Thin Flap Lasik (Intralase) March 16, 2010 with High Correct

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Thin Flap Lasik (Intralase) March 16, 2010 with High Correct

Postby browneyedgirl70 » Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:35 pm

You can read my background info in my "Thinking About It" posts here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2304 This is long, but I hope it will be helpful to someone!

I ride horses, and want to be free of glasses/contacts when riding.
I am a 39 yo female.
Some exam stats:
OD: -9.25 -1.50 x 92 (Wavescan OD: -7.36 -1.37 x 10)
OS: -8.50 -1.75 x 80 (Wavescan OS: -6.61 -1.46 x 177)
Pachymetry (Pentacam) 490 microns OD, 499 microns OS
Schirmers: 13 OD, 14 OS

I researched this topic for so long before having it done, and there are so many horror stories online, that I thought I would share my (so far) very good experience with Lasik.

March 16, 2010

I was so very nervous going into this most elective of procedures! I didn't count on it happening, even on the morning my procedure was scheduled. I knew that either I or the surgeon could pull out right up until the procedure...or even during it for that matter if things were not going well. I had even more trepidation because I my corneas are thin, and one surgeon had turned me down. My surgeon completely answered my questions, though, and I felt comfortable with his qualifications, so I proceeded. My surgeon is Dr. Alan Carlson at Duke Eye Center in North Carolina. He is one of the most experienced Lasik surgeons in his field, and has done well over 10,000 Lasik procedures to date. He has been teaching refractive surgeons for over 17 years, and is nationally and internationally recognized for his work in the prevention and management of surgical complications.

I was given ample opportunity to ask questions. My eyes were examined yet again. I am very pleased with how totally thorough Duke Eye Center is, and their conservative approach made me feel good about my choice, too. I was given a nice tote bag with the Duke Center for Vision Correction logo filled with my post-op supplies: anti-inflammatory eye drops (OmniPred), goggles for nighttime protection, some nice sunglasses, and a squeeze ball with their logo on it. I had already had my antibiotic drops (Vigamox) filled, and added them to the bag. My blood pressure was checked, and I was given a valium.

Next I was taken into the first laser room and was positioned under the laser. The tech handed me the ball from my bag, and told me to squeeze the ball, not my eyes! I was told to close my eyes and relax for a minute, which was actually nice as I think the valium took more effect. Then Dr. Carlson came in and the procedure began. I was worried about the placement of the speculum to keep my eye open, but it was no big deal. My left eye was taped shut as my right eye was done first. I was told to stare at a ring of lights in the laser, and a suction device was placed on my eye. The laser then lowered into place, and everything went dark as expected. There was a lot of pressure, and I could see little lights flashing as the laser cut the flap. It was slightly uncomfortable, but in no way painful and was easily tolerable. The speculum was then removed, the right eye taped shut, and everything repeated for the left eye. It felt like the left eye went slightly less smoothly, but not enough to be troublesome.

After the flap was cut, everything looked hazy as if I were in a very steamy room. I was guided out of the first room and just down the hall to the second laser room, in which there was two lasers. After Dr. Carlson examined my flaps using the slit lamp, I was positioned under the Allegretto Wave (Wavelight) for my Lasik procedure. Again, the right eye was done first, and again it was no big deal as the speculum was placed. Both the tech and Dr. Carlson were excellent about talking me through the procedure and letting me know what was happening. It was weird as the flap was lifted, as I could see the instrument moving across my eye. The flap was measured at 106 microns, and pachymetry was done to measure the bed of tissue. I was asked to stare at the green light as the red and white lights moved around. I was glad that I had read other accounts of the procedure as I smelled the burning tissue! I was not warned about that during the procedure! I did find it very nice to hear Dr. Carlson saying "Perfect!" as the procedure progressed, though...that IS something you want to hear from your surgeon! I also noticed the green light becoming sharper and more in focus as the procedure progressed. Very cool! Then the flap was put back into place and smoothed out. I was told to shut my eye gently and not to squeeze it. Then the right eye was taped shut and everything was repeated for the left eye.

