These questions below were posted on the PFF Bulletin with the following responses. You can check out more information concerning eye surgery on the Food and Drug Administration web site @ www.fda.gov/CDRH/LASIK
If you're considering eye surgery you should know that more than 5% of
patients have problems with night vision, results that don't last and vision
worse than before the surgery.
You need to check out the web site www.surgicaleyes.com put up by a firefighter who had the surgery then had to quit because his eye sight fell before safety standards.
What are the current attitudes regarding corneal surgery to correct poor vision? My eyes suck, to speak plainly. I'm considering getting laser eye surgery to correct the problem. Do departments consider that "corrected" eyesight? As in, "Candidate must have no worse than 20/70 vision,uncorrected, in either eye."
In general, do departments consider eyes modified by corneal surgery "corrected" or "uncorrected?" Have any trends been noticed?
I'm just looking for how departments are tending to receive candidates who have had the surgery.
Subject: Corneal surgery
I can't speak for the fire service generally but I can tell you about my cities' attitude on this subject. As a member of my locals' negotiating, team I participated in securing an eye surgery benefit as part of our last package.
The city agreed that good vision is an important safety issue and that turnout times, (particularly at night) could be enhanced by less reliance on lenses. On that basis they agreed to pay 80% of the cost of corrective surgery for the employee only.
My personal opinion is go for it. I had RK seven years ago and it was the best money I've ever spent (Lasik wasn't an option then). Another FF on my dept. had the same surgery just after I did. Much later a FF had lasik.
My depts. position on anything of this nature is as long as the doc clears you to come back to work there is no problem. I personally always had concerns about contacts, I felt that I didn't want to put a piece of plastic on my cornea, go interior on something and even have the possibility of having it permanently fused to my eyes.
Beyond the job, just the change it makes in day to day living is worth it.
Subject: laser surgery
I can't comment on what stand a department may have on surgically corrected vision but I can comment on my own experience. I had Lasix last fall, I was like 20/200 before the procedure, I am know 20/15 in my right eye and 20/18 in my left. It was the best $3200 I ever spent. I would recommend it to anyone.
Signed Seeing Well
Subject: Lasik procedure
I had Lasik in June of last year, and it took like charm. I was 20/100 in one eye and 20/150 in the other. Now I
am 20/20 in both, best 3600 bucks I spent. No departments have had any problems with my surgery just as long as it was longer than 6 months ago to prove the procedure took.
I was never dqed in any processes, they just told me to come back for re-evaluation at 6 months past surgery, and I still passed at that time too.
Subject: go for it!
There were two guys in my academy (paid-new hires) who had their eyes done. The stipulation was they had to be 6 mo post op. to make sure the correction took. i.e. the lens didn't loose shape after laser surgery. Good luck with your pursuit.
Subject: Lasik Surgery
I had both of my eyes done on 11/15/99. Both eyes were -11.5 which I believe is the equivalent of 20/1150. Lasik usually isn't performed on eyes worse than -12 (20/1200).
You could say I was an extreme case. The day after the surgery I had 20/30 vision in both eyes and subsequently have improved to 20/25 in each eye. I couldn't be happier -cost: $3,900. I'd certainly recommend it but would encourage individuals to read up on it, research it and definitely check out more than one doctor who performs the surgery. Good Luck!
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