A Journey from Blurry to Clear
"With eyes that look'd into the very soul--bright--and as black and burning as coal." ~ Lord Byron
Glasses have been a part of my life since I was six years old. After a few failed attempts of trying to find out why I was suffering from headaches I was taken to the eye doctor where a rather thick pair of lenses were fitted on me.
As I aged the lenses got thicker until, at sixteen, a friend introduced me to the world of contact lenses. For over fifteen years I lived in my contact lenses. So much so, at one point my eye doctor threatened to take them away from me unless I gave my eyes a bigger breather every day.
For the last twelve years I have pretty much gone back to glasses, only occasionally wearing the contacts if I was going out somewhere special or was participating in an activity where contacts were easier than glasses (there is nothing more annoying than having to keep pushing up your glasses when you are hiking uphill on a hot day).
For the last four years I have been thinking about corrective eye surgery. Yes, four years. I like to dwell on things before I make a decision especially if it involves something as invasive as eye surgery. This year I finally decided to take the plunge and asked my eye doctor about it. It just so happened he works with the TLC Laser Eye Center in Toronto and they were meeting with people in a few days in his clinic to assess candidacy.
I scheduled an appointment and my husband and I went to see what they had to say. For both of us this seemed to be the big sell -- and opportunity for them to assess our interest and an opportunity for us to ask questions. Since I had had my yearly eye exam with my doctor already they only tested my corneal thickness by numbing my lens and applying a reader of some sort (sorry I do not know the technical term). It was easy breezy anyway.
We both left with lots of information about what TLC has to offer and tentative plans to visit the Toronto clinic for further tests. So far I was a candidate for their procedures but further tests were in order for accuracy.
Because it would involve a two and half hour drive to Toronto for further examination we decided to check out another option for laser surgery with a closer clinic. We made an appointment with Lasik MD which was only an hour away.
Citation: images copyright M. E. Wood.
TLC or Lasik MD
At Lasik MD I went through a battery of tests on my vision to find the perfect correction and check for any serious problems. The good news was I had healthy eyes and they also considered me a candidate for one of their procedures.
Both eye clinics provided viable options. My final choice didn't come down to one necessarily being better than the other. It came down to the type of surgery I was able to have and what each clinic offered, based on their experience, technology and equipment.
Based on my prescription, pupil size etc Lasik MD would only perform the PRK operation which is more painful and requires a longer healing time because there is NO protective flap created. The post-op care was also more intensive and I would require more help. PRK has been around the longest and is the most common corrective eye surgeries out there.
TLC was offering me a Intralase Bladeless Lasik surgery which involved making a flap with a laser instead of the standard blade. This allows for less of the cornea to be involved as well as leaving the possibility for touch ups in the future should they be required. The bladeless flap method heals quicker and is less painful than PRK. I decided to go with TLC because I felt I would get an excellent result with less pain and shorter healing time; both very important to me.
Pre-op, my vision is completely blurry without my glasses. I can read with one eye if I hold literature about five inches away. If I look in the distance I can see blurry shapes and colors but have no idea what I'm looking at. Could be a tree, could be a person. With my glasses on I can read and see distances like the average person although I have to squint and push the glasses up close to my eyes to read in the distance.
Here is the medical lowdown on my eyes.
As you see, I have a pretty high prescription and what is considered nearsightedness or myopia. It is fairly common. According to the TLC literature "one in four people in North America are nearsighted".
One Week Before Surgery
It is one week before surgery. I am nervous and of course having second thoughts (but not really). Reading about complications and "fraud" within the Lasik community is not helping but I think it's important to get another perspective... but with a grain of salt.
I have no questions about what is going to happen. I just wish I could fast forward to a few days after. I am worried about the pain and discomfort that will come from burning off some of my cornea. I am worried that I will move and they will have to start over making the surgery longer. I am not worried about complications. The percentage of complications compared to the number of surgeries performed is low compared to others surgeries.
I am going to try to relax over the next week. Get lots of rest when I can and drink lots of water so I can go in with healthy and refreshed eyes.
My Procedure - Intralase Bladeless Lasik
This procedure happens in five basic steps:
* Anaesthetic eye drops
* Protect flap created with laser
* Inner cornea lasered to prescription
* Flap replaced and smoothed out
* Go home and sleep
Day of Surgery
When I arrived to TLC Toronto we went over the contract before passing it over. We were directed to the waiting room but before we even had a chance to sit down I was taken to have topographical images of each eye. Then it was back into the waiting room.
Shortly, I was brought into an antechamber (with husband in tow) to sit with four other patients awaiting Lasik. An assistant discussed our eye kits which contained a box of lubricating drops, 4 ativan tablets (to encourage sleep over the next few days), sunglasses, paper tape and two eye patches.
Meeting the Surgeon
We were each taken out one at a time for a mini meeting with the surgeon (Dr Nick Nianiaris) who looked at my eyes and answered any last minute questions. I mentioned I was on a low-dose seizure medication and he said he had successfully completed surgery on higher-dose patients and was confident there wouldn't be a problem unless my seizures were previously related to flashing lights (they are not).
Drugs and Drops
Back in the antechamber I sat in a recliner and had freezing drops put into each eye. An ativan was offered to calm me and I accepted (we all did!). They worked quickly. There was lots of humor to be found amongst the other patients which helped too. It probably had something to do with the cute head bonnets and little booties we all had to wear. One by one we were taken into the surgical room.
The Surgical Room
When my time came up I was taken into the room next to the antechamber where I was instructed to sit on a table between two machines and had to shimmy my way back and lie down with my head toward the Doctor. Throughout the whole procedure he talked me through the steps. In the beginning I was asked to stare at a red light while he put a suction cup like device over one eye to keep it from moving. The other eye was closed with a piece of cotton and taped.
The incision was made, I was asked to close my eye and it was covered while the incision was made on the other eye. The table I was on was pivoted so the other eye could be done. Next up was the laser that shapes the cornea. Back to the right eye. The machine made a loud clicking sound as it worked and it almost reminded me of being in an MRI machine (but a little quieter). Some people told me this process would smell like burning hair but it smelled like something else to me. I can't put it into words but it was something familiar. Then the other eye. When it came time to return the flaps to the closed position I could see a little plastic brush as it brushed the flap smooth. It was actually kind of cool. Vision wise, I was able to follow the red light; sometimes it was clear, fuzzy or completely blacked out. They helped me to get up when it was over. The surgery was quick, about 15 minutes total, including the time to get me settled and into position.
The assistant was gracious and took a picture of me and the doctor when my husband asked. He was able to watch the whole procedure from outside the windowed room on a monitor that was turned toward the window.
I Can See (sort of)
When I sat up from the table I could see clearer than without my glasses but everything had a fuzzy hue to it (almost dreamy) and I was a bit out of it from the ativan. I had a hard time keeping my eyes open; I think because they stung so much. I was directed back to the antechamber and sat in the recliner with my eyes closed before going to see an optometrist to confirm the flaps were properly closed. Then I was ready to go.
At this point the freezing was well off. I was a bit off balance and my eyes stung like I had stuck my head into a vat of freshly chopped onions with my eyes open. We had a two hour drive home and this feeling seemed to get worse. We stopped at one point so I could take an Advil and put in a bunch of Refresh Plus Lubricating Eye Drops. I slept for another hour on the way home and when I woke up I felt a bit better. I could open my eyes and actually look around at this point. This is going to sound weird but things were clear but not clear... When we got home I had some more drops and went to bed for two hours. I woke up feeling substantially better. I couldn't believe what a difference a few drops and a couple hours sleep made.
Support, Laughter and Distractions
My husband has helped a lot. Driving me to and from the appointment, instilling the drops when I can't get them into the eye, making meals, doing dishes and providing entertainment. Since I couldn't watch TV for the first 24 - 48 hours, a friend from work loaned my husband Stuart McLean's The Vinyl CafÃ© Stories CD that we listened to with supper and into the evening (when I wasn't sleeping). I highly recommend it. Laughter is good medicine (and a good distraction). The night before surgery I downloaded a few audio books from Project Gutenburg to listen to over the next week.
