I had Lasik 5 weeks ago and wanted to share my...
I had Lasik 5 weeks ago and wanted to share my experiences with anyone going through it like I am.
I'm not going to get into detail the actual procedure as plenty has been written on that but the after effects and remedy's I went through so far.
I had my custom Wavefront Lasik performed by the top surgeon here in Boise and he also does cataract and other eye procedures so I chose him based on his extensive experience. Cost was not a factor when it comes to my eyes and lets face it, Lasik can be a shot in the dark so I weighed all the good with the bad through extensive research and went for it. I was -6.00 in one eye and -5.25 in the other with astigmatism. One eye had it worse than the other and the Dr pointed out that it may get better in that eye (night vision) or stay the same.
Day of surgery, a few hours later: Crazy watering and bad light sensitivity. I could see but had to lay down in complete darkness to cope. They say to sleep it off but I had a hard time doing that with the watering and light so we hung a blanket up and darkened the room more. Relief! I did not sleep much until that night and it was off and on.
Day after: I could read 20/15 in both eye's! The drop regimen stated up this day and I was feeling much better. I took this day off from work and have 2 weekend days to recover before going back to work.
I started using the lubricant eye drops like I was told and I used them as often as I felt I needed to. I only use the sterile, single use vials and the caps on these can be put back on to use up the rest left in them within that day. The Dr suggested I use Refresh Advanced but I'll get to what happened in a few with those.
2 days after: Still using the drops but I noticed my left eye has become a little fuzzy/blurry. The artificial tears seem to be aggravating my eyes but I'm not sure of this as I think it is to soon and it could be from the trauma of the surgery or the Pred Forte drops. Still, I see very well with both eyes but have the tendancy to close one or the other to compare and see what is going on. Major halos and some star-bursting at night. Expected this so I have hubby doing the driving!
1 week out: Realized the artificial tear drops may be a problem so...Changed to Systane Ultra and kicked myself for not doing that sooner! I was under the impression I would need to use what they suggested but found out later you can use any of the non-preservative drops as long as they are the single use type in the vials! My eyes must be a little sensitive as it took some trial and error but I found Systane for day use and GenTeal Lubricant eye gel at night worked for me.
One eye still slightly fuzzy and with both eyes open, I can read far away just fine. I'm 47 so my reading vision took the big hit. I expected it but the first week it was pretty bad but gradually it claered a little so I wear reading glasses (+1.00 power) now to read stuff.
1 month: The fluctuations daily continue but overall, still 20/20 in both eyes but my left has a little astigmatism according to the Dr. (.75 or something like that) I was struggling with dryness as it seemed to kick in more so at the month mark but I do computer work all day so I attribute a lot to that and we have a fan on at night. I finally bought a sleep mask to wear at night as I think one eye is open a little when I sleep and the GenTeal fixed this. A good nights sleep took me a month to finally get it right!
So far I'm healing fine, no issues other than the astigmatism but I'll update as time goes on and see where I'm at in another month! Trial and error with the gels and drops is sometimes needed and perfect results may not be achieved fast but overall, I'm pleased so far! Yes, I have had depressed moments and the dryness comes and goes making me think I may have it forever but I'm going to be optimistic since is is only slight dryness and I think I'll be ok!
5 Weeks Post Lasik
5 weeks: Still fuzzy in my left eye. Had my check up at the Dr and still some astigmatism in that eye. Probably stuck with it but I can see up close a little better in that eye so it is a trade off I guess. Had them put in plugs in my lowers to help with the dryness and still had some issues so I thought to myself...Maybe I have slight inflammation which is causing me issues? Not sure but I still have the Pred Forte drops so I put some in and ....my vision was a little better and the dryness seemed to subside so I answered my own question. I have inflammation still even though they did not say I did at the Dr. but since it is not good to take these drops often, I'm not using them but at least now I know. I'll give it some time to heal more but looks like the astigmatism may remain in that eye. Bummer! The last week, I have been having issues with bright light and light sensitivity which is also an indicator of inflammation and dryness issues so I hope that subsides. Ordered my some of those Wiley X sunglasses (Cabela's has them if you want to see them but you can save $50 on line.) They seal out the air and sun and look great so i can't wait to get them. I think spending time outside is triggering the inflammation so I'll see if these glasses help. All in all, the jury is still out on whether I did the right thing or not but time will tell!