Dr. Carlson examined both eyes with the slit lamp to make sure everything looked good. My left eye was taped shut. Both couldn't be taped because I couldn't see very well that way! I asked Dr. Carlson how he chose which to tape, and he said that he likes to tape the second eye as it doesn't have quite as much time to seal after the procedure and before leaving. I put on my sunglasses, and Dr. Carlson took me back to my family in the waiting room and talked to us all for a bit and answered all of our questions. I had arrived at the center at 1:30pm, and was leaving at about 3:30pm. I was told to remove the tape from my left eye at 6:00pm, and to start my eye drops then.

My vision out of my right eye was hazy when I left the center, but I could see things clearly through the haze. It was like looking through a window that is just beginning to fog over. I took a nap, and removed the tape from the left eye at 6:00. There was some bleeding in the white part of the left eye. It is more common for that to happen with Intralase. I rested with my eyes closed and listened to the TV the rest of the evening. I was able to read the menu to order dinner, and was amazed each time I opened my eyes as everything became more and more clear! There is some burning, but nothing bad by any means!

March 17, 2010

Unfortunately my dinner made me sick overnight, but that meant that I was awake to do my eyedrops! So I did them on schedule every two hours throughout the night. In fact, Dr. Carlson commented the next morning as he examined my eyes that he could tell I had been very good about using my drops. I was very excited as the tech started the eye chart big and I was able to breeze through it! I measured 20/30 in my right eye, and 20/25 in my left. There was still some haze, but I just kept saying "WOW!" I also could see the clock overnight for the first time in my life! There were no digital clocks before I had to start wearing glasses! I am to return to be rechecked in 2 1/2 weeks.

March 18, 2010

I still have some haze today, but overall I am seeing very clearly and I am not stressed. It is still early in the healing process, and through the haze my vision is so good! I took it easy during the day and rested my eyes, I am fortunate in that I do not have to work and can do that. I went to my spinning class (studio cycling) at the YMCA, and just took it easy so that I would not have sweat running into my eyes. Tonight was the first time I was out as dark approached, and I do have some glare and starbursting, but I do not think it is going to be in any way crippling. I am still being amazed with my vision. For example, I can SEE in the shower!

March 19, 2010

I am still being amazed by my vision. Looking out the window and into the distance my vision is just as good as with my glasses or contacts before lasik. There is a little bit of glare form the TV in a dark room, but not bad. There is still some haze, but I am not alarmed, it is still early in the healing process and I had a high correction. I am going out again tonight, and am anxious to see what my night vision is like when it is really dark.
Last edited by browneyedgirl70 on Fri Apr 30, 2010 4:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Thin Flap Lasik (Intralase) March 16, 2010 with High Correct

Postby LasikExpert » Sun Mar 21, 2010 10:40 pm

Excellent report. Please keep us up to date.
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Re: Thin Flap Lasik (Intralase) March 16, 2010 with High Correct

Postby PRKorIntacs » Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:50 am

Thanks for your report. I replied to your post in another thread.
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Re: Thin Flap Lasik (Intralase) March 16, 2010 with High Correct

Postby browneyedgirl70 » Tue Mar 23, 2010 4:20 am

Friday March 19, 2010 (Continued)

I have some starbursting and halos, but nothing intolerable. It is worse with some lights/headlights than with others. Interestingly, though, my perfect visioned husband (20/15 vision!) commented that the particular lights/headlights that I found most troublesome bothered him some, too!

My Dad wanted me to set his watch tonight, and reading the tiny print in the manual and setting the time was...interesting. I became nauseous, but I was able to do it. My vision is just different, like my eyes aren't working totally in sync with each other for close work. It is a weird sensation, because the only place I have ever been able to see "clearly" in my life is that close! At the same time, I find it just incredible that I can see all of the time...like in the shower, and reading the clock from across the room in the middle of the night!

