We recently spent some time with several individuals who recently elected to have LASIK or another laser vision correction procedure. These individuals – who live all over the U.S. and hail from all walks of life – talk about their decision to have laser vision correction. You can read about their experiences below and we will continue to share more stories here over the next several weeks.
If life with glasses or contacts is less than ideal, you may be weighing your options for vision correction. Naturally, LASIK and other laser vision correction procedures come to mind. These safe and effective options are popular, but may not be recommended for everyone. Being an informed patient is an important part of the decision making process for any procedure. Everyone is different, but some find hearing about the experiences of others who have had the procedure to be very valuable when choosing to have laser vision correction.
Sarah V., Working Mom
Sarah V. is a busy working mom of two young children. She had LASIK two years ago and took some time with us to talk about her decision:
I first began thinking about LASIK when I began struggling with my contacts due to dry eyes. However, my optometrist actually advised against the procedure because of these same reasons. But I was still struggling with my symptoms, so I went to a new eye doctor who recommended taking a break from my contacts for a few weeks. While I didn’t love wearing glasses again, it gave my doctor the opportunity to really investigate what was causing my dry eye symptoms.
Turns out, it was my contact lenses. After treating the problem, my eye doctor cleared me for LASIK. I was happy because financially LASIK makes so much sense, particularly when you think about how many more years you are going to have to buy glasses and contacts. I also knew LASIK would also be a great time saver which matters a lot to me as a working mom.
I am still so grateful every day for my vision. Now my eyes feel fantastic and I don’t struggle with dryness even after many hours on the computer at work. With getting my kids ready for school in the morning, being able to just wake up and go is amazing.
Prentice S., Active Father
Prentice S. had LASIK two years ago. Today, he shares his thoughts on why he chose laser vision correction and how it has improved his quality of vision and life:
For me, the most important reason to move forward with LASIK was being able to wake up in the middle of the night and see. I’m a father of three young children, all under the age of 5, so it is a pretty frequent occurrence. You want to be able to get to your kids when they need you, not fumble around on your nightstand for glasses or worse, try a make your way blindly into their room. I also was really tired of the huge nuisance the constant, daily issues with correcting my vision. Traveling with contacts. Wearing glasses in the rain. I like to get outside. Cycling, rowing and other outdoor activities are my thing. And normally, contacts didn’t cause a problem – until they did. Trying to keep sterile clean hands to deal with contacts when you are in the outdoors is a real challenge. Work was an issue too. After spending hours in front of the computer, my eyes would get tired and my contacts would get uncomfortable. But if I had forgotten my glasses, I couldn’t take my contacts out.
The money was an important factor in this decision as well. We ran the numbers and thought: quality of life goes up plus we save money. It felt like it was too good to be true.
Of course, I had some trepidations, it is surgery after all, and you only have one set of eyes. You want it to be right. My surgeon and his staff handled the procedure with such professionalism. I appreciate the fact they guided me through it all, answering all my questions so I was comfortable and confident in my decision. The recovery was much easier than I thought it would be.
The experience of life after LASIK is pretty incredible. What surprises me the most is the clarity of my vision. Just two days after the procedure, I was at a restaurant and I was able to read a sign out of the window, down the road. It had to be a half mile away and I could see it crystal clear. I was shocked because even with contacts my vision was never that clear. I was amazed at how quickly my vision became truly excellent.
Today, there will still be times when I realize just how much more clearly I can see, often better than the people around me. It is great to be able to respond immediately to my kids in the middle of the night without scrambling for glasses. It is a huge improvement. I would be incredibly sad to go back to my vision the way it was having seen what life can be like being able to see so clearly. For me, LASIK was absolutely worth the investment and then some.
Santi K., Ophthalmology Resident
Santi K. had LASIK in 2019 to improve his vision. As an ophthalmology resident, he offered his history with vision correction and his motivation for choosing laser vision correction.
For me, corrective lenses never really worked for my vision and the way I live. I was never able to wear contacts comfortably, I just couldn’t tolerate them, so that left glasses. I’m studying to become an eye surgeon, so I’m often in the operating room where glasses often fog up because the air is so heavily filtered it affects the humidity levels. Plus, they got in the way constantly. When I’m not at the hospital, I try to stay in shape playing basketball and working out. There are long hours during medical residency and it wouldn’t be unusual for me to fall asleep with my glasses still on my face. The problem is that, in the morning, I would have to hunt around in my bed or on the floor for them the next morning.
Now I wake up in the morning and I can see so clearly – it’s amazing. The results of my LASIK are still new, so I think about how well I see every day.
Billy B., Collectible Car Dealer
Billy B. had his vision corrected with LASIK in 2019. Now that he has fully recovered, he took some time with us to share his experience.
“I wore glasses, which for my job was tough. I buy and sell collectable cars, so that means I’m driving – a lot. Driving with glasses is hard. They get dirty and scratched up and then it is like seeing the world through a dirty window. I never wore contacts, so I relied on my glasses to see well but in my job, they were tough to keep clean and safe. I’d be more scared to lose my glasses than my car keys. I wore glasses since I was really young, and I was determined to have laser vision correction before I turned 30 so I could get the most benefit out of it. My mom had LASIK done when it first came out, so I knew it was an option. I knew I would see better and it t was really important to me to see well, not only for my job but for all the other things I like to do, the things you take for granted when you see well, like swimming.
“I chose my doctor based upon his experience and the fact he used the most advanced technology – nice machinery really mattered to the car guy in me I was anxious about it at the time, but thinking back on it, the procedure wasn’t bad at all.. The thing that surprised me the most was how quickly my vision improved – it was instant. Things were a little foggy at first, but within a few hours that went away, and I could see really well. In fact, the day I had LASIK I could read the subtitles on my TV screen from my kitchen on the other side of my house. It was incredible.
“Before LASIK, I only thought about protecting my glasses. Now I take care of my eyes the way I take care of my whole body. One of the first things I did was buy myself a really nice pair of sunglasses.”
This article originally appeared on the American Refractive Surgery Insight Blog (https://americanrefractivesurgerycouncil.org/real-lasik-stories-from-real-people/).