Eye MOVED a lot during PRK procedure

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Eye MOVED a lot during PRK procedure

Postby prk_panic » Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:42 pm

Hey Peeps!

I am 32 years old and had PRK done on both eyes in mid-Dec 2009. My prescription was -3.50 for my right eye, and -3.75 with a little astigmatism for my left eye. I think the intended lasering time was 15 sec for my right eye and 22 sec for my left eye. Everything went well for my right eye (done first) but the procedure didn't go as smoothly for my left eye. After the doctor had scrubbed my left eye, when he was scraping it clean, I felt something and only said "uh". Then the doctor moved to a different part of my eye, and I felt nothing, so I thought it wasn't so bad. The doctor was telling me a story about China at the time and I don't think he noticed... Anyway, I realize now it was a horribly stupid thing not to say anything, because when the laser came on I couldn't keep my left eye still! I don't remember any pain per-se but my eye must have felt something because I could barely control it! It kept moving to the side and the doctor kept saying "look at the laser, look at the laser". I couldn't even see the laser at that point! I'm not sure if I was tearing a lot but my vision was very blurry. I did struggle really hard to try to keep my eye in the middle, but it was quite a shaky fight, and the laser paused several times because I had moved my eye too far. Regardless the doctor said "you did beautifully" and sent me on my way home. The next day for my 1-day checkup my eyes tested at 20/40 for my right eye and 20/100 for my left eye. I started to cry. I told the doctor my story (different doctor than my surgeon) and he said it was very common for the first eye to hold still and the second eye to move more (because you know what to expect and you have less adrenaline for the second eye). He said that the Visx Star laser has eye-tracking so it doesn't matter how much you move. He said that it is common for the two eyes to heal at different rates and it's just a coincidence.

However, my left eye has never seen as good as my right eye since the surgery. I'm at the 3 week mark now (which is still early on I suppose) but my right eye sees perfectly at 20/25 and my left eye sees washed-out at 20/25. Even though I can read the same line on the eye chart, my left eye has a different colour contrast then my right eye, everything looks washed out so the black letters look greyish and the light looks more whitish than yellowish. Not only is my vision cloudy, it's less sharp, and at night I see glows/halos/double-vision and starbursts. Lights close to me are fine, lights intermediate away have halos, and lights far away have starbursts. The halos around lights intermediate distance away tended to shrink and expand with my heartbeat. Anyway, the doctor simply says that everything is normal for the first month of recovery. However, my right eye sees PERFECTLY! Have I brought this upon myself by moving too much under the laser? I've been a basket-case for the past 3.5 weeks (worrying and crying a lot). I suppose I should be greatful that I have one perfect eye, but I am not happy that the quality of vision is so poor in my left eye. I know I should be more patient and wait a month before I judge. But it's just so frustrating right now as my right eye is so good...

Has anyone else had experience with moving during PRK? Does anyone have any info on eventual outcomes for such cases?

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Re: Eye MOVED a lot during PRK procedure

Postby davinci23 » Fri Jan 08, 2010 4:15 am

Hi Sharon,

This is a moral support reply since I'm not an expert just a patient.... I'm going through my own issues 5 weeks post-Lasik.

Anyway, just want to say hang in there. I've been through the basket-case scenarios myself and may still go through more iterations of it. But the eyes are funny things. They heal at different rates and I've noticed that one day you may take one step forward and the next two steps back. And the eyes do things at different rates. The worse thing about the eyes is you can't not notice every little thing. Its frustrating but hang in there (got tell myself that too).

The thing about eye surgery they don't really emphasize its a process not an event. I've had surgery before. But when you deal with other parts of the body you might notice an ache or pain. I equate the equivalent for the eye to have a blurry day.

Hang in there. Been through the "down in the dumps days" myself. I literally had the worse holidays of my life because of worry myself.

Anyway, hopefully the next reply will be from one of the experts who can give you the medical info you're looking for....