Saturday March 20, 2010

This morning I can definitely tell that my right eye is more undercorrected than my left. That was the plan, but I am not sure how I am adjusting. There is more of a difference than I expected at this point. I also noticed, however, that my vision is still fluctuating, and by the afternoon the right eye had improved and the two felt better matched. The haze is definitely improving. My eyes still get tired easily at this point. Both eyes were burning and a bit dry by nightfall.

Sunday March 21, 2010

Today it has been noticeable that my close vision is not as clear or crisp as it was before my surgery. This is most apparent when working on the computer, so I decided to limit my time on it today and just take it easy again. That being said, it is not bothersome to read close, small printed material as far as the nausea I experienced Friday night.

Watching TV I don't notice very much that my vision isn't as clear or crisp as it was prior to Lasik. It isn't as clear and crisp, but it isn't as noticeable as on the computer. Things look pretty darn good as I look out the window into the distance. I didn't have as much dryness and irritation at the end of the day today. I don't know if the amount of time I was out and exposed to allergens/pollen yesterday made the difference in how my eyes felt by nightfall. Today is my last day on the antibiotic eye drops.

On sort of a side note, I have been dizzy today, but I don't think it is related to my eyes. I believe I am having some inner ear symptoms starting up again. I was treated for that on March 5th with a course of Pred and Nasonex (surgeon knew this), and it feels like it is returning. I am wondering if treatment again now will adversely affect my eyes. I am also wondering if this time of year was a poor choice for Lasik since it is allergy season!

Monday March 22, 2010

I would say that overall my vision is better today. There is a bit less haze, and my close vision is definitely better today. Today is the last day for my anti-inflammatory drops.
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Re: Thin Flap Lasik (Intralase) March 16, 2010 with High Correct

Postby Paul » Tue Mar 23, 2010 4:35 am

Nice thread browneyedgirl.

A couple of interesting points you mentioned that resonated with me....

My wife buys shampoo and conditioner sets that come in the same shape bottle, just have the words "Shampoo" or "Conditioner" on the front. Before I had this done I had to make sure I knew which was on the left or right before I started showering because I simply couldn't read them. Now, it is so simple!!

With regard to the halo effect, a slightly misty window is a great description.

I have also noticed a few moments of disorientation, it seems similar to those times when you just got a new pair of glasses in your previous life (aka pre-op)

Good Luck!!

Paul (Had it Done March 11 2010)
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Re: Thin Flap Lasik (Intralase) March 16, 2010 with High Correct

Postby browneyedgirl70 » Thu Apr 01, 2010 4:07 pm

I am going to post another series of updates. I am keeping this record for my own benefit, but I am also hoping that someone else might find it helpful. I admit that some of the days are quite boring, and hence brief. The more informative posts are at the end of this section of updates.

Tuesday March 23, 2010

Tonight was the second time I have been out after it has truly become dark. I do still have some halos and starbursting, but really not that much more than before surgery. My pupils are large (8.2 avg on wavescan), and my HOA's on wavescan were 5.0% OD and 3.9% OS. At one point my eyes got dry, though, and my vision was terrible...much worse than when it happens during the day. It cleared up when I was able to get my eyes lubricated.

Wednesday March 24, 2010

I still have some haze indoors sometimes, and some streaking from lights, especially from the TV. My eyes got pretty dry and uncomfortable tonight despite eye drop use.

Thursday March 25, 2010

My eyes have been VERY dry and uncomfortable today, especially this evening. I am using eye drops diligently. The regular Systane preservative free sometimes blurs my vision badly for a while after application, and overnight it causes quite a bit of build-up on my lashes.. The Systane Ultra preservative free do not seem to do this. I am very worried about the dryness, as I know what a frequent and potentially severe and even debilitating complication this can be.

Friday March 26, 2010

The dryness today was not as bad. I have switched completely over to the Systane Ultra High Performance lubricating drops, preservative free of course. I had already called the doctor this morning based upon yesterday, though, and my follow up appointment has been moved to this coming Monday.