12 Hours Later
When I got up from the table things were blurry from the drops in my eyes but I could definitely see peoples faces. At the moment when I remove the mandatory sunglasses to look around everything seems pretty clear. Objects are visible and clear but light sources have an aura around them. Rest definitely helps.
I have a bit of eye bruising on the whites of the eyes that I expected to be worse and really have no concern about. My eyes are puffy and I'm looking forward to seeing what the doctor has to say tomorrow when I go for my 24 hour check up.
I started one of my audio books - Dracula by Bram Stoker; which is fabulous.
During the Surgery
15 Minutes Later
They Be Angry
For the days, weeks and months following my eye surgery there are a number of restrictions to my activities of daily living until my healing process is complete.
- For two days following surgery, protective eyewear must be worn at all times (I wore my shades in doors and outdoors for one week then just outdoors).
- Night shields are worn at night while sleeping for two nights (I wore mine for one week).
- No showering for first 24 hours and no water or shampoo in eyes for 3 - 4 days (I did a 1/2 shower with a wand for one week and leaned backwards over the tub to have my hair washed).
- No soaps or creams near eyes for one week (two weeks before I used a gentle eye make up remover on eyes).
- No make up for one week and all eye make up must be replaced, especially eyeshadow, mascara and eyeliner (I went two weeks without makeup).
- No swimming or other water activities for one week.
- No gardening for two weeks (this was very hard for me. I cheated and dead headed my daisies and other spent plants but regretted it afterwards - big nap).
- No exercise or weights for two weeks.
- No contact sports for one month.
- No driving for first 24 hours until approved by optometrist.
- No reading, computer, or television for first 24 - 48 hours (Killer!, but I did it for three days. Audio books and sleeping filled my days).
- Avoid dirty environments for at least one week.
- Unpreserved eyedrops for one week (I went for four).
One Day Later
Thirty-six hours later and there is significant improvement pain wise. I went to see my optometrist a few hours ago and I've been cleared for driving! Although, I really don't want to. He did a simple reading of the eye chart with each eye and I did really well. The second up from the bottom. I was so excited I for got to ask what it was but I remember him saying it was good. He looked at my eyes with the microscope and that was it for today. Everything looks good.
It feels weird to be able to see every thing. The optometrist will wait until the one month point before he sends a letter to the MTO clearing me from glasses and contacts while driving. I'm not too worried about that at this point though.
I'm feeling better today and it definitely helps to sleep a LOT (or at least rest with my eyes closed) and keep up with the lubricating drops. I had a two hour nap this afternoon and every time I wake up I feel an improvement. My next visit is in one week.
My Subcojunctival Hemorrphages
Saturday / Sunday / Tuesday
I got up a few times during the night for drops. My right eye feels perfectly fine to me but my left eye still has a tender prickly spot that I feel when I blink. I'm going to nap a bit after breakfast in the chair.
Last night my husband and I went for a drive and I noticed large halos around vehicle lights. I don't think they will be an interference with my night driving (I had glares before surgery), not that I do a lot of night driving anyway. It's also really early in the healing process and I expect it to improve at least somewhat.
Another day of resting! The Prednisone drops have been reduced from every hour to four times a day for the next 5 days, which helps but I expect the inflammation will pick up a bit.
Drops reduced. Vision better, still some ocular tenderness and a bit of fuzziness around lights. Vision appears sharper. Reading is normal.
My vision is almost perfect today. I can't see clearly up close, like to look at a hangnail on my finger, but my vision was like that prior when I wore contacts. I definitely have a wider range of vision now.
I'm quite impatient for perfection which is funny considering how bad my vision was and how improved it is. When I think about it I'm mesmerized by all the things I'm able to see around me.
I have been increasing my activity level and reducing my naps which I've noticed has increased my need for lubricating drop. I'm currently using Refresh Plus Lubricant drops with no preservatives. They are single use ampules (recommended by TLC). I will probably continue to use them for another week before switching to a more economical form of eye drops. My eyes were sensitive to regular drops and I can only imagine how my eyes would react now.
A few more days and I visit the optometrist for my one week check-up.
One Week Later
It was an interesting day. My eyes have been bothering me since I stopped the medicated drops yesterday morning. They are a lot dryer and seem swollen. I can't seem to use enough lubricating drops. The optometrist said there is some swelling in both eyes but a little more so in the right eye. There is also a ripple in the cornea of the right eye. Hearing that kind of freaked me out a bit.
Vision wise, I've lost some acuity -- 2 lines from the reading chart from last week (I also had a hard time seeing signs when we were out and about). My optometrist consulted with TLC about the swelling, ripple etc to see if I should go back on the drops but they decided against it. I have to go back in on Tuesday to have them looked at again. This is an extra visit but I'm obviously willing to do it.
My prescription was really high and it could be a recession. They mentioned the possibility of a retreatment depending on how the next few weeks go. I'm hoping not. I'm a bit concerned but at the same time I know logically it's only been a week and I've always been a bit of a slow healer to begin with so I'm going to try to rest with my eyes closed as much as possible (apparently they heal better that way) over the weekend. I will continue with my lubricating drops (I don't think all the air conditioning helps either--it's so bloody hot out).
Regardless of the regression I think I still see better than when I had my glasses. More to come...
It was a good visit. My vision has improved back to the original reading the day after surgery. Phew! I still have a ripple in my right eye as well as some swelling so he wants me to come back in a week to check on it. He expects it to be improved but wants to be cautious. I can live with that.
He also suggested that I step up the lubricating drops to every hour while I'm awake. Otherwise he said the other eye looks perfect. There's still some swelling but it is to be expected. I have another appointment scheduled for next Monday and if all goes well the next one will be a month after that.
Enlist the Help of a Friend or Loved One
Having my husband drive me and knowing he was just on the other side of the window during the procedure was a significant help.
So was the fact he was able to drive me, feed me, and administer eye drops when I just couldn't find the target.
The Following Week
It's been almost a week since my last visit. I was counting on this being it until the one month mark but it doesn't look like it will be so.
My vision is good today and the ripple in my right eye, as well as the swelling, has improved since last week. My left eye still appears to be suffering from dryness, so much so that the optometrist thinks that my eyelid may have stuck to my cornea on getting up one morning.
This sounds incredibly serious, but it is only visible on a microscopic level. So no, my flap isn't hanging on my eye. The dryness has affected the edges of the flap enough that it feels like a little needle poking my eyelid when they become dry. Kind of like a hangnail of the cornea. The good news is the right eye is doing really well.
I have to continue with my hourly lubricating drops and have set a timer to make sure I'm getting them accurately. The optometrist has also given me some GenTeal Gel drops for bedtime. It kind of looks like Vaseline that's been mixed with a bit of water. He suggested I try using them when I'm on the comptuter for long periods (we blink less when concentrating).
He wants to see me again on Wednesday which kind of got my radar up a bit.
Both eyes are better than Monday but because I'm still complaining of discomfort, edema is still present and so is the little lip on the flap; he wants to see me again on Friday.
He's suggested some more drops to try. For the next few days I'll be using the Refresh drops every hour, the Gen Teal Gel drops 3 - 4 times a day (especially before I go on the computer) and MURO 128 ointment at night. The Muro is to help with the edema that occurs at night.
The optometrist says my eyes are significantly better than 48 hours ago. The edema has reduced, the ripples are almost gone and there are only a few dry patches on the left eye. He wants me to continue with the current regiment and see me again next Thursday. Almost a week later, so that's progress.
Vision wise, I don't feel it's changed much from the other day; although, from his testing he says it has. From a feeling perspective they feel incredibly better. I don't have that dried on contact sensation which I think was probably produced by the edema pushing against my eyelids. I still feel like I definitely need the hour Refresh drops so I'm glad to continue with those. I'm hoping another week of the MURO ointment will produce even better results for my Thursday appointment.
One Month Later
In two days it will be one month since I had my laser surgery. I was told today I haven't had the average recovery but things are definitely improving in regard to the dry spots and edema. Unfortunately, I had quite a bit of nearsightedness when he tested my acuity today. I have noticed a change since yesterday, having difficulty reading advertising signs and the subtitles on the television. The headaches started a few days ago. This could be a combination of the eye strain and the fact my neck is incredibly sore from having to tilt my head back every hour for eye drops.
