Scott Hanselman

LASIK: The Conclusion

March 14, '04 Comments [7] Posted in Musings
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It's been one month since my LASIK surgery, and I went to the eye doctor today for my checkup. 

The conclusion is amazing to the point of disbelief, but we did the tests several times.  You may remember I was -9.25 diopters or roughly 20/1600. 

Tangent: What does 20/20 mean? (or 6/6 in metric)

If you have 20/20 vision, it means that when you stand 20 feet away from the chart you can see what the "normal" human being can see. (In metric, the standard is 6 meters and it's called 6/6 vision). In other words, if you have 20/20 vision your vision is "normal" -- a majority of people in the population can see what you see at 20 feet.

If you have 20/40 vision, it means that when you stand 20 feet away from the chart you can see what a normal human can see when standing 40 feet from the chart. That is, if there is a normal person standing 40 feet away from the chart and you are standing only 20 feet away from it, you and the normal person can see the same detail. 20/100 means that when you stand 20 feet from the chart you can see what a normal person standing 100 feet away can see. 20/200 is the cutoff for legal blindness in the United States.

So, my vision was fairly bad, but such is the life of the four-eyed geek right?  Everyone remembers not being able to see the blackboard and telling their parents.  Next thing you know you're 30, have worn glasses your whole life and didn't go to prom. Well, maybe not that last part, but you get the idea.

Anyway, went to the doctor today, and my vision is officially 20/10.  Yes, 10.  That means I see as clear from 20 feet as a person standing at 10 feet.  So, pretty amazing.  I still have some slight visual artifacts in the right eye in complete darkness, but that gets better every day.  All in all, a significantly better result than I could have expected, especially considering when I orignally decided to get this done 5 years ago, I was told "We don't recommend LASIK for folks more than -8."  Clearly that has changed, and the technology has improved.

Anyway, I won't sully this technology blog anymore with LASIK musings, except maybe for the six month and one year checkups.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Sunday, 14 March 2004 00:55:33 UTC
Great news, Scott. Your LASIK posts have been interesting reads. Glad to hear everythign has worked out so well. Congrats!
Sunday, 14 March 2004 01:43:19 UTC
Yeah, I had "eagle vision" for a few months after my surgery. In fact, 2 weeks after, I could read license plates from 2 miles away. I had to actually go in and they had to apply some ointment to make my vision worse because I was having severe migraines *L*
Sunday, 14 March 2004 17:48:41 UTC
I'd never trade my Lasik experience for anything. Being able to see nearly as good as I could with contacts w/o the maintenance headaches is great.
Sunday, 14 March 2004 18:20:15 UTC
Congratulations, Scott! That is an awesome experience.
Sunday, 14 March 2004 23:01:42 UTC
the lasik info has been very interesting. congrats on the result!
Tuesday, 16 March 2004 20:06:45 UTC
I went from -8/-10 to roughly 20/30. I was actually 20/15 for about a year afterwards, but that degraded, probably from staring at a monitor too much! In any case, I'm legal to drive uncorrected, and honestly I don't notice my vision is off except at my annual checkup.
Wednesday, 24 March 2004 21:37:04 UTC
Thank you, Scott, for this great news. It has more or less convinced me that LASIK will be a good idea for me, too (I've got -10.25 diopters, which I had always thought was 20/800; it must be worse than I thought!). Did you have an astigmatism as well, or do you know if that will affect LASIK?
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.