Saturday March 27, 2010

I am noticing that there seems to be less "streaking" of my vision indoors today.

Sunday March 28, 2010

Today my vision seems the best it has been at any point so far!

Monday March 29, 2010

Today I went for my recheck, which had been moved up a week for potential dryness issues. My eyes were a bit dry Tuesday and Wednesday of last week, and were VERY dry on Thursday. That is why I called the doctor last Friday morning and they moved my appointment up to today. I have not really had much of an issue since Thursday though. Last week I had decided to finish using some Rite-Aid brand artificial tears (preservative free) and some Systane preservative free, which is the type I solely used Wednesday night and Thursday when the dryness issues occurred. Late Thursday night I switched over solely to the Systane Ultra High Performance preservative free, I really do think that is what made such a difference!

My recheck today was excellent. My right eye, which is the one that was supposed to be undercorrected, checked out at 20/20. My left eye, which is my dominant eye and historically my "better" eye, is 20/25. The right eye was not "supposed" to get any better than 20/25 because it was purposely undercorrected. The tech said that this is a perfect example of how vision fluctuates. I guess we will see. I would much prefer my left eye to end up better, and the right eye undercorrected as planned.

The doctor said everything looks great, including my tear film. I really haven't had a problem with dryness since last Thursday, and I hope it doesn't recur. I am a bit paranoid now! He said that if needed he would suggest lower punctal plugs as the next step. We aren't there yet! I was just disappointed that I didn't get to see the surgeon himself today, rather than another doctor in the office. I go back for my next recheck in one month.

The doctor also said I could begin using preserved eye drops up to 6 times a day, and gave me two samples of the Systane Ultra preserved bottles. He said I could fill in as needed with the preservative free. I am thinking that I will play it safe, though, and continue solely with the preservative free for now. From my experience last week, I am convinced that the type/brand of lubricating drops one uses can make a huge difference! I have read this elsewhere, also. I am sure that the type/brand that works well for one person may not work the best for another, so if you are having issues try another brand. As I have discovered even drops within the same brand can make a big difference!

Tonight during my spinning class (studio cycling), I noticed a LOT of haze again. The room is darkened during the class with just the light coming through the windows, and a string of white Christmas lights strung on a plant, and my vision was terrible. Everything was hazy and blurry. I had used my lubricating drops right before class because of all the fans in the room. I am pretty sure that dryness was the issue, though, and that is not surprising since there are overhead fans as well as a stand fan and an industrial size fan. I used my eye drops as soon as I could after class, and things started clearing back up. By the time I got home and sat down to watch a little TV everything was good again.

March 30 & 31, 2010

My eyes were a bit dry again both days. Tuesday the 30th I had to drive a bit in the afternoon sun on a very bright day, and even in my sunglasses I was a bit sensitive. My eyes were just really tired by the end of the day. Wednesday the 31st, though, I walked outside, again on a bright day, and didn't have a problem. Of course I went ahead and put my sunglasses on at that point. The sun was higher in the sky and not at such a glaring angle, which made a difference.

By nightfall on the 31st my eyes were less dry feeling, albeit tired. I am still having some streaking from light sources, particularly from the bottom edge...for example from the bottom of the TV screen or LED clock. I guess this may be astigmatism? I had astigmatism going in, and some streaking in my right eye before surgery. I would actually say that my right eye streaking is not actually much worse than before. I am also noticing some haze indoors again tonight. Is this normal at this stage, especially since it seemed to go away and then come back? I have also noticed that it seems like my eyes are more evenly matched today, and the left may even be a teeny bit better than my right again.
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Re: Thin Flap Lasik (Intralase) March 16, 2010 with High Correct

Postby LasikExpert » Fri Apr 02, 2010 3:18 am

browneyedgirl70 wrote: Is this normal at this stage, especially since it seemed to go away and then come back? I have also noticed that it seems like my eyes are more evenly matched today, and the left may even be a teeny bit better than my right again.


