Are my eyes ruined @ 28 years old? 7 months post-op

Post your questions and start your research in this forum if more than three months ago you had any type of surgery to reduce the need for glasses and contacts.

Are my eyes ruined @ 28 years old? 7 months post-op

Postby DaveS » Tue Oct 16, 2007 5:20 am

Hey Guys,

It has been explained to me that I'm one of those people that falls into the 1/2 of 1 percent of all Lasik surgeries where nothing works out right. I've also been told that it will probably get better with time. It's seven months now, and time doesn't seem to be changing things for the better anymore.

I'm 28 years old.
Pre-op with contacts, I saw 20/20.
I was myopic with a contact lens prescription of -3.50 in each eye.
I have always had clear vision up close, with or without contacts.
I had 20/20 close and far vision with corrective lenses.
I had Epi-Lasik on 3/15/07 with some complications:
    No pain or discomfort whatsoever
    Vision was 20/150 for a period of time, extreme cloudiness
    The doctor said that mitamycin C would have helped cloudiness
    Unable to even read a book or the computer screen until one month post-op
    Driving is dangerous to this day.
    Three months post-op, had very poor vision up close and far. The left eye strained to see 20/30 and the right eye strained to read the 20/40 line.
    No refraction seemed to make my vision in either eye any more clear

In the last week of June, I had a touch-up surgery on the right eye. The doctor used Mytamicin C and I did not have the post-op cloudiness this time. He also put me on Pred Forte rather than Flarex. The eye healed relatively quickly to 20/25 (borderline straining hard).

Now, it's the middle of October. I am still seeing 20/25 in my right eye and somewhere between 20/30 and 20/25 with the left. No refraction makes the vision in either eye any more clear at this point.

My doctor is internationally known and respected which makes it hard to find a second opinion that is as qualified or higher. I'm trying to find one of the top refractive surgeons in the country. Lets say, one in the top one or two percent since my doctor is in the top five percent.

So, I ask the doctor the questions. What's wrong with my eyes? He explained that no refraction or astigmatism prescription helps my vision at all. He went on to explain that the poor vision that I am experiencing is due to higher order aberrations. From what I understand, these are caused by inconsistancies in the corneal shape. He explained that they are not necessarily problems with the surface of the cornea, but possibly throughout the cornea. He said that the technology is not yet ready to be able to treat this condition but that it may be in a few more months. He also thinks my vision will continue to improve over the next few months. This was about a month ago -- and clearly (no pun intended), there has been no improvement.

Here are two symptoms that I see that are bothering me. When I put eye drops in either eye, I can see very clearly for a few seconds until I blink. I mean -- I can read the address off of a piece of mail at 20 feet when normally I can't read it at a distance greater than two feet. So, if the fluid from the eye drop acts to "smooth over" the surface shape of the eye temporarily, it seems to me that it is not a condition throughout the cornea layer, but on the surface of the cornea. If this is the case, is this something that can be treated?

The other symptom is my vision from varying angles. When I look straigt on at an object, regardless of the distance, the object is blurry. If I tilt my head back and stay focused at the same object (now looking "down" closer to my cheeks), everything becomes extremely blurry and most things cannot be made out. On the contrary, when tilt my head forward while staying focused (now looking "up" past my eye brows), everything becomes very clear. Is this information good for anything? Surely it's good to somebody. The doctor doesn't think it is worth much, however. That is frustrating.

Oh, and my post-op care doc made the statement that she thinks it is as good as it will get and that she doesn't believe that I have 20/20 potential. I just about lost it when I heard that. I had 20/20 corrected vision pre-op and OBVIOUSLY saw MUCH better than I do now. I would do ANYthing to go back to contacts and being able to see things clearly with the lenses.

Now, for your reference, here are some of the characteristics of my current vision:
    Things are blurry at absolutely any distance in any lighting
    I can't read the license plate of the car in front of me without doing the head tilting thing. Same for street signs.
    I no longer can drive on trips because I can't read the street signs.
    Computers and books were EASY for me to read at the tiniest resolution pre-op. Now they are hard to see at low resolution.
    I can't read bill boards or business signs unless they are large and right on the side of the road.
    Again, when I place a drop of Systane in either eye, it is very clear until I blink.

I'm 28 years old and have a wife and three children. I am literally missing out on them growing up. I didn't go out on the lake with them this summer because I felt boating is too dangerous. I have almost run over three or four people walking, running, or on bikes since the surgery. This is the most frustrating thing I have experienced in my life. I went through a divorce involving a child, and this is MUCH worse. I feel helpless in the situation and do not know how to find the best doctor to turn to.

At this point, I am open for any suggestions or to answer any questions. I am still on good terms with the eye doctor at this point, but having to deal with this every second... every minute, of every day is driving me literally insane. My job involves 100% travel and work on the computer which is obviously extremely difficult for me at thsi point.

What are your thoughts? Does anybody know who the top few doc's are in the country for issues such as this? I have one of the best, so I want to go see one that is better. Please let me know if you have any info that can help. If you have doctors to recommend, or other things of a personal nature, you can e-mail those instead so they are not on public display.

Thanks for all of your help and support thus far.