Good Luck,

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Re: Eye MOVED a lot during PRK procedure

Postby ToolBoy » Sat Jan 09, 2010 1:31 am

20/25 in left eye is a reason to obsess after a -3.50 diopter? Without leaving your eyes time to recover? IMHO, I believe you are overthinking.

I believe you should spend your time in the good. Good luck with all!
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Re: Eye MOVED a lot during PRK procedure

Postby prk_panic » Sun Jan 10, 2010 4:36 am

Clairification... Night vision in my left eye SUCKS!

The 3-week visual acuity I posted was just me testing myself at home with an eye chart I taped to the wall. Looking at it brightly lit by the hallway lamp I can read 20/25 with each eye (left eye is washed-out and fuzzy though) as stated. When I look at it in dim light, my right eye can read 20/40 and my left eye can only see the big E which is 20/200! Even that big E is very fuzzy! As I stated before, my left eye also sees lots of halos and starburts... I am uncomfortable driving at night. I can tell the vision in my left eye is fuzzy when I'm indoors.

However, my vision seems perfect to me in broad daylight. I guess that's because my pupil is super-small and that part of my cornea is fine. I wonder what my acuity score would be if taken in the doctor's office. It's dim in there but the letters are brightly backlit. What I've really learned from this experience is though is that visual acuity isn't everything. Quality of vision is so very important. It kills me when I think I may have permanently harmed the quality of vision in my left eye...

LasikExpert/Glenn, any comments for me?
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Re: Eye MOVED a lot during PRK procedure

Postby swerveut » Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:00 pm

Hello Sharon,

Not an expert, but again, another 'moral support' reply...

I went through a similar panic attack when my baby cousin inadvertently hit me in the right eye one week post Lasik surgery. I immediately started seeing some visual distortions from this eye and it also got really swollen. Even though my surgery had gone very well, I got presbyopia in one eye and myopia in right eye. It was horrible. I could not read up close without getting severe headaches and could not see clearly in the distance either. This caused me a lot of distress and worry and I started doing the home eye exams every day as well. I thought I had botched up my eye surgery through my own negligence. However, now one month post-op, both my eyes can see roughly the same now and the severe visual distress I went through is no more. My advice to you would be to be a little patient. Each eye heals at a different rate and sometimes that can cause visual changes as well. Wait and observe maybe for two to three months and keep your doctor well informed of how you are doing. Above all, keep an optimistic outlook because if worst comes to worst, you can get a correction carried out which would be able to fix what this one left behind. Hope this helps. Cheers!
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Re: Eye MOVED a lot during PRK procedure

Postby prk_panic » Sat Jun 05, 2010 7:14 pm

A 6-month update from me...

I just had my 6-month check-up and I have an enhancement scheduled for my left eye (the one that shook). It only has a prescription of -0.75 but it has some very odd astigmatism which is greatly affecting my quality of vision (especially in dim lighting conditions). The new astigmatism cannot be corrected with contacts so I am opting to try again with an enhancement. My right eye has been doing well (almost 20/20, clear and crisp) and my brain has been mostly relying on my right eye so my vision seems good most of the time. I'm happy to be getting my enhancement soon as I don't like relying on only one eye for good vision.

Am I happy I had laser eye surgery? Not quite yet... It has indeed been very convenient (I went on a 10-day trek in Nepal under less-than-perfectly-sanitary conditions and was happy I didn't have to deal with contacts). However my results are less than perfect right now and I won't be happy until they are. I am only going to do the enhancement once and then I'll be left with whatever I'm left with. I figure as long as I don't move it must turn out better than this (I will ask for extra freezing this time and will loudly voice any pain).

I don't think I was a good personality-type for laser eye surgery. This process has taken a huge toll on my emotions, time, and expenses. Based on my experience, my husband has decided not to get laser eye surgery, and when other people ask me I recommend against it.
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Re: Eye MOVED a lot during PRK procedure

Postby davidmartinomalley » Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:39 pm

prk_panic wrote: This process has taken a huge toll on my emotions, time, and expenses.

