I had custom PRK in New Orleans on September 9th, 2008.
My eyeglasses prescription before PRK was:
OD -3.50 -2.75 x 170
OD -4.25 -2.75 x 170
The cost of my surgery for both eyes was 2,200.00. If I need future revisions, it will cost me 500.00 per eye for custom PRK. I checked out my surgeons qualifications carefully because I was skeptical about the low price. I will detail my experience when my vision is a little stronger. I'm on day five today, and I got my contacts out this morning. I had really good vision for several hours after they came out, but I am still very light sensitive. It's 11 pm now, and my eyes have had it for the day (really blurry and tired). I'm quite optimistic that things seem to be progressing well, and I'll keep posting my experiences as they happen in case others are considering having PRK. I have learned so much about what to expect from other posts that I have seen on this board, so I want to contribute what I can. More tomorrow...
Ok, I'm on day six now and still can't see much, but I'll edit this post as I am able in an effort to bring everyone up to date on my surgery and progress.
Day One... Surgery Day. My PRK was much the same as described by others, so I will only highlight the points that surprised me. I was very calm with no fear or anticipation at all.
I was a little bit concerned about the things that they put in to hold the eye open after reading accounts of other people saying that it was uncomfortable. They looked like little plastic spatulas. He inserted one on top and one on the bottom. It did not hurt at all.
The only thing that I actually felt during the whole procedure was the alcohol. I was aware of a very slight stinging sensation, but it was not painful and did not stress me out.
I could not feel the laser at all. The whole thing was quick and painless.
I had no trouble focusing on the light. On th second eye, however, he told me to stare at the red light. I told him that I saw two red lights and asked him if I was looking at the right one. I'm pretty sure that there were two red lights and my eyes were not playing tricks on me. As soon as I asked about the other light, he repositioned something and the second (smaller) red light went away and he started the laser.
I did not even know that he had put the contacts in and I asked if they were in because they said I was finished. He said they were, and I was allowed to sit up and then I was allowed to leave the office.
My vision was sort of blurry, but I could tell that it was better. I was very light sensitive. I had a couple of glimpses of perfect vision that day. Pretty cool. I hope my eyes end up being somewhere near as great as I could see that day. I was told to go straight to my hotel room, take a sleeping pill and try to sleep until the next day. They said that if I woke up, I should put in my drops. I was up and down all evening, but I did not leave the room until my appointment the following morning.
I had no pain, burning or discomfort on surgery day or during that night. I took the sleeping pill, but I did not take anything for pain relief because I was not in pain. My doctor does not give "comfort drops" at all because he says they mess up the healing of the eyes. He said that people "just have to tough it out for a few days".
Day Two... I went to my followup appointment around eleven in the morning. I was given a quick eye exam on the eye chart. I could read the chart pretty well, but I did not ask about where I was reading (20/whatever). I could read the tiny lines towards the bottom of the chart, but they were blurry. When I used the pinhole thing, the same small letters were really clear. The doctor looked at my eyes with a bright light and said he was looking for infection. He said he did not see any and would see me in the morning. He did seem a little surprised that I had not had any pain and said that the third day was usually the worst for people and that I might get into some pain the following day.
I had no real pain at all the second day. Sometime after midnight, I did start getting some tearing and burning. It was not what I would define as pain. It felt like I had shampoo or soap in my eyes. I took another sleeping pill and slept until morning. No pain meds.
Day Three... I went to my appointment around eleven again. Same routine with the eye chart. Vision was about the same. The doctor said that my eyes still looked good and that he would see me the next day. He was still surprised that I had not experienced more pain.
My eyes were VERY light sensitive, so I went back to the room and slept most of the day. I could see to get around and see the television, but it was blurry. The tearing and burning let up around midnight.
Overall, I only experienced 24 hours of discomfort. It was quite tolerable. As I said, it felt like I had soap in my eyes.
Day Four... I was told that I would probably get my contacts out today, so I was excited about that because I had been wearing the goggles when I slept, as I was afraid that my pillow might knock one out of position and cause me some pain or something. The doctor did not work in the morning, so I went in around two in the afternoon. My vision was worse on the eye chart. The doctor asked me if I was going to be in town another day and I told him that I was, so he wanted to leave the contacts in until the next day.
No pain or discomfort at all on day four except for light sensitivity. Again, I spent the day in the room, but was able to venture down to the lobby to eat supper.
Day Five... The doctor was only working an hour because he had a funeral to go to, so I go there as soon as the doors opened at eight in the morning. My vision was about the same as the day before (maybe a little worse). I could tell that he would like to have left the contacts in another day or so, but he took them out because I was leaving town that day. He told me that they would feel "scratchy" all day and suggested that I leave my eyes closed most of the day. I told him that I had bought a sleep mask and planned to wear it on the four hour trip home. He said that was a good idea and that he would see me in two and a half weeks. I plan to go back to him for my next few followups, even though he's a long ways away.
My eyes started getting gritty within thirty minutes of leaving his office. I kept them closed, as instructed, and kept plenty of drops in them. The few times that I "peeked", I had really great vision. Not much blurring. Better vision than I have ever had. I was fine after I got home. Much of the light sensitivity had let up and I was able to watch TV and look at the computer some. My vision tired easily and it got blurry by evening, so I went to bed.
Day Six... I woke up with blurry, yucky vision. It's one in the afternoon now, and it's still blurry. No big deal. I'm just keeping my eyes really moist and taking time to close them to rest my eyes from time to time. They are still a little gritty, but I suppose that is because they are healing over where the contacts were.
