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[Health] Lasik Surgery


#1

Dear Fellow Jewelers: Have any of you had Lasik surgery done?
Friends and family members have had it done with great success
(20-15, 20-20 vision), but none of them have the kind of
occupations that require exacting close-up vision. I am curious
to find out if any of you have had the surgery and what if any
were the adjustment factors and the length of their durations. I
am concerned that while my general and distance vision may be
corrected, my near vision may be compromised, requiring bi- or
tri-focals to cover the 2 feet to 2 inches depth of field.

Thanks in advance for any feedback. Donna


#2

Donna, I have a jeweler friend that was far sighted and had the
Lasik surgery done on one eye. So now he uses one eye for close
up work and the other for distance. The brain automatically
switches what it pays attention to only the one eye it needs at
that time. Good Luck, Etienne Perret


#3

Donna, I too have been curious about this surgery as i have a
customer who is a surgeon and trainer for lasik. He wants me to
make him a ring in partial trade for the surgery. I wear
contacts now for distance,magnifier glasses for reading and close
up.I wear magnifiers visors on top of the other two at work from
8 to 15+ hours a day and I was thinking that the magnifiers would
counter the surgical procedure eventually and it would be a
waste of time and money. J Morley Coyote Ridge Studio


#4

Dear Donna, There is an amazing man named Meir Schneider, here
in the Bay Area, who has started a school for self healing. His
main focus is on improving eyesight. He has personally recovered
from blindness(due to cataracts) through natural vision
improvement exercises, and has helped countless others. I
attended a seminar of his and was very impressed. He has a
video and a book out ; also he is actively teaching workshops.
Corrective laser surgery runs some high risks, that I would only
consider it as a last resort. The school’s info is:

School for Self-Healing
1718 Taraval St.
San Francisco, CA 94116
Phone(415)665-9574
email: info@self-healing.org
home page: http://www.sel-healing.org

I hope this may provide you with some alternatives. -AnastasiA


#5

If you are nearsighted as you most likely are. You won’t need
glasses down close now. I keep taking mine off even though
they are corrected pretty well for near vision with the near
portion of progressives. You need safety lenses up close more
than anywhere else so getting rid of them is no safety benefit.
As you get older your nearsightedness will decrease normally and
you will still have accommodation problems even with surgery. I
wouldn’t do it . And My Dr daughter isn’t thinking about the
surgery either. Its a vanity issue. Jesse


#6

Well, I’ll have a go at this one. I am just finishing my 3rd
month of recovery from Lasik surgery. As a facetor and lapidary
nothing has changed except that I need to wear reading glasses (
cheap dimestore type) for close-up work. My distance vision is
great. They can correct for either near or far, but at the
present state of the art not both. So if you are old enough to
have worn bifocals you’ll need reading glasses after, and if you
are young enough to have close up focusing ability you won’t
need glasses at all. I wear a magnifying headpiece for faceting
and the view is still the same. Its painless (except to the
wallet) and well worth the cost.


#7

Re: Should you have eye surgery to correct near-sightedness?

If you are nearsighted, and value your ability to see close for
jewelry work, I would not have eye surgery to correct for far
vision. Once you reach your 40�s, the lens in your eyes become
inflexible and will focus primarily at one distance. If you
correct for far vision you will need glasses for near. My wife
uses mono-vision contacts which correct one eye for near and one
for far. If you can get used to that, I would recommend having
one eye corrected for far vision with the surgery and leave one
alone for near vision. I value my near sightedness as I can see
my work up close, and would never sacrifice that for the vanity
of not needing glasses for far vision. Michael Cowing


#8

Donna, There was an in depth news story on NPR a month or so ago
about the various laser eye surgeries. They had one of the
originators of the Lasik operation and a couple of other eye
doctors that they interviewed as well as patients who had had
either RK or Lasik. I learned from the show that there is a
small percentage of people who are permanently blinded by the
laser surgery. When I heard this I decided that there was no way
I would ever have laser eye surgery done just to avoid having to
wear corrective lenses. Now if I were going blind from
cateracts then I might rethink my position but the risk seems
unacceptable otherwise.

