So, laser eye surgery, yes or no?

I tend to say I'm blind, which is obviously not true at all, and must annoy people who really are in that position.  But I have been very short-sighted (-6ish) for a very long time, and now I'm getting long sighted as well. Which is kind of focusing my attention on what I can and can't see.  Sometimes I just shrug my shoulders and think of it as another side-effect of being the wrong side of 50.  But I'm not dead yet, nor falling apart, so maybe I should do something about my eyes?

When I was young I resisted wearing glasses completely, except for looking at the blackboard, and later, driving the car.  Contact lenses changed all that, but I was very careless with them, and on my third pregnancy my eyes rebelled, and my optician told me I'd have to stop wearing them except for special occasions.  And that's exactly what I have been doing for the past 13 years.  I'm almost used to wearing glasses full-time now, but I still have a love-hate relationship with them.  They're great to hide behind, but I always try and whip them off if a camera is pointing at me! Vain?  Obviously I must be.  But it's not just me: even my Dad got a tooth implant in his late 70s.

So what are my options?

1. Permanent contact lenses


Apparently these are supposed be a safer option than laser eye surgery .... which I thought was completely safe!  But since it was contact lenses that gave me problems, I don't think that this is the solution for me.

2. Keep wearing the specs


They're not that bad, but they're annoying in the rain, and the heat, and I feel old and unattractive when I wear them.  They're also expensive - I never seem to be able to find any cheap frames that I like, and then I cannot bring myself to sport the milk bottle look either, so I pay for specially thinned lenses.  Luckily I don't lose them, but still.  The thought of spending my 80s - if I get there - searching around for my lost specs again does not fill me with joy, so perhaps I should try something else?

3. Laser eye surgery


Tell me I'm not the only person who always thinks of this scene every time someone mentions lasers:


So laser eye surgery was always going to be a hard sell as far as I'm concerned!

Yet as time goes by, more and more of my friends are getting this surgery done, and all of them have had a good experience.  So why not me too?  Especially as that long overdue cheque has arrived and I don't plan to spend every cent on the kids.  Apart from being totally terrified, I'm also worried that laser surgery won't solve all my eye problems, especially my developing long sight.  I have visions of not being able to shave my legs or put on mascara without poking my eyes out!  But this week I was told that I was wrong about that too...so what do you think, should I go for it?

There is one other option you see...

4. Going naked


With my eyes that is.  It came to me the other day when I was having a quick coffee with friends.  They had pushed their sunglasses into their hair, and I suddenly wondered what would happen if I did the same.  At first everything looked quite blurred, but gradually my eyes adjusted until my friends were just in soft focus, and I could still hear everything they were saying.  Yes I do 'hear' with my eyes as well as my ears.  Just me?  I don't believe you.

I did it again this morning.  Headed off for a run during rush hour, without my glasses.  Since it was a soft day I did not miss the drops of rain on the lenses that would be normally be blurring my vision.  I did not get run over either, and I was even able to count the seven "No to Garth Brooks" posters on Clonliffe Road, that seem to be the total sum of the high profile protest against the five planned concerts at nearby Croke Park.



Going naked is cheap and not scary, and until this week it was my preferred option.  But now I'm wavering.

There's one more worry too.  I wonder if getting laser eye surgery would be tempting fate, as my Dad was diagnosed with cancer shortly after getting his tooth done.

What do you think?  I'd love some more opinions.



22 comments:

  1. Eye surgery!!! I too go "naked" from time to time-AND yes! I hear with my eyes too! I thought that was just me! I'm used to my glasses-but they annoy me for all the reasons you stated. Reading glasses happen for everyone-as that is the brain with age..If the rest can be fixed? Go for it-think of the freedom! Your last worry-although so understandable...is just a worry..but I totally get it. :)

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    1. Love it when I find that it's not just me :)

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  2. I got lasik done about 3 years ago and frankly, I love it. I hate the way I look in glasses. I hated always having scratches on them (I am never going to remember to clean them with the special damp cloth). I also did soft focus for awhile, but I couldn't drive or see captions while watching TV (we watch a lot of shows with unfamiliar accents and it helps to actually catch what they are saying). Since my primary hobbies involve close vision I am forced to wear cheaters, but that bothers me less. I used to need bifocals and it seemed like nothing was ever in focus when I needed it to be. I supposedly got closeup vision in one eye and distance in the other but the closeup isn't good enough most of the time so I still need cheaters -- or else I got it while my eyes were still deteriorating. I still recommend lasik.