I know it will be a long process, so I'm going to do my best to relax about the whole blurry vision thing over the next few months. I can see to get around just fine. I am not getting headaches like I used to if I went without my glasses. I can watch and read television, but it's blurry. I typed all of this today, so obviously, I can see to type. I'll keep updating as things happen.
Ok, it's three in the afternoon now on day six, and I am noticing ghosting or double vision in my right eye. The other eye does not have any yet. The letters on my television show up twice, with one being slightly behind and below the one on top. If I open both eyes, the ghosting is less obvious, but still there.
Note on day six at five p.m. ...I took a nap of a little over an hour and just woke up and my reading vision is PERFECT. I know it will revert to blurry again in short order, but WOW!!...this PRK roller coaster is both fun and frustrating. I'm just glad I'm not currently employed and have the time to enjoy the ride. It would be much more frustrating if I had to depend on my eyes to make a living right now. By the way, my reading vision is not supposed to be perfect. I am 48 and have been in a +2 bifocal for at least five years. I think the good reading vision is just some weird, temporary monovision thing that is happening because my eyes are healing at different rates or something. The doctor told me before PRK that I will need to continue using reading glasses.
I just started on the FML steroid drops yesterday (day five). I'm supposed to use them "every four hours". I'm going to call his office Monday to clarify, but the instructions on the bottle say to use them only four times a day, so for now, I'm using them only four times a day and four hours apart. He told me to continue using the Vigamox drops until I use up the rest of the bottle (every two hours).
Day Seven... I'll keep updating over the first two weeks for others who might be wondering what PRK may bring (even though I'm pretty sure it's a different experience for each individual). My eyes were really dry last night. I kept putting drops in them all night, so I did not get much sleep. They did not hurt, but felt really dry.
This morning, my vision seems a good bit better than yesterday, but it's still pretty messed up. My near vision that was good yesterday is bad today (but it's supposed to end up that way because of my age). My distance vision is blurry past about twelve feet. My midrange, however is pretty darned good today. I can actually watch and enjoy television today. It's a little blurry, but much better than it has been so far.
By nine in the evening, everything was really blurry. Worse than I've had so far. I can still see to get around and get things done, though. I made brownies for my son (reading the recipe off of the computer) and had no problem managing to do that.
Day Eight... My eyes seem to be much less dry now. I think all of the numbing drops and dilating solutions irritate my eyes because they stayed sore and dry for a week after I had the pre-op exam before my PRK surgery.
When I woke up this morning, my vision was almost as good as it was when I wore glasses pre PRK. However, my first task this morning was an online computer assignment and I had to use a lock-down browser and could not increase the font size or resolution. It was a hundred questions and took 55 minutes. My eyes are pretty blurry now, but for those of you wondering if you can still complete computer work and such a week after PRK, I would say that it is quite possible (but tiring). I don't have any pain or headaches as a result of the strain, though. I'm using a small 13" screen, too, so if you have a large screen you should have no trouble working on the computer a week after PRK (results vary from person to person, though).
Today, even after some serious eye strain from computer work, I can see my 42 inch LCD television from about 12 feet away with very slight ghosting. I can even read the tiny print at the bottom of auto commercials with no problem. I can read my clock on the wall (not digital) from about 20 feet away. It is a large clock, about a foot tall and wide. The numbers are a little blurry, but I can read the time just fine. Everything over about 25 feet is blurry today. No problems yet with contrast or dark areas. I can see in the dark just fine and as well as I did with glasses.
I went outside last night to check out my night vision. It seemed just like it did pre-PRK. I see a halo around lights, but I had glasses and pretty high astigmatism before PRK, so I had about the same amount of halos then. I would not even notice them if I had not been looking for them. I'll keep track of any changes as the next few months of healing progress. I'm really rural, so there are not too many lights out here, but I'll try to get my husband to drive me around in the next few days to see how things look on the road. I have not tried to drive yet, but I don't think it would be a problem except that I'm still slightly light sensitive and my eyes get tired easily right now.
During the afternoon, my vision blurred up a good bit, but by late evening, it is better than it has been so far. Even while it was blurred at it's worst point, I could see well enough to function. As a matter of fact, I was able to see a huge rattlesnake coiled up at the base of some ornamental grass beside the door of my parrot aviary. Thankfully, I spotted her from far enough away that I did not get within striking distance. Normally, I would have walked up to the pen without hesitation. If I had not been concentrating on seeing things with my new vision, she might have gotten the best of me.
I feel like I did years ago when I wore weighted Toric contacts lenses for my astigmatism. When I blink one too many times or lay down on the sofa to watch television, my vision blurs ever so slightly, but it quickly comes back to being pretty clear. Very cool.
Day Nine... I have to say, I'm shocked at how quickly my vision is coming together! I know from reading everyone else's accounts that it is going to fluctuate for months, but when I woke up today, it was nearly perfect. I do have some blurriness beyond about 30 feet when looking into the darker areas of my house.
When I look out the window, though, it seems as if I could see for miles. All of the leaves are clear and crisp. It reminds me of the day I got HD on my LCD television. You know how everyone always says that you can pick out every single blade of grass on HD? Well, that's truly what it is like. Even on days that I had more blur, The edges of each individual leaf showed up. I guess with my bad astigmatism, my glasses left everything in a blur.
