I had +8 vision (similar to 20/200 in US terms, almost blind), and corrected it to perfect with 2 LASIK surgeries spread across 2.5 years. AMA.
Like many people wearing glasses, I always wondered if I should get LASIK'd. As a kid I wore +7 glasses, and gradually, leading up to my early 20s, I got my glasses down to +4.
This means I wouldn't see much up-close, but could focus on long distance objects.
At about 23, I started getting serious migraines and went to a specialist. They found out that my vision isn't +4, it's actually +8 and always has been. My muscles developed to compensate for the bad vision, and I was constantly under pressure to focus my eyes so they'd cope with underpowered glasses.
Wearing +8 lenses means your eyes become stupid big, that you can't really wear contacts, and wearing less powerful ones was no longer an option.
I spent time going to multiple LASIK specialists all of which turned me down because that kind of eye sight is usually inoperable. I found one in Eastern Europe that went a step further and actually examined my eyes. The doc said it's not doable in one go, I'd have loads of complications, and would have to burn my eyes twice. Fortunately my retina was thick enough to take on multiple surgeries, so it was a go.
You're not even strapped in, laying there. A metal thing comes down, fixes your eye in position. You go blind for 15-20 seconds because of the pressure. A laser quickly slices your outer layer open, the doc peels it off. You're fully aware and asked to not move. There's constant water being sprayed into your eye, and a laser starts to fry it. Smells like chicken. Then it's peeled back, they put on a contact lens, and do the second eye.
For the first time ever I could see the numbers on my watch without glasses.
The complications of such surgeries are extreme sensitivity to light, itchiness, and dry eyes. This one went OK, and my right eye was almost at perfect vision.
- dry eyes
- no depth perception whatsoever
- extremely dry eyes
- difficulty to focus, objects would blur in and out
Over a year later I had my second surgery.
This time they didn't use a laser to slice the outer layer open, that was too risky. So the doc had to use what I thought were pedicure scissors to slice my eyes open. The right eye went OK, and they did the surgery and it was all fine. However with my left eye they couldn't get it open for 10 minutes. The doc's hand got tired and he had to call in his colleague to help. This was a very scary moment in my life. But the smell of burnt eyes is just like KFC!
Now that the eyes have fully healed, I need to think twice about alcohol. I have difficulty generating tears, since my eyes got burnt by lasers twice. Whenever I have a few beers I need to drink a lot of water afterwards, otherwise the next day I won't see a thing -- eyes too dry, unable to focus.
But in general it was the best thing I ever did. It costed me under 1k eur, it was a gamble, and now I'm super happy. Will probably need reading glasses soon, but not thick +8 lenses.
Here's me wearing the thick glasses, note how big the eyes are:
View on the side, notice how the lense would magnify everything
Photos right after the surgery
edit: some people are asking about where I did the surgery, I'm not affiliated with them in any way and the clinic is at http://www.lasik.lv/en/ -- in Riga, Latvia. My doctor is the head of the clinic, Dr Lukin.