My vision seems fine for everyday stuff around the house and working on the computer. In fact this past week working on the computer has been much easier although after a few hours I find I need to rest with my eyes closed to recover a bit. I can't imagine having to go back to work at a 8 - 10 hour standard job three days after the surgery. It's been a good thing I work from home and DH is off from school. Pain wise, I don't have that picking feeling I've been suffering from. I'm going to owe that to the MURO ointment at bedtime for the edema and lots of resting with eyes closed. They still feel a bit raw (too strong of a word) in general but overall I've definitely noticed progress in healing.
The bruising on the whites of my eyes is virtually gone.
He wants to see me in two weeks. Progress! Normally, if all was going according to schedule my next visit would be in three months. Until then he wants me to continue with the MURO ointment at night, the gel tears 3 - 4 times a day and to gradually try and wean off the hourly lubricating drops. Beginning with every two hours for the next 3 - 4 days to see how it feels. If I need more then I'm to use more.
Other than the near sightedness that has developed over the last few days I'm feeling better than my check in a week ago. I think I mentioned before that a regression would lead to a touch-up surgery down the road (3 month mark) but I'm not really open to that at this point. My vision can change numerous times over the next few weeks before I'm completely healed which is why they wait a least three months to do any touch-ups.
See you in two weeks!
Two Weeks Later (6 Weeks Total)
The past two weeks have been interesting. Overall, they almost feel normal. Last week I had a picky feeling for about a day or so in my left eye as I adjusted to reducing the drops from hourly to a more manageable schedule.
Current eye drop schedule: Muro at bed time, Gel Tears 3 - 4 times a day with Refresh drops in between these and as needed. So about every 2 - 3 hours depending on how they are feeling and what I'm doing.
Vision: I still don't have clear distant vision and last week reading the sub-titles on the television was difficult without squinting. This week I find that my vision seems to become a bit clearer later in the day; around supper, and then gets a bit blurry into the even. Close vision is fine. And really, my vision is incredible when compared to what it was like pre-surgery.
Doctor's Visit: He told me that the visual health of the eye looks great and has improved in the last two weeks. He wants me to continue with the Muro, gel tears and other drops. There's still a raised dry area on the left eye but he says it is very very very small. At this point he doesn't think I will need another corrective surgery. He's thinking I have pseudo-focus myopia which is caused by my eyes trying to focus too hard after having a high index for so long. The muscles controlling the focusing haven't learned to relax yet. He thinks given time they will adjust. Totally good news.
Other good news? He doesn't want to see me for a month. Wahoo!
Another Month, Another Appointment (11 Weeks Total)
It has been one month (actually 5 weeks) since I last visited the eye doctor. My vision has improved 50%. I actually knew that before I went, well not the percentage but I knew there was an improvement as I've been able to read the street signs that I couldn't a month ago.
The amount of correction required is so much that they wouldn't do a surgical correction and he said he'd be embarrassed to actually prescribe my glasses for such a small prescription. I'm not in any hurry to go under the laser again and I don't want to jump into another pair of glasses yet. I think my eyes still need time to adjust and I'm patient enough to wait.
There is still a tiny dry spot on the left eye so he wants me to continue with the Muro eye ointment at bedtime and my other drops a few times a day as needed.
Overall, he says that the eyes look good and that the pseudo-focus myopia I mentioned last month is a definite based on my descriptions and what he's seen in improvement. It could continue to improve or it could come and go in the future based on my degree of tiredness, eyestrain or night driving.
It is such a wonderful thing to be able to look around me and see without some kind of corrective eyewear. I'm feeling so much better about having had the surgery. Time and healing really do make a difference on perspective.
My next visit will be in six weeks.
Three Months Later
Actually it has been four months since my surgery. Things are going great. I only need to use my Refresh eye drops once or twice or day. My distance vision has improved although it seems to worsen if I have an intense day or an abundance of eye strain or haven't had enough sleep. I still use the Gen Teal drops or the Muro 128 at night.
My visit with the eye doctor went well. I have perfect vision in the right and just less than perfect in the left. The left one still maintains the little dry spot which he thinks might be what's spoiling the vision. He wants me to continue with the Muro at night but he said I can taper it off over the next few weeks. He doesn't want me to stop using it cold turkey in case it causes a regression.
My next visit will be in four months (only because I had my regularly scheduled appointment all ready booked).
Six Months Later
It's been six months since I had my laser eye surgery. Things are so much better today. I have been enjoying the freedom of not having glasses and have a good laugh every morning when I reach for the bedside table to grab the spectacles that no longer reside there.
My greatest problem these days is dryness. Some days it seems unbearable while others I may not even think about it. The joy of having dry heat in the winter months. I still don't have to use as many drops as I had to in the beginning but they sure do feel good when I need to. My best advice is to have your drops with you at all times because you never know if it's going to be dry or windy.
My next visit to the Eye Doc is in a few months and in the mean time I'm just going to enjoy seeing the world around me in a whole new way.
One Year Later
I had my last eye surgery exam today. The doctor gave my eyes a good bill of health. He said I still have a fraction of nearsightedness but nothing he would prescribe frames for. He gave me a regular daily low preservative drop to try (Systane) and recommended that I continue to use the Muro as needed.
Currently I'm using the Muro about once or twice a month. Eventually I won't need to use it at all. I'm still using the Refresh Plus but only one to six times a day depending on the day and activities.
Overall, I'm pleased and feeling more comfortable about the results. I can't say however that I would run out and go through the process again. But I'm happy that I had the guts to go through with it and that the majority of the healing stage has passed.
Feel free to ask me any questions in the comments below and I'll do my best to answer.
The Future Looks Bright!
A Few Years Later
I had an appointment with my optometrist yesterday so I thought it would be a good time to give an update. I still suffer with dry eyes throughout the day --- I guess I really should not use the word "suffer" because I am hardly suffering. My eyes get dry, I add a few drops, probably a couple times a day and before bed. When there is air conditioning I tend to need more. That being said, I had to use a lot of drops when I wore contact lenses too. I have completely switched over to the Systane drop which has less preservatives in them so I do not have to worry about stinging eyes.
On the brighter side, he said my vision had actually improved a bit since my last visit so that was definitely good to hear.
I never get tired of waking up in the morning and being surprised that I can see everything in the room -- no more leaning over and squinting at the clock to see what time it is! It is the little things that make me happy.
Five Years Later
In one month it will have been five years since I had my surgery. It is hard to believe how quickly the time has passed. Five years seems like a long time to get used to not having worn glasses but I still occasionally stretch across the bed in the morning to grab them or reach up to face to adjust them. It always makes me smile to myself, "Oh, yeah".
I just had my yearly exam last week and was told my eyes look great. There is some minor recession but not enough to warrant glasses unless I feel the need. Sometimes I find myself squinting at subtitles on the TV but otherwise I feel like I have clear vision.
The clearness is still affected by air dryness from air conditioning, wind etc and I find I will have to use extra drops.
Speaking of drops, they have become a part of my life. I lubricate my eyes first thing in the morning when I rise and will use drops throughout the day from two to five times depending on what I am doing and what the air quality is like. At night I am still using the Muro 128 drops and the eye doctor thinks I should continue to use them even though there is no sign of edema. I am more than willing to do that to keep the eyes healthy. It is a minor inconvenience as I had to use eye drops with contacts anyway.
It seemed like a good time to touch base. This will probably be my last update unless there is a significant change in my vision. I am thinking I will check back in another five years (and to answer any comments of course).
The Downside of Lasik
I was good at detecting spiders across the room before I had Lasik surgery, now I am phenomenal at it. Even in the shower -- where previously a spider may have had the opportunity to go undetected because I did not have my glasses on. I pity the spider who comes under my radar -- boxes of Kleenex will fly!
The downside for me is that I am probably seeing all the spiders I missed before so my anxiety level is high, especially in the summer time. And so is my husband's as he is the official designated spider caregiver -- the one who puts them back outside -- or if it is 3 a.m. smushes them.
Thank you so much for stopping by my Hubpage. I hope you'll check out some of my other topics.
I'd love to hear about your eyes and how you see the world so please leave a message below.
