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Thread: LASIK procedure and astronomy?

  1. #1
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    Default LASIK procedure and astronomy?



    Hi, folks.

    I've been thinking about getting LASIK, but am reluctant to do so because it's apparently a guarantee that one of the side effects is "halos" that appear around objects when the pupil is fully dilated.

    For most people, this is fine -- the halos only appear when you are in a really dark room (like your bedroom going to sleep) and with really bright point sources (like LEDs on TVs and stuff). Apparently the light from headlights, street lamps, etc. is sufficient to prevent the halos from appearing (presumably because the pupil is closed enough to cover the "edges" of the now-not-uniformly-round lens.

    What I'm wondering, though, is whether this aberration is a serious deterrent for those that do astronomy. It sure seems like it would be -- I originally tried wearing contact lenses (which apparently compare similarly for ghosting and halos with LASIK) when out at the scope, and found the aberrations distracting and difficult to deal with.

    Has anybody on this forum ever had LASIK? Did you notice any issues with visual observing afterward?

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    Default Re: LASIK procedure and astronomy?

    I did LASIK back around 2002 I think. Right after the surgery, the halos really stuck out, but over time they faded. I can still see them. (especially when I see my commuter train bright headlights coming in the early mornings) I don't notice them while driving anymore though.

    As for the effects on astronomy, I don't notice anything as observing generally isn't bright.. Well, the moon still blinds me if I forget the moon filter!

    As a side note about LASIK. While my ability to read smaller words at a distance improved dramatically, I did notice that my vision wasn't as crisp as it was if I was wearing glasses. That said, I am extremely happy with the outcome.

    When I did my LASIK, they were in transition. It was half laser and half knife. Today, I'm pretty sure it's all done with lasers.

    Good luck with your choice!
    Dave

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    Default Re: LASIK procedure and astronomy?

    I had the proceedure done 7 years ago. I did have the halos and star burst's for about 6 months. They eventually went away. I'm not sure if they do for everyone though. I also suffered from night blindness for the first 3 months or so.

    My eyes ended up being 20/15 after the treatment and I really couldn't be happier with it. I never got into astronomy until a couple years had past so I really can't say how it will effect your viewing short term. Right now, I don't think my astronomy viewing has been effected at all by it.

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    Default Re: LASIK procedure and astronomy?

    To me LASIK has always been about fashion and not function. I had razor-sharp vison until I hit 40, and then had to start wearing glasses. With glasses, still razor sharp. I would never dream of letting someone carve up my eyes. My wife had LASIK about 5 years ago, still complains about driving at night and her vision drifted to the point that she has to wear reading glasses. Not the best 3k ever we ever spent.

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    Default Re: LASIK procedure and astronomy?

    I had Lasik in 2004/2005.

    Yup! I was one of those so fortunate as to have it twice. The first time I ended up quite far-sighted. I corrected beautifully, but it was not at all what I'd wanted.

    I had it done a second time and for a while I had some disturbing double vision in the left eye (vertical). Some halos and such still with some headlights and streetlights but it really is not bothersome.

    I now have 20/15 vision in the right eye and 20/20 in the left eye and the double vision has resolved. I have no perceived visual problems with astronomical observation at all and I can appreciate the difference between a good eyepiece and a great eyepiece.

    I can't tell you if it is a good idea for you. And I'd note that it took two tries and then took over one year for my eyes to settle down before I became convinced that my decision to have it done was a good one. But my early experience was unusually bad.

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    Default Re: LASIK procedure and astronomy?

    Thanks for the responses, folks. Sounds like it's a bit of a crapshoot as to whether or not the halo effect will be bad enough to be distracting.

    Apparently there is a very good article in Sky & Telescope (a 2005 fall/summer edition) about LASIK and how it affects astronomers. I've e-mailed S&T and they're going to see if they can scan the article and send it to me.

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    Default Re: LASIK procedure and astronomy?

    This is a very interesting topic. I too have thought about getting LASIK, but i never thought of the effects of the procedure on astronomy. Still my vision is really bad so I think I can deal with the potential tradeoffs of halos. Hopefully now LASIK has been improved in technique and hopefully whatever side-effects wane a little sooner than than the people have experienced.

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    Default Re: LASIK procedure and astronomy?

    Not LASIK, but I had a cataract surgery that went bad. Before I had bad night vision and halos. I no longer have halos, but my right eye vision is permanently compromised with no way to correct it. I will say I needed the surgery, but anyone that has eye surgery needs to realize that there can be after effects that will drive you nuts. It took me about a year to get somewhat used to having a detached vitreous that floats in and out of my vision. It sucks more than you can dream. A friend had LASIK done several years ago, it went well on one eye, but he can't see well at night with the other one. I have a number of friends that have done it and love it. I am not a fan of optional eye surgery. If you go for it, I wish you the best of luck and success.
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    Default Re: LASIK procedure and astronomy?

    I had Lasik about 4 years ago. Halos and dry eye for 4-5 months. 20/15 ever since. I don't notice any halo effect much if at all anymore and not at all for astronomy ( I did not have a scope back when I had it done to know if there was any adverse effects just after surgery though). Being able to see when I swim and waking up in the morning and seeing an alarm clock clearly was well worth it to me. Although on one of my check-ups, they had to bump me to a later time to deal with a surgery that didn't go well. Mine was all laser, no knife.

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    Default Re: LASIK procedure and astronomy?

    I understand your reasons for getting the surgery done. Mine was a little more acute in some ways.

    Despite my relatively advanced age I was being deployed to Afghanistan and I figured that if I was going to be in a combat zone and I get awakened in the middle of the night in order to go to my battle station I didn't want to have to fumble around for a pair of glasses. I wanted to grab my combat gear and go.

    So I got Lasik done and I've not regretted the myriad ways in which it improved my life. Because I am not a youngster I do have to use reading glasses somewhat regularly, but that is far better than having to wear prescription glasses constantly.

    Oh, and for any others who use readers at times when they are observing (for reading charts, eyepiece labels, hand controllers, etc.), I really like the Clic! readers. Very convenient: ClicMagneticGlasses.com FREE Shipping on Clic Readers & Sunglasses You can sometimes find them in pharmacies and on Amazon.

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