I Need Your Help! My Search For Lasik As A Photographer
Hey everyone. Since this is my personal blog I figured I’d go WAY personal today and ask for your help. I teach a lot of workshops throughout the year. And during those workshops I always joke that I’m in great company if my computer ever has troubles or I have health problems. Why? Because the majority of attendees at these workshops are IT Professionals or doctors I’m kinda joking but not totally. It’s actually very true when every one goes around the room on the first night and introduces themselves. Anyway, on to my request.
The Back Story – My Eyes
See, I’ve been wearing contact lenses since I was 12 (I’m 40 now). I’m pretty nearsighted (-6 in one eye and -6.25 in the other with astigmatism in one eye). Life doesn’t exist for me without glasses or contacts. The entire world (unless it’s 2 feet in front of me) is horribly blurry. Well, back when I was 20 I was told I can’t wear my contacts very long during the day because my eyes don’t get enough oxygen and it could result in problems. They actually feel fairly comfortable (a little dry after a while but I think that’s the norm) but my eye doctors can always tell when I’ve been wearing them too much when I go for my exams. I also wear glasses when I’m not wearing my contacts. I hate them. I don’t want large glasses because I hate the way they look. Smaller glasses leave my peripheral vision blurry which is uncomfortable. Plus, I’m EXTREMELY active. I sweat a lot (see the post here for just how bad). I participate in sports and workouts where having glasses on just isn’t an option for me. I love to be outside in the water too. I spend my time off at the beach whenever possible. So glasses are a pain. I have to carry two pairs (sunglasses and regular). And contacts don’t work for me for long periods of time.
And for photography it’s a pain as well. I get up early for sunrise shoots and often am gone for the rest of the day. Putting my contacts in to help me shoot is essential. Looking through the camera with glasses just sucks. And I know I’ll need readers for close up stuff eventually (if I do get LASIK), but at least I’ll be able to take those off and still see the world. Right now, if I take my glasses off I can’t see crap.
My LASIK Story
My LASIK story is simple. I’ve been afraid of it ever since it came out. These are my eyes. My vision can be corrected with glasses or contacts. So I’ve always just been a big chicken when it comes to LASIK. That’s really it. No big story here – I’m just a wuss
Where I Am Today
In the last 6 months I’ve been with enough people that have had LASIK and seen me battling with contacts/glasses, that I finally decided to look in to it more. I’ve gone for 3 consults so far and here’s what I’ve come up with.
Dr. #1) Perfect candidate for LASIK. LOVED the doctor! He was awesome! (and in to photography which doesn’t hurt) ($$$ Most Expensive Dr.)
Dr. #2) Felt my cornea was too thin for LASIK – recommended PRK. Liked the doctor, and he was very helpful in explaining. ($$$ Least expensive)
Dr. #3) Perfect candidate for LASIK. Never got to meet the doctor which I didn’t care for, but really nice people overall. ($$$ Right in the middle)
First off. I’m not bargain hunting. Dr. 1 is the most expensive by over $1000 but I’d gladly pay it if they’re the right choice. These are my eyes after all. I’ve called Dr. 1 back and they’ve explained to me why they think I’m good for LASIK. I’ve called Dr. 2 back and they’ve explained to me why they’d prefer to do PRK. At this point, it’s a toss up as I know neither dr. better than the other. They both seem reputable and I don’t know which opinion to take. Dr. 3 is pretty much out of the running at this point since I never even met them.
So now I’ve done some web searching. I’ve found that research about this stuff on the web sucks! First off, you can’t find ANY info about specifics doctors. All you find is websites listing all of their credentials. Next, forums suck! I hate forums! Haven’t used them in many years and now I know why. There’s a bunch of trolls out there and nobody really helps you. Plus, if you think about common human nature. When things go right, we tend not to say anything. It’s only when things go bad, that you tend to post online and look for help. So any place I do come across online that talks about LASIK (or PRK) typically makes me want to run for the hills from the procedure and stick with my glasses and contacts. Now, most of these forums and message boards don’t have 100 people posting a day. They have 1 person posting every few days or week. And it’s typically the same people commenting on each post. So the bad stories seem much less prevalent when you consider it’s the same group of 7 people posting about this stuff.
LASIK or PRK?
So now I’m thoroughly confused. Everyone I know that has had LASIK is ecstatic with their results. They’re very happy customers. I don’t know one person who is not. If I never read anything online, I’d think it was perfect. But reading online has now scared me in to making no decision at all. I know 2 people that have had PRK and they seem less than enthused after 6 months. PRK seems to have a MUCH longer recovery time. Overall it seems safer than LASIK in the long run, but I really have no idea. I don’t know either doctor personally so it’s one opinion against another. It seems like I can’t go wrong with PRK, but that recovery time is really something that’s sticking with me. I’ve heard or read several stories where people’s eyesight still hasn’t stabilized after 2-3 months. In my job, that’s not really an option.
So that’s where I’m looking for your help. I really want to do this. Sure, life is possible with contacts and glasses for me. I know I should probably consider myself lucky. But life isn’t very comfortable with them. I can’t imagine I’m doing my eyes any good taking contacts on/off twice a day to avoid over use, but still wear them for my activities. To hear so many great stories about LASIK, it seems like I’m missing something if I don’t do it. Anyone out there had LASIK or PRK? I know there’s got to be some doctors reading this? Any thoughts? If you know anyone, please pass this along, I’d appreciate their thoughts too. Thanks everyone!