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Dealing with an astigmatism


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#1 Marty Hamrick

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Posted 14 August 2005 - 09:50 PM

Over the years I've dealt with shooting with an astigmatism in different ways.When it was the mostly film days,I shot sans glasses and adjusted the eyepiece diopter.Of course on alot of those shoots then I had the luxury of tape measured distance focus but I lost that when I started shooting news/doc type stuff.

These days the majority of the stuff I shoot is video or stills so it's not an issue,yet when I do some of my side gigs where the occasional film project comes up,I'm subject to be shooting with anything from a ground glass viewfinder to a split image.Been awhile since I've shot with these things and my eyesight has changed over the years.

I would love to hear from other cinematographers with less than perfect eyesight how you deal with it.I'm considering the corrective surgery at some point.

Marty Hamrick
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#2 Alex Ellerman

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Posted 14 August 2005 - 11:24 PM

Get Lasik... They'll zap your astigmatism away... Did it for me, anyway, but I'm not a DP.
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#3 Jonathan Bryant

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Posted 15 August 2005 - 03:55 AM

Get Lasik... They'll zap your astigmatism away... Did it for me, anyway, but I'm not a DP.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

My vision far away doesn't seem to as good as it used to, probably thanks to looking at computer monitors all day and night.

Is Lasik the perfect solution though? I have heard good and bad. I heard that while it may make your vision good far away then your close vision suffers. So I would be nervous of any laser coming in contact with my eye.
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#4 Stephen Williams

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Posted 15 August 2005 - 07:28 AM

My vision far away doesn't seem to as good as it used to, probably thanks to looking at computer monitors all day and night.
 
  Is Lasik the perfect solution though? I have heard good and bad. I  heard that while it may make your vision good far away then your close vision suffers. So I would be nervous of any laser coming in contact with my eye.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Hi,

I don't think that many DP's could risk having LASIK. If you go blind what then? The surgeon talked me out of it, he said I would loose 'Dynamic Range' and would need reading glasses in any case within 5 years.
You can get NIGHT TIME contact lenses if you want, and thats not a joke!

Just my 2c

Stephen Williams DP

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#5 Marty Hamrick

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Posted 15 August 2005 - 08:47 AM

Hi,

I don't think that many DP's could risk having LASIK. If you go blind what then? The surgeon talked me out of it, he said I would loose  'Dynamic Range' and would need reading glasses in any case within 5 years.
You can get NIGHT TIME contact lenses if you want, and thats not a joke!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



What dynamic range would you be losing?I've been told that they're working on getting it perfected to correct astigmatism to beyond 20/20 or "pilot's vision".I know once you get past 40,regardless of how nearsighted you may be,you'll need reading glasses.I have to take my glasses or contacts off if I have to read or do something close up.Is that what you're talking about?
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#6 Stephen Williams

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Posted 15 August 2005 - 10:35 AM

What dynamic range would you be losing?I've been told that they're working on getting it perfected to correct astigmatism to beyond 20/20 or "pilot's vision".I know once you get past 40,regardless of how nearsighted you may be,you'll need reading glasses.I have to take my glasses or contacts off if I have to read or do something close up.Is that what you're talking about?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Hi,

The Surgeon warned me that I would see less levels of grey, kind of "8 bit" vision, he said most people won't notice but as a DP for sure I would!
I am slightly long sighted in one eye and short sighted in the other. If he does nothing to my short sited eye I will still be able to read at 65 without correction. At 43 I can read or legally drive with or without correction! I do however wear a contact lens in 1 eye.
Its true that from the end of 2004 the US air force have allowed a LIMITED NO of pilots to have LASIK.

IMHO If you financial earning power is based on how well you use your eyes don't do it!

Stephen Williams DP
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#7 Micah Fernandez

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Posted 15 August 2005 - 10:48 AM

I have keratoconus, which manifests itself in the form of very high astigmatism.

RGP contact lenses are the perfect solution for my problem. I may or may not require a corneal graft one day.
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#8 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 15 August 2005 - 01:38 PM

Hi,

> So I would be nervous of any laser coming in contact with my eye.

Lasik doesn't use lasers, it uses something akin to a large razor blade.

Hence the double-dealing in the name of the thing.

Phil
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#9 Ryan Puckett

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Posted 15 August 2005 - 02:55 PM

Lasik most definitely uses lasers. The cornea gets partially sliced off with a razor type thing which might possibly be the strangest sensation I've ever felt. Lasers do all the shaping after that, then the cornea gets placed back over the newly shaped surface.

I was both very near sighted, and had an astigmatism. The drawbacks of using glasses, contacts, or diopters, outweighed the drawbacks of the surgery. It's been over a year, and I can say that there are no differences in perception of latitude (definitely not 8-bit vision). And there hasn't been any loss of focus in either my near or far vision.