I know that PRK is not as glorious in results as Lasik is for a doctor. I'm sure all they get is complaints for months instead of all of the raves from the Lasik people, but I'm so glad that I decided on PRK. I'll be sure to thank my surgeon when I see him again and let him know how grateful I am for his PRK skills.
The recovery so far has not been nearly as bad as I have read. I know that I have a long ways to go and there are still things that can go wrong, but I've already rolled the PRK dice and I'm excited to see where they land. The fluctuations have been more fun that frustrating for me, probably because I am seeing quicker results than some people appear to. I look forward to opening my eyes each and every time.
I went out of town this evening, so I finally got to check out my outdoor vision and night vision. For the first few hours (daylight), everything was crisp and clear. I still have a strange feeling like one eye is located about a foot higher than the other, but it is not really affecting my vision. I had some blurriness, but I could read even the smallest of print on signs. I did notice a good bit of ghosting of letters on signs, but I'm really early in the healing process, so I suppose this is normal.
My eyes are still somewhat light sensitive, but nothing that a good pair of sunglasses won't handle. When darkness fell, my vision fluctuated wildly. Sometimes, I had double vision, seeing four headlights on one car, too moons, two signs, etc. A few minutes later the double vision would go away and I could see pretty well. I could have driven in the daytime just fine. I could also have driven at night, but the double images would have been very distracting.
I feel like I'm healing quickly. I'm quite happy with my progress. However, if my vision were to stay just like it is right now forever, I would be pretty miserable. It's getting better by the minute, though, so I expect everything to turn out just fine.
Day Ten... Blah...My vision is worse than it has been in a few days. I'm super blurry today. I can see the television alright, but my close range and distance vision are pretty bad today. I tried my husband's +1.5 reading glasses, and they do seem to help a little with my reading. I sent my son to town to get a variety of reading glasses for me to see if I can use them. We'll see when he gets home with them this evening.
I guess my poor vision today is just part of the normal fluctuations. There are a few variables that might have caused a temporary decline, though. Yesterday was the first day that I have worn makeup since my surgery day. I was supposed to wait until day ten, but I don't think it hurt anything. I spent the second half of the day on a trip out of town. My eyes felt strained and tired by the time I got home. Finally, I started a new steroid yesterday. It's the same type and percentage, but the pharmacist gave me a brand by a different maker. It seemed to blur my eyes more after I used it. I don't know if the brand makes a difference, but I suppose it could. Here's hoping tomorrow is a better day.
Day Eleven... I spent the entire day in Birmingham. I managed to handle four hours at the mall, but things were pretty blurry. I could see to get around, though. My vision was best after dark, but I do have some double vision and some mild halos. I see what looks like three oncoming sets of car lights, but they do merge into one before they get near me, so I don't think it would be dangerous to drive at night in rural areas or the Interstate.
I had to do some book work when I got home, and my close range vision is really bad(ghosting of letters). I could do it without reading glasses, but it is easier with them. I need to get some +2.5's, and I meant to pick some up today. I'm still using +1.50's, and they don't quite get it, but make it a little easier. Hoping for a better day tomorrow because I have some pretty extensive computer and book work to finish up before Sunday. Overall, I'm managing quite well. I felt as if I could have driven today, but I'm not in any hurry to venture out behind the wheel.
Day Twelve... By eleven last night, my vision was great. Really great. When I woke up this morning, it was still really great. No ghosting, no blurred vision. I decided to drive to town around noon. This was my first time driving, and I had no problems at all.
By the time I finished all of my chores in town, my eyes felt a little dry, but they did not feel tired or strained as they have up to this point in my recovery.
When I got home, I started on my computer/book work. I had a lot to do and it was difficult. I bought a variety of those cheap readers, but they really did not help much. I think that a good set would do the trick, but I don't want to bother with spending a lot of money until my vision is more stable. For those of you wondering, I could have managed to do my work with no glasses, but glasses really help get rid of the ghosting of letters. Again, I'm 48 and was in a +2 bifocal before PRK.
It's about seven in the evening now, and my vision is not nearly as good as it was this morning, but it is substantially better than it has been over the last couple of days. I'm hoping for more improvement tomorrow! Still no regrets about my decision to have PRK.
Day Thirteen... When I woke up, my vision was blurry. I can see the television quite well, but everything else seems a little bit off. I am able to use the computer, but I do have a good bit of ghosting of letters. Overall, a yucky day vision wise. Maybe tomorrow will be better.
Day Fourteen... Pretty bad day today. Everything was blurry and I had a headache when I woke up that stayed with me throughout the entire day. It was probably a sinus headache, but I don't like to take medication so I just stuck it out. I could literally feel my eyes changing all day today. It is obvious to me that one eye (left) is much stronger (clearer) than the other eye. It feels like when I used to get new glasses, and my vision was a little bit off for a few hours afterward and I would get a slight headache. I have still been able to get around and get things done, though.
Day Fifteen... I woke up to really good vision today. I'm SO glad. It is better than it has been in several days. No headache, either. My vision does seem a little bit hazy. I'm not sure how to explain that. It's not the normal blurred look that I've been getting. It's clear, but has a light haze over it. I guess it's probably normal, since I feel like my eyes are healing really fast right now. I'm still on the FML drops four times a day. I go for a followup on the first. I've got a bunch of computer work to accomplish this morning, so I'll post later in the evening about how my vision holds up. My vision stayed pretty stable all day. It is better than it has been yet. At several points during the day, I totally forgot that I had eye surgery. My vision is not perfect, as I am still not going to be able to read well until I get some good reading glasses. Also, my distance vision in dim areas is still a little blurry.
