Microscopes & travel after LASIK

If you are thinking about having Lasik, IntraLasik, PRK, LASEK, Epi-Lasik, RLE, or P-IOL eye surgery, this is the forum to research your concerns or ask your questions.

Microscopes & travel after LASIK

Postby sere1 » Sat Apr 07, 2007 12:18 am

Hi,

First of all, let me echo other users by saying that this site has been extremely informative and I've learned quite a bit.

I'm planning on having Lasik (with the microkeratome) in a week. I have myopia, around -6.5 in each eye. I have a slight astigmatism that my contacts have never needed to correct for.

One month after the surgery, I will be going to study in Europe for 6 weeks (so, major plane travel), which will include a week of working with microscopes and 3 weeks of being "in the field"--basically, working outdoors breaking rocks open in Romania (yay geology).

I am anticipating the dry eye, especially with the plane travel. However, what is the usual recovery of extremely close vision? ie Would I be able to use a microscope 1 month (or sooner) after surgery?

I must also confess to being extremely sensitive to vision changes--I'm never surprised at an eye visit when my vision has decreased by -.25--it's usually why I've scheduled one (my vision has gone down -.5 in the last two years, which both doctors/practitioners I visited labelled as "stable"). Will something like this make me nuts while recovering from Lasik?

(I'm not expecting to get perfect vision out of the surgery. I actually expect to need glasses or contacts afterwards, just a smaller prescription. I want to be able to figure out if a door is open or not by sight instead of touch... to not panic if I forget my glasses on an overnight trip, and therefore have to wear contacts all night, etc.)
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Re: Microscopes & travel after LASIK

Postby lkestler » Tue Apr 10, 2007 5:31 am

I had Lasik March 29th for myopia. Mine was -8 in the right eye and -7 in the left with a slight astigmatism. I had 20/20 vision just a few hours after my surgery and I have not had one side effect. I am also traveling in about one month on a plane and my doctor just said to make sure to take the eye drops on the plane and use them at least once an hour. My vision fluctuated slightly the first couple of days, I could tell it would go in and out briefly but after the first couple of days that stopped and I don't notice any changes now. So, hopefully by the time you are looking in microscopes your vision will have stabalized. Good luck.
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Postby sere1 » Fri Apr 13, 2007 5:06 pm

Well, I'm heading in tomorrow for the surgery with high hopes. I'm a bit apprehensive about dry eyes--especially the additional cost of the preservative free tears. But I'm sure that it will be manageable--I'm very good about sticking to doctor's orders. I'll post in the "Just had it" section soon.
-Cristina
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Postby LasikExpert » Sun Apr 15, 2007 4:40 pm

We will be looking for you in the "Just Had It' section.
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Postby sere1 » Tue Jul 03, 2007 2:22 am

I figured I'd post my own answers to my original questions.

My surgery was 14 April 2007.

I waited two weeks after the surgery before using microscopes. It wasn't that my vision couldn't handle it (all I had was a bit of dryness and more than usual swelling in my left eye). I just recalled a previous habit from my contact use of sometimes whacking myself with the eyepieces, so I decided to wait as long as I could, then be extra careful.

I could see fine with the microscope, but I did have to triple the amount of tears. Perhaps it was the intense focusing, or just the position of my head, or the fact that I was recording data on the computer screen, so I had to change focus quite often. Either way, it worked, but I was using 3 vials of Refresh/hour.

At my almost 4-week visit, the examiner told me that I could stop using tears, unless I felt the need to before bed. I looked at him like he was crazy, as I was still using tears 8 times a day. I guess my eyes just felt a lot drier than they were. I was 20/20 overall, with my left eye (when my dominance test actually shows a dominant eye, it's my left) 20/20 with some errors, and my right 20/20. I was really surprised at that, because my eyes had been doing great up til then, then in the chair my left one just wouldn't focus! Possibly it was because it was inside.

The plane trip went fine eye wise. I brought plenty of tears. I did notice that the more tired I was, the more I felt I needed them.

The first two/three weeks I was in dusty museums looking at fossils covered in coal dust. I used quite a few drops--4-5 vials/day, and 2 at night (when I'd wake up, and my eyes would feel very dry).

The last three weeks I was outside (or in a non-airconditioned car) all day. My eyes were constantly covered by sunglasses, to prevent wind drying from the car windows and rock dust from outside (we went to quarries with rock crushers; it was quite dusty). My eyes were fine! I was using maybe 1 vial in the morning, 1 in the afternoon, and 2 in the evening, when I had easier access to them and my eyes were tired. An increased use in the evening was also due to smoke. I'd forgotten what it's like to not have a non-smoking area. Smoke irritated my eyes (allergies and just an irritant) before the surgery, and it REALLY irritated them after.

The return trip, again, fine on my eyes; I used fewer vials than the trip out.

I should insert here that I abandoned Refresh after I discovered Systane, which I then dropped in favor of TheraTears. Systane I like, but affects my vision and I can never get the capsules to shut all the way, so by the time I need tears again (I use 1 or 2 vials/day and 1 at night almost three months out) they have evaporated and/or leaked. TheraTears don't soothe as much as Systane--in fact they slightly sting going in--but they last longer both in my eye and in the vial.

Also, I got much more relief from tears if they were slightly cooler than my body temperature (IE they hadn't been in my pocket). When they were in my pocket, I had a hard time telling if they had gone in my eye or not. If they were cooler, I could definitely tell.
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Postby LasikExpert » Tue Jul 03, 2007 3:28 am

Thanks for the great update!
Glenn Hagele
Volunteer Executive Director
USAEyes

Lasik Info &
Lasik Doctor Certification

I am not a doctor.
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