The only common side affect I experinced were halos around lightsources at night for the first 6 months or so while the scar tissue was healing. I never noticed it in viewfinders though, so it was never an issue, just a slight annoyance when driving at night.

If I had to make the decision again, I'd do it in a heartbeat.
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#10 timHealy

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Posted 16 August 2005 - 02:36 AM

Ever since I heard about radial keratotomy in the 80's I have been asking ophthalmologists about all these surgeries including the latest and the usual answer I get is that they prefer to not operate on an otherwise healthy organ. Last year I asked again and my doctor felt that even though many people have had it and are happy, there is still a 4% chance of error or dissatifaction. That is 4 out of every 100 people and he feels too much room for error. So I have chosen not to do it. But I think this group on this site would be the people who are more likely to see halos and other things. I kind of think that most people don't ever see the floaters we all have in out eyes. I see them all the time so surgery anything short of perfect will probably drive me nuts.

I think it would be prudent to visit an ophthalmologist who does not sell any sort of lasik or lasek surgeries no matter how good their recommendations come. I understand there are people who would not benefit from the surgery so one must do their research, get a complete un biased check up or analysis, and get all the facts before electing to do this .... or not.

Good luck,

Tim
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#11 Tina Coggins

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Posted 16 August 2005 - 03:36 AM

The thought of anyone slicing or taking a laser to my eyes freaks me out. I just wear glasses. I have an astigmatism so bad that even the special contacts for those with astigmatism won't work for me. Not sure how it's going to affect me when it comes to shooting, though.
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#12 Mike Lary

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Posted 16 August 2005 - 04:17 AM

Laser surgery... For me, this is a simple case of risk versus reward. I wouldn't gamble with my sight to try and improve it. It's enough of a risk being an artist and trying make a living at it; going blind would probably not increase my chance of success.
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#13 Matt Pacini

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Posted 16 August 2005 - 11:56 AM

I read an article last year about all these "miracle eye surgeries", that scared the crap out of me.
They had horror stories, and they were really frightening.
People that were blind, many people who's vision was MUCH worse after this, and that glasses wouldn't help (it's not like you can go back to how it was before, if it doesn't work).
One women's tear ducts were flowing constantly, so she was basically crying 24 hours a day, and they couldn't do anything about it.
I know there are many success stories, but this is a huge industry, (and a new one) and we are at the stage now, where so many people are so excited about it, and there's so much marketing, that the horror stories are being ignored.

Remember, lobotomies were very widespread for over 30 years, as being the cure for everything from PMS, nervousness, chronic headaches, and all sorts of other minor problems:
http://www.lobotomy....adventures.html
Read this, it will give you chills!

I'm not suggesting Lasik is going to end up exactly like lobotomies, but it's scary how many "cures" end up being really, really bad for a lot of people, and while at the stage of being heralded as a "miracle cure", most everyone ignores the damage being done until a later date.
My advice: wait.

MP
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#14 Matt Butler

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Posted 17 August 2005 - 03:00 AM

While we're on the subject of eye conditions and cinematography,I remember an *old timer* telling me about his deterioating eyesight after working constantly with carbon-arc lighting.

I wear glasses & have shot maybe too many sunrises and sunsets,and have slight corneal surface damage.
I was doing a gate check inside the camera body between takes of a time-lapse dusk/ sunset shoot. We were shooting 35mm with a Canon 300mm telephoto and the assistant removed the lens cap.A perfect circle of the sun burnt into and through the base of the film leaving a 3mm hole in less than a couple of seconds.

I usually line up sun shots with a solar filter (as used by astronomers) and remove it just before turning over,but even that precaution isn't enough.Take care when shooting the sun.

cheers
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#15 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 17 August 2005 - 06:58 AM

Hi,

The thing I notice about astigmatism, which I have to a slight degree in my left eye, is that the brain seems quite capable of intelligently averaging-out the distortion because it isn't the same both sides. Only at night or when viewing brightly-lit objects is it even slightly bothersome, although it is quite interesting to see it corrected out whenever I go for an eye exam.

Phil
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#16 Riku Naskali

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Posted 17 August 2005 - 10:03 PM

After reading about some possible side effects of lasik, I've never given it another though. I got too much to lose. I use contacts and glasses.
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#17 Annie Wengenroth

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Posted 19 August 2005 - 01:58 PM

I wear those Focus Night & Day contacts that you change after 30 days, or 2 weeks if you have allergies! They work, I'm not walking into stuff, I can still spot hairs in the gate, blobs on the lens, etc. The strangest thing is that my eye doctor noticed an INCREASE in the strength of my left eye, which has always been a slightly different prescription than the right.
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#18 Riku Naskali

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Posted 20 August 2005 - 01:34 PM

I'm shooting so little I use disposables :unsure:
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