Oh! and don't forget to rate this hub before you go.
Moe Wood (author) from Eastern Ontario on July 07, 2014:
@writerkath: It really took me a long time to build up the nerve but I don't regret it. Really, the ativan they gave before the procedure helps immensely and telling the doctor that I needed him to tell me when he was going to touch my eye so I wouldn't jump helped a lot. Thank you for stopping by and leaving kudos. :D
Moe Wood (author) from Eastern Ontario on July 07, 2014:
@apexrr: Thanks for stopping by. I am glad it helped. I can totally relate to the hypochondriac feeling but hey, it's the eyes. It is not unusual to be worried. Here's to a speedy recovery!
apexrr on July 04, 2014:
Thank you so much for sharing. I'm at the one month mark and my wife thinks I'm being a hypochondriac. Thank you for normalizing my experience and give me hope that things will get better. A beautiful story in a very entertaining read. By the way I totally can relate to reason number one and number 16 for having LASIK. HILARIOUS!
writerkath on July 03, 2014:
I'm really glad you shaired your experience. My eyesight is similar to yours before your procedure, and my sister-in-law (an optomoetrist) asked if I had considered lasik. Now that I have read your account, it really helped me understand the complexities. I am more than a little squeamish, and am thinking that (at least for now), I'm going to just stick with my glasses. I think if there was a way to knock me out 100% so that I wasn't at all aware of it, maybe I would consider it. But I have to say that this is the best, most thorough account I have seen. Thank you so much for taking the time to write this.
EveSumsuma on February 17, 2014:
Thank you for sharing this beautiful experience. This is the most detailed laser eye surgery experience I have ever read. You have explained every point so detailed and clearly. I never had a lasik, but my cousin had a lasik surgery from Evergreen Eye Centre , Washington. I was used to seeing her in the thick rimmed glasses that when I first saw her after the surgery my first reaction was "Wow, Mish you are beautiful..."
Thank you once again for taking all this trouble, to tell your story to us. It will give strength for many who is doubtful about getting a surgery to finally go for it.
londonremovals24 on December 22, 2013:
A beautiful story. Glad that you share it.
franilyn-delta on November 22, 2013:
Great story!! so epic!
GetContactLenses on October 24, 2013:
Great story. My friend was just telling me how different it is to shave your legs in the shower after lasik. Seems pretty amazing to me. Your lens is one of the most detailed explanations here!
Mottobiz on February 09, 2013:
Amazing story... truly inspired... thanks to you.
Moe Wood (author) from Eastern Ontario on December 10, 2012:
@anonymous: Thank you for taking the time to make your thoughtful comment and offer tips. I agree, everyone needs to do the research and pick the best choice for them -- I think initially most of that research should come from talking to actual doctors and surgeons and not from the internet. For me it was the right choice and my list of pro's still stands even with the eye dryness. I hope you have a speedy recovery and that your side effects do not interfere with your enjoyment.
anonymous on December 10, 2012:
HI, I had LASIK 5 weeks ago. I have dry eye and double vision. I'm glad your story has a positive outcome and it was great to read. I hope my symptoms clear up as the months pass. However, I would recommend PRK over LASIK based on my online research. I haven't found nearly as many negative stories as I have for LASIK. The doctor talked me into LASIK over PRK because the quick recovery time, however PRK as I have read, doesn't cause the dry eye nearly as often (dry eye is probably under reported and is more likely around 35 - 50% of patients who have it after LASIK) . It also doesn't leave you with permanent flaps on your cornea. I encourage everyone to do their research on all the procedures available and don't let one doctor talk you into a procedure. See an ophthalmologist that doesn't perform the procedures in order to hear first hand experience with the patients that have had these procedures done. Again, it's good to hear these positive stories, but I personally would never recommend having eye surgery based on my experience and research (I found more websites after the surgery that I didn't know about). Keep your glasses if you can. They offer UV protection and you will be wearing sunglasses and reading glasses anyway. Your glasses can always be replaced as well. Finally, after studying your list of pro's, I thought exactly the same list. Those things are great, but in hind-site, after reading the list again, I don't see anything that is worth the risk of a major surgery. I hope this comment helps a little, not to be negative, but for the people considering the surgery, please really think on what you are about to do. P.S. you do have very nice blue/grey eyes. They are exactly like mine :)
Moe Wood (author) from Eastern Ontario on December 07, 2012:
@anonymous: Wahoo, 8 months! :D Bravo to you for going back for another enhancement. I don't think I could in such a short span. I am hoping it will be a few years. LOL. -10 is a huge change. I found it took awhile for what I call the eyeglass shadow to go away. People who wear glasses a lot have a certain look without them that other eyeglass wearers can recognize. My husband has only been wearing glasses for a few years and he developed the look pretty quickly. Anyway, I am glad things are improving. Here is to more healing. ;)
anonymous on December 07, 2012:
Hi at 8 months from original surgery! I had an enhancement done in mid October because I was undercorrected just a bit. SO much better but I was a bit freaked the week after because my reading vision felt blurrier. I noticed a distinct settling-down after about two weeks after the enhancement and I am relaxing not straining for distance. Still struggling with reading glass strength. Doc insists I shouldn't have to have more than a 1.75+ reading glass and it's partly my being used to reading things closer than I should, but I can't see fine print or light print with them and switch. But on my four week followup he says he considers me "graduated" ( no more enhancements! Yippee!) Considering I had -10 and -6.25 and astigmatism I am still VERY happy. I have the option for bifocals or progressive lenses in another few months if I really need them, and it could be that I won't need to do more than the cheap readers by then. Now for the next trick: dealing with the puffy under-the-eye area I'd been hiding behind the coke bottle glasses. :-P I really like this seeing stuff. A couple weeks ago I saw the moon without a tiny double-vision effect that had been bugging me for the past seven months, so it looks like the astigmatism is improving and I'm doing more healing.
Moe Wood (author) from Eastern Ontario on December 07, 2012:
@anonymous: Being at the computer all day is one of the hardest punishments we put on our eyes as we tend to blink a LOT less than we normally would. Put a post-it note on your monitor to remind yourself to blink more often. Also keep eye drops on your desk. If my eyes are dry then my vision tends to be blurrier -- when I wake up from a nap one of the first things I do is put eye drops in because they are dry. I keep an extra bottle in the bathroom for this purpose. So first thing in the morning and after a nap I put drops in. Lubricated eyes definitely make for better vision. Good luck with your appointment in January.
anonymous on December 06, 2012:
I'm so happy I found this story about your experience! I had my LASIK surgery on September 27 at TLC in Waterloo and have had minor "complications" just like yours since then. My left eye is what I would say 99% perfect in vision and feels just as it did before the surgery. The right eye on the other hand is much slower with the healing process. It always feels dry, and the vision keeps fluctuating on a day-to-day basis. I really hope it improves like yours has. My next appointment is in January and I can't wait to see what they say then. I work at a computer all day, so having one eye with perfect vision and the other that's slightly can be really frustrating! It's really hard to find actual, detailed descriptions of other people's experiences on the internet, so it was nice that this one popped up in my search! Just one question â did you ever find that after having a nap your vision was really blurry when you woke up? I find this is starting to happen here and there. Usually in the evening, then I'll go to bed and in the morning it's usually fairly clear again. Thanks!
Moe Wood (author) from Eastern Ontario on December 06, 2012:
@anonymous: Thank you. I hope your surgery goes well and you are enjoying the freedom of not wearing glasses in no time.
anonymous on December 06, 2012:
Wow I love details, and you are VERY detailed. This makes me feel more at ease about my appt. I am -8.75 with astigmatism. I expect some complications, but like you, I am patient, so fingers crossed all goes well!
