Radio and TV ads of late frequently tout the benefits of refractive surgery and how it has improved people’s lives. Refractive surgery is the general term for surgical correction of nearsightedness, farsightedness etc. In fact one such ad in our area says that refractive surgery eases human encumbrance. These ads are true. LASIK is wonderful technology, and many are beholden, as they should be.
Be that as it may, just for few minutes let’s step through a door into a different reality. You unlock this door with your imagination. Beyond it is another dimension. You’ve just crossed over into the LASIK-sight zone.
To begin with it’s the fourteenth century, and all eye problems are treated with potions or surgeries. Of course in the fourteenth century it can be argued that much of medicine has questionable value. As science progresses through the 19th, 20th and now the 21st century in our dimension, medication and surgery have evolved nicely such that nearsighted and farsighted people are all surgically corrected with blades, lasers, computers and … well … surgeons. In this dimension no one has ever seen or heard of compensating vision problems with lenses of any type.
Within this wonderland there is a farm boy, Lennie Culinaris, living in the countryside near Palouseville, Washidaho, a village in this dimension of our minds. Lennie discovers that if he uses a concave lens before a nearsighted eye, this myopic eye can see as well as a normal one – no cutting, no lasers and no surgeons. He goes on to discover that convex lenses do the same for farsighted eyes, i.e. hyperopes.
In our imaginary world Mr. Culinaris is considered a hero, and people are very excited about this simple and inexpensive way of compensating for their vision problems. This uncomplicated method becomes the most popular way of helping simple vision problems. It takes the world by storm and companies like Hoya, Shamir and Zeiss fight for the most inventive method of putting Culinaris’ patent to work. It is wonderful technology, and many are beholden, as they should be.
Our little journey in the LASIK-sight zone demonstrates how a simple technology, if suddenly discovered in our modern world, would be even more influential and far more practical than what we consider “high-tech.”