Yes, very much so. It is related to healing of the cornea. See our article about Lasik night vision issues.
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Re: Thin Flap Lasik (Intralase) March 16, 2010 with High Correct

Postby browneyedgirl70 » Wed Apr 07, 2010 4:41 pm

April 1-3, 2010

Nothing especially remarkable.

April 4, 2010

Today I noticed that I still have a bit of haze indoors. It is more noticeable in some low lighting situations than others. It also seems that my left eye is definitely back to being my "better" eye.

I have been pleased that my eyes have still not been overly dry on the whole. They still get a bit uncomfortable at times, especially if I spend more time outdoors. I am diligent about using my eye drops, and have continued to solely use the preservative free for now. Next weekend should be interesting, as I will be outside pretty much all day for three days.

I still have some starbursting, halos, etc., but I don't consider it to be very bad, and I am noticing some improvement, so I am happy on that front. There is still a bit of streaking from light sources such as the TV, LED lights, etc. but even that seems to be improving.

April 6, 2010

Today is my three week mark! I am so pleased with my results so far. It is wonderful to be able to do simple things, like look across the room at night and see what time it is!

This evening I noticed less hazing and streaking from those Christmas lights in my cycling class. My vision was the best in there that is has been so far.

April 7, 2010

There is less streaking from light sources in general, but it is not completely gone all the time. Interestingly this morning I noticed that the streaking from my right eye is pretty much straight up and down. The streaking from my right eye is up to the right and down to the left at a 45 degree angle! That makes the area that is streaking much greater when it happens. What is causing this to be like that?

My updates in general are getting pretty boring, so I won't post them for every day unless there is something unusual or I have something to report. My next recheck is scheduled for May 3rd, which will be my 7 week mark.
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Re: Thin Flap Lasik (Intralase) March 16, 2010 with High Correct

Postby LasikExpert » Wed Apr 07, 2010 5:45 pm

browneyedgirl70 wrote:April 7, 2010

There is less streaking from light sources in general, but it is not completely gone all the time. Interestingly this morning I noticed that the streaking from my right eye is pretty much straight up and down. The streaking from my right eye is up to the right and down to the left at a 45 degree angle! That makes the area that is streaking much greater when it happens. What is causing this to be like that?


Regular astigmatism or inflammation. Astigmatism is when the cornea is not spherical like the top of a ball, but is elliptical like the back of a spoon. The tip of the spoon catches light and will focus it off-center. This can cause the symptoms you describe. It is likely that you have inflammation induced astigmatism. Watch for it to dissipate as you continue to heal.
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Re: Thin Flap Lasik (Intralase) March 16, 2010 with High Correct

Postby browneyedgirl70 » Thu Apr 22, 2010 7:33 pm

Thanks so much Glenn! I thought it was time for another update, hopefully someone will find this useful!

April 10, 2010

Tonight my vision after dark was pretty bad. There were twice as many starbursts and twice as much glare coming from the BOTTOM half of lights as compared to the top half. I went out to eat at a dimly lit restaurant, and my vision there was downright terrible. Everything was hazy and blurred, and I also noticed everything was worse from the bottom half of lights in there. I could read the menu, but my quality of vision was downright awful, and scary. My husband is being the voice of reason right now, telling me that it is too soon to panic! Perhaps part of my issues tonight (but not all) may have been from dryness. This was the first time that I was outside ALL day on a sunny breezy day. Despite religious use of eyedrops, I suspect my eyes had some extra dryness tonight.

April 13, 2010

Today is the four week mark. Thankfully my vision has gotten better from that scary night last Saturday. However, my QUALITY of vision, especially indoors, still is not as good as it was before surgery. My acuity seems to be really good. That being said, tonight in my darkened spin class my quality of vision was better than it has been, and there was less streaking and starbursting from those white Christmas lights. So I am seeing some improvement, it is just not where I would like it to be yet!