Day Sixteen... I woke up to good vision again this morning. I'm so glad, as I need a few good days mixed in with the bad. PRK is not for the faint of heart. I consider myself to be one of the most patient people on the face of the planet, but I have had moments when I get a little frustrated with the blurred vision. Nothing major, but I have had moments. I still don't regret my decision, and I still believe that everything is going to turn out really well. I'm just two weeks post-PRK, so I have a long ways to go.
My TV (mid-range) vision is perfect. My reading vision is terrible, but improves with glasses (I have been trying to push through without glasses because I have read mixed opinions about wearing glasses this early in recovery). My distance vision is still slightly blurred.
My eyes have been "sore" the last couple of days. I'm not sure why. I guess my eye muscles are sore or something. No redness or any signs of infection of any kind, so I don't think there is any problem. If I put reading glasses on, they get really sore, so I think it's just my eye muscles trying to focus. I've been wearing glasses since third grade, so I'm sure it will take a while for my eyes to adjust.
Overall, I have seen great improvement in my overall vision yesterday and today.
Day Seventeen... Wow, I can't believe it's already been seventeen days. Overall, it has not been bad at all. The biggest problem has been reading. I can do it, but it makes my eyes sore to focus too long. It's getting better, though. My vision with readers is really good now, but I don't want to use them much until I ask my doctor about it. I see him next week (October 1st).
Before bed last night, I had an eyelash in my eye. I took a tissue and carefully fished it out. However, the area that I touched with the tissue has been really sore ever since. It feels like I have a rough spot in my eye, but it's below my lower lash line and not causing a problem with my vision, so it will most likely heal up alright.
Other than that, I woke up to good vision again this morning. I've been out working in the yard all morning, and my outdoor vision is almost perfect. I'm still getting a good bit of blurring inside, but much less that I did the first week and a half.
I have noticed that when I use any kind of glasses (reading, high quality polarized sunglasses, etc.), my eyes quickly get really sore. I guess it's the muscles trying to adjust, but it's a burning kind of pain that is similar to the burning pain you would get when a scar is healing over. It's not really the front of my eye, but more the whole eyeball feels sore. Hard to explain. My eyes are a little dryer than usual, but I don't think that dryness is causing the pain. I really believe it is the muscles trying to adjust.
Day Eighteen...Follow-up Visit... I got a call yesterday afternoon saying that my brother was on his way to the emergency room in New Orleans and is not expected to live. I was scheduled for my follow-up visit next week, but I called and rescheduled for today since I had to go see my brother.
My appointment was at two this afternoon. By then, I had already been on the road since five in the morning and had been crying quite a bit. My eyes were really dry, but my vision was ok. Not as good as yesterday, but alright. My eyes were really, really dry from all the crying and a four hour drive with air conditioning vents blowing the whole way.
They did not put any drops in my eyes before they asked me to read the chart. I felt like I did terrible, and was not able to read much of it. I asked her if it was alright for me to drive, and she said "Sure, you are fine to drive. You tested at 20/30. I did not ask her about individual numbers and such, but I did notice that my right eye was much better with the chart reading than my left eye was.
The doctor came in (not my usual doctor, but a partner), and she reviewed my chart and noticed that I was just over two weeks post-PRK. She looked at my eyes with the light and said that they were very, very dry. She just spent a few seconds on my right (better) eye, but she stared into my left eye for much longer and looked a little concerned as if she were looking for something. I did not ask what the problem was because my vision seems functional and I'm very early in the healing process.
She said to use a gel on them at night and to continue using the Refresh drops throughout the day. She said everything else looked really good. She told me to continue the steroid drops four times a day for the next three weeks and then three times a day for the following three weeks. The scheduled me for a six week checkup in November.
Overall, my vision was very functional today. It was a very stressful day and my eyes feel like sandpaper right now, but I am happy to report that things seem to be going well for me so far with my PRK surgery.
Day Nineteen...Yuck. Very, very dry eyes today. When I close my eyelids, it feels like I can feel a circular raised area around which the laser was applied. I'm not sure if that is possible, but that's sure what it feels like. So...In order to combat the dryness, I've been applying drops every fifteen minutes all day and I took a good, long nap. It's six in the evening now, and they feel much better already.
My vision today is really very good, despite the dryness. It has been steadily improving over the last few days, and it's very exciting. The blurriness is going away. I still have some crazy ghosting that seems worse at dusk and dawn when looking at lights outdoors. I noticed it yesterday on my way to and from New Orleans. It gets much better when it gets good and dark outside. I think I'm going to be fine with very little ghosting once I finish healing.
I drove myself to town this evening well after dark. This is my first time driving at night. My car has a heavily tinted front window, but I still had no problem at all seeing to drive. I did notice some mild halos, but nothing alarming.
Day Twenty... My eyes were glued shut when I woke up this morning. This is the first time I have had that experience. I did buy a different brand of preservative free eye drops yesterday, so maybe that made a change. I have been using the Refresh Plus preservative free drops, and I switched to Alcon Tears Naturale Free drops because the store was out of Refresh Plus. No problem, though, as I just covered my eyes with a warm cloth and they opened right up.
