sight problem as mine, only worse (this is not for sure, as she was only wearing drug store readers & just dealing with the lack of distance sight by not driving at night, etc.). She is becoming more happy with her decision, but it has been a struggle. I love the contacts once they are on, but I absolutely hate putting them in & getting them out- it is mostly a struggle for me. I don't really want to correct for just distance as a I am a primary grade teacher, so I am reading & looking at books quite often & then looking up & around the room. This is why I went to progressive lens glasses even before my distance was bad. Have you read about the refractive lens exchange at this site? It sounds like it's similar to cataract surgery & they put a bifocal/multifocal lens in your eyes. I don't know anything about this except what I read at this site- but it sounds like it could be an option also. I was also going to ask the dr. about this. I am glad to be able to gather info from another person & also share what I learn.
It's nice also to know that Laura has been through this & is adjusting nicely. Talk to you later.
Carol
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Postby Walt » Mon Feb 18, 2008 4:58 am

If you go for Monovision Lasik you can always leave a set of glasses in the car (that correct both eyes for distance) for driving if you find your depth perception or focus having troubles. You can also get a prescription set of readers (that correct both eyes for near vision) for reading the novels you still wish to read. But everything else in between including makeup and classwork should work great with monovision. I know my car has a spot for keeping glasses and the end table at home is a perfect place for the reading glasses to read that last great novel or for knitting.

Good Luck.
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CK may be a very good alternative

Postby Mack » Mon Feb 18, 2008 5:34 am

I've been reading this website on occasion for quite a while as a +5 lasik survivor. Might I add another option for you ladies to consider for correcting your hyperopia and struggle with presbyopia. After about 5 years after my primary lasik in 1999, I was left with residual refractive error of about +1.25 sph and -1.25 cylinder (astigmatism) in both eyes and had to wear trifocals to manage at all distances with reasonable acuity. Then I discovered light touch CK and a local surgeon who has done amazing things with this relatively new technology fixing not only straight hyperopia up to +3.0, but also high amounts of hyperopic astigmatism. It doesnt work for myopic correction at all. CK got my refractive errors down to about +0.5 sph and -0.5 cyl in each eye. 20/20 uncorrected with both eyes. Depending on lighting conditions, the error is less.
You can learn more about CK at Refractec.com, the inventor of the technology and maker of the RF probe that is placed just under the surface of the cornea around the periphery. The probe delivers a pulse of RF engergy at a number of points that form a circle. The RF heat shrinks the collagen tissue and pulls the edges of the cornea down steeper, effecting hyperopia correction.
When CK was first introduced about 7 years ago, its effects were more temporary, but improved probes and application technique have made its efficacy very much better.
There is much misinformation about CK out there as to what range of error it can correct, whether it can correct astigmatism and whether its effects are temporary or permanent. I've engaged the CEO of Refractec personally. He admits the early version of it was more temporary with the collagen tissue "relaxing" over time and returning to more of its original shape. But as more data has come in on CK results over time, there are now patients with 3 years of stable results and no regression. I am at 2 years with no regression. The CEO said nobody really knows for sure how long the effects of CK will last for a given patient. For many it will likely be many years, perhaps to the end of their natural lifetimes, since the big majority of CK patients are over 50.
Many lasik doctors still dismiss CK as temporary and some think it cannot treat astigmatism. I believe Glenn Hagele, the LasikExpert on this website is in that camp. My own original lasik doc (thru his office manager) told me it generally induces more astigmatism, instead of correcting it. That's all very much old-school thinking and nothing could be further from the truth. Let's face it, they want to sell you lasik, which they know and love the best.
The vast majority of CK patients have natural 20/20 distance vision and get it in one eye for monovision so they can throw away their readers. But it can do much more than just that. My CK doc has helped many folks with astigmatism scripts as high as +6. The beauty of CK is that it's so much less invasive to the eye compared to any form of lasik or PRK. There is no cutting of any kind, no flap, no ill effects of a suction ring, no destruction of the epithelium, no disturbing the central optical zone, etc. It's virtually painless and afer about 3 weeks, the effects stabilize. There is a little edema the first 3 days or so, with visual acuity fluctuation, similar to lasik.
If I were you, I would investigate what nearby clinic, university or refrative surgery center is doing CK and find a doc who has been working with it the longest, hopefully one who also knows how to use it to successfully treat hyperopic astigmatism as well. Good luck.
Mack
 
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Postby capolst » Mon Feb 18, 2008 1:51 pm

Walt & Mack, Thank you for your replies.
Walt, Are you happy with your monovision Lasik where you'd recommend it? What was your prescription before Lasik? Did you have hyperopia w/presbyopia? I have read so many negative things it scares me, so it's alsways good to hear a good review.
Mack, I had read about CK on the internet when I stumbled on it while searches for treatments. I did ask my dr. about it (or his assistant who fields all my questions). She said that they hadn't had good success with long term correction with CK. I will look into it more at the site you mentioned.
I get scared even reading what people have written about their Lasik experiences at this site. I do realize people tend to write in more when they're unhappy & probably don't get involved in message boards when they are.
Thanks everyone for helping while we're on this journey!
Laura, keep us posted!
Carol
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