April 20, 2010

Today is the five week mark. I am noticing that there is less streaking from light sources such as the TV. I believe that I still have some astigmatism, though. I am still noticing fluctuations in my vision, although they are becoming smaller and harder to quantify. My vision outdoors is really pretty good, and I am very pleased with it. My night vision is very acceptable to me. I do have some starbursting, glare, etc., but it is not that bad, and to me is an acceptable trade-off for not having to wear contacts or glasses. My concerns still lie with my vision indoors, especially in dim light. It is sometimes hard for me to really identify what is wrong with it, though. It still seems hazy or blurred I think is the best description. My husband still says it is not time to panic about my indoor vision...I hope he is right! I suspect he is...IS HE?

I am still religiously using my eyedrops, preservative free, every two hours and more if needed. I am using the Systane Ultra Preservative Free lubricant eye drops. I know my eyes are dry sometimes even when they do not feel dry...and sometimes they DO feel dry. I am also noticing more pronounced dryness when I wake up in the morning. It is noticeable that they are dry and gritty feeling, but is not very uncomfortable and I use my drops first thing. For the health and healing of my eyes do I need to be more aggressive about this by using an ointment or gel at night? Would there be any problem with just doing so, or do I need to specifically call my surgeon first?
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Re: Thin Flap Lasik (Intralase) March 16, 2010 with High Correct

Postby LasikExpert » Thu Apr 22, 2010 9:41 pm

browneyedgirl70 wrote:My husband still says it is not time to panic about my indoor vision...I hope he is right! I suspect he is...IS HE?


Wait until six months postop to consider panicking.

browneyedgirl70 wrote:For the health and healing of my eyes do I need to be more aggressive about this by using an ointment or gel at night? Would there be any problem with just doing so, or do I need to specifically call my surgeon first?


There is nothing wrong with checking with the doctor's office about using nighttime gel lubricant.
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Re: Thin Flap Lasik (Intralase) March 16, 2010 with High Correct

Postby browneyedgirl70 » Sun May 16, 2010 8:01 pm

Another set of updates...I hope this is helpful to someone!

May 3, 2010

Today was my recheck, my surgery was 7 weeks ago tomorrow. I am reading from the 20/20 line in both eyes, but I missed a couple. The left eye is sharper than the right. The doctor said everything is looking good, including my tear film. He was surprised that my eyes weren't any drier than they are because of the high amount of correction I required. I can probably back off some on my eyedrops. When I go back in August for my recheck they will check my refraction, etc.

May 11, 2010

Today was 8 weeks since my surgery, and I am still noticing improvements. The starbursts, halos, and streaking are less. The streaking from the bottom half of lights has even improved from just last week. They are no longer twice as many or twice as large. They are still are prominent than from the top half of lights, but definitely improving!

Overall I am VERY pleased so far with my decision to have Lasik. It is just SO nice to not have to worry about glasses or to have to hassle with contacts. I can look across the room during the night and see what time it is and I can read the bottles in the shower. If I am being lazy and lying in bed listening to the TV and hear something that I want to see, I can just open my eyes and see it! No more missing what I wanted to see as I fumble to reach my glasses and get them on. I can ride my horse without worrying with contacts, and better yet without my heavy clunky glasses sliding down (or off!) my nose! My glasses were SO very disruptive to my riding when I had to wear them, and I NEVER could get the adjustment right so that they would stay in place. Riding in sunglasses is fine, they stay in place, and I have even gotten in some rides near dusk sans eyewear! I really look forward to swimming and hope to do so soon. I was one who would never swim in my contacts, and glasses just aren't practical for swimming, so I have never in my life been swimming when I could actually see!
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Re: Thin Flap Lasik (Intralase) March 16, 2010 with High Correct

Postby LasikExpert » Mon May 17, 2010 3:28 am

browneyedgirl70 wrote:Overall I am VERY pleased so far with my decision to have Lasik.