My overall vision when I finally got my eyes opened was substantially worse than it has been over the last few days. It remained that way all day. My near, mid-range, and far vision were all three bad today. Just part of the progress, I suppose. The dryness seems better today, though. Can't wait to see what kind of vision I wake up to tomorrow!
Day Twenty-One...Lousy vision again all day today. I hope it's not because I strained so hard to do hours of computer work yesterday. I strained my eyes so bad that they felt "different" by the time I was through. I'm pretty sure it's just normal PRK fluctuation, though. My left eye has been the worst eye, but today, my right is the worst. I was able to drive to the grocery stores and do business at several stores today. When my vision stabilizes enough to get some decent reading glasses, I'll be doing a lot better.
I'm just tired, depressed about my brother, and stressed out about the markets and economy right now. It's not helping my recovery, I'm sure.
I did make one observation today that might help someone. I noticed again that going into any store or driving with the vents on in the car REALLY dry out the eyes now that I'm not wearing glasses every day. I can see how someone might not realize that they have very dry eyes if they were wearing corrective lenses before Lasik or PRK. I had to do drops on every single isle of the grocery store today in order to pick out groceries. I could feel the air flow in the store drying out my eyes. When I wore glasses, I did not notice how outings dried my eyes. I think that my glasses offered a good bit of protection from wind and such.
Day Twenty-Two... This tread is probably getting boring by now, but I'll keep on a while longer because my vision has still not stabilized. It was better today than it has been the last two days, but still blurry. My eyes get dry really fast, so when the dryness clears up, maybe things will get a little less blurry. I think some of it is mental. I'm just so used to wearing glasses, that it seems strange not to have them. I catch myself feeling myself around the room sometimes when, in reality, I can see plenty well enough.
If I were going to judge the final outcome based on my vision over the last few days, I'd say there will be an "enhancement" in my future. I feel like I'm seeing about 20/60 or so most of the day over the last few days (when my vision is at it's worse, as it fluctuates throughout the day). Not much 20/20 going on right now.
However, I'm still only twenty-two days out, and I realize that I have a lot of healing left to do. I'm actually very calm about the whole thing. I'm more than willing to wait it out over the next year and see where I end up.
One more thing, I do notice that when my eyes tear (like when I yawn or tear up at a television program), I instantly get PERFECT vision. I think dryness is a big problem for me right now, but I'm working on it.
Day Twenty-Three... My vision is a little better today than it has been the last couple of days. My eyes feel drier than usual. I've been using the computer a bunch over the last couple of days, so that probably aggravates the situation.
I can literally feel my eyes changing today. I've had this feeling before over the last couple of weeks. It's really hard to describe what I mean. It's like watching a flower unfold in slow motion on television. I can feel my eyes trying to "converge" or something. At any rate, I can feel a change coming on.
It's about eleven in the evening now, and I'm getting a lot of ghosting of letters as I type. If I put on some "off the shelf" reading glasses, the ghosting goes away. I'm anxious to go to bed now so I can wake up in the morning and see what comes next. PRK is sort of like one of those dime store grab bags from the sixties. It's fun, exciting, and can be disappointing, because every time you wake up, you get something different (and it's not always what you wanted!) Sometimes, though, you get a glimpse of perfect vision and it carries you through the bad days.
Day Twenty-Four... I woke up with perfect reading vision this morning. So strange! I know I'm going to need readers, but it was pretty cool being able to just pick up my computer and read. It lasted several hours (until my eyes dried). My overall vision is not quite as good as I've seen it from time to time in the past couple of weeks, but much better than it has been over the last few days.
Day Twenty-Five... So So vision today. Weird vision towards evening. The worst vision that I've experienced yet. Everything is sort of 3-D looking. Heavily ghosted, I guess, and it's really annoying. I missed one of my four applications of steroids yesterday, but surely that's not what caused this. I guess it's just a normal part of the healing process. If this is the type of ghosting that I read about others complaining of, I can totally understand why they are complaining. Oh well, tomorrow will be a new and hopefully better vision day.
Day Twenty-Six... Not much to report today. My vision is slightly better than yesterday, but still not great. Maybe tomorrow.
Day Twenty-Seven... Vision still not great. I'm probably seeing almost as well as I was the day I went in for my follow-up appointment. They said I was a 20/30, but it feel like it's worse than that. The weird ghosting has pretty much gone away. I'm a little worried about the fact that my right eye has regressed a good bit over the last week. I've got a long way to go, though, so I'll just have to wait and see what happens.
Day Twenty-Eight...My vision was nearly perfect when I woke up. I had read about a guy who had an enhancement PRK and said the second time around, he did not use any Refresh drops because he felt it made his eyes dependent on them. I decided to go a while today without my usual "every thirty minute drops". My vision was very clear, but I only made it until one in the afternoon before my eyes dried out and I started using my drops again. My vision did blur again. Still, I can't survive without the drops. My eyes are just too dry right now. I'm so very glad to see an improvement in vision, though. I was getting discouraged.
Day Twenty-Nine...Wow! My vision has improved so much over the last two days, that I just can't believe the difference. I woke up with pretty clear vision and it has lasted most of the day. Some regression towards evening, but I'm seeing quite well as I type this at nine in the evening. I would say I'm a solid 20/30 or better right now. I do have some blurry spells throughout the day. I think they come on because of dryness, but I can even tell the dryness is letting up.
