7 Weeks out and worried

Research your concerns in this forum or post your questions if you have had Lasik, IntraLasik, PRK, LASEK, Epi-Lasik, RLE, or P-IOL within the past three months.

7 Weeks out and worried

Postby THE ENGINEER » Mon May 17, 2010 3:54 am

Like some others who have posted here, I am unhappy with the results of my Lasik procedure. I had custom view lasik with the microkeratome performed 7 weeks ago. My uncorrected vision prior was -7.50 in each eye, but was what I would consider perfect when corrected with soft contacts.

For the first two weeks I could see enough to get around, but I was miserable. I got a new prescription for my glasses and wore those for a month. I could now see well again with glasses. After my 6 week post-op appt, I was told that I am seeing 20/20 and no longer need my glasses. This was hardly the case. I told the doc the letters were not clear, he says "Try to make out some of the letters". Well sure, if I squint, stand on one foot, and all planets are in alignment I can make out some of the letters. Not what I would consider ideal. Another frustrating element is that my vision is perfect for about 30 minutes every morning than regresses to what I will see for the rest of the day. If my vision would remain as good as it is first thing in the morning I would be ecstatic.

Anyway, I gave the doc's advice a shot and have not worn my glasses in over a week. This sucks! I can see OK in a small areas (ie bathroom, kitchen, my office, etc.) but when out in the open like outdoors or in a large store like walmart I am aware that my vision is not good. I have double vision when approaching stoplights, and now have an astigmatism in my right eye that was not there pre-op. One thing I noticed is that my vision seems better to me after the sun has set. I do not notice the astigmatism and feel I can see better. Maybe this is due to many features (i.e. leaves, power lines, fence posts, bricks on buildings, etc) being obscured with the low light so I do not have certain references. I feel that the doc is trying to convince me that I am now somehow better off than I was before and that this is a successful outcome.

What now??? I am so mad at myself for making this decision. There are so many better things I could have spent $3600 dollars on. I did this to make my life a little easier and so I could go camping, hiking, swimming, without worrying about losing a contact or my glasses. Now my life feels much more complicated as I have to constantly put in eye drops and deal with visual fluctuations and poor vision everyday. I now also have a fear that this will continue to give me issues for the rest of my life. That is not a good feeling. Has anyone else been through this and seen drastic improvements after week 7?

Thanks for any input.
Last edited by THE ENGINEER on Tue May 18, 2010 12:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 7 Weeks out and worried

Postby PRKorIntacs » Mon May 17, 2010 11:38 am

What's your residual prescription? You are probably not 20/20 if you have to squint and guess. Perhaps 20/30? Can glasses get you to 20/20? If so, you have the option of wearing them if you feel the need, such as night driving or to see words from the other end of Walmart. If your vision gets worse than 20/40, your surgeon may consider an enhancement. If you are presbyopic, keeping a small amount of myopia is beneficial.

My laser center claims a 97% rate of 20/20, but if they consider your 20/30 as "20/20" I would not believe their 97% rate. I don't correct to 20/20 with glasses(too small) but can see all of the 20/30 line though. One of the laser centers put me at "20/20-25 BCVA. My friends who can see a real 20/20 see words at a greater distance than me. I am not expecting 20/20 if I get PRK since my eyes are quite bad and even glasses don't get me there.

Were your eyes dry before lasik? Was PRK ever offered as an option? My surgeon does say that PRK causes less dry eyes and agrees with my reasons for choosing PRK. I haven't gotten it yet, but want to. Still researching and asking others questions on their experience. Have you noticed improvement a few weeks ago? What has your surgeon said about your healing progress?
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Re: 7 Weeks out and worried

Postby THE ENGINEER » Tue May 18, 2010 12:03 am

PRKorIntacs wrote:What's your residual prescription? You are probably not 20/20 if you have to squint and guess. Perhaps 20/30? Can glasses get you to 20/20? If so, you have the option of wearing them if you feel the need, such as night driving or to see words from the other end of Walmart. If your vision gets worse than 20/40, your surgeon may consider an enhancement. If you are presbyopic, keeping a small amount of myopia is beneficial.

