Here’s His Vision Story:
Everyone who has had a need for glasses in their lifetime has their own vision story, including me. Nearsighted since age 9, I started with glasses in fourth grade, but easily became frustrated with fogged glasses due to sweat on the tennis court and to cold temperature when skiing. On to contact lenses at age 13 – but then when fumes from chemistry labs in college caused eye irritation with my contacts, I returned to wearing glasses. I resumed wearing contact lenses in medical school and in my ophthalmology residency.
Shortly thereafter, I became increasing interested in having surgical vision correction. In 1993, I first started performing radial keratotomy (RK) and thought it was the procedure for me. But, I was too nearsighted at -5 to -7 diopters. The dawn of laser vision correction in 1996 in Tidewater started with PRK then LASIK. I participated in FDA approved studies that led to US approval of LASIK. Seeing the success of my study patients with their LASIK procedure (which I started at Beach Eye Care in April 1997), I was ready myself. I underwent LASIK in Houston, Texas with my mentor, Dr. Steve Slade, in September 1997. My wife and Dr. Lipton followed me and had their LASIK procedure performed by me that same year. I trained many of the area surgeons in the LASIK flap creation process.
Wow! Seeing the same day without glasses or contact lenses…was life changing! My initial 20/20 distance faded to 20/40 with healing over the first 6 months. Needing 20/15-20/25 to be 20/happy, I underwent an enhancement in 1998 that gave me the sharp vision I needed for the next 9 years! I opted for monovision knowing what was coming in my 40s with loss of near vision.
By 2007, 10 years later, my vision had faded to 20/30 at distance; I also realized that I did not need the real close near vision of my non-dominant left eye. Since my corneas were too thin for any further LASIK, I underwent PRK enhancements with Dr. Jain. The discomfort the first 4 days was tolerable, and the vision after 3 months of healing was incredible. I was 20/15 and elated to see the blades of a helicopter turning at a distance of ¼ mile away up in the sky.
Now I am pleased with blended vision – with one eye for distance and the other for intermediate vision. Reading glasses are still needed for fine print, but the computer and the blackberry are in focus. And, I’m ready for seeing through the next one to two decades until I need a lens-based procedure.
– Dr. Neatrour