Laser Vision Correction and the U.S. Military

Capt. "Mulan" - Dr. Rubinfeld's patient

Capt. "Mulan" - Dr. Rubinfeld's patient

We at Re:Vision - Roy Rubinfeld enjoyed reading this piece about the problems involved with wearing glasses while aboard an F-15 fighter jet and how laser vision correction changed one military member's life. While glasses and contacts are often the first choice for people of all walks of life, they are not always the best or even the safest choice. To me this whole article really speaks to the idea of independence and the potential for improved visual freedom.


Read the article at this link.

Summer is Coming. Don't Make Bode Miller's Mistake.

Bode Miller

Bode Miller

This article in USA Today perfectly sums up why laser vision correction can be so critical for athletes. In the piece, skier, Bode Miller, five-time Olympic medalist, admits that not having LASIK was a huge mistake that affected his performance in a race that was meant to signal his comeback. "For me, said Miller, "my vision is critical. When the light's perfect, I can ski with any of the best guys in the world. When it goes out, my particular style suffers more than the guys who are more stable and don't do as much in the middle of the turn."


While your aim might not be the Olympics, if professional athelets, jet fighter pilots and many others in demanding careers have found their performances enhanced, than you can rest assured that laser vison correction can make your life a lot easier in the long run.

To read the whole article on Bode's regretful decision, click here.

Putting Your Eyes Where Your Mouth Is - Do LASIK Surgeons Get LASIK?

Dr. Rubinfeld after his laser vision correction procedure in 1995.

Dr. Rubinfeld after his laser vision correction procedure in 1995.

Ever met an eye doctor and wondered why they are wearing glasses? Why doesn’t he/she get LASIK? People often ask us why they meet eye doctors who wear glasses. If LASIK is such a good idea for others, why aren’t all eye doctors lining up for the procedure? A recent study shows us that, while you may meet the occasional doctor wearing glasses, that the overwhelming majority are actually having their eyes corrected through LASIK. The study, which can be found here, indicates that eye doctors who specialize in performing laser vision correction are actually four times more likely to have their own vision corrected than the general public.


Another study looked at physician satisfaction after they had laser vision correction themselves. These doctors reported high levels of satisfaction and better quality of life. In fact, 85% reported an actual increase in the quality of their vision as compared with when they wore glasses or contact lenses. Also, 39% reported that their ability to perform medical procedures accurately had improved.

So next time you see an eye doctor wearing glasses, it may just be that his specific condition cannot be overcome with LASIK, or perhaps he just feels more comfortable in glasses. Remember, eye doctors are people too.

Vision Enhancements and Sports

Jennifer Capriati's autographed photo she gave to Dr. Rubinfeld after surgery.

Jennifer Capriati's autographed photo she gave to Dr. Rubinfeld after surgery.

Drug testing scandals in so many professional sports remain in the news. More and more, students are taking amphetamine-like drugs to enhance their test performance and grades. These bring to mind the question of what is an unfair competitive advantage or, not to mince words, cheating?


This caused us to wonder if the most advanced vision correction options could be cheating? Many leading professional sports figures who have had vision correction have in fact claimed it enhanced their performance. I have personally performed vision correction on several well-known sports figures. One of them, Jennifer Capriati, credited her improved vision as among the reasons she won three international Grand Slam tennis championships. Imagine, as Jennifer told us, that with every blink, contact lenses can move and your vision fluctuate. With serves over 100 miles per hour, that matters.

We also have had the honor of correcting the vision of many in the military who told us they could not possibly have performed their missions or stayed alive (especially at night) without their vision correction. In careful studies, state of the art custom LASIK has been demonstrated to actually improve night vision and reduce glare compared with how patients saw before with their glasses or contact lenses. So we have to ask the question – with solid evidence pointing toward enhanced performances due to laser correction – is it cheating?

Does LASIK Scare You?

Given a choice, most people would prefer not to have to wear contact lenses to drive, play sports, or see across the room. Twenty years after the FDA approved the excimer laser, still only about 8% of people eligible to correct their vision have done so. Why? Because, for many people, the idea of LASIK is very scary. Never mind that some studies have demonstrated that the risk of contact lenses are higher than having laser vision correction by an expert surgeon. It is deep in our DNA to not want anybody doing anything to the only set of eyes we are born with.


I’ll occasionally be sharing some stories from my 25 years of practice. The one below is quite funny but it does demonstrate just how nervous people can sometimes become, even when there is nothing at all to worry about. In short, it’s normal to be nervous about any medical procedure, but LASIK is truly one of the safest, effective, quickest, life-changing procedures you can have.

Once, a patient who was seeing better than 20/20 in both eyes the day after LASIK called my answering service late at night, unable to sleep, terrified that something was wrong with his left eye because of what I had said earlier that day. The next morning, confused about what he could possibly be nervous about, I listened carefully to the message. The voice on the other end told me that he was very worried because after I looked at his right eye I had said "perfect," but upon examining his left I, I had only said that it, “looked very good.” I called this patient right away to let him know that his fears were unfounded and from that moment forward was even more aware of just how nervous patients could be and how important my word choices were when speaking with them.


What Does 20/20 Mean, Really?

Everyone knows the phrase "20/20". There is even an expression "20/20 hindsight" which is often used to describe how things went off the rails and what should have been done in the first place. Most people only know these 20/20 numbers as a way of describing an ideal situation of how they would like to see without glasses or contacts. Your eye doctor is not actually trying to talk in code, but it is easily confusing. So, as a practicing eye surgeon who specializes in vision correction, I thought it might be helpful to provide some inside info on how to decode these numbers.

20/20 simply means that at 20 feet the patient would be able to read something that a "normal person" could read at 20 feet. Yes, I know that sounds circular, but it sets the stage for "normal." 20/200 means that a person with 20/200 vision would have to move up to 20 feet away from something that a person with normal 20/20 vision could see from 200 feet away. These numbers say nothing about your field of vision, and people with tunnel vision who can only see a small area directly in front of them could easily have 20/20 vision and be unable to drive because it feels as if they are looking through a narrow rolled up piece of paper, allowing them to only see a small part of the world around them. One of the tests eye doctors do to determine whether you can legally drive a car is to check your peripheral vision as well, and that is how patients with 20/20 can be denied a driver's license. You can also have 20/20 vision but see double images or have other poor quality “low definition” vision. “20/20” is not so simple and certainly is NOT the only measure or desirable outcome for you.


Here is a key point: Eye doctors view the way patients see in a way that is very different from the way most people think about their sight. Basically, if you need glasses or contacts to see well enough to drive a car, read, and perform activities of daily life, most eye doctors consider that an inconvenience. I certainly agree, which is why I had laser vision correction in 1995 to reduce my need for glasses. And it’s why I performed LASIK on my wife who refused to go to anyone else.


Needing glasses to see clearly is annoying for most people, and most people can have their vision without glasses improved by laser or other means. Eye doctors, however, are generally much more troubled by and concerned about people who, even with glasses or contact lenses, cannot see well. This is not an inconvenience; this is a disability. I know you have friends who have said "I'm legally blind without my glasses," and that, for those people, is certainly annoying. Now imagine people who are legally blind with glasses or contacts. They live in an entirely different world. The good news is that often eye surgeons can improve vision such as in diseases like keratoconus, cataracts, and other significant eye problems.


For more on reducing your life's inconveniences and increasing your visual freedom, vist us at