Interestingly, we've had the first rain that we've seen in a few weeks. My vision the first week was pretty good, but there was a hurricane that week and it rained every day. It rained some yesterday and it's raining today. Last week was very, very dry and it was my worst week of vision to date. I wonder if the moisture might be responsible for the boost in good vision over the last two days? I think it might.
I have had the worst headache (dull ache) all day today. I think the steroid drops occasionally cause a headache that makes my temples, jaw, and ears ache. I tried some Tylenol Sinus, but it did not help at all. I later tried a few baby aspirin, and that did the trick.
Anyway, it seems that I'm finally starting to heal and seeing some improvement. It's very exciting. I'm sure I'll have some more down days ahead, but it's great to be seeing so well for now. I can read the tiny print on the television when my husband and son can't read it at the same distance. Pretty cool!!
Day Thirty...ONE MONTH Yes!! I made it through my first month. Overall, it's been more than tolerable. My third week was the most frustrating by far, due to a regression in vision that greatly improved towards the end of the fourth week. My vision was good again today, though not quite as good as the last two days. It does degrade a great deal by around six in the evening. No headaches, no tired or sore eyes. I just hope the trend towards better vision continues and I don't see another major regression. I'm ready for month two!!
Day Thirty-One... Well, the rain is gone and my eyes are dry as a bone again. I'm still using drops every thirty minutes, but they are still dry. They get very blurry when dry. It's manageable at home, but in the car or the store, they dry out in a matter of minutes and blur everything. I'm glad that I did not have lasik instead of PRK. I guess I've had dry eyes for a while and just did not realize it. I'm sure they will get better as time goes by. Decent vision today, but worst than the past few days. I drove tonight and did not see any double images or ghosting, though.
Day Thirty-Two... Decent vision today. Much the same as yesterday. Some blurred vision that gets much worse if my eyes are dry. Close up vision still fluctuating. I have to keep switching up strength of my cheap dollar store glasses as often as hour to hour when reading. Dryness a little better today. I feel like my eyes are changing again. We will see what happens next.
Day Thirty-Three... My vision is markedly worse than it has been over the last few days. I'm not sure what's up, but I can feel another change coming on. No major problems, just slightly blurred vision. One notable change though; I see a huge improvement when it comes to my eyes getting dry in the car and the store. They have in the past month been drying out as soon as I get in the car or walk in a store, but today I was able to shop for several hours before I had to put in drops. Nice change!
Day Thirty-Four... My vision is a little better than yesterday, but I'm still having fits trying to do all day computer work. I have several pair of reading glasses, and I just keep switching them up as my vision changes throughout the day. None of them are "just right", so it's a chore to do hours of computer work. I do manage, though.
Day Thirty-Five... PRK is a weird ride. My vision has been mostly unchanged from yesterday until late this evening. Suddenly, I'm seeing perfectly with my reading glasses. That's a first time event since my PRK surgery. I'm sure it will fluctuate again, but it's a nice change for now. I have had periods of ghosting that come and go all day. I really believe it's the steroid drops, so all of that should clear up when I finish with the drops. On Friday, I go to three drops a day instead of four for the next month.
Day Thirty-Six... Well, I knew it was too good to be true. My vision today has been worse than it has been in a while, most likely because of major eye strain(I was up until three am doing an art project). It's awfully dry right now, too, and I have noticed a distinct difference in my quality of vision when we get some rain or heavy humidity. In moist conditions, my vision clears up to around 20/20 or better. Today, it was probably 20/40 or so, but with pretty heavy ghosting of letters. Overall, pretty blurry today, but I was able to drive to town and complete my errands.
Day Thirty-Seven... Horrible day today. I woke up with my eyes crusted shut. The weather here is just so dry right now. I've been out walking every evening, and I suppose all the ragweed and dust don't help either. My eyes are just so dry. Nothing I do seems to help. I pulled my humidifier out of storage this evening and put it in my bedroom, so we'll see if that makes any difference. Of course, when it's dry, my vision suffers a great deal. One eye is pretty good, but the right eye is giving me fits. It's so dry that it is sore all over. My vision is probably 20/40 or 20/60 today. Hoping for a better day tomorrow.
Day Thirty-Eight... Today was much better than yesterday. I spent the entire day in town shopping and was able to do everything that I needed to do. My vision was slightly blurred most of the day, but not so much that it was distracting. I used the humidifier last night in my bedroom and have it going in my living room now, and I think it is helping. Outdoors, where it's dry, my vision is much more blurred. When I walk inside, it's like instant refreshment. My vision clears right away.
I do have some ghosting, but I can related it to the steroid drops because it gets much worse when I put my drops in. It's really only letters that give me problems. I don't notice ghosting on anything else. Tomorrow, I go to three steroid drops a day instead of four and I continue that for the next month.
Day Thirty-Nine... Well, it's not hard to figure out that dryness is greatly affecting the results of my PRK. I've had fits lately with poor vision , sore eyes, and eyelids sticking together in the mornings. I was pretty good when I woke up this morning. I took a nap in the afternoon and woke up to find that my vision had improved by leaps and bounds. I went outside and I saw that it was raining. I guess that explains the improvement. I'm glad to see it. I'm just SO thankful that I did not have Lasik and risk possible long term problems with dryness. At least with PRK, I should be able to deal with the dryness until I fully heal.