My laser center claims a 97% rate of 20/20, but if they consider your 20/30 as "20/20" I would not believe their 97% rate. I don't correct to 20/20 with glasses(too small) but can see all of the 20/30 line though. One of the laser centers put me at "20/20-25 BCVA. My friends who can see a real 20/20 see words at a greater distance than me. I am not expecting 20/20 if I get PRK since my eyes are quite bad and even glasses don't get me there.

Were your eyes dry before lasik? Was PRK ever offered as an option? My surgeon does say that PRK causes less dry eyes and agrees with my reasons for choosing PRK. I haven't gotten it yet, but want to. Still researching and asking others questions on their experience. Have you noticed improvement a few weeks ago? What has your surgeon said about your healing progress?



I don't recall my residual prescription. You are correct that I could wear glasses for improved distance vision, but then again I was able to do that before I spent $3600!!! I just feel like I have been taken for a ride on this one and was not given all the pertinent information prior to the procedure. One important thing being that the flap never fully heals like a cut on your arm. That alone would have been a deal breaker and I would have walked away. Now I fear that the optometrist is not going to want to perform an enhancement and I will be stuck wearing glasses or contacts to see clearly. Only time will tell at this point. Hopefully things will improve. My next appointment is in 3 months.
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Re: 7 Weeks out and worried

Postby Mr.UnPerfect » Tue May 18, 2010 1:29 am

My result sounds similar. How old are you? And what laser did they use?
Do you live in Houston, TX?
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Re: 7 Weeks out and worried

Postby THE ENGINEER » Tue May 18, 2010 1:44 am

Mr.UnPerfect wrote:My result sounds similar. How old are you? And what laser did they use?
Do you live in Houston, TX?


I'm 32. They used the VISX Star S4 laser and cut the flap with a microkeratome. I am not in Houston. Unfortunately I think many of us on these message forums have had similar or other unsatisfactory results. That is why we are on here looking for answers and support instead of out of the house enjoying good vision.
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Re: 7 Weeks out and worried

Postby ltess » Tue May 18, 2010 2:40 pm

I know what you mean on the fact we PAID someone to do this to us. I feel I am living a walking nightmare. Have you discovered floaters yet?
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Re: 7 Weeks out and worried

Postby PRKorIntacs » Tue May 18, 2010 3:01 pm

I don't recall my residual prescription. You are correct that I could wear glasses for improved distance vision, but then again I was able to do that before I spent $3600!!!


You were a -7.5 before. You are most likley a -1 or less now. I am a -5.5 and see 20/800 without glasses and I feel blind as a bat! Ironically, I am aiming for a -1.5 undercorrection to avoid trading for reading glasses, yet greatly reducing my dependancy on glasses and actually being able to see without glasses. How much of a difference do glasses make anyway and do glasses still give you a solid 20/20? Were you 20/20 with glasses before lasik? I don't correct to 20/20 so have no idea what it's like, but I feel I see well with glasses.

I just feel like I have been taken for a ride on this one and was not given all the pertinent information prior to the procedure.


I do wish you and everyone else considering lasik(or PRK) research it for a long time online. May I ask how long you had researched lasik? How many others do you know that got lasik? What were your expectations? If you had expected perfection, that would be unrealistic. My surgeon says he kicks people out who expect too much because the chances are good they will be unhappy. I expect improvement and a reduced dependancy on glasses, basically if I get (similar to) what you get(minus the annoying dry eyes), it would make my life so much easier. I wear glasses about 90% of the time and if I could be less myopic, I would only need glasses 10% to 25% of the time for distance, but not need reading glasses.

One important thing being that the flap never fully heals like a cut on your arm. That alone would have been a deal breaker and I would have walked away.


Would you have opted for PRK instead or just stayed with glasses/contacts? Do you hate being 100% dependant on corrective lenses to the point that a huge reduction in dependancy would be well worth it?

Now I fear that the optometrist is not going to want to perform an enhancement and I will be stuck wearing glasses or contacts to see clearly. Only time will tell at this point. Hopefully things will improve. My next appointment is in 3 months.