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    1. Someone else suggested getting the close up in one eye and distance in another - I will ask about that, but I imagine that it might be too peculiar as my short sight is soooo bad!

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  3. I had it over two years ago and would do it again in a heartbeat. However, I now need reading glasses!

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  4. My brother and two friends had laser. All quite a number of years ago and none have worn glasses since, although one does now use them for reading. If it were me in your position I think I'd go for laser too.
    Great post about it all. Most enjoyable.

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  5. Laser all the way! I got it done just under two years ago. Was about -6 also and also referred to myself as blind! While nerve wreaking the surgery is all done in minutes. I was watching TV hours later without glasses and confirmed fit to drive within 24 hours. It really has been life changing. I haven't looked back (pun intendd :))

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    1. I'm so glad you haven't looked back :) Another friend reported that she was able to drive home after the surgery!

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  6. I had it done back in college and absolutely no regrets. I probably will need reading glasses at some point in the future, but I've got enough value out of the surgery already. The amount of money I've saved from not having to get glasses, prescription sunglasses, contact lenses etc... They should take your age into account and can 'overcorrect' one eye to allow for changes in the near future. I could never stand going without glasses. I'm one of those people that hates things being a bit blurry and not quite seeing someone's facial expressions properly in a large group. I haven't come across anyone that had it done and wasn't really happy with the results. I vote you go for a consultation and see what they say. You can decide then if it's worth it for you or not?

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    1. Yep no-one really talks about how much glasses and all the accessories cost do they? And yes I'm thinking that a consultation commits me to nothing :)

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  7. I don't think you need to ask what I'd recommend! 6 months after laser eye surgery I have 2 lines better than 20/20. When you reach 40+ there is more of a chance of needing reading glasses in the years after surgery but even with perfect eyesight this happens as people get older. My BIL had it done 5.5 years ago. He's 47 now and still doesn't need reading glasses. I wish I'd had it done years ago. If you do get it done and go with Optical Express I can refer you and we both get £100 - I'd like to donate mine to The Lullaby Trust xx

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    1. Yep your experience is always in my mind Heather, and whoever I go with, I promise to remember The Lullaby Trust xx

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  8. Andrew has just had it done in April, he was told it's better if you are short sighted, he says it's a big improvement on what he was like without glasses but not as good as him with. Although he is going back to have another go in August to see if that will rectify the situation

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    1. That's interesting to know - though personally I'm not bothered about getting 20/20 vision, cos I don't have it now, so long as I'm legal to drive I'll be happy :)

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  9. I always take my glasses off for photos too yet I wear them full-time the rest of the time. It is because I had a photo with glasses on taken on my honeymoon and i looked like an alien as the light reflected really weirdly in them. I wear contact lenses just for special occassions but I wish there was a simpler solution as I don't like the hassle of lenses (even the disposible ones which are pretty easy to use). Every time i'm tempted by laser eye surgery I find horror stories online of people who wish they hadn't had it done and yet I also know of a few success stories too. One of the 'problems' with contact lenses for me is dry eyes when i am wearing the lenses and yet someone i know who had laser eye surgery is constantly having to put drops in as her eyes are dry all the time and she wears sunglasses all the time too as her eyes have become over sensitive to light. Like you i also 'see' with my eyes and would struggle big time not wearing glasses at all. I don't think you would be tempting fate - but can understand why you see the link there because i worry about things like that all the time even when other people would say it is crazy to do so because there is no logical link. xxx

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    1. Thanks Rebecca, lots of food for thought there xxx

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  10. I had it done more than 12 years ago. I was more than -6 and I would do it again if I had to. Awesome stuff, I can see when I wake up at night or when swimming. Don't have to worry when it rains. I used two wear specs as well as contacts. Go for it.

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    1. Now that is the best recommendation I've had...and in fact I have just got the name of someone and am planning to go for a consultation and take it from here, thank you!

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  11. A few of my friends have had their eyes done with no regrets. Well worth doing, I reckon. As for old age and needing reading glasses (that's me!), unfortunately, laser surgery won't correct that. Although who knows what the future will hold.

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