Makiki Athlete Eyes 20/20 Vision

Dr. Stephen Gee
Dr. Stephen Gee
Cora Speck
Cora Speck

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Fixing your eyes has become big business. Here in Hawaii and everywhere for that matter, we're peppered with ads and pamphlets encouraging us to get refractive laser vision correction. It's been around for about a decade. But improvements have made what's commonly known as Lasik, much more precise.

One Makiki woman finds it fits her active lifestyle.

Cora Speck enjoys the outdoors.

"I'm a runner. I surf and I swim. I've done one triathlon," she said.

She's also near-sighted.

"Glasses leave these cute little red marks on your nose, on the inside of your nose," said Speck. "With contact lenses there's always the risk that a wave could come and wash the contact lens out of your eye."

So after years of juggling glasses and contact lenses, Speck has decided to undergo laser vision surgery, more commonly known as Lasik.

Lasik is more accurate than ever before. It's an improvement over previous technology.

"So, what that offered patients was much faster vision recovery, very little discomfort," said Dr. Stephen Gee, a refractive laser vision surgeon and medical director of the Pan Pacific Laser Vision Center.

A relatively new process called "iris registration" takes into account the movement of the eyeball.

"With iris registration, we have what we feel is a way to get as close to the ideal alignment of your eye," said Dr. Gee.

After some pre-surgery checks, Speck is ready for surgery.

After a corneal flap is cut, laser beams reshape parts of the cornea, improving vision. Ten minutes later, she's finished.

"I feel pretty relaxed, comfortable," said Speck. "There's no pain. There's never pain at all."

So Speck looks forward to waking tomorrow morning and seeing clearly for the first time in a long while.

"And seeing just how simple and painless it was, I guess it makes me a believer," she said.

Over 10 million procedures have been performed worldwide, about 150,000 here in Hawaii.