Thursday, July 7, 2016

PRK or LASIK eye surgery for Survivalists

I just begin reading your book surviving economic collapse. On page 33 you mention LASIK and referred to the US Navy and Air Force.
I have personal knowledge knowing Air Force surgeons and having been an opthamologist that the procedure recommended is not LASIK but thermal keratoplasty.
The difference is that thermal keratoplasty  uses the laser to modify the corneal shape without slicing through the cornea like LASIK.
The sliced flap can be dislodged rendering the vision in the eye completely blurred.
Thermal keratoplasty is more uncomfortable than LASIK but has equally good results and less risk.
That being said you're better off with LASIK than glasses for your purposes.
Thanks for all your insights.
Robert McBratney
retired Ophthalmologist
Thanks for your email Robert. You are right. Keratoplasty is the recommended procedure when possible for patients that are likely to suffer trauma, such as military personnel and of course survivalists as well. At the time I wrote that it wasn’t as common as it is today and LASIK had become a procedure accepted by the Air Force for their pilots.
LASIK involves the cutting of a small flap while keratoplasty shapes the eye surface itself, without the cutting of a flap. The flap may be completely cut off during surgery by accident or become detached by trauma. Keeping things in perspective, its very unlikely to suffer accidental flap detachment during surgery and even in thousands of cases of very strong trauma flap loss is a very rare incident.
Having said that, indeed, if I was doing it today I’d go for Keratoplasty. Its cheaper, safer, and there’s no flap to mess up in the first place.
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.


FB Craig said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FB Craig said...

Also consider the SMILE procedure with the Zeiss Visumax laser. Flapless, but avoids the pain associated with PRK. Only available in EU though.

Anonymous said...

Insertable contact lenses is the way to go, the complication rate for laser surgery is said to 25% such as dry eye, ghosting, which can be debilitating. Don't get it, should almost be illegal. You only get one pair of eyes, use the best technology available.
Insertable contact lenses the slit is tiny, and the lens is removable.
Another option is ontact lenses you wear at night which 'massage' the cornea, reshaping it to fix your eyesight. Some people only need to ear them a few days a week. No cutting and if you don't wear them, your eyes return to their previous shape. I couldn't get it cause my astigmatism was too high. (
Don't be fooled, the above is the new standard at least here in Australia.

Anonymous said...

I had LASIK done back in late 1997. I had to go to a University eye center to get it done, because the lasers were very expensive and rare, and the procedure was still new. I had a strong prescription, I believe it was 6-something in one eye, and 7-something in the other. Plus, the eye with the stronger prescription, also had astigmatism (the eye is more football-shaped instead of round).

To this day, I am still glad that I had the procedure. However, I do wear contact lenses again. At the time when I had the procedure, the doctors did not realize that the vision changes from pregnancy can permanently affect the LASIK results. I was in my mid-twenties and had not had children yet. After my second child, my vision permanently changed, even though the prescription is much less than it was originally. I did not need glasses or contacts for a few years after LASIK, but having children changed my vision, and then I had to get glasses and contacts again. (I wear contacts during the day, and glasses in the evening, or sometimes when my eyes are tired or I have a cold, etc.) I can function without my glasses/contacts, but I wouldn't want to drive or go to the movies.

It's important to note that some people cannot comfortably wear contacts after LASIK, because of the change in shape of the front of the eye and the contacts just don't fit right. I found that Acuvue Oasys are good for me. I can wear the contacts without a problem, but somehow my glasses do provide a more "perfectly clear" image. I do not have problems with "ghosting," "sunburst effect," or "halo" - this means that sometimes people see a little extra light surrounding a bright object, particularly something like a street lamp at night. It happens with contacts or glasses anyway, because of the reflective glare, so maybe I'm just used to it, but it doesn't bother me at all.

All that being said - it has been almost 19 years since I had LASIK. I'm sure LASIK is better now than it was then, and these new methods might be even better. My parents (in their 70s) have both had implantable lenses after cataract surgery, and they are happy with the results. Everyone should do his/her own research and make sure to use a very good doctor, but for me, it was a wonderful choice! Thank you, FERFAL, for covering this important topic!