If he believes you are 20/20(or nearly), he isn't going to enhance you. An enhancement carries risks and some people do end up worse off(overcorrection, complications, trade for reading glasses, more dry eyes, etc) I do hope your dry eyes improve, this is one of the worst things that can happen. I also hope your vision improves as your eyes heal, but where it's at, you should be legal to drive without glasses. Im wondering what situations you have difficulty seeing? Could it be due to dry eyes? How's the quality of vision? I do wish you the best as I am considering PRK myself.
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Re: 7 Weeks out and worried

Postby THE ENGINEER » Thu May 20, 2010 2:09 am

You were a -7.5 before. You are most likley a -1 or less now. I am a -5.5 and see 20/800 without glasses and I feel blind as a bat! Ironically, I am aiming for a -1.5 undercorrection to avoid trading for reading glasses, yet greatly reducing my dependancy on glasses and actually being able to see without glasses. How much of a difference do glasses make anyway and do glasses still give you a solid 20/20? Were you 20/20 with glasses before lasik? I don't correct to 20/20 so have no idea what it's like, but I feel I see well with glasses.


I can see well enough to function without glasses or contacts at this point, but vision quality is what I care about. With glasses or soft contact I felt that my vision was perfect. Having a reduced dependance is worth nothing to me as I want good vision quality. I was fed statistics and success stories that led me to believe this could/would be achieved. It was not.

I do wish you and everyone else considering lasik(or PRK) research it for a long time online. May I ask how long you had researched lasik? How many others do you know that got lasik? What were your expectations? If you had expected perfection, that would be unrealistic. My surgeon says he kicks people out who expect too much because the chances are good they will be unhappy. I expect improvement and a reduced dependancy on glasses, basically if I get (similar to) what you get(minus the annoying dry eyes), it would make my life so much easier. I wear glasses about 90% of the time and if I could be less myopic, I would only need glasses 10% to 25% of the time for distance, but not need reading glasses.


I have researched Lasik and other procedures off and on for a few years. My expectations were essentially perfect vision as that is what I was led to believe would be achieved. The problem is that unless you run into issues and are looking for answers you don't always know what to research or how prevalent issue are. Even when you find issues it is easy to downplay them due to the overwhelming amount of material stating how safe the procedures are and how high the success rates are. I wish I was turned away by the doc.

Would you have opted for PRK instead or just stayed with glasses/contacts? Do you hate being 100% dependant on corrective lenses to the point that a huge reduction in dependancy would be well worth it?


I would have chosen to stay with contacts, I have not worn glasses in 20 years and only wore contacts. A huge reduction in dependancy means squat to me as I will now be wearing glasses or contacts once again since it is quality vision I prefer, not just functional. I have now paid $3600 to see better for the few minutes it takes me to go to the bathroom and put in contacts. Not what I consider money well spent.

If he believes you are 20/20(or nearly), he isn't going to enhance you. An enhancement carries risks and some people do end up worse off(overcorrection, complications, trade for reading glasses, more dry eyes, etc) I do hope your dry eyes improve, this is one of the worst things that can happen. I also hope your vision improves as your eyes heal, but where it's at, you should be legal to drive without glasses. Im wondering what situations you have difficulty seeing? Could it be due to dry eyes? How's the quality of vision? I do wish you the best as I am considering PRK myself.


I do not understand why a lasik surgeon would not perform an enhancement for an unhappy patient. The risks are the same if the residual prescription is -.50 or -3.0. I would be willing to take the risk in order to be happy. I will give it a few more months to see if things improve. As far as vision quality goes, I can see things fairly well that are in a room with me, but outdoors it is different. Everything seem soft and a little out of focus. I also now have an astimatism in one eye that is driving me crazy.

If I was told that the recover time would be months, not days or weeks I also would have walked away. Those promoting these types of procedures are often good at word games where they do not lie to you, but mislead you knowing that you will likely take the bait. Anyway, thanks for the encouragement.
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Re: 7 Weeks out and worried

Postby PRKorIntacs » Thu May 20, 2010 8:53 am

THE ENGINEER wrote:I can see well enough to function without glasses or contacts at this point, but vision quality is what I care about. With glasses or soft contact I felt that my vision was perfect. Having a reduced dependance is worth nothing to me as I want good vision quality. I was fed statistics and success stories that led me to believe this could/would be achieved. It was not.


