Is my progress normal?

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.

Is my progress normal?

Postby John_in_WI » Fri Feb 15, 2008 7:38 pm

I just had LASEK done on Jan. 16, both eyes. I don't have info on my prescription from before, but my vision was worse than 20/500. As of my last visit (Jan. 28) to the surgeon/ophthalmologist, I am now at 20/70 left eye, and 20/40 right eye, 20/40 overall. I am 48 years old and in good health, and had glasses for myopia and slight astigmatism since age 8.

I haven't had any of the problems with haze, arcs, or starbursts since the surgery was done and have had no pain since the night of the surgery. Bandage contacts were removed on schedule on day 5, with no appreciable change in my vision afterwards (but great relief they were out--my eyes have never tolerated contacts well!). My major problem is significant ghosting in both eyes.

I am seeing multiple ghosts. Up until a week ago, the ghost images were mostly above the focused image, in a fan shape. Lately they seem to have moved so that they appear centered around the focused image. The ghosts appear to be "sharper" in clarity than they were before they moved, but there are still as many of them as before. They make it difficult for me to read distant objects that don't have either large letters or high contrast, and PowerPoint shows are now almost impossible for me to read. Night vision is just good enough that I feel I can drive, but I get nervous in heavy traffic.

The doctor says healing will take time, maybe up to three months, but I expected to see a gradual improvement as healing progresses. That isn't happening and it has me worried. I don't see the doctor again until March 3.

Is this normal for four weeks+ post-op? Do the slight changes in the ghosting indicate healing is progressing normally? What should I expect for the progression of this? I have read many of the threads on this topic and the experiences vary widely. Is there anyone out there who can fill me in on whether my situation is "normal" and when I can expect to see a clear improvement? Many thanks for any info out there.
John_in_WI
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2008 7:06 am

Postby Blindbat2007 » Fri Feb 15, 2008 9:07 pm

Yes, your progress is normal. If you have been reading the posts here than you surely must have come across mine, Blindbat2007. I had Customvue Lasek on Dec 6, 2007.

Ghosting was my biggest complaint. I am 10 weeks post surgery and I am still having ghost issues. My images are to the lower right of the object I am viewing. My ghosting starts 30-60 minutes after sunset. Then the fun begins.

All cars coming my way look as if they all have foglights. I see two moons in the sky. The Dollar General sign, don't know if you have those up there or not, is very interesting against a night sky. It is a big, bright yellow sign that really gets me discouraged everytime I drive past it on my way home. White lights, yellow/orange street lights, and traffic lights are all seen in pairs for me. I've been seeing things this way since 1 week after the surgery.

I will say that it has diminished somewhat. Only somewhat. I hate to sound so negative, but you have to be ready for a long recovery time. On the good side, people have told me their ghosting issue went away after 40-50 days. Some people say it took 6 months. What I have noticed is the older you are, the longer it takes. That may not be very scientific, but it is the trend based on my research. This is not the only website where people discuss their progress on eye surgeries. There are other forums. I don't know exactly what the physical mechanism is that causes us to see these images, but there have been many attempts at an explanation.

My daytime vision is very good. Both eyes are sharp with the left just barely ahead of the right. I have no complaints when there is plenty of light coming in my eye.

I wish I could help you more, but you are at the mercy of your Epithelial Layer. You are still early in your healing process, as am I. Find a way to reconcile the long recovery time. I don't like it either, but we are stuck with it. In hindsight I would have gone with Lasik. I made the choice because the flap thing didn't seem very attractive to me and I read too many horror stories dealing with post op complications. I guess I didn't realize there are way more success stories then there are with complications. People just complain more when they have problems.

I'm hoping that it will continue to improve. Everybody is going to know the day I stop seeing double. I'm going to yell it out the window, down the halls and scream it here on this website.

Good luck and be patient.
Blindbat2007
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2007 3:52 pm
Location: Huntsville,Al

Postby John_in_WI » Fri Feb 15, 2008 9:56 pm

Yes, I have read your other comments and they were helpful. But I wasn't sure if the small changes I am seeing are specific signs of improvement or just indicate nothing.