So glad to hear all is working out for you!
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Re: Thin Flap Lasik (Intralase) March 16, 2010 with High Correct

Postby PRKorIntacs » Mon May 17, 2010 11:17 am

Thanks for the update! Was your target -0.5 in both eyes? Where are you at now in each eye? That's very impressive you can see some of the 20/20 line! What were you able to see with glasses and contacts before lasik? For me, it's 20/25 to 20/30 with glasses. Ill be surprised if I can achieve 20/20 BCVA, but was told improving a line of vision was possible. My target is -1.5 to reduce the risks of becomming hyperopic and to stay out of reading glasses, which is important since I spend hours in front of a computer.

Ive been warned many times that my night vision will be ruined due to my huge 8mm pupils. I am expecting a decrease in night vision, but I have no idea how bad itll be, but was told others with my pupil size have gotten lasik(or prk) and can see well enough to drive safely, even at night! Do you feel you see well enough to drive safely at night? How does your night vision compare vs. glasses? vs. contacts? This will give me an idea what I can expect myself.

Im also worried about dry eyes. I am choosing PRK for that reason among other reasons. What was your Schirmer's before lasik and what's it now? How often do your eyes feel dry and how often are you using eyedrops? Does anyone know the minimum Schirmer's for PRK? For lasik? I heard it was 10mm and 15mm. Ive been told I could have dry eyes since I can't tolerate contact lenses. If they are too dry for PRK, that would be a bummer as id love to be less dependant on glasses.

What else should I know? Despite the risks, I probably am going to go ahead if my eyes test out fine and aren't too dry. I know others have had complications and I am prepared to deal with them if I get unlucky.
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Re: Thin Flap Lasik (Intralase) March 16, 2010 with High Correct

Postby browneyedgirl70 » Wed Jun 02, 2010 5:12 pm

Hi PRKorIntacs!
I will try to answer all of your questions to the best of my ability. This got long, but I hope it helps!

I didn’t go into the Lasik procedure with -0.5 target in mind, until talking with the surgeon right before the procedure. Monovision had not been discussed since I am not yet presbyopic, but at that point the surgeon suggested I undercorrect my right (non-dominant) eye. He said it would buy me an additional 5-6 years before needing reading glasses. I am actually worried now that I didn’t get undercorrected enough! I shouldn’t be able to see any better than the 20/25 line with my right eye, and I was reading some of the 20/20 line with it, too! I don’t know my current prescription in each eye yet, that will be checked when I go back in August. Before surgery I was reading 20/20, missing 1 pretty consistently especially with the right eye. My right eye is not as good as my left (which is what I am used to!), and I am not sure if that is due to a little bit of astigmatism, and some undercorrection (which is what I hope!)

I now feel confident that all the weird streaking, ghosting, etc. was definitely due to inflammation and the healing process. I no longer notice any of it, especially when looking at the TV or led lights. The weird double starbursts from the bottom of lights at night are gone too.
I went to be evaluated for Lasik back when it was newly available in 1998. I was told then that I was not a candidate due to my large pupils. Over the years, other doctors commented about my large pupils and they said I wouldn’t be a candidate, so I was afraid that would be the case this time around too. My pupils averaged 8.2mm! I was evaluated before surgery by three different doctors and one tech, and none of them was worried about my pupil size. When I questioned them I was told the technology had changed and improved. I questioned my surgeon one last time the morning of surgery, and he said that I might have problems for about three days. I didn’t exactly buy THAT, but he was right that it wasn’t a huge issue. I could have driven at night right away, but the need to didn’t arise until later since the days were getting longer. I definitely do not have ANY issue driving at night. Before surgery I DID have some starbursts at night with glasses AND contacts. I kindof expected to have some problems after surgery, but was prepared for that. Initially the starbursts were fairly large and definitely more prominent from the bottom half of lights. Light reflecting off street signs was also streaked and ghosted, straight up and down in the left eye and at a 45 degree angle in the right. I could still drive even with that. Now at 11 weeks out I have some starbursts still, think Star of Bethlehem shaped, but they aren’t that bad. They aren’t THAT much worse than before surgery, in fact, but the QUALITY is different than before. They are sharper and crisper and a bit more pronounced. To me they are a more than acceptable trade-off for not having to wear glasses or contacts, and I have never felt unsafe driving at night. I try to think of them as being pretty, in fact. By the way, the Allegretto laser was used on me. I don’t know the ablation and transition zones, though.

