For those of you who had LASEK, please read and help

Research your concerns in this forum or post your questions if you have had Lasik, IntraLasik, PRK, LASEK, Epi-Lasik, RLE, or P-IOL within the past three months.

For those of you who had LASEK, please read and help

Postby rjr3790 » Sun Aug 26, 2007 1:06 am

Hi all, before i ask any questions, i'll introduce myself and talk about the surgery just to give you a general overview.

I am 21 years old
I am male
I have worn contacts/glasses since i was 14 years old
My contacts were -3.75 each (i forget what the term is called)

I had LASEK done on both of my eyes on August 18th, precisely one week ago. So far, i have had ups and downs in both vision and pain/discomfort.

Hours after my surgery, i was fine and could see but it was still blurry (kind of like when your contacts were old and dirty). That was fine.

The next few days, i had some moderate pain in my eyes mainly due to dry eyes, but my vision improved just a little bit. I saw my doctor the day following surgery and he said i was healing "faster" than normal which was very good news. On Monday, i had to go in again and got my contacts taken out and he put in new/softer ones because the contacts had been bothering me a lot.

On Wednesday, 4 days after my surgery, i got my contacts taken out and my eyes were completely healed. My vision improved and i could see 20/40 with my right eye and 20/50 with my left eye.

Thursday night, i all of a sudden got a sharp stinging pain in my right eye and it kept me up all night. I had showered earlier and some water got into my eyes and i rubbed it a littler so i think it was very irritated. I toughed it out and fortunately, it went away slowly yesterday afternoon. My vision was still about the same.

However, the discomfort in my right eye came back today but it was not as bad as before. I took a Vicod*n pill and used the eye drops and artificial tears as suggested by my doctor. The discomfort went away but one thing worries me. My vision in my right eye seems to have worsened just a tad bit. It seems to be around 20/50ish as opposed to 20/40 like it was before. I know it's normal for vision to fluctuate in the few weeks after surgery but it's the first time i have noticed it.

Now on to the questions

1) Is it ok to take Vicod*n if you are experiencing pain? It doesn't affect the healing process or anything?

2) I am leaving Friday the 31st to go back to school which is 6 hours away from my home. Is my vision going to be ready by then? The doctor told me it takes about 7-14 days and it's already been 7 days but what if my vision isn't improved by then? I have heard stories that people had to wait up to 3-6 weeks before noticing improved vision.

3) Sometimes my right eye hurts when i blink (but not bad enough to get it checked out). Are there any artificial tears or eye drops that i could use to help it? Does it make sense to tape shut my eye if necessary?

4) Is it ok to use eye drops that are not prescribed by your doctor? Sometimes i use the "Clear Eyes" eye drops but i don't know if it's dangerous or whatnot. I still use the ones he told me to use.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I know i may be a little paranoid and need to be patient but i am very concerned if things do not improve.

Sorry for any spelling errors or typos. It's hard to read the screen cus it's still blurry
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Postby rjr3790 » Sun Aug 26, 2007 3:08 am

I had just recieved a private message from someone on this board but it is disabled and i am unable to see it. If whoever sent me a message sees this and would like to send me another one or anyone who would like to speak privately, send it to my email which is rjr3790@rit.edu

Thanks
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Postby bathory313 » Sun Aug 26, 2007 6:03 am

First: You should NEVER 'tough it out' when it comes to sudden changes or pain after eye surgery.

If you rubbed your eye, you may be having issues with the flap; from what I've read, it can be easy in the initial healing stages to cause movement or wrinkling of the flap. You might also have debris under the flap.

You should always ask your doc before switching eye drops. I've driven my eye center bananas with calls and questions. You think you are being paranoid; I think you are not being paranoid enough. I'd strongly recommend seeing your doc ASAP. Yes, it is very early in your healing process, but if there IS a problem, it'd be best to find it out now.
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Postby charles.robinson » Sun Aug 26, 2007 4:14 pm

There is no "flap" with LASEK but you do have the epithelial layer that needs to regenerate. When it is peeled away and replaced, the part that was peeled eventually dies off as it is replaced by new cells growing inwards.

However - this can take a long time and can be uncomfortable while you're waiting. I experienced "significant" discomfort with each of my eyes for up to 3-4 days after the procedure.

My first eye was done on the 26th of June and it took about 6 weeks before my vision was completely stabilized and clear. My second was done two weeks later (July 10) and is still just a shade fuzzy.

First off - DON'T RUB YOUR EYES. That's a bad idea. You can disrupt your epithelial layer and you can make it hurt like hell.

You should be able to take whatever painkillers you need as long as it doesn't affect your ability to function! I pretty much sat around the house for the first couple days after each of my eyes were done so I was able to take "whatever I wanted" (within reason).