I can be patient if I have reasonable assurance that this WILL get better. I don't think my situation has been as bad as yours appears to be. But your experience gives me some perspective (no pun intended!).

I'm not ready to say I regret the procedure just yet, though I wish I had followed the advice I was once told to do just one eye at a time. As for LASIK, as a forester and wildfire fighter, I was strongly advised against that due to the risk that any accidental significant impact to my head (branch in the face, trip and fall in the woods, etc.) might dislodge the flap at some future time. That would definitely NOT be good on some remote smokey fireline. So LASEK was the only option I would consider.

I'll be watching for when you shout it out on this website. I'll hopefully be doing the same someday! Thanks for the comments.
John_in_WI
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2008 7:06 am

Postby bateman » Sat Feb 16, 2008 6:49 pm

Blindbat2007 wrote:In hindsight I would have gone with Lasik. I made the choice because the flap thing didn't seem very attractive to me and I read too many horror stories dealing with post op complications. I guess I didn't realize there are way more success stories then there are with complications.


think about it this way: with LASIK you might have ended up WITH ghosting AND the flap...
bateman
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 10:22 pm
Location: Vienna, AUSTRIA

Re: Is my progress normal?

Postby Pappy » Sat Feb 16, 2008 7:30 pm

John_in_WI wrote:I just had LASEK done on Jan. 16, both eyes. I don't have info on my prescription from before, but my vision was worse than 20/500. As of my last visit (Jan. 28) to the surgeon/ophthalmologist, I am now at 20/70 left eye, and 20/40 right eye, 20/40 overall. I am 48 years old and in good health, and had glasses for myopia and slight astigmatism since age 8.

I haven't had any of the problems with haze, arcs, or starbursts since the surgery was done and have had no pain since the night of the surgery. Bandage contacts were removed on schedule on day 5, with no appreciable change in my vision afterwards (but great relief they were out--my eyes have never tolerated contacts well!). My major problem is significant ghosting in both eyes.

I am seeing multiple ghosts. Up until a week ago, the ghost images were mostly above the focused image, in a fan shape. Lately they seem to have moved so that they appear centered around the focused image. The ghosts appear to be "sharper" in clarity than they were before they moved, but there are still as many of them as before. They make it difficult for me to read distant objects that don't have either large letters or high contrast, and PowerPoint shows are now almost impossible for me to read. Night vision is just good enough that I feel I can drive, but I get nervous in heavy traffic.

The doctor says healing will take time, maybe up to three months, but I expected to see a gradual improvement as healing progresses. That isn't happening and it has me worried. I don't see the doctor again until March 3.

Is this normal for four weeks+ post-op? Do the slight changes in the ghosting indicate healing is progressing normally? What should I expect for the progression of this? I have read many of the threads on this topic and the experiences vary widely. Is there anyone out there who can fill me in on whether my situation is "normal" and when I can expect to see a clear improvement? Many thanks for any info out there.


The ghosting probably has more to do with your epithelium still being bumpy then anything else. Edema also causing some asitgmatism might have something to do with it.

I am into my fourth week post PRK and my ghosting has cleared up but it's "slightly" present on far away images. My crisp vision is not back as of yet but that will take time.

My doc said something to me which I keep as a gauge. Measure your vision changes with PRK (essencially the same as lasek) in weeks not days. I also noticed crisper vision when my steroid drops went from 4x per day to 2x per day. One of the side effects of the cortisteroids is blurring...go figure.

I know it's hard (I lived through 3 weeks of what I consider "is this functional vision") and turned the corner at around day 21 where I felt my eyes migrating to closer to normal. I can't tell you if yours is normal just that it requires alot of patience (and I know since it's your eyesight and you use it 24/7 it's hard not to analyze it every second).

