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Supporting the troops one laser eye surgery at a time

Soldiers who suffer from vision problems often opt for contact lenses over glasses. Glasses can fog up or fall off in battle. They cause problems when used in conjunction with gas masks and night-vision goggles. A soldier who loses his glasses can be, at best, merely blinded or, at worst, a liability to himself and others. It has even been reported that eyeglasses often hurt the ability of a soldier to fire his weapon with complete accuracy.

Contact lenses are nearly as bad. They can cause corneal ulcers and other infections. On patrol there's no time to stop, take out their contacts, keep them free of grime and dust or dip them in cleaning solution. Day after day, the troops are out there humping it over the dry and dusty dunes. They haven’t the time for proper maintenance of their contact lenses. Also, what happens if a lens falls out? Away from base, these soldiers may have no way to replace a lost lens.

Many of us may remember that Far Side cartoon where the nomad is trying to replace his contact lens during a sandstorm. That cartoon doesn’t seem quite so absurd any more.

Nearly one third of the United States army suffers from vision problems, and many soldiers are choosing because it might save their lives. The United States military has approved and treated over 35,000 troops who elected to get laser eye surgery. The army plans to see over 10,000 troops this year alone. Those who are being deployed into combat zones are being moved ahead in the line in order to be completely combat ready by the time they ship out.

Military doctors studied soldiers who had received laser eye surgery. The doctors discovered that over ninety percent of the soldiers who received laser eye surgery were more confident, felt that they were better solders and believed that the chances of a successful mission had increased.

Laser eye surgery usually costs somewhere between two-thousand to the four-thousand dollars, but soldiers receive the surgery for free from the United States government.

Soldiers, who are fighting for our country, are able to do so more comfortably and efficiently. Their lives are perilous enough. Laser eye surgery is one more advantage our troops can take with them while hustling through a hostile land. Their eyes, their senses sharpened, keeping themselves and their comrades safe. It is a small boon in such hazardous times.


LASIK Superstars - Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods, the world-famous, record-setting golfer, is a recipient of LASIK surgery. Tiger was diagnosed with severe nearsightedness and was legally blind without his contact lenses. (He was a minus 11) His vision was so bad that he could barely make out the ball as it sat on the tee.

Although technically handicapped, he managed to trounce most competitors. And after LASIK, Tiger won his next five tournaments. Many think that he may be nigh unstoppable.

Some of his critics went so far to say < href"http://www.lasiksurgeon.com/lasikguides/basics/expectations.html">LASIK surgery was akin to steroid use in terms of performance enhancement. That argument holds no water. It’s like saying that a baseball player whose arm breaks due to a subtle and inborn bone defect shouldn’t be able to get it mended by surgery because it would make him a better player overall. Getting surgery to repair a defect in an important organ is different from taking drugs to unnecessarily enhance an already healthy body.

“My vision is so crisp,” Tiger said in his LASIK promotional video,“ I feel I can read all the subtleties on the green and look down the fairway hundreds of yards and focus perfectly on the flag.”

Tiger said he finally chose to undergo LASIK because many of his competitors had it done and recommended it to him. After having LASIK and endorsing it, Tiger helped bring LASIK surgery into the mainstream.

After eight years, Tiger’s vision began to slip. He was getting headaches from squinting all the time. So he underwent the surgery a second time. Eight years is a fairly decent amount of time between LASIK surgeries and some patients never need a second surgery.

Tiger Woods is an amazing athlete. He completely dominates the sport that he plays and is probably the best golfer of all time. It is wonderful that we all live in an age where a player like Tiger, whose career may have been cut down during his prime due to failing vision, can receive a relatively safe and standard procedure to keep a truly great sportsman on his feet, in the game with his eyes on the ball.
LASIK won’t improve your golf game; practice, some degree of natural talent and lessons will, but LASIK will most likely improve your vision and eliminate your need for contact lenses and eyeglasses.


Let's thank the lasers

Bella Roberts, mom of three, was the first British person to get Z-LASIK surgery. She had severe nearsightedness, called short sight across the pond, and was legally blind without her glasses. The surgery took only twelve minutes and Bella claimed that her vision was instantly better. “I can see more clearly than I've been able to since I was 11 years old,” she said.

In an internet video, Bella explains that she was worried she would feel discomfort, but she didn’t. The Z-LASIK procedure went smoothly. She recommends Z-LASIK for anyone who wears glasses or contact lenses. There is also a video of her operation that shows Bella walking away from the operating table immediately after the surgery.

Her doctor, David Allamby, is a world-renown CK specialist, and according to what website you look at, he is one of the top 3 to 5 CK specialists in the world. Although I can’t seem to find a comprehensive list of the world’s best CK specialists, I feel safe about saying that he’s probably in the top ten at least. Besides for Z-Lasik, he was also the first doctor to perform CK for presbyopia in the United Kingdom. I could find no mention, however, of who he treated.

