Busy Weekend – Part I – Friday

On Friday I went in for a LASIK evaluation. It was actually pretty cool. I went to the U of M Ophthalmology department based on a recommendation from an ex-coworker (thanks Sean!) and was very impressed.

Since I’ve been wearing glasses for 30 years now, I’ve had a lot of eye exams. Most of the time (that I can remember anyway) they have felt a bit rushed. And I’ve not always been happy with the results.

This was the most thorough eye exam ever. First they had me read the chart with my glasses on. Then they figured out my prescription using the (don’t know what it’s really called) big black lens system that they always use.

Next we went and used a machine to create a topographical map of my corneas. That was pretty cool.

Then they put some drops in to numb my eyes a bit and checked the internal pressure. After that they checked the thickness of my corneas using two different instruments, the second of which made everything look like it was underwater.

After that they had to test how dry my eyes are. To do this they insert the end of a strip of filter paper under the lower eye lid and see how much water wicks into it. This test takes five minutes and feels kind of weird.

Following that, they put some other drops into my eyes to fully dilate my pupils. I had to sit around for about 30 minutes to wait for that to happen. And I couldn’t read because it’s hard to focus with dilated pupils.

Then they looked at my retina and checked my prescription again.

Finally we talked about the options. They said I was close to the upper limit on near-sitedness (I’m at about -8.75 and they have a soft limit of -10), but that my corneas are plenty thick to support the correction needed. I don’t have dry eyes now (but LASIK tends to give you dry eyes for a while after the surgery.)

Additionally, there is a new technique for cutting the flap in the cornea. Tradditionally they have used a rotating mircrotome (a spinning knife) and that usually works fine, but now they have a new system where they can actually use the laser to cut the flap. It’s more accurate and less prone to complications.

So the upshot is that I’m going to have the LASIK done. The tentitive date is June 3rd.

Whee. No more glasses! (Until I need reading glasses because I’m old.)

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