This is a long post covering my experience over six months. I have read a lot of the posts here over the last months and seemed to find something I could relate to in most everyone’s post. My outcome has been pretty good and I don’t see a lot of that.
I had CustomVue Lasik on October 20, 2006. BTW, I am 55 and opted for the monovision because I tried monovision contact lenses and loved them. My pre surgery vision was in the -3.75 to -4.0 range with a significant amount of astigmatism in both eyes. While I didn’t expect a “20 minute miracle”, I did expect a 6 week miracle. I had not done enough research (my bad) to know what reality to expect. In my defense, I didn’t find this website until after I had my surgery. Most of what I did find was either glowing testimonials on Lasik clinic websites or people who had really bad outcomes and were blogging about them. I discounted both.
My surgery went great. I had next to no pain at any time and my near vision and mid-range (out to about 2-3 feet – I don’t know what else to call it) was pretty good within a week or so. I used preservative free eye drops several times a day.
I was told to expect it to take up to 6 weeks for my near vision to resolve. I had taken a week of vacation just to be prudent and when I went back to work, I had no trouble with my computer or much of anything up close. My distance vision was another story. I have had my own saying – “if I can touch it, I can see it” which pretty much describes the state of my distance vision. Everything beyond arms reach was fuzzy/blurry. I couldn’t clearly see people across a room, I couldn’t focus on presentations given at business meetings, I couldn’t see road signs clearly and night time and low light were bad. I could drive, but couldn’t have comfortably in a strange place where reading street signs would have been necessary. I was not prepared for that.
The first month or so after my surgery, I found the usaeyes.org website and used it to answer a lot of my questions. I thought perhaps the problem was dry eye and I stocked up on many kinds of eye drops (all preservative free) and began using them really frequently. For me, dry eye was not the problem (I had no burning, itching, no red eyes) and I think at one point, I was diluting my own tears and creating a problem. At about 4 months, I stopped using the drops routinely and now, use them when my eyes feel dry. This doesn’t happen much and whether it helped my vision or the healing was improving it, I don’t know, but my distance vision got a little better.
The policy with the surgeon who did my surgery was to check you about 30 minutes after the surgery; a week later you were checked by a technician (Snellen chart) and you were checked at 3 months (another Snellen chart). I requested to see him after the 3 month check and saw him at about 5 months which is where I found that although my distance vision was 20/25, a refraction showed I was -0.75 in my distance eye. He asked me to wait another month and said that if my vision was worse or the same, we’d talk about an enhancement.
When I went for the 6 month checkup, the Snellen chart showed my distance vision to be 20/20 and the doctor told me that my prescription still wasn’t perfect, but had improved - and I noticed that improvement. For my part, I was able to tell him that I had read that enhancing small amounts of change sometimes resulted in overcorrections and I wasn’t sure that I wanted an enhancement. He appreciated that I’d been doing some research and we are now waiting another couple of months to see if any more change is coming and to discuss options.
I really did expect perfectly clear near and distance vision from this surgery. Based on this website, I know that was an unrealistic expectation particularly for a 6 week outcome for someone my age. But, my vision continues to improve. I am still frustrated at times, but I hope after another couple of months to either have improvement to the point where I am happy or to be wearing one contact lens for a distance correction.
After reading some of the other posts, I know I am blessed to have had as few problems as I have. I don’t wear any kind of correction and appreciate that convenience. I would like to be able to see distance better right now, but that’s still resolving. The difficult question to answer is would I have done this if I had known the outcome and if I had known how long it would take to reach the outcome. I think the decision to have Lasik would have been harder if I had known it could take 6 to 9 months but my need for a correction of some sort for crystal clear distance vision is a personal choice. Many people would be very happy with the vision I have right now.
Sorry for the length of this post. Glenn, thanks for the opportunity and the support you provide the whole community of us interested in improving our vision through eye surgery.