Laser eye surgery? Any experiences.

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  • Laser eye surgery? Any experiences.
  • renton

    I am thinking about having laser eye surgery so I dont have to wear or pay for glasses any more.

    I have astigmatism though and was woondering if anyone on here has any experience of eye surgery and can tell me the pros and cons of it.




    Although it is very safe, a friend almost lost the sight in one eye after having surgery 4 years ago. Now he can see but for the rest of his life he will only ever see ‘like I am underwater’ out of it.

    Saying that, with young kids ripping my gigs off all the time, I am still considering it myself.

    Premier Icon Matt24k

    Had it done 12 years ago. It changed my life as I went from -5.50 with astigmatism to not needing any glasses or contacts. I know at least 20 people who have had it done with no problems and one of my clients is a laser eye surgeon who has done 10,000 procedures with no issues.
    I have a friend who nearly lost her eye to and amoebic infection from wearing contact lenses in swimming pools and as a dive professional it made me aware that the contacts were a greater risk than the surgery.
    I am now suffering from OGE* and need reading glasses but that comes to us all in time.

    * Old Gits Eyes

    Dark Side

    The technology is much better now than even a couple of years ago. My wife had it done before Christmas, the surgery took all of two minutes and she is amazed with the results, she wishes she had done it years ago.

    Premier Icon notmyrealname

    My wife had it done about 6 years ago. She got the cheapest surgery at the time which was about Β£800 all in. She’s had no problems at all and says it’s the best money she’s spent.
    A couple of friends of mine have also had it done with no issues.

    I went into a couple of places to get checked and see if I was suitable for it. They told me that going by my age and prescription I had a 70% chance of getting driving standard vision or better. They demonstrated to me what driving standard vision was like, which was quite worrying, and I decided against it. I was also told that even if I had the surgery I would still need reading glasses later in life.

    Premier Icon sandwicheater

    Friend can’t rate it enough. Had the thickest glasses I’ve yet seen prior to surgery.

    Was a wee sensitive on the day after surgery.

    After about 5 years she needed glasses again but did allow her to get into Police. Glasses are no way near as strong as they used to be.


    I had it done 7 years ago. No problems and perfect vision now..


    I know of 6 people who had good experiences, 2 with bad ones. One of the bad ones will never be able to drive again because of the problems from the surgery.
    Statistically the risks are small but the potential impact is rather catastrophic. I’ll stick to glasses and contacts.

    Premier Icon frogstomp

    Ultimately surgical procedure, and a cosmetic one at that, so you should take that into account when weighing up the risks.

    I had mine done about 7 or 8 years ago and went from about -10 in both eyes to not needing glasses at all (had 2 treatments) – for me the risks were worth it.


    Here are my thoughts from 6 months after the surgery (March 2009) – copied from another forum…

    Had them done 6 months ago. Intralase lasik. Well chuffed with the results, slightly better than 20/20 now, although I do notice halos around bright lights at night or sometimes in the cinema when the titles are white on black. Annoying, but not an issue and I believe it may go away over time. Some random observations:

    The day of the op, it’s simply a production line – I wasn’t expecting to feel like a piece of meat being processed, but you are.

    The op itself was an odd experience. One eye at a time, they stick a bandage on to cover the one not being done – I think the worst was the initial part where they put those things on that hold the eyelids back, then put something over the eyeball that sucks it up slightly (although this feels like someone is really pushing down on the eyeball) so they can cut the the flap. Vision goes blurry, then white but you can’t close your eyes – not describing it well, but I found it very disconcerting not seeing or being able to focus on anything AND not being able to close your eye.

    Once the surgeon’s peeled the flap back, the actual laser correction involves you focusing on a green laser for several 5-10 second burst of laser activity. You’re told to keep the eye as still as possible, but even if it moves the software compensates and I believe it stops firing if the eye moves too much. Chances are you will get a whiff of your eyeball being burnt, don’t freak!

