I know I'm not your target audience for this post but I can't help myself
Originally Posted by SAAG
Totally understand where you're coming from.
I want to comment on the 1 in 10,000 idea. I do not know, couldn't even guess, how many people this severe form of lasik dry eye happens to. But I know it's absolutely not THAT rare. Let me illustrate:
I'm going to take a totally random wild guess and say I have met, spoken or emailed with 1,000 people over the past 10 years who have had severe dry eye from LASIK that has seriously messed with their lives (whether for months or years). Considering how many people I hear from each week, I really don't think it is possible for that to be an overestimate. Now, if this happened to 1 in 10,000, that would mean I have personally made contact with pretty close to every person in this country who has had severe LASIK dry eye (1,000 of 10 million). Not a chance - if I've even made contact with 0.1% of them I'd be really surprised.
Now a little more broadly on this thing of the "few" complications patients vs the "many" that are happy. I don't think of it that way at all.
LASIK results are a spectrum.
- a spectrum of refractive results (you'd be surprised how many people are *not* 20/20)
- a spectrum of ocular surface disease results (from the miserables to the ones who "just" use eyedrops several times a day or ointment at night to those who truly notice no difference whatsoever in their eye surface health for several years)
- a spectrum of vision quality results (from pristine night vision to moderate starbursts to the full constellation of HOA effects)
- AND IN ADDITION, a spectrum of "happiness" results - which may or may not bear ANY relation to their position on the three preceding spectrums.
I once ran a survey of lasik patients in the UK with very detailed questions about their vision quality and about their ocular surface comfort. It also asked about their satisfaction. The most astonishing feature of the results was how many of them were satisfied in spite of significant symptoms - in some cases symptoms you and I would have great difficulty tolerating. What constitutes a successful surgery for someone is clearly extremely subjective. I recently spoke with someone who has some nasty after effects but tells me it's all worth it because it's such a huge relief to her not to have to wear glasses. In fact. one of the reasons I often found myself in conflict with the anti lasik movements over the years was that I concede more than others want me to about how happy a lot of lasik patients are. But I still hate the industry's guts. Because it's not just that people get hurt - you could say that about anything. It's that these people had absolutely no adequate way to gauge the risk they were voluntarily undertaking accurately, AND when they had trouble, they were badly treated and abandoned. For example, someone I talked to just recently who has severe LASIK dry eye. She had dry eye before surgery, and she "knew" based on the form that there was risk of more dry eye. "But," she said to me, "It's just that I never connected dry eye with PAIN. I had no idea."
Last edited by Rebecca Petris; 24-Mar-2011 at 20:32.
Reason: geez, can't even get "under" and "over"estimate straight, oops
The Dry Eye Zone