Jim


@jbin
James Binnion Metal Arts
4701 San Leandro St #18
Oakland, CA 94601
510-533-5108


#9

Donna, I haven’t experienced Lasik, but about 2 years ago I had
cataracts removed and plastic lens implants. Prior to the
surgery I had excellent close vision - usually doing bench work
without any magnification. After, my reading distance vision is
excellent and I use an opti-visor for bench work. Where I do
have a problem is singing in our choirs, where I have to chose
between no glasses, which puts the music in focus but blurs the
director and wearing my glasses, which makes the director clear,
but makes the music unreadable. I guess I’m going to have to get
bi-focals that have no correction in the lower half. But, I
digress - ask your optometrist what the final effect will be -
and if he can’t answer the question, find another optometrist -
your eyes are too important to guess about!!

Good Luck,
Mike


#10

Donna, great question, I am one of the many who would seriously
think about this eye surgery to correct my vision. BUT, another
question I have is this, say ten or twenty years down the road,
what are the long term effects of this surgery… I am not sure
anybody could know that being that this procedure is only in
it’s early years. Another thought I have is that I wear my
glasses all the time, my eye doctor told me that I don’t need
them while I work because my close vision is fine. I wear them
anyway, for protection. SO even if the long term effects prove
to be ok, I would still probably choose to wear my glasses to
keep everything out of my eyes when I work… I guess safety
glasses would do the same thing but I can’t get myself to wear
those big clunky safety glasses…lol Marc Williams


#11

Donna, I work with an Ophthalmologic surgeon who both performs
these surgeries and does research in corrective eye surgery for
the National Institutes of Health. I sent him your question, and
here is his reply:

"Patient selection is so important. A jeweler who uses near
vision to do tiny detail work (and dentists and other people who
do near work) have to think twice about refractive surgery. They
have to consider that their natural near vision is a benefit in
their job although a hindrance in the rest of their life. If
they have even a mediocre correction or a moderate problem in
either eye they may be out of a job. I tell all such high
vision need people (like our cardiac surgeons, etc) that and
make sure it sinks in . Some decide to proceed and some do not
proceed. Wisdom is the ability to make a decision when faced
with a dilemma. At Mayo we try to advise, not do retail. "

So, it boils down to a judgment call on your part. If you
choose to proceed, choose your surgeon with care. Surgeons, like
jewelers, are not all equally skilled, and there is a great deal
of retail hype surrounding these procedures in the “medical
marketplace.” I hope this helps, and good luck! Keith Berge


#12

Donna That range of vision is adjusted by the lens of your eye
rather than by the cornea. The lens “accomodates” for focus from
distant to closer objects. The Lasik surgery reshapes the cornea
(the clear front portion of the eye.)

The lens becomes less elastic as you approach my age, however
which results in the syndrome known as “short arms”. By this I
mean that gradually we hold our reading or work out further and
further in order to focus well and eventually our arms are “too
short”. :slight_smile:

Enter the granny glasses. Some folks who have had corneal
reshaping choose to have “cataract”-like surgery at that point.
The lens (where a cataract would form if there were one) is
removed and replaced by an intraocular lens implant.

I make no recommendation for or against either Lasik or the
replacement of a healthy lens with an implant when focal length
increases in middle age. I do srongly suggest that you verify
the competency of your surgeon and the numbers of procedures like
yours he or she has done and what the results (good and bad) have
been. I would choose one who performs many such procedures on a
continuing regular basis with a good track record. Recommendation
by friends several years post-procedure means more than by those
who are newly corrected.

HTH

Pam Chott
Surgical nurse in my previous life (last 2.5 years in ophthalmological OR) .
songofthephoenix@pobox.com
www.silverhawk.com/ex99/chott


#13

Hi Donna, I’ve never heard the term “Lasik” surgery. Is the same
as radial keratotomy? (This is a laser surgery too). If it is
basically the same procedure, I can report what happened to my
sister.

She and I are both extremely nearsighted (20-400) and have
always worn glasses. We both have always had excellent close
vision, however. One of the silver linings in the cloud of
nearsightedness is that as we age we don’t usually need reading
glasses like most “normal” people do at some point. Our close
vision stays sharp. Well, when she was in her 50’s she decided
to have a radial keratotomy done in both eyes. (This was a few
years ago.) She was lamenting that although she now has perfect
distance vision, her close vision also became like a "normal"
person’s of her age. In other words, she now needs reading
glasses, and she didn’t need them before. After the surgery she
was able to shed one pair of coke-bottle glasses, but had to go
right out and get a prescription for bifocals!