CK is short for conductive keratoplasty, a form of laser eye surgery that reshapes the eye using radio waves. It is most popularly used to treat cumulative eye damage caused by aging.

Dr. Allamby graduated from the Scheffield University Medical School. He decided to become a doctor after cutting himself on an aluminum soda can and winding up in the hospital.

Dr. Allamby is based in London and is the director of Focus Laser Vision. He has operated on a number of celebrities. He treated Rick Wakeman the keyboardist from Yes, fixing Rick’s age-related myopia and hyperopia, called long sight in Britain. He also performed laser eye surgery on Robin Campbell, the UB40 guitarist and singer.

Bella Roberts may not be famous but she had her picture in the UK periodical The Daily Mail. She deserves it. Apart from figuring out just how to be the first person in country to get a new type of surgery, she was also willing to undergo it.

(What is the procedure for being the first person to receive a surgery? Is there a list of possible candidates. Did Dr. Allamby take out an ad? )

Bella Roberts, described only as a mom of three, and not as a member of a progressive rock band, has shown true bravery.


WaveFront LASIK - The booster rocket for prospective Astronauts

There are those of us who live quiet lives of desperation and drive humble, gas-efficient automobiles and there are those of us who dream of being astronauts, tearing through the sky on a plume of fire and smoke, escaping gravity's cruel clutches and traveling to the heavens.

Many people who desire to be astronauts are unable to realize their dream. Some people are too tall, others are simply colorblind and many lack the drive and ambition to get past the dreaming stage. There are literally hundreds of reasons why a person may be excluded from astronaut candidacy. But there is new hope for a sub-group of astronaut wannabes.

Aspiring astronauts who had undergone traditional forms of laser eye surgery such as LASIK were unable to go into space. LASIK surgery reshapes the eye by creating a flap in the cornea. In order to achieve escape velocity that rocket needs to go fast. Astronauts get squashed by extreme G-forces. NASA scientists worried that the eye of a LASIK patient might tear at the flap during blastoff. Even a fully healed LASIK patient was at risk and not allowed to go into space. Outer space is already the most dangerous place to be. Chances are, understandably, not to be taken. Thus, a whole new sub-category of aspiring astronauts were left dreamless and Tangless, but now there is hope.

That hope comes in the form of wavefront-guided LASIK surgery. This revolutionary form of LASIK surgery uses tiny lasers to create flaps so precise that they live up to NASA’s high safety standards. Wavefront-guided LASIK uses lasers to map the eye. Not only can this surgery correct the eye, but it can accurately diagnose ocular anomalies better than the human eye.

Wavefront-guided LASIK is considered to be a top-shelf form of laser eye surgery, but it may not be right for everyone. It is also one of the more expensive forms of laser eye surgery. For the average Joe, basic LASIK surgery is probably just as good as Wavefront-guided LASIK, but for aspiring astronauts and test pilots, it’s top-tier surgery all the way.

Ironically enough , the technology for wavefront-guided LASIK originated in astronomy. It was first used in 1900 by Johannes Hartmann who devised a way to measure the anomalies between light rays bouncing off mirrors and lenses. It was later used in high-powered telescopes to compensate for atmospheric disturbances.

Now, space exploration may have been helped twice by this science. One day, astronomers might find a planet with a telescope that uses wavefront technology and dispatch a group astronauts who had wavefront-guided LASIK surgery to that planet so that men may see new worlds with their own eyes.


Lasik Surgery's Return on Investment

I had LASIK surgery 10 years ago. Great decision. I was so happy with the results that I have advocated laser eye surgery to every person I see struggling with contacts or glasses. But, was it a wise financial decision?

Getting LASIK surgery would be a no-brainer if you could make the argument that you save money over some reasonable time frame. That there's not only a return on investment where your eyesight is concerned but that LASIK surgery gives you a great return on your investment in the pocketbook, too.

For example, if it costs you $3,000 to get laser eye surgery and you spent $1,000/year on glasses, contacts, contact solution, etc, then the math and the decision would be straightforward. But most people don't spend that much on eye care each year. A more reasonable estimate is probably something like $200-$300 per year on contacts or glasses. And a 10+ year payback starts sounding like a bad investment . . .

So, why am I still such a staunch advocate? Why I am absolutely convinced that lasik was the best "health" investment I've ever made? The answer is simple: the value of freedom! I travel a lot. And when I wore contacts, sure enough, every month or so I would forget my contact supplies. Not only was it a waste of money procuring an additional bottle of contact lens solution but a waste of time, too. I didn't realize how much of an inconvenience contacts were until I got LASIK surgery. The biggest benefit of LASIK is the freedom that comes with seeing clearly. Almost everyone I've met that has had the procedure says the same thing.

So, if you are considering LASIK surgery and just aren't sure if it's worth it, be sure to factor in those "soft" benefits. The LASIK surgery return on investment is more than seeing better, it's having the freedom to go where you please when you please. And it might save you money. That's a return on investment I can see clearly.




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