Is your vision quality good with glasses after lasik? How does it compare to contacts before lasik? I also read success stories, of course they don't show you the less than perfect stories. One has to research the outcome of others online to find out. Not everyone gets a perfect outcome and even those who get 20/20, the quality may be 20/30. Alot of people have unrealistic expectations, I once did. Doing some research on the internet let me know that lasik isn't a "cure" but a tool that can greatly improve your vision and reduce your dependancy on glasses and often let you see "well enough to function". For people like you, it wouldn't be worth the cost or risks. For others, a reduced dependancy on glasses is great.

I have researched Lasik and other procedures off and on for a few years. My expectations were essentially perfect vision as that is what I was led to believe would be achieved.


I wish surgeons would be more upfront that perfect vision is unrealistic. It does happen for some people, others get to enjoy seeing well enough to drive without glasses or see well enough not to need glasses fulltime. At one of my PRK consultations, I was shown a form that said "would you be happy to see better without glasses even if you don't see as well as you do with glasses before lasik" I said yes because I dislike glasses and to see well enough to function without them would be great. I always have the option of wearing glasses whenever I feel like to sharpen things. I just want not to be blind(20/800) without glasses.

The problem is that unless you run into issues and are looking for answers you don't always know what to research or how prevalent issue are. Even when you find issues it is easy to downplay them due to the overwhelming amount of material stating how safe the procedures are and how high the success rates are. I wish I was turned away by the doc.


Did you post on any forums before you got lasik? Im sure there are things even I don't know about regarding lasik/prk. I am aware of many different issues and I am aware my vision isn't going to be 100% after prk, but very likley decent and functional without glasses with glasses giving me the option in the few circumstances I would find them a benefit. You stand correct that the risks are downplayed. I had researched lasik over 5 years ago and saw a bunch of websites created by those with serious complications(way, way, way worse than yours) and they warn everyone not to get lasik. I posted on some lasik forums and those with good results say I am "missing out" while those with bad results warn me away. I think it boils down to how much risk is acceptable and what your expectations are.

I would have chosen to stay with contacts, I have not worn glasses in 20 years and only wore contacts. A huge reduction in dependancy means squat to me as I will now be wearing glasses or contacts once again since it is quality vision I prefer, not just functional. I have now paid $3600 to see better for the few minutes it takes me to go to the bathroom and put in contacts. Not what I consider money well spent.


May I ask why you even looked into lasik when contacts were working so well for you with minimal time and hassles? Even if lasik gave you the same vision as you got with contacts, what would be the point to save a few minutes? From other stories ive read, most contact wearers end unhappy after lasik since lasik usually doesn't give perfect vision, but functional vision. Contacts themselves allow you to see without glasses(unless presbyopic) I did try contacts myself but could never tolerate them. So in my case, if I get PRK, a huge reduction in dependancy means everything. It won't be "perfect" like contact lenses but contacts aren't an option for me unfortunately.

I do not understand why a lasik surgeon would not perform an enhancement for an unhappy patient. The risks are the same if the residual prescription is -.50 or -3.0. I would be willing to take the risk in order to be happy. I will give it a few more months to see if things improve. As far as vision quality goes, I can see things fairly well that are in a room with me, but outdoors it is different. Everything seem soft and a little out of focus. I also now have an astimatism in one eye that is driving me crazy.


As you have seen, lasik didn't give you perfect vision. Someone who's a -3 and ends up a -0.5 after lasik(or enhancement) would have come out ahead. If you are only a -0.5 to begin with, there's no benefit, why take the same risks? Maybe you could get an enhancement in the eye with astigmatism if it's a full diopter or more. Otherwise, glasses will correct that.

If I was told that the recover time would be months, not days or weeks I also would have walked away. Those promoting these types of procedures are often good at word games where they do not lie to you, but mislead you knowing that you will likely take the bait. Anyway, thanks for the encouragement.


I was told lasik would take a few days to recover while PRK would take a few weeks. I am still choosing PRK over lasik because PRK does not involve a flap, dries the eyes less, removes less cornea and has less risks overall. The question is whether I should get PRK with today's technology or keep waiting. I do feel today's lasers are reasonably good, but there's still a "rare" chance of really serious complications. What you have would be counted as a "success" by the surgeon. I am still doing more research and asking around. Thanks again for your time.
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