My LASIK experience

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.

My LASIK experience

Postby mcveyes » Mon Oct 30, 2006 11:20 pm

First of all, I want to extend my thanks to everyone who participates in this forum. I was having a lousy time trying to find good information on LASIK before coming across this web site -- it seemed like everything was either industry marketing material or scare stories. So thanks to all of your for sharing your experiences, and thanks to the site maintainers for providing a great informational resource. I feel like I was able to make a much more informed decision with realistic expectations after following these forums for a few weeks.

Anyway, I wanted to contribute something back by sharing my own experience. I decided to go ahead with a LASIK procedure, and had my surgery on Friday (three days ago). Prior to surgery, I was -2.25 in both eyes, with very mild astigmatism and good eye health overall. (I am a 30 year old male.)

My procedure was CustomVue with Intralase. I was pretty nervous the day of the surgery -- I get faint around needles, and generally have a tough time around doctors. They gave me a sedative pill about 30 minutes before the surgery, but if it did anything, I sure couldn't tell. I was just as nervous going into surgery as I was when I first walked in the door. They cleaned up around my eyes with iodine, gave me the anesthetic eye drops, and fitted the suction ring on my right eye. The suction ring itself wasn't as uncomfortable as I thought it would be, but when they applied the pressure to the front of the eye to cut the flap, that part was very uncomfortable. It definitely didn't feel good to have that much pressure applied to the front of my eye -- it didn't hurt exactly, but was not a good feeling. I gritted my teeth and groaned a bit, and in about 20 seconds it was done. Other than the pressure, I didn't feel or see much of anything while they were cutting the flap. The second eye seemed to go a bit quicker (maybe because I knew I was almost done).

The hard part over, the surgeon taped back my eyelashes and inserted the eyelid speculum for the first eye. I had expected that part to be uncomfortable, but I didn't really notice it at all. Likewise, lifting the flap was quick and painless, and the laser itself was quick and easy (21 seconds for me). I did smell a bit of the vaporizing, which was weird but OK. I had thought that it would be hard to keep my eye open for that long, but it wasn't difficult at all -- I never felt like I was fighting the speculum. The surgeon replaced the flap, smoothed it down, taped the eye shut, and then did the other one. Fifteen minutes after I walked into the laser room, I was done.

Coming out of surgery, I couldn't see much. Everything was pretty blurry and very hazy. I took the recommended nap when I got home, and when I woke up a few hours later, was pleased to find that there wasn't really much discomfort in the eye -- no burning, no itching, no eyelash-in-the-eye feeling. My vision was still very hazy and my eyes were clearly dry, but otherwise OK. I had dinner, put my drops in, and went to bed.

The next morning I could tell that my eyes were very dry and that seemed to be contributing to some haze, but the focus itself was excellent. I drove myself to my post-op appointment in the early morning. There were definitely halos around bright lights, but not so much that it was especially a problem. My manifest tested at 20/15, and I got more artificial tears to manage the dryness.

Since then, the haze has mostly gone away. I'm using the drops a bit left often, but still have some dryness issues. Toward the end of the day, I notice some soreness in both eyes -- sort of a dull ache. I assume that's part of the healing process, and/or related to fatigue and dryness. Hopefully it goes away in a few days. Visual sharpness is still great -- I don't know if I'm still seeing 20/15, but it seems like it. Still some halos around bright lights, and still some sensitivity to strong daylight -- I've been wearing my sunglasses. I also have bruises on both eyes from the suction ring. Fortunately, the bruises are mostly up under the eyelids, and only the edges of them show when I turn my eyes. Sleeping with the mask has been no fun, but I manage.

So far, I'm pretty pleased. I can read fine, my distance vision is great, and I worked a full workday today (eight hours at a computer screen) with no trouble (although I did take some breaks to rest my eyes). I'll report back in after my one week check-up.

So thanks again to everyone on the forums for the great information, and thanks to the site admins for all of the other great information -- this web site has been by far the most helpful resource that I've come across. I'm glad to be able to contribute something back.
mcveyes
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Oct 30, 2006 8:34 pm

One week exam

Postby mcveyes » Wed Nov 08, 2006 7:29 am

One week check-up looked great. I'm very slightly over-corrected (+.25) at the moment, but not so much that I've noticed. I have noticed that my right eye seems to focus slightly better than my left, but they're both seeing 20/15 on the eye chart, according to my optometrist. Dry eyes seem better, the bruises from the suction ring are receding (but still a bit ugly), and the soreness has mostly gone away over the last 24 hours. I'm definitely still a bit light-sensitive, and am still seeing halos and starbursts at night, but I can live with them. The worst part of the first week is that my nose got chafed wearing the mask at night :-/ Otherwise, I'm glad to report that everything is going well for me -- thank goodness!
mcveyes
 
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Joined: Mon Oct 30, 2006 8:34 pm

Postby LasikExpert » Thu Nov 09, 2006 4:43 am

Your detailed description of your Lasik experience is really appreciated. Keep us posted.
Glenn Hagele
Volunteer Executive Director
USAEyes

