Have you had vision issues since having LASIK?

As a person who has had glasses since I was seven and has worn contacts for more than two decades, I’ve always just considered putting on or in something so I can see to be a part of my morning routine. But when a friend of mine explained to me how heavenly it has been to wake up with everything around her already in focus since having LASIK, I started thinking about how nice it might be to trash the contact solution, put away the glasses, and get the surgery.

What would my life be like if I had better — maybe even perfect — vision? Even though I don’t mind poking around on my eyeballs for a few minutes each day, the possibility of 20/20 is pretty dreamy.

Alas, a former proponent of LASIK appeared on CNN this morning, saying that laser vision correction surgery doesn’t actually offer complete and safe sight correction after all.

Morris Waxler, formerly an FDA official who was one of the leaders of the regulatory team that approved LASIK,, is now petitioning that same organization to put a halt to the procedure he says is causing “an epidemic of permanent vision problems.”

Waxler contends that LASIK causes an overwhelming number of patients to view halos and starbursts around lights have compromised night vision, and to experience blurriness. He cites data that says more than 50% of LASIK patients have post-procedure vision issues and one-third still require glasses. Waxler says we can’t responsibly ignore this kind of outcome.

This perspective was countered by opthamologist Dr. Stephen Slade says LASIK is “arguably one of the most studied elective procedures in the United States” and continues to be extensively researched and developed. He says that more than 300 peer-reviewed studies have found the procedure to be safe and effective and offered the reminder that is currently approved by the FDA.

Anecdotal input on LASIK is all over the place as well. I, probably like you, not only have friends who speak about their procedure as if it was a high school crush they were swooning over (and now could see across the football field) but also have friends who have not been pleased with the results or for whom the procedure was a complete failure. The comments on the CNN post reflect a variety of experiences, from positive to skeptical to angered.

Would you or have you had LASIK?

How was your experience? Was it a dream or do you agree that it’s not as safe and effective as we might hope?