I think the greatest factor overlooked in the decision to undergo corrective eye surgery is the emotional aspect. While you need time to heal, the fact that you can drive the next day (with lasik, anyway) gives the impression that you *are* healed already. And if there are complications, you live them 24/7. Personally (and I had complications too) I'd advise anyone thinking of having surgery to take a week off. If you have kids, have your spouse take a week off too.

Best of luck with your enhancement. For what it's worth, once you are past all of the problems, you quickly forget the emotional pain you have gone through.

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Re: Eye MOVED a lot during PRK procedure

Postby prk_panic » Wed Oct 20, 2010 5:35 pm

Another update from me...

So the enhancement on my left eye left me over-corrected at first. Unfortunately I was travelling immediately after my surgery so I didn't have my regular check-ups with my laser eye doctor until 4-months post-op.

At 2 weeks post-op, I was visiting my mom, and worried about my vision. My right eye could read the computer screen fine after 2 weeks, but my enhanced left eye was still seeing really blurry. At first I thought that maybe my enhanced eye was just healing slower, but then I put on my mom's reading glasses, and the the computer screen became clear! I FREAKED OUT! I was OVER-CORRECTED! What a nightmare...

I called my laser eye doctor and he said to stop using steroids (FML) immediately and to get some contacts to wear (both of these things promote regression).

My left eye is also my dominate eye, and it's really bad to have the dominate eye over-corrected into far-sightedness. When it was under-corrected, my brain saw distance fine with both eyes open (it just ignored the dominate eye). But now it saw WORSE with both eyes open! It also made me quite nauseous after a while... When people get mono-vision correction, the dominate eye is corrected for close and the non-dominate eye is corrected for distance vision, so I had the opposite and it was making me nauseous. I was also worried that I'd need reading glasses years sooner because my dominate eye was far-sighted...

I went to an eye doctor, he told me that my eye prescription was +1.50 with no astigmatism, and he gave me some contact samples to wear. The +1.50 felt a bit too strong so he gave me a +1.25 to wear and a +1.00 and a +0.75 to use in the future while my eye hopefully regressed. So I was happy that my astigmatism was corrected and I was able to get contact samples to wear... But I was unhappy that I was going to need yet another enhancement.

My laser eye doctor said that everyone is a little over-corrected at the 2-week mark because the eye heals by thickening the epithelium from the outside in, so the outside is more thick than the inside right now (the epithelium should be around 12 cells thick when healed). Since my 2-week prescription was +1.50 he thought that I was only over-corrected by +0.75.

I was super upset at the time, but my vision was pretty good after getting the contacts, so I relaxed a bit and realized that if I had to wear contacts still, it's not really the end of the world. So I wore the contacts as much as I could to promote regression. After a while all the contacts felt too strong and I was seeing okay without them. I was still seeing starbursts and halos at night in my left eye (even with contacts in) but I was seeing fine during the day.

I just had a 4-month checkup with my laser eye doctor and I'm now -0.25 in both eyes! I regressed from +1.50 to -0.25 in 4 months! Crazy! I'm really happy about that, as I didn't want yet another enhancement! Now my only problem is that I still have the starbursts and halos at night. My doctor optimistically says that that can still improve in the next 6-months... But I've had them ever since the first surgery (almost a year ago) so I don't tend to believe him... Oh well, they are annoying, but I can still drive okay now, so I guess I will just have to live with it.

So an okay outcome in the end. I still wouldn't do it all over again. I can't believe I've sacrificed perfect vision with contacts for this. What was I thinking!
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Re: Eye MOVED a lot during PRK procedure

Postby LasikExpert » Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:12 am

Thank you for your follow-up report. It is so very important for others considering PRK or who are having similar problems. You were put through the wringer, but I'm glad to hear your vision has (finally) settled down to something acceptable.
Glenn Hagele
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