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I had my LASIK done in Peru three years ago. That sounds crazy to some, but remember that this procedure was done for ten years in S. America before it was approved in the US. Studies have shown that the incidences of complications declines sharply with experience. My surgeon was extremely experienced, and had done the procedure on quite a few of the US Embassy personnel. It was totally successful, and I have been without need of glasses or contacts since then. However, he did tell me one little lie.

When I went in for my consultation, my doctor told me that a lot of USAF pilots have been getting the procedure. Well, if they would do it, it must be reasonably safe. Their career is based on their eyes to a large degree. Unfortunately, this is not true.

I am a middle school science teacher, and I have applied to the NASA Educator Astronaut program. They are going to choose between 3 and 6 teachers to be part of the next class of astronaut trainees. This has been a dream of mine my whole life, so I jumped at it. Well, I learned that I will be summarily disqualified due to my LASIK. It seems that there has not been enough research on how surgically altered eyes react under G loading. They wouldn't want to deal with an astronaut's eyes popping on takeoff. On the other hand, there is no research showing that it would be a problem.

So, if you want to be a pilot or an astronaut, forget LASIK. I volunteered to sit in their centrifuge and be the guinea pig, but they haven't taken me up on it. I guess I will just keep on teaching kids for now...
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