Day Forty... I had to go out of town today and I actually drove the two hour drive. My vision was PERFECT all day. Better than perfect, actually. I've never been able to see like this in my entire life! I was amazed that my good vision lasted all day. I kept applying drops every thirty minutes. My eyes did get tired towards nightfall, but nothing too bad. No real problems with night vision. I can actually see much better at night than I was able to with glasses. I do have some very mild halo's, but I had them before PRK (with my astigmatism). It's eleven pm now, and I've been on the computer for two hours. My eyes are now dry as a bone, but my vision is still good. Once I get past this dryness, I should be just fine. Went to three drops of steroids today instead of four.
Today was the first day since my surgery that I would consider my vision to be completely normal and totally functional.
Day Forty-One... My right eye was just barely stuck shut this morning, a huge improvement over the last few days. My vision was very, very good this morning, but I had several hours of highly focused computer and book work to pull off, and I did notice a little regression after I finished that. My main problem is my evening walk. It is just so dry and dusty. Windy, too. My eyes get so dried out. I wear sunglasses the whole time, but I guess I need to look into some goggles for the time being. Overall, a very good vision day. I saw a post on another site that said day 40 was a turning point and that they felt it was the first day they had nearly perfect vision.
Day Forty-Two... My vision was about the same today as yesterday...OK, but could still improve some. I decided to get in my Infrared Sauna today for the first time since PRK. I did 45 minutes at 140 degrees. I took a bowl of water and a washcloth and covered my eyes when they began to feel dry. It was really cool being able to sit in my glass-front sauna and see. Before PRK, I had to remove my glasses. I just got out and my eyes are really good at the moment. At least 20/20. I guess I'll have to wait until tomorrow to see if it caused my eyes to dry out too much.
Day Forty-Three... Maybe I'm having a bad day, but I'm really getting tired of all the fluctuations in my vision! I can tell that my eyes are changing again, probably due to the decrease in steroid drops. I can't decide if it's better or worse than yesterday. I have a bit of tunnel vision today, but the vision that I do have is pretty clear. I don't think the sauna dried my eyes out. Actually, they seemed less dry today. I did another 45 minutes this evening, so we'll see what tomorrow brings. At this point, I'm a little fearful that my vision will settle out to be like it is on one of my bad days rather than like it is on a good day. I guess I'm just a little defeated today. I've got a ways to go in my recovery before I can tell my final outcome.
Day Forty-Four... Another frustrating vision day. Blurry at close, mid and far range. Looks good when I put drops in. My eyes don't feel that dry over the last couple of days, but I know they are still dryer than they were pre-PRK. I'm going to New Orleans Friday. Maybe I'll see if they can work me in for a quick check up at my surgeons office while I'm there to see how things are progressing. If I close each of my eyes one at a time, each of them is blurry. Looking through both eyes at once, they are more clear, but I'm not happy at all with my vision over the last couple of days.
Day Forty-Five... I made an appointment with my surgeon tomorrow since I'm going to be in New Orleans. It's been another bad vision day, but it's raining now, so my vision has improved some. I can tell it it changing rapidly right now. I guess that's because I went to three drops of steroids a few days ago. It's some aggravating, crazy vision, though. I don't like it. Hope it gets better again soon.
Day Forty-Six... I went to the surgeon's office today, two weeks early for my nine week check up. The doctor said that my eyes looked good except for a few dry spots. She (my doctor's partner) told me that I need to continue with three steroid drops for three more weeks, then two drops for three weeks. She scheduled another followup appointment in six weeks.
I did not ask for my chart numbers today, but I could tell that I could not read as well as I could last time. It must have been at least 20/40 because they said I was "good". My left eye was worse than my right, which is strange because when I close each eye, my right eye seems worse. I did great on the pinhole, though. The did a pressure test, so I got the numbing drops. For some reason, they help my vision to improve for a while afterwards. My vision improved some towards evening, too. Hoping for good vision tomorrow because I am judging an art exhibit.
Day Forty-Seven... Busy, busy day today. My vision was not the best, but I was able to judge the art exhibit with no trouble. After that was over, I drove a couple of hours to and from another town with no trouble. My eyes are dry and tired right now at midnight, but overall, an ok day with my vision. Much room for improvement, though.
Day Forty-Eight... Improvement by leaps and bounds today. Today was the first day since PRK that I have actually been able to see really well with reading glasses. It could not have come at a better time, since I had eight hours of computer work to finish this morning.
Even after all of that eye strain, I notice that the "foggy" vision when I am inside the house is gone for the first time today. I have had good outdoor vision from time to time, but inside where it's darker, my vision has been more blurred until today. My eyes seem less dry today and I can see details like the minute marks on my wall clock. Great, great improvement today. I can only hope it sticks around for a while!
Day Forty-Nine... My vision is slightly worse than yesterday, but overall, good vision. Still noticing that my indoor vision has greatly improved over the last few days.
Day Fifty... Another good vision today. I think I may finally be over the hump. I finally have good reading vision with a pair of off-the-shelf 2.25 reading glasses. The poor reading vision has been one of the most frustrating parts of this adventure, so I'm so glad that's better. My indoor vision is as good or better than it was with glasses (as of this week). My outdoor vision is excellent. My right eye is still ghosting letters ever so slightly if I look through that eye only, so when that clears up, I should be in great shape. I don't see any ghosting when I look through both eyes.
If my vision were to stay as it has been over the last couple of days forever, I would be satisfied. I think that if I had chosen Lasik instead of PRK, my vision today is probably what I would have had shortly after Lasik. With PRK, it took 40+ days to get there, but I have no regrets. I still have room for improvement, as I do notice some fluctuation throughout the day, but I'm quite happy with my decision as of right now. My vision is brighter and more clear than it ever has been with glasses or contacts.