My sister works in an academic world and always has her nose in
a book or a pile of�papers. The loss of her close vision
sharpness has caused her to question whether she would have the
radial keratotomy again.

I don’t know if your experience would be the same as hers, and
the procedure might be slightly different now than it was a few
years ago. But I think you are very wise to be asking this
question. I think there is a possibility your close vision could
be compromised, either right away as hers was, or as you get
older. I’d suggest interviewing several people who have had your
exact procedure before you decide. Rene Roberts


#14

Hello, Donna: Last year at this time I scheduled the surgery -
twice - and then decided to put it on hold. I have been very
near-sighted & astigmatic since childhood, but until a couple of
years ago, I was able to see everything, near and far, with my
glasses. I have had my problems with contacts, trying for years
to adapt(dry eyes, allergies). I even got prescription reading
glasses to wear over contacts, because they could not give me a
"perfect" prescription. The surgery sounded like a godsend.
However, I became worried about the close - to -midrange focus,
as well.When one gets to a “certain age”, the muscles do not
function as well as they used to, and “presbyopia” is the result.
I now have to take my glasses off to do close work, groping for
them to see the world in general! Of course, no guarantees - I
even paid for yet another pair of contacts just to see an
approximation of what the surgery was supposed to do for me! I
really wanted this to work! But even then, reading glasses were
absolutely necessary, so I didn’t see how my life was going to be
dramatically transformed. Ultimately, my gut feeling was to back
off; I figured I would be simply reversing the situation I have
lived with all these years, and the surgery is not reversible,
although corrections are sometimes possible. I know a number of
people who are thrilled with it. They are usually in their 30’s
or younger. I have seen a newer technique demonstrated on tv
whereby a lens is surgically implanted, with not much more
recovery time or discomfort than the Lasic surgery, and the
benefit here is that it is reversible: the lens can be removed if
it proves unsatisfactory. I have no anecdotal on its
relative success. I am admittedly a bit squeamish about anything
to do with eyes (or hands!). I am not the poster child for
rushing into the next new thing.Usually the instinct to wait and
see has proven correct.And there is some concern re:the long term
effects.

One more observation (no pun intended!): I actually use my
myopia to advantage in my work. I can check a piece in the
mirror, with all the fine detail blurred,and get the"bigger"
picture, so to speak. I see color and proportional balances
"uncluttered". And, frankly, I realized something: Sometimes I
simply don’t want to see the world in sharp focus! I know it
sounds a bit bonkers, but sometimes it’s just easier to feel a
bit invisible, because I perceive the world a bit that way! I
worked with a costume designer in television years ago who, in
turn, had worked with the legendary Edith Head. She observed that
Edith, too, was “blind as a bat - must be something about
near-sighted people that enhances creativity! You literally do
look at the world differently!” (And I want to be able to see
the Trees AND the Forest…!)

Okay. Just an opinion fom one who’s almost (!) been there…
Good luck!, Margery E.


#15

Hello, Donna:

Last year at this time I scheduled the surgery - twice - and
then decided to put it on hold. I have been very near-sighted &
astigmatic since childhood, but until a couple of years ago, I
was able to see everything, near and far, with my glasses. I have
had my problems with contacts, trying for years to adapt(dry
eyes, allergies). I even got prescription reading glasses to wear
over contacts, because they could not give me a "perfect"
prescription. The surgery sounded like a godsend. However, I
became worried about the close - to -midrange focus, as
well.When one gets to a “certain age”, the muscles do not
function as well as they used to, and “presbyopia” is the result.
I now have to take my glasses off to do close work, groping for
them to see the world in general! Of course, no guarantees - I
even paid for yet another pair of contacts just to see an
approximation of what the surgery was supposed to do for me! I
really wanted this to work! But even then, reading glasses were
absolutely necessary, so I didn’t see how my life was going to be
dramatically transformed. Ultimately, my gut feeling was to back
off; I figured I would be simply reversing the situation I have
lived with all these years, and the surgery is not reversible,
although corrections are sometimes possible. I know a number of
people who are thrilled with it. They are usually in their 30’s
or younger. I have seen a newer technique demonstrated on tv
whereby a lens is surgically implanted, with not much more
recovery time or discomfort than the Lasic surgery, and the
benefit here is that it is reversible: the lens can be removed if
it proves unsatisfactory. I have no anecdotal on its
relative success. I am admittedly a bit squeamish about anything
to do with eyes (or hands!). I am not the poster child for
rushing into the next new thing.Usually the instinct to wait and
see has proven correct.And there is some concern re:the long term
effects.