Moe Wood (author) from Eastern Ontario on October 10, 2012:
@anonymous: Best wishes Andrew. Here's to 20/20!
anonymous on October 10, 2012:
Appreciate your journey and story. I'm going i tomorrow for my surgery, let's hope it goes well :-)
Moe Wood (author) from Eastern Ontario on September 12, 2012:
@anonymous: It's been a few years and I still do stuff like that. I woke up the other morning and reached over to grab my eye glass case and it wasn't there. :D
anonymous on September 12, 2012:
SO helpful. I'm st the 2 weeks stage post surgery, and it's so much better having your experiences to compare mine to, rather than checking against a marketing booklet. I keep laughing as I go to pop my glasses up my nose too! x
Moe Wood (author) from Eastern Ontario on September 10, 2012:
@anonymous: Thanks CT. I really appreciate the feedback from readers like you and am glad my experience has helped you feel better about yours. I totally agree with your statement that the majority of the stuff posted online is quite negative and scary (I remember when I was trying to research I found it hard to make an educated decision) and while I totally agree that it is necessary to know all those bad things that could happen it does not provide an understanding of a general experience. As for the night time dryness, my doc recommended eye drops first thing on rising. Enjoy the new sight.
anonymous on September 10, 2012:
This is truly a great read. I had lasik surgery about 2.5 months ago and my vision has been great ever since. I have mild dryness during the day that I only notice when my vision goes out of focus and refocuses when I blink once or twice. The only other thing I get is some nighttime dryness. It's hard to read anything about lasik on the internet when the most people only post because of bad experiences. Thank you for sharing this as it makes me feel better and I don't feel I really have any bad complications.
anonymous on September 07, 2012:
Thanks for the great post. I am doing the PRK next week. I love the details of your post. Great work. Very beneficial to those who are interested in laser surgery.
anonymous on September 01, 2012:
i had PRK twice actually....regressed after the first surgery. 4 months ago had the second and seeing 20/15 again. forgot how nice it was....
Moe Wood (author) from Eastern Ontario on July 24, 2012:
@anonymous: The dry eyes can definitely be bothersome at times but definitely no more so than dealing with contact lenses and glasses -- at least that is how I feel. I can see so it really makes up for it.
anonymous on July 23, 2012:
This has been really inspirational. You are a brave woman. I cannot that you enough for sharing your experiences with me and the rest of the world. I have been struggling with my annoying glasses since childhood as well, and I have just been too afraid to get anything done. I am doing my research on New York LASIK for some time. I am just afraid that the dry eyes thing will be too overwhelming. As you have shown us, it will be a bit bothersome, but I will still enjoy life with better vision and less annoying eyewear.
DiscountLASIKNJ on July 21, 2012:
Wow, very detailed review! I really like your writing style and your eyes are very beautiful :)
Moe Wood (author) from Eastern Ontario on July 17, 2012:
@anonymous: You're so right, personal eye surgery experiences are so different but some things still hold true, resting as much as possible, following the eye drop regiment religiously and talking with doctor about concerns. I know it is hard but be patient and enjoy the new vision. Thanks so much for dropping by, please come back and let us know how the healing process turns out for you.
anonymous on July 16, 2012:
i had mine done just last week and have been worried about the double vision and "not being able to drive at night " thing .. now that i have read lottsa stories online .. guess i will have to wait it out.
Don't think any amount of reading would have prepared me for it tho .. cuz different ppl have different experiences .. i know a friend who had it done many years back and she had no complications ... and perfect vision out of the procedure .
got my antiglare specs for comp usage and sunglasses for when i'm outside ... hopefully everything goes well .. and soon :)
Moe Wood (author) from Eastern Ontario on July 12, 2012:
@anonymous: Hi Dee! Thanks for coming back with an update. How much fish oil capsules did they recommend? Is there a specific kind? My eye drop usages varies a lot from day to day too -- all depends what I am doing.
anonymous on July 12, 2012:
@PromptWriter: Hi again! Three and a half months out. I had some episodes of daytime light sensitivity. The doctor's staff recommended I take fish oil capsules. They worked!!! Passing this along. I don't need as many eye drops, but that varies day to day anywhere from twice a day to every three hours and anywhere in between.
Moe Wood (author) from Eastern Ontario on July 04, 2012:
@anonymous: Thank you for saying so Aaron.
anonymous on July 04, 2012:
Many thanks for your amazing account of your timeline and journey through this sometimes exhaustive procedure. I believe you've provided me with every bit of detail to comfortably make a decision. Your lens is extremely well done and helpful!!! Keep up the great work!!!
Millionairemomma on June 16, 2012:
You provided an amazing in-depth step by step personal account of your lasik surgery. I'm sending this to my sis who was considering it. This lens deserves 100 more purple stars!!!!!!!
anonymous on May 29, 2012:
Thankyou so much for your review. I'm heading into my lasik next Friday.
You've helped me prepare and set my expectations. Thankyou :)
Moe Wood (author) from Eastern Ontario on May 29, 2012:
@anonymous: Phew! Dee, thanks for the in depth look into your experience over the last few months. I am glad you are having "fun" and managing with the minor irritations. I really appreciate you coming back and giving us an update.
anonymous on May 29, 2012:
Hi; I posted three days after surgery, now it's two months today. I am 55 so I have the reading glasses issue and that bit is fluctuating but I'm dealing with it. I was really worried when the doctor said that he thought he undercorrected me on the first-day exam because I thought it might get worse. In fact, it got better! My next exam was at 5-6 weeks and I was all worried but it turned out I see 20/20 with both eyes on the chart, 20/25 in one and 20/30 on the other. I waited one month to drive at night. Night is interesting because although I do see haloes around some headlights and traffic signals, I can also see around them and see better than before now. Even when tired I don't see worse. My night vision was always a bit iffy so not a huge deal at the moment.
It has been a great adventure. The first two weeks or so it felt like how cataract surgery has been described to me: everything was washed clean and sparkly bright, and white objects glowed as if they had been highlighted by a painter. I worked at practicing changing distance focus from nearby to far. I was in tears when I saw the double line of a plane contrail clearly when it went overhead at 30,000 or so feet up, because not seeing that double line was one of the first clues my parents had that I was nearsighted -- at age 5. I think that was a few weeks out. It still feels trippy when I am seeing middle range distance and suddenly feel as if I walked into a 3D movie with everything popping out. Things like rocks on a river shore and plants in the flower beds at just the right distance (say, five feet away).
The reading glasses I have to agree are a real pain, but still worth it. I have two strengths and my vision does fluctuate. Most irritating is small print on round medicine and shampoo bottles and things like that. I'll take them off to talk to someone, get interrupted, set them down, then want to look at something I need the glasses for and go hunt. I get impatient with the hunting but haven't gone as far as getting the dangly necklace type holders yet.
I had trouble for a while if there was a light source behind what I looked at. This is easing up. Same with lettering on lit signs or with little color contrast between the sign and the building.
I am getting more confident. Shopping I feel like I have to fake it a bit, and so I don't take my glasses out when using the card reader at the cashiers because the print is just big enough to see without them.
I had trouble with the Refresh eye drops brand (irritation and light sensitivity) and switched to Blink, and have also rotated in Tears Naturale and Systane. Rotating seems to help I've cut back, some days I still go up to one an hour, and days like today forgot them entirely for eight, average four. Doc says some people do have problems with Refresh. It has a different active ingredient than the others.
I still get redness though -- sometimes looks bloodshot/like a varicose vein would look, other times pink like sunburn. But coming a long way. I had struggles with glare on cloudy hazy days that I don't have in full sun. This does change back and forth. I am told fish oil helps with inflammation (by doc) and I wear sunglasses a bit more often than I used to. Worth it, though. I was worried that if a disaster hit and I lost my glasses, or if someone stole them, I'd be a helpless sitting duck. I wake up every morning now, marvelling at the whole idea of sight, feeling it is a precious gift.I tell people I have new eyes, because that is what it feels like. Hope this keeps up (fingers crossed).
I changed my hair style not that long ago and people know something is different and tell me how great my hair is because they sense something but can't quite place it. I am loving that! (When I have eyestrain, which does happen a lot, it shows. When I'm comfortable, people think it's something new I'm wearing or my hair color or something. This is fun.
I hope this helps you and your readers a bit. My main thing right now is eye redness, but I do use the eyes a LOT and have to make sure I rest them.
anonymous on May 24, 2012:
it is good to know that you are getting along well with post lasik complications i.e. dry eyes and halos. i had prescription around -4 that increased to -7 after birth of my daughter. i was literally freaked out when my doctor told me my new prescription. i instantly decided to go for lasik. i used to wear glasses at home and lens during office hours for past 9 years. that had caused dryness in my eyes. now although my eyes are still dry (have to apply lubricant Tears Naturale II) and have trouble in night time vision, but that nothing compared to the cumbersome practice of switching between glasses and lenses.