When most of your healing is done at 3 months that should give you a clearer picture of what your vision will be like and even then for some people it takes up to a year. I know probably not the time line you were expecting but that's why you hear almost every one say "hang tough and wait it out".

I wish you the best of luck in your recovery.
Pappy
 
Posts: 70
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2008 3:40 pm

Postby John_in_WI » Mon Feb 18, 2008 11:18 pm

As you (Pappy) say, patience is the name of the game. But what bothers me the most is that I haven't seen any significant improvement in two weeks and my vision seems to be a little bit worse (when the ghosting moved to be more "centered", I lost the ability to read the "bottom" of everything, where the ghost images hadn't overlapped the clear image before. Now all of the clear image is overlapped.)

Anyway, I'll have to continue the wait and keep hoping I see some change that tells me clear vision is really coming someday. But it's certainly discouraging right now.
John_in_WI
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2008 7:06 am

Postby Pappy » Tue Feb 19, 2008 12:35 am

John_in_WI wrote:As you (Pappy) say, patience is the name of the game. But what bothers me the most is that I haven't seen any significant improvement in two weeks and my vision seems to be a little bit worse (when the ghosting moved to be more "centered", I lost the ability to read the "bottom" of everything, where the ghost images hadn't overlapped the clear image before. Now all of the clear image is overlapped.)

Anyway, I'll have to continue the wait and keep hoping I see some change that tells me clear vision is really coming someday. But it's certainly discouraging right now.


Good luck John, I'm guessing you had a large prescription (not sure) -7 or so? Seems that there is a pretty large corelation between healing times and amount ablated.

You mention the ghosting becoming more centered this is what I experienced about 5 days before it become almost non apparent (my right eye still has some as it gets late in the day - tire eye). I also find that my eyes are "relearning" to focus this changes day to day but I usually notice in the morning my natural relaxed eye state is "infocus" and as the day goes on it's out of focus, requires a bit of a mental exercise for a split second. Meaning when I actually just kinda space out looking across the street.

Don't know if it will encourage you but a few things I noticed as my vision went from "crap" to hey I can live with this. Centralized ghosting, increase in starbursts and each eye independently seeing better than when combined. I was at -5.25 each pre-surgery and no too people are alike but I know the waiting game (and it was really only 3 weeks for me) sucks and you want to analyze the how am I doing question.

Hang tight, vent if you need to and if you feel something is not right ask your doc to see you and explain what is currently holding your vision back, most likely he is going to say epithelium healing but at least then you know a little bit more.
Pappy
 
Posts: 70
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2008 3:40 pm

Postby bathory313 » Tue Feb 19, 2008 7:46 am

Give it more time to settle and adjust, I'd say.

I had problems with ghosting the first week or two, but none after that. (I had regular Lasik) My main problem was with starbursts on lights at night--that took a good 4 months or so to resolve.

I've heard Lasik called "the 20-minute miracle", but I have also heard that the healing process is a good 6 months long. Be patient, keep up with your doc, and keep using those wetting drops like mad. At one point I was using the Refresh drops every 15 minutes!
bathory313
 
Posts: 48
Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2007 3:52 am
Location: Virginia Beach

Postby John_in_WI » Tue Feb 19, 2008 5:22 pm

Wetting drops don't help much. They improve things for about 10 seconds, then it's back to same old same-old. More trouble than they're worth to keep putting in constantly, so I use them about every hour or so. I'm also still on 2x of the steroid drops each day.

It seems like the situation is getting slightly worse. I used to have nearly clear vision for the first 15 minutes of the day or so, but now that lasts a minute or so and then it's back to the not-so-friendly ghosts. I also used to be able to read this computer screen clearly at 3 feet or so before the ghosting began, but that is worsening. This is getting very frustrating.