I found that after about a week and a half, my vision was good enough that I could "fake it" in town because I didn't have the need to read things really closely. In short, I could maneuver around town but I'm sure glad I didn't have to read a map (or house numbers) or do anything that required detailed vision. So - if it's going to be two weeks post-procedure when you go back to school, you should be "OK" - and by "OK" I mean that you'll probably be able to function and should be fairly comfortable, but don't expect razor-sharp vision that soon.

Last thing I'd recommend is that if you have any questions about what works for your healing process, you really should call your doctor's office. After spending who-knows-how-many thousand dollars for your procedure, you have at least earned the right to bug them as many times as you need to get the answers you are looking for.

I had a point about 1.5 weeks post-procedure where I thought "uh-oh, I've made a mistake" but you've just got to wait it out. 4-6 weeks is a more realistic timeframe to expect good results from LASEK (although I wish I'd been told that more clearly before I went under the laser). I'd thought I would see significant results after just a week so I was a little surprised at how long it took.

Hang in there!

-Charles
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Postby rjr3790 » Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:03 pm

Charles, thanks for the reply

I had exactly the same thought last night .. second guessing myself and belieiving i made a mistake. However, i will hang in there and i'm generally a patient person. I just need to see clear enough for when i go back to school so i can read. It's weird how it's less blurry when i am looking at a distance but it's more blurry when i read things up close.

I have one question though

Is it normal for your vision to be at it's best in the morning when you wake up and then it starts to get more blurry as the day goes on? I assume that being tired or being awake and constantly focusing on things all day make your eyes tired or something. I hope it happened to you .. or otherwise i'm gonna be scared.
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Postby charles.robinson » Mon Aug 27, 2007 1:03 pm

rjr3790 wrote:Charles, thanks for the reply
Is it normal for your vision to be at it's best in the morning when you wake up and then it starts to get more blurry as the day goes on? I assume that being tired or being awake and constantly focusing on things all day make your eyes tired or something. I hope it happened to you .. or otherwise i'm gonna be scared.


Don't know for sure if it's "normal" but that's sure what happened to me!

It was quite frustrating to wake up, hold my hands out in front of my eyes and think "hey, I can see those pretty clearly!" and then have the vision get blurrier as the day went on.

Thankfully that doesn't happen anymore....
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Postby rjr3790 » Thu Aug 30, 2007 7:30 pm

I just had my latest checkup today and it was nothing but good news.

Doctor says my eyes are healing faster than normal and he described the epithelium layer how it still looks "bumpy" and it will smoothen over in 1-2 weeks. My left eye was around 20/20 and my right is about 20/25. I still experience some fuzzy vision but i'm sure it will go away.

I am quite relieved after being concerned all week and will be ready to go when school starts next week.
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Postby LasikExpert » Fri Aug 31, 2007 1:34 am

rjr3790 wrote:I had just recieved a private message


No one can legitimately send you a private message because the system has been disabled. This is a spammer attemtping to use a private message back door.
Glenn Hagele
Volunteer Executive Director
USAEyes

Lasik Info &
Lasik Doctor Certification

I am not a doctor.
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Postby rjr3790 » Sat Sep 01, 2007 5:03 pm

Update

I am now at the 2-week mark post-op and there are ups and downs. When i wake up in the morning, my left eye is perfect (20/20) but my right eye is still a tad bit fuzzy (like i experience a little ghosting) and it's not as clear as my left eye.

By the time it's late evening and night time, both of my eyes get very blurry and it's hard to see clearly. I also experience halos and the "ghosting" is more noticeable. I know it's probably common for your eyes to worsen later on because it's healing and you get tired .. and so forth.

I guess my only concern is my right eye. It seems to be a little behind my left eye and i'm wondering if there's a chance it's over/under corrected. Is there any way to know? Or do i just need to be patient and wait a few more weeks?
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Postby rjr3790 » Tue Sep 18, 2007 4:48 am

Update

I am now 4.5 weeks post-op and i am finally happy! My vision is perfect (except slight blurriness at night-time and halos which is slowly going away each day) and while it had been a long recovery process, i am satisfied with the results. I followed Charles advice, which was to be patient, and it works.

The only slight problem other than night-time blurriness and halos is the dry eyes i experience when i wake up in the morning or am tired after a long day. It's not a big deal to me since i still have artificial tears and they help tremendously.

Glenn - I have a question for ya. Even though i am using artificial tears, my eyes are usually red (not itchy or irritated though, i think it's just my genetic makeup) so i was wondering if it's ok to use clear eyes or visine (or any other kind that you may think is better) to help clear redness in my eyes. I just hate feeling like i "look tired" or "haven't slept in days" (according to my friends) when i am really not.

I'd appreciate your help
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