Moe Wood (author) from Eastern Ontario on May 21, 2012:
@anonymous: Hi Janice,
Thank you for sharing your lengthy account of your experience. I think it is hard to be ready for any side effect -- there are so many and there is no way to predict who will get which ones.
Seems like you have quite a few doctors with their fingers in the pot.
Are you using eye drops? I was wondering as I was reading if you tried drops on the days you can't see the computer as clearly if that helped or not. I find on any days that my vision is a bit blurred eye drops definitely make an improvement.
I think the fact that your husband had had to get used to things gradually is definitely different but having to deal with three pairs of glasses seems ridiculous -- the doctors should be able to come up with a better solution for you. I don't imagine wearing your temp glasses all the time is good for your eyes either.
You are still pretty fresh being 2 months in. I hope your eyes level out for you over the next few months and you are able to see more benefits. Keep us informed for sure!
anonymous on May 20, 2012:
Thank you for writing about your experience. I'm 2 months post op from Custom Wavefront LASIK at LASIK MD. I was a good candidate for standard LASIK but I opted for CWL because it removes 20%-30% less corneal tissue and also minimizes the risk of night time glare and halos.
My prescription was in the - 4 area. I often looked under the rim of my glasses to read something quick or to do close up work. No big deal but bifocals were definitely in my future. I now have 20/20 vision but need readers thanks to aging ;-)
During my assessment I was told I would need reading glasses, probably 1.50. I used my husband as a point of reference because he needs readers of that strength. That,coupled with the certainty that bifocals were fast becoming a reality helped me to make up my mind. All my favorite hobbies require close up work so I thought it over long and hard and decided to go through with it anyway. I thought I'd be glasses free except when making jewelry or reading a book.
At this stage, glasses are more intrusive than ever. I need a different strength for different tasks. I have 3 pairs right now! Before surgery I put my glasses on when I got out of bed and that was it, end of story. I rarely took them off...ever.
Now I feel like I'm continually looking for my glasses. I need a pair to prepare meals. I have a hard time being able to see well enough to garden (weeding, pruning, etc) with or without reading glasses.
I need a different strength for the computer and 1 more pair for reading. I haven't attempted to make any jewelry at all since I had the surgery and shopping has become a real bother as I'm constantly fumbling with glasses, having to keep them handy,dropping them, misplacing them, etc. I don't see myself very clearly in the mirror at all. I need them so much I tend to just keep them on but if I try and look at a distance I get all woozy.
When I mentioned it at one of my followups the Dr. acted quite defensive and said we had discussed this possibility and had talked about mono-vision. Ummm...NO we hadn't; as a matter of fact I'd never once met her until then. So I didn't say much else to her about it. I figured I was still changing quite a bit so I wasn't going to get too bent out of shape about it.
My next appointment I had another Dr. and again mentioned the trouble I was having, she was much more sympathetic but couldn't offer any help. I told her I was having a hard time adjusting and that I didn't realize that my "needing reading glasses" would be that all encompassing. I had assumed I'd be like DH and need them only for close up. He doesn't need them for computer or his phone or most other stuff other than SOME reading. I can't see the buttons on the TV remote for heaven's sake. She seemed aware that it could happen and said she wished I'd known that would have been a possibility. So why didn't they tell me???
I think part of the difficulty to adjust is also the abruptness of the change. DH has been adjusting slowly, over years. Mine is overnight, so I think I likely haven't developed the coping strategies or 'tricks' needed to adjust to the new sight (or lack of it) and all that it entails.
My sight does still seem to be changing, some days are better than others. Sometimes I can read the computer without glasses but its not crisp. I'm hoping my eyes will continue to progress and I will eventually be more in line with my previous expectations and I'll be able to continue my hobbies. If not I will adjust and make the best of it.
But knowing what I know now, would I go through it again? At this point, no. I had the surgery to get rid of glasses (as much as possible) instead they are more of a nuisance now than ever.
If in 6 months time I can do most everything then chances are I'd say yes...only time will tell.
The reason I shared this is to let people know of one potential outcome. It may not happen to them; but I would prefer going into something like this with as many details as possible and making an informed decision.
Moe Wood (author) from Eastern Ontario on May 19, 2012:
@anonymous: Hi Sam, You're welcome, I am glad you found it helpful. I am not familiar with the light issue you mention. I will recommend making sure you take lots of breaks while working on the computer or watching tv. When I say break, I mean taking a minute or two and looking away from what you are looking at, making sure to blink etc. If you are at the computer then looking into the distance, out a window or across the room is important. While doing computer work we tend to lock our eyes in place for long periods. I hope this light issue you are experiencing is not a permanent issue but it definitely sounds like something you should talk to your doctor about. Thanks for stopping by and commenting on your experience.
anonymous on May 19, 2012:
Hi BigGirlBlue. I must say I found your experience to be quite similar to mine, so thank you for this update. You've relieved my mind a bit, because my left eye is also quite a bit weaker than my right eye (perfect vision, left slight prescription). The only thing is that it bothers me slightly. When I'm on the computer or watching tv it sometimes feels like there's a slight light hitting one spot on my left eye, and it's mildly annoying. I'm not sure if that's because the eye is slightly weaker or not. Did you experience anything like that (I had my first surgery 6 months ago and the second one for re-correction 2 months ago)? If so, did it go away? I'm also being totally paranoid right now about it, and hoping it's not a permanent thing. :)
Moe Wood (author) from Eastern Ontario on April 29, 2012:
@anonymous: I don't think the apprehension ever goes a way. LOL I started rubbing my eyes the other day because some dust blew in them then I remembered, I am not supposed to rub my eyes like a mad thing. I was paranoid for the rest of the day.
anonymous on April 29, 2012:
Excellent article...I just underwent LASIK so am apprehensive on a daily basis. So your diary was incredibly useful
Moe Wood (author) from Eastern Ontario on April 15, 2012:
@Virginia Allain: Having your cataracts done will definitely be an improvement. My MIL just had her second one done. She was super nervous but was glad she had them done... after the fact.
Virginia Allain from Central Florida on April 15, 2012:
I wish I could get my nerve up to try this. Like you, I've worn coke bottle glasses forever (and contact lenses in this photo). Since I've had cataracts forming the past 3 years, it may be when those get operated on, that it will all be corrected. Sigh
Moe Wood (author) from Eastern Ontario on April 05, 2012:
@anonymous: Good luck Cecilia. I hope you will come back and tell us how it went! I actually hate the personal space invasiveness of eye exams (or any exam really ) as well. As for the dry eyes, you just deal with it like you deal with anything else in your life. You develop a routine and it gets easier. Mine is just one experience.
anonymous on April 05, 2012:
I have my LASIK scheduled for this morning!!! And I'm having second thoughts :/ your list of things you are looking forward to, is identical to what my expectations are, however I get extremely anxious when it comes to my eyes. Eye exams are nerve wrecking & the pre-testing process for the LASIK procedure was kind of a nightmare, in terms of how uncomfortable I was the doctor "all up in my eyes". Reading your story has helped, but it's making me think about the possibility of this being more than just "instant HD vision" once the procedure is done. I too am an impatient person & I'm not sure how I'd handle the constant dry eye issue u had with your left eye. Thank you so much for sharing your story!
Moe Wood (author) from Eastern Ontario on April 01, 2012:
@anonymous: You have the advantage of working as an OA both to see patients and to ask your doctor many questions. Problem is it sounds like you only see what happens when things go wrong. There are many opinions for and against and you are right that you need to develop your own opinion on the issue and make a choice from there. Visiting more than one clinic is a must. I am sure you will make the right choice for you.
