one month post LASIK: expectations and reality

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one month post LASIK: expectations and reality

Postby tootingbec » Wed Dec 20, 2006 8:37 am

It's now 33 days or so since my Custom Wavefront LASIK, and I'm still reaching for my glasses in the morning... then having a little moment of confusion as I realize (again) that I don't need them.

At my 1-month checkup this week, I made short work of the 20/20 line on the charts, and the 20/15 line was just a little fuzzy with either eye closed and great with two eyes open. I've had very little problem with dry eyes. And the nighttime halos have been extremely mild. My vision definitely fluctuates, but that's been at worst a minor distraction.

So I should be thrilled, right? Mostly I am, but this experience has taught me that, before the procedure, I had very, very good eyeglasses indeed. The glasses must've corrected me well beyond 20/15, because now post-LASIK I can't read road-signs as far away as I used to. Not even close! Now I understand why most people find driving in unfamiliar locations so nerve-wracking: with ordinary 20/20-or-so vision, you can't decipher many signs until it's too late to act on them.

I notice this problem both at night and during the daytime, which makes me think it's not a matter of stray light getting in beyond the ablation zone while my pupils are dilated. I just think I now have merely great vision, while before LASIK, with glasses, I had awesome vision.

I'll talk with the ophthalmologist at the 3- and 6-months marks about whether enhancement would be smart, but my inclination right now is just to get a pair of glasses for driving if I continue to notice this deficiency. I'm 39 years old now, and I would hate to monkey with my eyes so much in the pursuit of an elusive perfection that I caused problems for myself as presbyopia sets in.
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Postby LasikExpert » Thu Dec 21, 2006 12:28 am

Thanks for your great post!

Yes, for a few folks 20/20 "normal" vision is actually a step down; if before surgery you had better than normal vision with glasses.

It is still a little early in the healing period. You may have a small amount of change, but it is unreasonable to expect better than "normal" vision after surgery even if you had it before surgery with glasses. It can happen (and it might still happen for you), but it is an unreasonable expectation.

It sounds like you already know that a small amount of myopia (nearsighted, shortsighted) vision can be very advantageous as you pass age 40 and presbyopia becomes a problem.

Please keep us posted in the coming months.
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Postby Button1 » Thu Dec 21, 2006 10:43 pm

Thanks for your post, tootingbec....I feel the same way about the road signs...it's pretty disconcerning when you spend $5000 for vision that is not as good as a $150 pair of glasses but it's all about convenience. I just need to get used to not being able to see as well as before (but still well enough that I don't need the glasses anymore!!)
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Postby Betty39 » Fri Dec 22, 2006 12:05 am

This is interesting. I feel I see MUCH better than before with my contacts for sure, and even better than with my glasses. I had astigmatism and didn't wear toric lenses so my vision with contacts was okay but nothing like now. With glasses you are missing the peripheral vision.
Even colors seem brighter, it's weird. Now if these dry eye issues would totally resolve than I would be estatic. They are much better but this is getting old at 2 1/2 months! And the better they get the more I am intolerant to them feeling even a little bit dry.
However I will say I love not having to fiddle around with my contacts in the morning or needing to remember to take them out at night. I guess that is what this surgery is all about.[/i]
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Postby tootingbec » Fri Dec 22, 2006 1:00 am

Button1 wrote:I feel the same way about the road signs...it's pretty disconcerning when you spend $5000 for vision that is not as good as a $150 pair of glasses but it's all about convenience.


Before my LASIK, my eyeglasses routinely cost $400 plus. I was very myopic, so I had to buy the pricey high-index lenses if I didn't want to be wearing Coke-bottle-bottoms. And I broke or lost glasses frequently. Not having LASIK was proving more expensive than having LASIK!

Now, post-LASIK, assuming that my vision stays where it is now, driving is the only circumstance where I'll want glasses. So I can get a pair and leave them in the car. They'll be much less expensive than my old glasses, because they'll have a very mild prescription. And they'll be much less likely to get mislain.

On the other hand, now I'll be able to enjoy snorkeling, something I could never do before--trying to create a water-tight fit for a snorkeling mask over thick glasses is a laughable undertaking.

I just need to get used to not being able to see as well as before (but still well enough that I don't need the glasses anymore!!)


Glenn helped me understand that, especially for people like me who are entering middle age, it doesn't make sense to boil down how well you see to a single judgment. You have to make a distinction between near vision and far vision, because there are inherent tradeoffs. Now that I've had LASIK, my near vision remains really good, and my far vision is way, way better than before (without glasses).

My state requires 20/40 vision for driving, and I'm around 20/15. So my inability to read road signs from as far away as before is no kind of safety hazard; usually it's just a mild ego come-down. It would really only make a practical difference while driving in unfamiliar areas, which I do rarely. In a pinch, I could even put on my wife's glasses for driving. Her glasses make my far vision better and my near vision worse.

Mostly, I have just required an attitude adjustment. Too bad them newfangled excimer lasers can't perform that particular correction.
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Postby dmills1555 » Thu Dec 28, 2006 12:37 am

Well I just had my 3 month check up today and I can relate to a little of what everyone has said here. I am 46 yo and went into the surgery VERY myopic (i.e. -10). I too was spending a bundle on a pair of glasses, although I never lost them because I always knew exactly where they'd be (either on my nose, on the bathroom counter, or my bed table).

My vision post Lasik is excellent. Today, I tested at 20/20 in both eyes. I have my own snellen chart at home and I tested 20/20 in my left eye and 20/15 in my right eye last night. I would say that my vision is significantly better than it was with glasses or contacts. It has been like going from watching regular TV to watching HD-TV. Everything is so sharp and crisp. The place where I notice it most is driving (especially at night).

The only problem I have had is a slight bit of keratoconjunctivitis in the left eye. At my six week check-up, I was only seeing 20/40 - 20/50 out of that eye--especially late in the day. The doctor put me on Restasis drops and I have been doing that for just under two months. It has basically cleared up, as long as I stay with the drops. He said I may have to do the drop therapy for as many as six months.

The doctor said I am at +.25 in each eye right now, but I have not had to resort to reading glasses. I am very happy with the outcome. I thank God everytime I get in the car.

Doug
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Postby LasikExpert » Thu Dec 28, 2006 2:54 am

Congratulations!
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