One more observation (no pun intended!): I actually use my
myopia to advantage in my work. I can check a piece in the
mirror, with all the fine detail blurred,and get the"bigger"
picture, so to speak. I see color and proportional balances
"uncluttered". And, frankly, I realized something: Sometimes I
simply don’t want to see the world in sharp focus! I know it
sounds a bit bonkers, but sometimes it’s just easier to feel a
bit invisible, because I perceive the world a bit that way! I
worked with a costume designer in television years ago who, in
turn, had worked with the legendary Edith Head. She observed that
Edith, too, was “blind as a bat - must be something about
near-sighted people that enhances creativity! You literally do
look at the world differently!” (And I want to be able to see
the Trees AND the Forest…!)

Okay. Just an opinion fom one who’s almost (!) been there…
Good luck!, Margery E.


#16

DONNA, i had the lasik procedure done on july 27th, to correct
my shortsightedness in both eyes (-5.75), since then i no longer
require the use of my contact lenses and my close up work has not
been effected, the only drawback for me is that i have large
pupils that absorb to much light , creating halos around lights,
and after the surgery the halos are bigger. i highly recommend
that if you are considering this procedure check it out to see if
you are a suitable candidate, and then go for it. good luck
jodie


#17

So many good comments about the corrective surgery! I recently
attended a seminar here at the university examining the process
and use of laser surgery. The opthalmologist who spoke had done
a couple thousand surgeries and reported only a couple failures,
ie. after vision worse than before surgery. He pointed out that
its’ primary use is to correct distance vision, even to the
point of improving a baseball athlete’s natural 20-20 vision to
20-10 or better to enable seeing the pitched ball better! After
listening to the presentation, I decided that since I can see
quite well for close work, which is my main vision use, it made
no sense to give that up for good distance vision. I have worn
contacts for over 30 years with excellent results… until
presbyopia and middle age found me ;-(. I value the ability to
see in three dimentions too, therefore I don’t do the monocular
thing with one correction for distance and the other for close
range. Sure is a pain in the @#* when I drop a small stone or
that little gold piece which fits perfectly! Happy Holidays to
all you metal elves! Judymw Judy M. Willingham, Consumer
Pollution Prevention Specialist 237 Seaton Hall Kansas State
University Manhattan KS 66506 (785)532-5418 FAX (785)
532-6944


#18

Have you tried bifocal contacts . . . they are great . . . have
to be very patient, may have to try several combinations to cover
the ‘blind spot’ . . that is the area usually developed with
mono situation . . . also have used one mono and a bi to handle
the blind spot. jim chambers


#19

Jim, I’m a little confused about the term mono situation that
caused the blind spot? I understand we all have a blind spot,
but the mono situation thing I don’t understand. I am
considering bifocal contacts. I have a friend who says they work
perfectly for her. I find that my close vision is really quite
good without my contacts. Only in the last 5 years have I had
trouble with the close vision while wearing contacts. My eyes
are in the 20/400 range and even with that correction I had been
able to see well close up.Not any more. Now I bet the bifocal
contacts with a window glass area would restore the close
vision.


#20

You are getting older and what you are having is normal
accommodation problems. Go to the drug store or maybe even the
grocery store and look at the reading glass display. These will
be plus lenses. Try reading with your contacts in at the close
distance that you work . Pick out the best correct plus addition
for you… This will work better and much cheaper than fooling
around with bifocal contacts. Your eyes will start needing less
correction (less nearsighted) at some point as you get older.
Jesse