Moe Wood (author) from Eastern Ontario on April 01, 2012:
@anonymous: Hi Dee, Such a variance between both eyes! You can really appreciate the improvement as I do I imagine. I definitely had lots of fluctuations (yes, both up and down) in the beginning but it did taper off as my eyes retrained themselves. The computer definitely is our enemy in this case. You should try to avoid it as much as possible in the beginning and when you can't then take lots of breaks looking away from the screen to the distance for a few minutes. Set an alarm to remind you because time working at the the computer goes by fast. As you can see from the picture above I had a bit of bruising to the eye too but it cleared up rather quickly. I can't see me going for an enhancement unless there is a drastic change at this point. Once was kind of enough for me. My eyes are better than they were and will probably never be as bad as that again. I may need glasses in the future for a bit of clarity but I don't imagine it will beyond a -2 which is something I could live with (obviously I don't want to today but down the road I would be fine with). Thank you for commenting and best wishes for your recovery.
anonymous on April 01, 2012:
It's the wee hours of Sunday morning and I had my all laser surgery on Thursday. I had a stronger prescription than you, -10 in my left eye and about -6.75 in my right eye plus astigmatism, and had bifocals. I'm astounded at improvement but seeing lots of fluctuations in distance vision so far. I am a lawyer and do tons of stuff on computer and reading and am struggling a bit with that (probably trying to do too much too fast) Thanks for posting this, it's very helpful. My one day exam I could only see two lines on the chart and doc thinks he may have undercorrected me which is a bit discouraging but things seem to have picked up the next day. It sounds as if you went up and down for a while, am I right? Not just one direction? The funny thing is, what was my most nearsighted eye came out better than the other one at least so far. I was also struck by your comment about the focusing. I feel as if I need to retrain my eyes and brain and need to actively practice how to see. And should probably get the heck off this computer :-) A great blog, thank you! The surgery went great, the one thing that freaked me out was the pressure device they put on to do the flap. My right eye has some blotchy redness under the top lid. My left eye is kind of sore -- I woke up last night with the goggles pushed up so the edge was pushing on my left eye a bit which scared me but no changes in vision from it. It is reassuring that with your fluctuations you don't appear to have needed an enhancement. Working on getting used to reading glasses; I had progressive (lineless) bifocals quite a few years and loved them but the glasses themselves for the past fifty years were beginning to drive me nuts and I could never tolerate contacts. Thanks for letting me do a 3 am ramble !!
anonymous on March 28, 2012:
You have made me feel more at ease about going ahead with Lasik. I have the option of doing either Lasik or PRK, my cornea thickness are just slightly below average, but I will have enough left regardless of which procedure I choose. It was great to read such a detailed experience. It really puts things into perspective of what could happen, and also how wonderful it will turn out over time.
I am still young (22) but I have worn glasses since I was 7. Feels like a lifetime.
Unfortunately for me, I may have a little too much information stuck in my head as I work as an Ophthalmic Assistant; my doctor specializes in cataracts and glaucoma, and we see patients who have had issues after lasik and prk which also freaks me out. But I know this is something that I have been wanting to do for a long time and Im quite excited for it.
I am going for another opinion though to make sure I do what is best for my eyes, not just what someone has suggested for me from their own opinion and/or preference.
Moe Wood (author) from Eastern Ontario on March 23, 2012:
@anonymous: Hi Tarri, You really have to consider what my prescription was compared to yours. The laser stayed on each of my eyes much longer than it would stay on yours with a prescription of only -1.5 -- I think this probably plays a huge part in the healing process afterward. It is normal to be scared, you should be scared. It is your eyes after all. I was terrified for years at the idea of it and right up to the surgery. I can't tell you what will happen or whether you should do it. You need to make the decision and commit to it no matter what happens afterward -- you'll deal with it. For me it is not the end of the world to use eye drops every day compared to the vision impairment I had before but not everyone's lifestyle is so accommodating. Honestly, had I only had a -1.5 prescription I probably would not have had the surgery -- but that is me. I am sure you will make the right decision for you. Keep open the lines of communication between your doctors/surgeon. No question is too stupid for them to answer. Good luck!
anonymous on March 23, 2012:
Awesome story... Making me kinda second guess my decision to have surgery ... I have only -1.5 In both eyes and was approved for the lowest cost procedure at LASIK md... I hate glasses and can't stand contacts... I really can't afford time off so I need to be able to work in about two days post surgery.. I do admin at a dental office.. The thought of all the dryness scares me and so does permanent redness and halos... I really want to say bye bye to my glasses but I'm kinda scared that I'm risking my perfectly healthy eyes... What do you think??
Moe Wood (author) from Eastern Ontario on March 15, 2012:
@anonymous: Thanks for visiting. You have to check with the clinic. Because you are a special prescription they need to do an evaluation and then they will give you a price. It is not cheap like the minor adjustments you see advertised on tv for a few hundred and most likely it will be in the few thousand dollars range, more if you have any other eye issues. That being said with new technology and increased availability prices may have changed. You won't know until you ask the clinic you are considering using. I think the consultation visits are free so take advantage of those information sessions.
anonymous on March 14, 2012:
Hi thanks for sharing the story.
I want to do lasik here in toronto but I was wondering about how much it costs? I have -10.5 on both eyes so I'm a bit worse than you were before lasik
anonymous on March 12, 2012:
@PromptWriter: Ok, thanks. Yea some people make it sound like you heal instantly. I didn't have any stinging like you did after surgery though. I felt pressure behind my eyes at times but that was about it.
Moe Wood (author) from Eastern Ontario on March 11, 2012:
@anonymous: I'd say by day two things were pretty crisp and clear. The only vision that is different for me is really really close up; like if I was trying to look at something really small, before I would bring it within a few inches of my face but now I can't focus like that. But that is something they told me would happen because of my vision prior. The healing process definitely takes a longer time than people expect but it doesn't hurt to keep a list of questions for your doctor. If you are concerned I would still talk to the people who did the surgery. Their eye equipment is more advanced than the optometrist's office usually.
anonymous on March 11, 2012:
@PromptWriter: Thanks. I've been to 2 follow ups with my optometrist now and my next one is in 2 weeks. She told me it's possible that it could take 6 months before things clear up. I'm not really sure what it is but it just feels as though I saw clearer with glasses. I mean I can see things now but it's just not as crisp and clear as before. Do you find your vision as clear as when you wore glasses?
Moe Wood (author) from Eastern Ontario on March 11, 2012:
@anonymous: Vision was hazy for a few hours after surgery but still better than before surgery. My vision overall now is better because I don't have to wear glasses at all to see or read. You should probably call up the clinic and voice your concerns so they can get you in for a check up.
anonymous on March 11, 2012:
Hey, is your vision less clear than it was with glasses? I went to the same place as you and had my surgery performed by the same doctor 2 weeks ago but I just feel as though I saw clearer with glasses. I was a bit over -8 in both eyes.
RaZoRLeGaCy on February 15, 2012:
My wife had this done
Moe Wood (author) from Eastern Ontario on February 11, 2012:
@newbizmau: Thank you for letting me know! I have updated the eyedrop link. I find it very interesting how we all respond so differently and it is good to see all outcomes.
Moe Wood (author) from Eastern Ontario on February 11, 2012:
@anonymous: I was definitely scared and it took me many years to work up to it.
Moe Wood (author) from Eastern Ontario on February 11, 2012:
@anonymous: I was so positive I responded to this message. Based on my experience I would say yes but it really something you should discuss with your doctor as there may be other issues he could discuss with you. I wouldn't do any enhancements for at least a year but that is me. I hope things have improved since you posted.
Maurice Glaude from Mobile, AL on February 11, 2012:
Just a note to update your link for the eyedrops. By the way I really enjoyed you journaling your experience. I went through the experience with an ex. It seemed very easy for him. He was up and around in just 1 day with just wearing protective eye wear when he slept and outdoors for added protection. I was surprised at all the precautions you listed here. I don't remember all of that. I still want to have lasik done.
anonymous on February 09, 2012:
thanks for the detailed sum up of ur experience!! Anyone who opts for lasik are reaaaaaalllly brave!!! I want to do lasik too but too scared of the consequences and the procedures! :((
E L Seaton from Virginia on February 02, 2012:
Glad it worked out. I'm a big near sighted chicken!
anonymous on January 31, 2012:
Hello BigGirlBlue! Thanks for your detailed story. It's nice to read something positive and realistic on the web ( after going through some horror stories of lasik). I'm having concern on my recently lasiked eyes ( 26 days since my op). I had 20/20 vision right after the op ( with 20/15 when I had glasses pre-op) but that has regressed to 20/40 with slight myopia on my last visit. My question to you is, based on your experience, is there a chance that my vision would improve over the months?