My doctor is on a medical mission in Africa until March 1, so I can't really give him a call right now. I'm going to try to hang tough until my March 3 appointment, and I hope I will turn some corner before then. Maybe these symptoms are the "storm before the calm"? I guess I'll see.
John_in_WI
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2008 7:06 am

Hi John

Postby Judy » Fri Feb 22, 2008 3:25 am

John: It takes weeks to settle. Your eyes have edema, swelling, dryness, and the epithilium layer is riled and all this has to calm down so that the vision can settle. Many of us went through a period of really really bad vision for about 3 months....but by 6 it sorts itself out enough that you will know where you stand. I do not know your age, but the older you are, the longer it seems to take. This surgery is shown on TV as an immediate miracle.....and for some it is, but for many it is not. Just one of the above problems can affect your vision......Hang in there till your Doc gets back and I suspect you will find you have improved and will continue to do so.......good luck and keep posting....Judy
Judy
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2007 3:22 pm
Location: Chadds Ford, Pa

Postby John_in_WI » Fri Feb 22, 2008 7:09 am

Thanks, Judy, for the advice. I am 48 years old and I was told by the doctor I might take a bit longer to heal than younger eyes would. I knew that I wouldn't have the instant clear vision hyped in LASIK, but I guess I just didn't expect the agonizingly slow rate of change, which really is what tests my patience.

It's been five weeks now and I believe I am seeing some improvements in the ghosting, but it's measured in tiny degrees. I am thankful I have none of the other problems that so many other folks have posted on this site. The ghost images seem to be becoming settled into a circle pattern, with one image right in the center. They seem to be congealing into one fuzzy-edged image more quickly as I approach an object (most obvious when driving and looking at rapidly approaching headlights or traffic signals). I can barely read light-bulb marquees now (they were impossible two weeks ago as all the bulbs ran together into one overlapping mass of ghost dots). I also seem to be losing my ability to read very small print--I consider this to be a sign of progress since my doctor told me that after my eyes healed I would need reading glasses. I had been able to read small print up until a week or so ago so I guess maybe that means the healing is also causing the slight far-sightedness he warned me about.

Like I say, it's very tiny, maddeningly slow changes, but I hope they are signs of progress. I'll keep checking in to see what others' advice might be and to let the world know how my situation is going. Thanks to all for your insight!
John_in_WI
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2008 7:06 am

good news

Postby Judy » Fri Feb 22, 2008 4:16 pm

John, I forgot one crucial part. I had ghosting, but now at 6 months my night vision is totally cleared out. I had terrible night vision before lasik, during healing I noticed the halos but also noticed things looked clearer when not looking at lights. Eventually the halo's softened and now they are pretty much so soft that I do not notice them. Night vision is mostly a revelation now because when I was near sighted my eyes were always upset by oncoming traffic and driving had become difficult.....now I see really well at night and that feels so good.

You may find that your near vision will deteriorate somewhat.....the sudden presbyopia was one of the hardest things for me to get used to. Now I have an assortment of readers that I have scattered about for easy pickup. Have you tried reading a menu yet? How is your vision in stores like Walmart? When you get up in the morning and face the mirror, is everything clear? These were real difficult areas for me, but have now cleared out a lot since my eyes have grown less dry and the swelling has subsided. Good luck, and know by three months the worst will be over and the following 3 months a lot of refinement takes place. Judy
Judy
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2007 3:22 pm
Location: Chadds Ford, Pa

Try vitamin C

Postby catnmus » Fri Feb 22, 2008 5:21 pm

Did your eye doc have you take vitamin C to speed corneal healing? I also went through a period of "discouragement", and decided to start taking the 1000 mg per day again. It happened about the same time that my steroid drops were reduced, and I also went back to the Systane LUBRICATING drops rather than the ARTIFICIAL TEARS type of drops. So I don't know if it was any one thing that helped, or all three, but I started those all about the same time and that's when I seemed to get over the rough patch and healing resumed. But I didn't have ghosting, I don't think - just vision that was still blurry.

I had my surgery (Epi-Lasik) on the first eye a week before you did, so I'm still healing as well. I go for my second eye on March 4th.

Good luck!
catnmus
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 11:45 pm


Return to Just Had It

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 1 guest