Hello everyone, I'm a new user here but have read a lot about everyone's experience. I had Visian ICLs implanted on January 10, 2011 (1 month ago tomorrow). It was performed by a well-known surgeon here in Dallas (I'm withholding the name, as I saw it was edited out in another post). But, I think it's safe to say that this doctor has done corrective eye procedures for several years now and is very experienced.
Let me first start off by saying that my vision (when I don't have issues that I explain below) is perfect. When I am tested with using just one eye, I see 20/20 out of each eye. Using both eyes, I can read the 2nd row below 20/20 (not sure what that is). So, the procedure gave me great eye sight in the proper setting.
My eyeglass prescription was -9 in the left eye, -10 in the right eye. I was told by the doctor that they could do LASIK, but it wouldn't be as good of vision as the ICL. I don't know for sure, but it sounds like that is true, as I would have lost a lot of cornea cells to correct my vision (my cornea is a normal shape, I have a long eye, and it is thick, for what that's worth). Another factor in favor of the ICL for me was the ability to reverse it, even though there is some risk in that. At least I know there is some ability to fix it if the ICLs drive me crazy.
That being said, I do have some issues that I'm still dealing with. They are:
1. Double vision (maybe what some call "ghosting") out of my right eye. It's almost always there on the peripery, on the far right and bottom corner of my vision. My left eye doesn't have this issue (or enough to be noticeable). It's even worse in low light situations, like going from my dining room that is lit into a bathroom that is not lit - I can see a ghost image of the doorway out of my right eye. I'm not sure what is causing this, but it may be the size of my pupil at the time (but it happens in brightly lit rooms too), left over astigmatism (was supposed to be fixed during surgery), scar from the surgery that has not healed yet, or a cornal abrasion (I got this about 3 days after surgery) that has not healed yet. This is bearable for now, but bugs me throughout the day.
2. Glare that turns into halos. This usually starts as a glare that shoots out from a light source and can eventually turn into a halo if it's dark enough. I can get the glare while sitting in my living room watching TV with lights on - it's almost like my iris pulsates (gets bigger, then smaller, then bigger, etc.). In darkness (like night driving), this will happen and eventually turn into halos, but only 180 degrees on the nose-side of my vision (left side if I look out of my right eye, right side if I look out of my left eye). If I look at a bright light, it goes away as my pupil shrinks. I also get hazy halos in very dim situations, like sitting in my car to start it in my garage, when the dash lights come on. I believe this is caused by my pupils becoming larger than the visual area on the ICL. I have not yet started drops (like Alphagan P) to shrink my iris, so hopefully something like this will help. I'm just not excited about using drops all the time, and wondering if I'll need them to see well in my living room as I watch TV. Another possibility I want to explore is wearing special contacts with a dark band that will keep light coming in when my pupil dilates too much. I'm not sure if this will work, and it will mean wearing contacts, but I think it is worth pursuing.
By the way, I never noticed my pupils being large before the surgery, and my doctor didn't mention it as a risk, so I'm wondering if maybe my pupils are larger now for some reason and (if so) if they will shrink back down once my eyes fully recover. I'm led to this thought because my eyes are a bit more sensitive to the sun than they were before (I'm thinking that the larger pupils are letting in more light than they did before).
One oddity with the halos - if I wake up at night and it's very dark (i.e., my pupils are really large), I'll see halos that are a bit more than 180 degrees, and I'll also see a secondary halo in the upper left portion of my vision out of my right eye. Very weird.
The halos go from mildly amusing to annoying as they pop in and out. I'm not sure if I'd rather have them stay out as halos, or if I'm happy that I can get them to go down if I look at bright lights. I'm thinking it's the latter, as they can go down or away if I get to the right light situation. And, if my next vehicle has a bright dashboard (my now is very dim), it may help keep my iris constricted to further help with halos while driving at night.
3. I have dry eyes and some inflammation, but it's not too unbearable. I think the dry eyes are due to the cuts in the cornea, and I expect it to clear up in the next month or so. I'm still on Prednisolone twice a day, and I do eye drops every hour or two (Refresh Optive preservative free). As a side note, I'm left wondering if either of these are causing the ghosting or leading to larger pupils. Of the side effects, this one is very negligible and not a big concern for me.
4. My close-up vision is gone. I used to be able to read small print a few inches from my eyes, but no more. My near vision was worse after the surgery, but has not settled down to a normal range (based on how my wife reads, who has 20/20 vision without any correction). For example, I read books about a foot from my eyes. I tried reading glasses at first, but was told to stop as that is worse for my eyes at this point (I'm 37, by the way).
So I guess the ultimate question is whether I would still go through this again, if I knew then what I know now. I don't have an answer for that yet. One problem is that the blurriness and halos got worse in the last week. Over a week ago, they were annoying at night, but not really present in the day. But now they are more pronounced, or maybe I just notice them better because my vision otherwise is much more clear.
On the other hand, it's really nice to go without glasses. It's hard learning not to reach for them when I wake up, and it feels a lot different in the wind and rain (and even when I run the heat and air in my vehicle - I used to like to have it hit my face, but now that's bothersome). I also like not having the weight on my ears and nose from the glasses. Finally, my glasses gave me a fisheye view of the world, so the sides were warped in a bit because the glasses were so thick. The world looks much more normal now.
I see my doctor again next Wednesday (February 16). Hopefully I'll have some resolution on some of these issues, and can speak about the drops and contact lens to solve some of the glare and halo issues. For now, I am reading as much as I can and trying to stay patient.
If anyone has any thoughts or similar experience, I'd love to hear from you. I'll also update this once I see my doctor next Wednesday.