Bionic Eyes

March 23, 2006

Today, in just a few hours, I am having laser keratotomy done to both of my eyes. LASIK, as it is commonly know, uses a low temperature (cool) laser to alter the curvature of your eye's lens so that images land on the retina properly. In my case I have two situations that need correcting: I am mildly farsighted and I have an astigmatism in each eye. The eye surgeon calls my prescription "interesting."

A common misconception about farsightedness is that people can see things far away just not close up. Turns out that it means (in my case anyway) that you can't see close up or far away. Toss in a different astigmatism in each eye and I have great difficulty focusing on anything with out corrective lens. Since I need a different correction for up close computer work than I do for driving or distance work, I have bifocals. In a word, glasses suck. Bifocals suck twice as there are two lens in your way all the time.

So today I go under the knife, er laser, for some corneal adjustments. To quote the surgeon, it'll take five seconds instead of three, since they are doing two procedures at once. My left eye (the dominate one) will be corrected to 20/20 and have the astigmatism removed. My right eye will have the astigmatism removed and be made slightly nearsighted. This technique is called mono-vision and the idea is that my brain will adapt to using one eye for distance work and the other eye for up close tasks. I've known of people who had mono-vision contacts that worked on the same principle; this'll just be permanent. I have been assured that a very high percentage of people rapidly adjust to mono-vision but, should I prove to be the exception, they can adjust the right eye to 20/0 at no additional charge.

I'm hoping that I can get a DVD of the procedure today, and of course I'll be cataloging the after effects in the coming days and weeks. Only not for a day or two as I am not supposed to use a computer or read or do anything strenuous with my eyes for 24 hours. Not use a computer for 24 hours? That's crazy talk.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.