I am really hesitant about doing any enhancements, since I suffer from dry eyes and slow healing process. I actually had DLK stage one on my right eye, but that has cleared up now....:)
anonymous on January 26, 2012:
Returning with a blessing for those beautiful eyes!
Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on January 13, 2012:
I had been considering this for years but fear just gets over me. My sister had one and is really happy with her new vision.
Moe Wood (author) from Eastern Ontario on December 01, 2011:
@anonymous: I always had difficulty driving at night when I had glasses, glares, clarity. If on a highway I would have cars passing me because I was going so slow. I find my vision is actually improved some but outdoor light fixtures are not really start bursts per se but they are not just light fixtures either, there is a bit of a glow to them. But I am not bothered by them while driving. I guess everyone is different. I do not do a lot of night driving because I don't have to. Apparently there are special driving glasses you can get if there is a problem with night driving after surgery but I cannot vouch for them. Taking in to account how much night driving you do is very important before making your decision. Unfortunately, there is no way to predict how your eyes will respond. Talk to your doctor about the stats and night driving glasses so you can make an informed decision.
anonymous on December 01, 2011:
@anonymous: I have issues with night driving - my doctor gave me a prescription for night driving. I did not like glasses and I had monovision and I can see the computer and paperwork great now without glasses, but if I had to do it again, I would not do it. My opinion. It's overrated.
anonymous on December 01, 2011:
I am currently considering LASIK at TLC and am actually booked for Jan. I am wondering how you find night driving today? do you have problems with star bursts? or floaters? any honest feedback would be great. Do you find you saw better before in glasses?? Thanks so much :)
Moe Wood (author) from Eastern Ontario on November 09, 2011:
@anonymous: If the halos persist I think there is a special eye glass you can get for driving at night. Ask your doctor about it.
anonymous on November 09, 2011:
@anonymous: Thank you for your reply. I really appreciate it. Depending on people to drive me to and from work is something I'm having a hard time with. I am definitely staying in touch with the doctors.
Renaissance Woman from Colorado on November 08, 2011:
It was interesting to read about your lasik journey. I had this same surgery several years ago. Like you, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't run right out and go through the experience again. The surgery was nothing. I was amazed with that part of the process. My eyes were so dry afterwards (and still). I do wear a very minor prescription now for reading and driving. The whole science of Lasik is mind-boggling. It is amazing the options we have these days. Thanks for sharing so others can better consider the choices. Appreciated!
Moe Wood (author) from Eastern Ontario on November 08, 2011:
@anonymous: Any concerns you have you should definitely talk with your surgeon or eye doctor. It is still really early so try not to concern yourself with halos at the moment you still have some healing to do. But definitely talk to your doctor and get your concerns and symptoms addressed -- there is no such thing as being too paranoid when it comes to your eyes and your surgeon/eye doctor will know best.
anonymous on November 08, 2011:
I had lasik on October 28th. I had inflammation in the right eye (for distance). I had monovision - left eye for close up - right eye for distance. They decided to lift the flap and rewash the right eye. The next day the inflammation was gone and now I just have corneal swelling. The swelling is gone down, I only have to do the steroid drops in the right eye every 4 hours, with the antibiotic. I cannot see to drive at night, the halos are awful. will this ever go away? I'm worried. Today I have water coming from my right eye. Is that a sign of healing. Will I ever be able to drive at night. I'm concerned. Thank you.
anonymous on October 25, 2011:
I have made some bad decisions in my life but having Lasik is not one. I am grateful for the fantastic vision I enjoy.
whereru1960 on October 25, 2011:
I had Lasik 4 years ago. I was legally blind in my right eye with glasses. Since my procedure my eyes have stabilized and I enjoy great vision now. I can't believe I sat on the fence so long.
Jamie-Isherwood on October 25, 2011:
what a great story my mom had the surgery done as well dryness and sensitivity. Your story is awesome and very well detailed. I found it very informative
Laura Hofman from Naperville, IL on October 19, 2011:
Nicely done - very informative lens! I had this same surgery 6 years ago and it was one of the best things I've ever done! No problems, just some dryness the 1st six months and a little light sensitivity. Since then, perfect vision...no contacts, no eyeglasses, no hassles. I'm very happy I took the plunge!
James Jordan from Burbank, CA on October 01, 2011:
I like how honest you were in it. Very balanced. I am so nervous to get this since my eyes are so important for what I do. I am still hesitant. Also the down time would have to be scheduled so I wouldn't have to work. Thank you!
jays23 lm on September 30, 2011:
Thank you for sharing your experience. You were so brave just going through that surgery. I have been near sighted since I was 13 and I have been wearing contact lenses but the thought of surgery on my eyes really scares me. Your lens was full of insights. This is a great read!
samsaradakini on September 28, 2011:
That was very excellent documentation of your experience! I selected No, I am not considering it because I had similar already and I LOVE the freedom of no glasses so much!!! I am so glad you love it.... I have so many friends who had Lasik and were also happy with it. [They could not do it on me as my corneas are too thin so I had to have PRK which is a harder recovery apparently. Maybe I'll Lens *my* experience.] I use those same brand of drops and love them.
Anthony Godinho from Ontario, Canada on September 25, 2011:
Excellent lens on your experience with eye surgery. I've been wearing glasses for about 10 year now mainly for driving. I'm slowly starting to have little trouble reading small print which I could read clearly before. I've thought about laser surgery, however, I'm so not comfortable putting any foreign body in my eye that I wouldn't even consider wearing contact lenses. But maybe one day, I will seriously think about it. Thanks for sharing this detailed information with us...it was really helpful and I'm glad that overall it went well for you. Congrats on LOTD!
anonymous on September 25, 2011:
Thank you so much for that. I have my appt. on friday and I really wanted to know what it felt like after and what to expect...no one seemed to be able to answer that for me. Your description was exactly what I was looking for. Thank you.
anonymous on September 24, 2011:
Your lens is great :)
DebMartin on September 24, 2011:
Thank you for all the information and congratulations on your success with Lasik. Good for you!
Bellezza-Decor from Canada on September 23, 2011:
Glasses are a pain. Luckily I only need them for reading and distance i.e. while driving. I remember when I got my first contacts and they insisted that they train me on how to put them in. Well apparently I don't like anything poking around my eyes. I got over it though. I still think your brave.
quicpost on September 23, 2011:
Thanks for your article it really is helpful. I was thinking about laser surgery until my doctor said I have dry AMD. I pray to Holy Saint Lucy for healing and curing my eyes. I love to read. Thanks again.
msbaby on September 23, 2011:
I haven't compared our actual prescriptions but your pre-Lasik history is identical to my own. Glasses really stink and I get so very tired of dealing with contacts so your story was very interesting to me. Being a total surgery-phobic person, I (get ready this sounds like you, too) will probably have to think about it for quite a while before jumping in and getting the procedure but thanks to you I have added another check or two in the "positive" column of having it done. Thanks for taking the time to share your experience.
anonymous on September 23, 2011:
Besides being a really good lens this has been highly informative and very, very helpful (yes, I am thinking of Lasik surgery). Many thanks for taking the time to relate your experience.
seeker2011 lm on September 23, 2011:
Like many, hate glasses, can not wear contacts. But the cost of eye surgery is a little bit too much for now. One day. Nice lense, or perhaps... No need for lenses!
Laniann on September 23, 2011:
Your are truly amazing that you had Lasik surgery. I would be too frightened to do anything like that.
EpicFarms on September 23, 2011:
This is great...corrective eye surgery has been on my radar for a really long time (I HATE my glasses ;o) I'm with Warner though; 'til I win the lottery or something it's probably not gonna happen. Congratulations on LOTD and your nice new vision!
anonymous on September 23, 2011:
I really admire you for your guts. I have thought about it, but I cannot see myself doing it, I'm even scared of the cataract surgery that is in my future already.
SheilaVine LM on September 22, 2011:
Well I've thought about it but I am still too scared thanks for the lens