Tuesday, October 14, 2008

LASIK technology has changed a great deal since it was first offered as a solution for eyesight issues. It can be a royal pain to wear glasses. It can be worse when your eyesight is bad enough to require glasses all the time. Poor eyesight screws with your peripheral vision, which in turn can have serious consequences for those whose careers depend on good vision. Such an occupation is pilot. Pilots need good vision; military pilots need every advantage they can get in less than optimum conditions. My husband currently does admin work for a squadron that trains military pilots. More than simple pilot safety is riding on the ability to see; when the pilot is also responsible for operating sophisticated weaponry systems it becomes a matter of common sense. Among the stringent requirements for pilots is 20/20 vision. Lasik has become a wonderful tool to ensure this.

LASIK information is easy to find. The original procedure involved one laser to do the majority of work and handheld devices to do the cutting. Recent improvements have replaced the handheld devices with a second laser to improve accuracy and decrease the chances of surgeon error. As you can imagine, Department of Defense policy is pretty tough on approval of new medical procedures. They not only have a love of red tape, they want to make sure that the surgery they do on our servicemen are proven techniques with known success. It's better for everyone.

My husband wants to get this done someday. He's talked to a lot of people who have had this done, and despite a healthy cynicism when it comes to governmental procedures he feels that the benefits are far beyond any potential risk. Someday it will be in our budget and I look forward to being able to support him in this. As for me? I have a lot of risk factors involved and my eyes are already very bad- severely nearsighted with astigmatisms in both eyes. I don't think I would be a good candidate. Time will tell- there are such refinements every year in the procedures and in another five years I might become a good candidate whose life could be changed forever.


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