The Skinny on Lasik, Part 1

I first started wearing glasses when I was nine years old. My soccer coach, who's daughter wore glasses, noticed that I was squinting down the field and suggested to my mom I get my eyes checked. From then until I was in high school, I wore glasses pretty much 24/7. The exceptions were dance team performances and the occasional school dance/social outing. I was never one of those people who could go for a run without my glasses or a quick trip the store. I started wearing contacts in high school, and they were a game changer. I loved them from the get-go and knew it was the right decision.

So as I got older, my eyes continued to get kind of worse, and it just became part of my life--wearing contacts, taking them out at night, remembering to pack my glasses on trips, making sure I had a travel-sized bottle of solution, etc. My eyes started to not love having contacts in them all the time--and it was getting annoying.

I work in the vision industry, so I know people who have gotten Lasik, people who perform Lasik, people who will never get Lasik, etc. I knew lots of pros and cons. But I knew that I didn't want to spend the rest of my life reliant on little disks of plastic in my eyes, or glasses always being handy. So I figured I'd take the first step and get a consultation.

Now, here's where I have my biggest recommendation on getting Lasik--go to a good, well-respected, non-promotional surgeon. Don't go to one that's offering $250 per-eye deals. Don't go to one that operates in a strip mall. Don't go to one who makes promises like  "20/20 by morning". Get recommendations from doctors you trust, from friends who've had good experiences. Then, see how you feel about the office and staff. I went to an eye doctor practice here in DC that has many optometrists on staff as well as three MDs who are Lasik surgeons. I really scrutinized the office staff--the nurses, the patient coordinator, the front desk staff. These people were going to be trusted with the most important sense I have.

So, the consultation, which is usually free, is where you find out if you're a good candidate for Lasik. I've met several people who have gone to a consultation and told that they're not a good candidate, so don't think this is something where a good doctor will try to sell you something that you genuinely shouldn't get.

At the consultation, they'll take a look at your glasses, your past prescriptions, and lots of tests on your eyes (nothing painful or weird, mainly lots of pictures of your eyes). The big things they're looking for are the overall health of your eyes, your vision correction, and the thickness of your corneas.

They also tell you what actually happens in Lasik. I didn't really want to know, but had to watch a video on it. Basically, a laser is used to cut a flap in your cornea, then another laser is used to reshape the tissue underneath the flap. Good times.

So, long story short, I was a candidate, and decided to get Lasik in 2017. More about the actual surgery and recovery next.

Comments

  1. I got glasses in 3rd grade and have been wearing contacts since 6th! It is such a pain in the ass, but cannot see without them. Like anything.

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