Day Fifty-One... Slightly worse vision than I've had over the last few days. I think it's because I've had very little sleep. Overall vision pretty good, though.
Day Fifty-Two... Good vision today. Better than yesterday. I've been in town all day and only had to use my Refresh drops once. That's a HUGE improvement. Over the last week, I've gone from using them every thirty minutes to an hour, to using them every few hours. Good thing, too, because they get expensive fast. I think I've been through eight boxes of the 70 count Refresh Plus drops and four tubes of the GenTeal Gel Severe since my PKR. I'm feeling pretty "normal" these days and I find that I don't think of my eye surgery as often during the day now.
Day Fifty-Three... Perfect vision until around noon today. Better than perfect, actually. I had an art thing to do this morning, so I had a long ride in a van with the vents pointing towards me. I noticed a slight regression from lunch until late evening, but nothing too bad. Overall, another great vision day.
Days Fifty-Four through Sixty... Sorry about having to combine days, but I had an emergency with my brother in New Orleans, and I did not have access to a computer. I have been living with very little sleep, no vitamins, and tons of stress over the last week, however, I have found that my eyes held up quite well. My vision is not perfect yet, but it's close. At least 20/30 consistently now, probably better. I never feel like I have to add eye drops, and find myself having to remember to do it ever four hours or so. I am slowly adjusting to having to grab a pair of reading glasses every time I need to read something. Overall, I am very pleased with my new vision.
Days Sixty-One... Although my eyes have stabilized greatly over the last couple of weeks, I'll continue updating in the "Just Had It" section until I reach the ninety day mark. My vision today was good. I did notice very dry eyes last night. Strange thing is that I was in an apartment with three heavy smokers last week, but no dry or stuck together eyes. However, I did not use the computer last week. This morning, after a long day of computer work yesterday, my eyelids were glued shut. I believe there is a direct connection between my extensive computer work and my dryness.
Day Sixty-Two... Good vision again today. No problems.
Day Sixty-Three... Another good vision day. No problems with star bursting or halos at night at all. Reading vision very good now with dime store readers, but bad, bad, without. Still trying to adjust to grabbing readers when I need them. Some slight fluctuation throughout the day. I'm guessing that I fluctuate between 20/20 and 20/30. Maybe 20/40 on a bad day. I get to reduce my FML steroid drops to two drops per day on Friday, so we'll see what happens after that.
Update I'm not sure what day I'm on now, but I'm just over three months post-PRK. I wanted to keep a daily record, but my brother's medical condition became critical to the point that he was in ICU for over a month, so I have been in New Orleans caring for him. He passed away on December 3rd, 2008. The sadness is overwhelming. I will miss him forever.
I missed my three month check up, which happened to fall on December 5th, but I had already driven back to Alabama after my brother's death and missed my appointment. I plan to go back to New Orleans one day this week for my three month follow up and I'll post the results. I went from two drops of steroids to one drop a day on December 5th. I can feel my eye changing again, but I think it's getting even better. Hard to believe, because I have been very happy with my vision. My eyes are sore right now, and I think it's because I'm healing faster now that I'm down to one drop of steroid.
I rarely think about my eyes these days. My vision does fluctuate slightly throughout the day, depending on what I've got going on. Computer work dries my eyes out quite a bit. I don't really have to use the refresh drops at all, but I do make an effort to use them about twice a day. My eyes are not really any dryer now than they were pre-PRK. My vision is probably going to be 20/20 or 20/30 when I go for my exam. I would imagine that it is at least 20/20 most days, but that long drive to New Orleans stresses my eyes out (as do the tears that always seem to start when I head that way because of emotions stemming from my brothers illness and death). Tears are very drying and mess up my vision for days. My night vision is excellent. No starbursts or halos. Better night vision than I had before my surgery. Much, much better vision than my corrected vision was with glasses pre-PRK. I am THRILLED with my results. I'll post more after my three month checkup.
Three Month Checkup Results... Well, I made it to my three month checkup. I was at about 13 1/2 weeks when I finally made it to the appointment. By the time I made it there, my eyes were pretty stressed and dry (I forgot my sunglasses and had to drive over four hours to my appointment). I could tell that my vision was not nearly as good as it usually is. Still, I read the chart at 20/25.
My doctor was really pleased with those results and said that my eyes looked "wonderful, excellent, no problems". She said that they looked so good that I don't even have to come back again unless I have problems. I made an appointment for my six month checkup anyway, because I want to follow-through with tracking my progress.
The doctor told me to continue with one drop of the FML drops for another two weeks. I'll stop those on Friday, January 2nd, 2009. Happy New Year!!
Woo Hoo!! I am loving my decision to have PRK over Lasik. I'm really thrilled with the results. The only thing that I don't like is that I have to grab reading glasses for things like reading the computer (or anything else). I told the eye surgeon that I want to try a monovision contact lens in one eye and see how it works for me. She told me that I could have one fitted by a regular eye doctor and see if I like it. I think it will probably make me motion sick, but I'm going to give it a try. By the way, one of the greatest benefits that I have experience from PRK is that I no longer get motion sick. I used to get it every time I went in the car. I did not realize that my progressive bifocals were causing it, but I'm so happy that it's gone.
Last edited by JustLooking
on Thu Dec 25, 2008 8:05 am, edited 77 times in total.