    Then the surgeon puts the flap back down and smooths it out to get rid of any air bubbles – made me think of pasting wallpaper when he was doing this πŸ™‚

    Immediately after its done, you’re dumped in a dark recovery room. At this point it was like looking at the world through a piece of really scratched perpex. You’re wondering wtf? What have I done? Once the eye anaesthetic wears off, it’s like you are chopping the worst onions in the world, and closing your eyes only makes it marginally better – this lasted about 90-120 minutes for me – make sure you’ve got someone to get you home, you won’t be driving and I would have really struggled on public transport, simply because I could not keep my eyes open for even a few seconds – physically, this was the worst part of the whole thing. Straight to bed once home and managed to sleep for a few hours. Don’t try and stay up.

    Vision was noticeably better the first evening, but still hazy. Next morning was wow! though – able to drive car, no problem.

    Eye shields at night for two weeks I think, right pain in the arse. No water in eyes for the same period. No rubbing eyes for a month.

    Found it really hard to work in the office in front of the PC for the frst 3 weeks – eyes really felt tired after just a few hours. Reminded me off having contact lenses in for too long. Funnily enough, wasn’t as big an issue when working at home on PC.

    To update, no problem with halos at night now. Eyes still great, no need for reading glasses yet either, although that’s probably just a matter of time.


    Interesting reading thanks.

    Just out of interest how old are people that have had it done?


    Had it done 3 years ago now and it was a great decision. Now have near perfect vision. I previously had about -5.5 vision with astigmatism. I do have slight halos around bright lights in the dark. This is noticeable if for instance I am driving at night, or looking at stars in the sky. But this is really very minor and equivalent to them being very slightly our of focus. Compared to how my vision was before it is no worry for me at all.

    Would definitely recommend it. Getting up in the morning and not having to reach for glasses first thing is really amazing at first!

    I did it age 37



    I used to work for one of the big UK companies. Had a few members of my team get it done and all raved about it. Very safe procedure although there is always a risk. Complications range from dry eye and halos driving to infection and more serious issues needing corneal surgery (very rare). If I remember correctly you need to be over 21 with a stable prescription for the last 2 years. Various measurements are taken to ensure you have a thick enough corneal and map the eye. This mapping is what’s used in the custom procedure to reduce you risk of higher order aberrations like halos. Treatment will probably be LASIK (creating a flap) as that has the wow factor and more commercially viable. Lasek (effectively dissolving the outer layer of cornea) has longer recovery time and more irritation. Creating the flap (aka slicing the top of the cornea and leaving a hinge for the flap to put back down) can be down mechanically (blade) or by laser. Using the laser creates a more consistent, cleaner, less raggedy edge to the cut making replacement easier.

    The laser will track where it is and shut off if you move too much. The smell is carbon atoms created by the laser and not necessarily ‘burning’ of the eye.

    By mid 40s you’ll need readers and there’s no cure yet for that.

    Btw I’m not a surgeon, just worked in the IT dept of a provider. Now moved on.

    Always toyed with the idea of this but my experience of contact lenses has been excellent so always stopped me from going further. Perhaps now Im in my 30’s its time to think about it more heavily. The idea of just waking up and getting on with things sounds great, especially when doing 24hr races/camping etc.


    39 when I had mine done. Early 40th present.


    Had mine done in 2000, so my experiences more than likely aren’t relevant, but I remember it hurting like hell for 7 days and I had to avoid any light or looking at anything as my eyeball grinding against my eyelid are agony πŸ™‚ I went from -3.7something in both eyes to -0.4 in both eyes, which is life changing tbh. Also got me into biking as I wasn’t allowed to swim for 6 months, so I bought a bike to tide me over while I waited it out……

    I know of two people who have had it done recently and they were at 100% after a few days and zero pain; and both kick themselves for not doing it before.

    Personally, even if it still hurt like hell (which is doesn’t now) I would do it again.

    Only downside for me, which might not be3the case anymore or I might have been lucky is I now have dire night vision as my eyes after the surgery can’t seem to adjust to starlight, so before I could wait a few minutes and see OK at night, I even after waiting I can see **** all, its not strictly night blindness, but it feels like it.


    i had the assessment a couple of years ago and was told to expect to be bed ridden for a week while my eyes healed (and it would be at best uncomfortable, at times excruciating during this period).