Frustrated, disgruntled, helpless, and more frustrated,
Last edited by DaveS on Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:28 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby DryEye » Tue Oct 16, 2007 2:11 pm

My thoughts on two after doing some research and asking lots of questions to people in the industry.
Dr D. in Kansas - part of this site and also comes up as a Top 10 doing google searches ( listing) along with being mentioned by other docs as handling post lasik cases. Definitely someone to visit to get his opinion.
Dr. S in Houston
Dr. W. in Nashville
JPD mentioned DR. C in LA area/90210 area code
Glenn will know better as he does the most research and probably also attends various conferences and does this for a living (research, etc.)
Read some of the industry mags to check them out and maybe come up with other names
You should also go see a corneal specialist if you haven't already.
Hang in there and let us know.
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My heart goes out to you man

Postby Blindbat2007 » Thu Nov 29, 2007 1:13 pm

I hope you get some relief. Your story sounds exactly as you put it, frustrating.
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Postby DryEye » Sat Dec 01, 2007 2:33 am

Did you contact any of the names I mentioned or anyone else you may have come up with?
Interested in hearing what someone else had to say about your situation
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Postby SteveR » Sat Dec 01, 2007 10:56 am

What would be handy, IMO, is data related to the long-term prognosis for corneal smoothing/clouding rather than the more common 6-month case studies that I’ve come across in the past. I’m not sure that many long-term studies of this type exist though, and in their absence would have thought many of these symptoms would tend to reduce/improve in the long term, if anything. That’s a guess though. The fact that wetting your eyes improves things sounds promising from my amateurish perspective though.

Most of us suffer some degree of second order abberations following surgery, though of course these are usually an improvement on the first order ones originally corrected.

Good luck.
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Postby DaveS » Fri Jan 11, 2008 6:12 am

I wanted to post a quick update. My vision has not improved and I am nearing one year post-op. I went back to the doctor in December for more Orbscans and Wavefront scans. He gathered all of the data and sent it to one of the best lasik doctors in the country at the University of Rochester.

The conclusion is that they concur that there is currently nothing currently available to help me see better than I am today.

This is extremely depressing. Let me emphasize -- before surgery, I could see 20/20 with contacts or glasses. Now, I cannot read the computer screen without getting a few inches from it and squinting. I had to buy a much larger monitor and tv just to not go insane.

I have scared myself driving several times. When a person on a bicycle is riding on the shoulder, the ghosting of the road vs. the biker vs. the grass or sidewalks blends it all together so well that you don't see things like that until you're really close to them. It's annoying running through potholes because they blend in. The ghosting of people so bad that you cannot recognize them until they are a few feet away. Making "eye to eye" eye contact more than a few feet away no longer happens.

I would give anything... ANYthing short of my family to have my old vision back. anything else. period.
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Postby floatanddry » Fri Jan 11, 2008 3:08 pm

Did they give you a reason why this is as good as it gets?

There is some research and progress in using RGP lenses for problems post RS. You may want to contact the doctor at this website who has done a lot of work with this and related contact lens technologies.


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Postby LasikExpert » Fri Jan 11, 2008 5:18 pm

floatanddry, we do not allow doctor or clinic names in the forum, however DaveS can email me directly at glenn dot hagele at usaeyes dot org for the contact information of the doctor you recommend.
Glenn Hagele
Volunteer Executive Director

Lasik Info &
Lasik Doctor Certification

I am not a doctor.
Site Admin
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Postby floatanddry » Sat Jan 12, 2008 2:46 am

sorry about that.
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Postby bada5150 » Mon Jan 28, 2008 11:10 pm

I have similar problem on my right eye. My right eye sees everything blurry at all distance. I already have seen two other doctor and one of them told me that I got induced irregular astigmatism. He put RPG lens and other lens and glasses, none of them gives me clear vision. When I put eye drops in, things get little sharper.
You might have irregular astigmatism like me.

Glenn what is difference between irregular astigmatism vs. higher order aberrations?

Are they same thing?
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Postby bada5150 » Tue Jan 29, 2008 5:07 pm

Dryeye, are you getting enhancement on your eye? Do you know what procedure you will go with? Do you know if you have irregular astigmatism since I have similar symptoms like you do.
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Postby brightside74 » Tue Feb 05, 2008 4:40 pm

DaveS wrote:I would give anything... ANYthing short of my family to have my old vision back. anything else. period.

Hi DaveS
my story is very similar to yours, I also reached 20/20 vision with my lenses before surgery and now here I am, with all the complications that came from the surgery I had.
I cried over this for a year, then one day I decided to do something about it.

I also have a baby and a family and am working and travelling around the world, I had no intention whatsoever to give up on having a normal life and I found that RGP helped me solve my problem.
So, please do not despare and look for alternative solutions to surgery. RGP can really help you with your problem, they did it with me and I can say my life is back on track.

Good luck to you
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Postby armyvet » Thu Mar 20, 2008 9:00 pm

David I am sooo sorry for what happened and I am scared as hell because I am only one week after my surgery and I see everything blurry, driving is a nightmare, I cannot read license plates, and at least I can still see computer and TV for now, but work is hard and on top of the icing cake I am a disabled veteran, I was hoping to enhance at least some of my life and not to become a dysfunctional veggie at 33!!! I live in Tyler, TX, I would love to keep in touch with you David, write me an e-mail please and keep me updated....
Question: how come you still have a driving licence?
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Postby cannotthinkofaname » Thu Mar 20, 2008 11:27 pm

David, welcome to my world. I would also give anything to take that day back - to when I could see 20/20. There are so many horror stories, you are not alone. My eyes are destroyed beyond repair.
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