One of my biggest concerns going into Lasik was dry eye. I knew it could be crippling if bad. I had begun to experience noticeable dryness in my right eye, and my contact lens tolerance in that eye was decreasing. Shirmer’s was 13mm in the right eye and 14mm in the left eye. When the one tech called to tell me that the doctor was turning me down for surgery, she mentioned my dry eye. I questioned my surgeon the morning of surgery again, and he wasn’t overly concerned. I have so far seen a different surgical fellow for each of my follow-up visits (one of the things about going to a university!), and the last one commented that he was surprised that I wasn’t having more issues with dryness due to the high amount of correction I required! The truth is that I am having LESS problems with dryness than before surgery, but that is because I have been aggressive about keeping my eyes lubricated. I was, and am, convinced that my eyes would heal better if given the best environment possible, and that included lubrication. I simply set myself a schedule. When I was still on antibiotic and steroid drops, I timed them out so every 2 hours I rotated between one of them or lubricating drops. As each med dropped out, I put in more drops and was applying drops every 2 hours through my recheck at week 7. Excessive? Maybe, but I was definitely comfortable and felt it was worth it. I was also using only preservative free drops through that time also. Since then I have started using some preserved drops, but still fill in with preservative free if I want to put multiple drops in each eye within a short period of time. I have started to space them out, and no longer drop on a set schedule. A couple of days I have noticed that my eyes started feeling dry, so I just stepped up the drops for a while again. I now am basically using them just as needed now, and sometimes right before times that I now it will be harder to do drops whether I feel like I need them or not. My procedure was actually thin-flap lasik (Intralase), and I think it was a good compromise between traditional lasik and PRK. I was concerned about some of the problems with PRK (corneal haze and potential scarring) with the high amount of correction I needed, and was frankly not a candidate for traditional lasik since my corneas are thin. Yes, it was also more expensive, but that wasn’t an issue for me since I wasn’t paying for it!

It sounds like you have realistic expectations. This board and others like it present very skewed perspectives since people with issues are the ones more likely to come here. That is why I have tried to keep coming back and updating in the hopes it will help someone out. I did find more positive experiences and information here than some places, and was sure to read what was presented here about actual statistics. The one about 98% of pedestrians being hit is cross-walks really stuck with me!
The skill of the surgeon DOES matter, and I found one who I felt was exceptionally qualified. I also felt that if he was qualified to TEACH it he must be pretty good, as not even every university even teaches it! I then decided to look at the broader statistics, and yes I placed some trust in my surgeon and stopped sweating the details. I was going to make myself nuts rather than better informed!

I have realized even more after surgery that the good outcomes are not as apparent. As I have recently told people that I had it done, I have learned that SEVERAL people I know have had it done with excellent results! I didn’t think I knew ANYONE who had had it done!
I am still beyond thrilled with my results, and I am actually still noticing improvements at 11 weeks out. I was out yesterday and realized I had forgotten to put my sunglasses on, and was standing in full sunlight! Up until that point I had wondered how I would go swimming since I was still wearing sunglasses all the time. The water park just opened this past weekend!

I would say just have realistic expectations about outcome and healing. You seem to, and you are certainly well informed, much more so than I was. I hope this helps, and if you have any other questions just ask and I I’ll do my best to respond.
(By the way, my latest endeavor is to take up photography on a more serious level. I have always been interested, but am now taking the plunge…can’t do that without good eyesight!)
browneyedgirl70
 
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