    It was also expensive, think it was around Β£1.7k per eye.

    For some reason the in and out at lunchtime procedure wasn’t an option for me.

    Those reasons, coupled with the fact that we’d just had our 2nd kid put me right off.

    Might look into it again later in the year once the extension’s built (depends on costs overruning etc) to see if the technology has moved on enough to mean I’m not going to need a week in a dark room afterwards.

    Still worries me a little though, while I need glasses to do anything, I can get around, hit the toilet when weeing without them.


    No personal experience here but I’ve got 2 pals who work in that field. 1 is a consultant ophthalmologist and the other specialises in corneal surgery. Both state clearly that they’d never get it done and they both wear spec’s!

    I also have 2 other pals who are opticians but I’ll discount them, you could argue they make money out of selling spec’s…. πŸ˜†

    In fairness they all observe and treat the cases that go wrong so…I guess it comes down, like most things, to the perceived risk.

    I’ll stick with my spec’s….if only I can find them….


    Might look into it again later in the year once the extension’s built (depends on costs overruning etc) to see if the technology has moved on enough to mean I’m not going to need a week in a dark room afterwards.

    Its well worth it even with a week in bed, as its absolutely amazing how great it feels to be able to *just* see things without worrying where your glasses are, sounds stupid but its a life changing experience which will make you grin like a loon.

    Takes a few months to stop reaching for your glasses though πŸ™‚


    One of the best things I’ve spent money on, had it done over 10 years ago and at the time was getting to the point I needed glasses for driving and watching TV etc – after the surgery I was better than 20:20, my eyesight has deteriorated a bit since but still don’t require glasses for driving etc.


    Perhaps now Im in my 30’s its time to think about it more heavily.

    Not really. It’s likely your eyesight will start to deteriorate with age anyway so you’ll not be without glasses fo that long. So I was told by several opticians.


    I had mine done in 2010 aged 28. Cost a fair bit (Β£2k+) it’s the best money I’ve ever spent. Well, that my parents have ever spent πŸ™‚

    It’s a clichΓ© but it’s really changed my life. I forget these days how reliant I was once on specs and how my contacts used to rule my life. Painful for about four hours and uncomfortable for another week or so. Since them I’ve never looked back…pun very much intended πŸ™‚


    Mine were done 12 years ago and I’ve not looked back (!). One the the best things I’ve ever done, had no issues at all but now wearing reading glasses ‘cos I is an old git.
    Friend has just been told she can’t have it done as her eyes are too dry – she’s understandably p***ed.

    Premier Icon pictonroad

    Had it done 4 years ago aged 31, cost a fortune, best money I’ve ever spent, in fact, balanced against contact lenses and glasses I think it probably counts as a saving.


    I had it done about 10 years ago. My prescription was about -5 with astigmatism. No problems so far, in a way I regret not getting it done sooner.

    Premier Icon Gilesey

    Another satisfied Lasik customer here. Had it done 18 months ago, brilliant outcome and no regrets. Even if I need reading specs in a few years I’ll still be happy not needing to mess with varifocals etc.


    My dad had his done about 20 years ago with old technology and they’re still going strong. My wife had hers done about 4 years ago with the latest tech and she’s got better than 20/20 in one eye and 20/20 in the other. They even offered to re-zap the ‘weaker’ eye to try to get it as good as the other, but she was happy considering she was blind as a bat before. Absolutely no probs since. I’ve had good eyes all my life but over the last year or so old age is catching up and they’re deteriorating, I’ve got a very weak prescription in my left eye, but things are only going to get worse. I’ll be getting mine zapped when the time is right. Absolutely no cons as far as they’re both concerned.

    Premier Icon boriselbrus

    Had mine done 21 years ago when I was 21. No problems at all although it hurt at the time (old technology).

    Yes, there are risks, but then there are risks to wearing glasses:

    and contact lenses:

    Ironically I know several people who have had laser eye surgery with no problems, but an ex colleague lost the sight in one eye due to an infection from a contact lens.

    Of course many anecdotes does not constitute proof!

    That probably didn’t really help did it…

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