Lasik Info &
Lasik Doctor Certification

I am not a doctor.
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One month follow-up

Postby mcveyes » Fri Jan 05, 2007 5:49 pm

Like they say -- no news is good news. My one month check-up was uneventful, so I forgot to post a follow-up. I'm now two months post-op, and things are going well. The blood bruises around the irises are completely gone, and the soreness along with it. The night halos seem to be getting a bit better, or maybe I just notice them less. I still have dry eyes some mornings (especially now that it's winter and I'm using my wood stove), but other days I forget all about it and don't put in any drops at all. And I've finally almost overcome the urge to try to take out my contact lenses at night :)

The last week or so, I do seem to have picked up some sort of tic in the lower eyelid of my left eye. It comes and goes at various points throughout the day. It feels like a tiny muscle spasm just below the eye. Not a big problem, and probably not LASIK-related, but I mention it for completeness.
mcveyes
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Oct 30, 2006 8:34 pm

Postby LasikExpert » Fri Jan 05, 2007 6:36 pm

Thanks for reporting in!

A spasm in the upper or lower eye lid is called a blephospasm. Transient blephospasms are rather common. If the blephospasm persists you may seek the care of your ophthalmologist. Years ago ophthalmology developed a method of using much diluted botulism injected at the muscles causing the blephospasm. The diluted botulism paralyzed the muscles and stopped the blephospasm for an extended period of time. If that sounds familiar it is because this technique was expanded to other areas of the face and is now commonly known as Botox.
Last edited by LasikExpert on Thu Nov 29, 2007 3:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
Glenn Hagele
Volunteer Executive Director
USAEyes

Lasik Info &
Lasik Doctor Certification

I am not a doctor.
LasikExpert
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3309
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 6:43 am
Location: California

Three month checkup

Postby mcveyes » Mon Feb 26, 2007 5:08 pm

Had my three month checkup earlier this month, and am pleased to say that it was pretty uneventful. It looks like my eyes have individually stabilized around 20/20 (20/15 when using both eyes together), with very slight (+.25) far-sightedness. The blephospasm seems to have mostly gone away, although it took much longer than I would have expected -- over a month. Still have some dryness (no doubt aggravated by dry winter weather), but drops once or twice a day keep it under control. Still seeing some halos and starbursts at night, but hardly notice them anymore. My next appointment will be my six-month, so I'll probably disappear from the boards between now and then. Thanks again to all who have shared their advice and experiences!
mcveyes
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Oct 30, 2006 8:34 pm

One Year Checkup

Postby mcveyes » Fri Nov 09, 2007 6:17 pm

I just had my one year checkup, so I figured I'd re-visit the board to post one last update.

One year post-op, everything looks great. Still seeing 20-20 or better, and no problems reading. (I'm now 31 years old.) I think my eyes are a little bit drier than before the op, but it's not a big deal -- eye drops maybe once or twice a week on those morning when things feel a little bit scratchy. My night vision is fine -- I have some slight haloing and starbursting, but it's probably better than when my contact lenses would get dry late at night.

I still have eyelid spasms that come and go some days. I don't imagine that's LASIK-related, but it is something that's been more noticeable since the operation.

After one year of not wearing them, my glasses are still in my medicine cabinet. I don't know why. I guess it just feels weird to get rid of them after 25 years.

All told, I have no real complaints about my outcome. Everything has healed well, my eyesight is great, and it looks like I'm complication-free. The whole process set me back about $4500, between the operation and follow-up care. Even figuring the cost of glasses and contacts for the rest of my life, I doubt it was a money-saving procedure for me. But it has been a quality of life improvement. Not messing with glasses or contacts while camping, motorcycling, or playing sports has been pretty nice. No more irritated eyes from dry contact lenses. I've got more self-confidence in my physical appearance than I did with glasses. (Even after 25 years, I never did like they way the looked on me.) I think I'm glad I did it, if only because if I hadn't, I'd still be wondering...

Anyway, thanks to everyone on this board for helping me to make a much more informed decision!
mcveyes
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Oct 30, 2006 8:34 pm

Postby LasikExpert » Thu Nov 29, 2007 3:42 am

It is very gracious of you to visit us again and tell us of your one-year follow-up. This kind of information is so very helpful.

I'm delighted to hear you are satisfied and feel an improvement in your life thanks to Lasik. That is the best possible result.
Glenn Hagele
Volunteer Executive Director
USAEyes

Lasik Info &
Lasik Doctor Certification

I am not a doctor.
LasikExpert
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3309
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 6:43 am
Location: California

Postby allyklima » Thu Nov 29, 2007 11:09 am

Hello all,
I had my Epi lasik surgery 3 weeks ago. I had -6 and -7 with astigmatismus -0.25 both eyes. When I went for first check up they didn't tell me the numbers, just said that right one is slower to recover. Left eye I can see very nicely, but right one still not clearly. I went to see my regular doctor and after check up my righ eye is +1.5 and astigmatismus -3.5... is this normal???
Thank you all, I'm kind of worried...
allyklima
 
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Location: Slovakia


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