6 weeks Post Lasik
Ok, So the dryness is easing up a bit! Not quite back to pre-lasik standards but better and it could be attributed to the temp plugs I had put in but I don't think so. I'm also wondering if dryness is the overall factor in the fluctuations I have in vision quality as well. I can sit at the TV and put drops in and this pesky left eye can see better due to the liquid making the cornea smoother on the surface or so I assume. Still have the halo's and glare at night. If they have diminished any I'm not aware of it as it may be so small of a change as to not be readily noted. The night driving is the hardest but not to bad as to warrant hubby driving me to work. Mostly it is the blurry left eye causing the most glare issues although both have the halo vision. The traffic lights at about the 3 week post op started looking double from a far distance and as you get up on them, they get solid and normal looking. That has not changed and there again, mostly the left eye causing this phenomenon. My next Dr. Appt is May and I see the surgeon this time and not an associate so I'll address the issue with the left eye at that time. I had no idea I could request my follow up appts with him and thought I had to see the associate but that is not the case. Just have to ask to see him. The associate is ok but he is not forthcoming with suggestions or questions. He waits for you to voice all concerns and then does not offer much hope or suggestions even though he has seen scads of Lasik patients. Not even a " give it time, it may resolve" but maybe that would be false so he stays silent so as to not implicate himself or the head surgeon will get a bad rap from his comments...So, I'll see what the main man has to say in a couple of months. Still using Systane Ultra drops daily but not as much as I was and the GenTeal Lubricant eye gel at night (this one I believe is making it so I can sleep all night long!) . I still stare at a computer all day Mon-Friday so I believe I'm causing inflammation which leads to the poor vision but I'm not sure as the associate has never said a thing about it. Just that my flaps are healing well and no cloudiness. I'm going to request a copy of my records while I'm there next and see what they wrote down. Just wondering if more info is there or not.
All in all, 20/20 and 20/15 sometimes in my right eye so it is doing all the work for distance vision these days! Still on the fence as to whether this was a good choice but with the dryness getting better, at least that is a plus!
Supplements for Lasik
I forgot to mention it but I take a multivitamin daily and started Flaxseed capsules before lasik which may or may not have helped me but i figured, it could not hurt and was good for me too. I still take them both and adjusted the Flaxseed to 4000 mg a day. (research shows 6000 is the most helpful in studies for dry eyes but it is a lot so I toned it down a bit.)
I also hold a hot washcloth for a few minutes twice a day on my closed lids just as a precaution to the dry eye thing and the glands. I were no makeup to clog the glands so no worries there.
3 months post lasik
It has been 3 months and so far the consensus is...I have astigmatism in my left eye and it is no better or no worse. The dry eye came back a few days ago but I believe the plugs they put in are gone as they were only temps but supposed to last 3 months. With me, must only last 2. I go in next week for a follow up and I will ask for a permanent set in the lowers as they made quite a difference. He may want to stick with temps though so I guess I'll have to wait and see. All the reading I have done says the dry eye can take 3-6 months or longer or never go away so I'm hoping in 6 months things will be different. The long use at the computer all day for my work may be a big factor in this.
My night vision is not good due to the left eye being 20/40. I would like it corrected as it is my dominant eye and the difference is hard to deal with so next week....I want some answers to see if this is it and deal or just what is up. That is one thing I learned....ask the Dr. the hard questions and get the tests done to confirm things if you want them.
3 1/2 months post lasik
27 May 2014
3 months post
Had my Dr.'s visit a couple weeks ago and I was unimpressed. He came in and checked my eyes and said they were healing fine. My left eye is still blurry and he immediately said I can have a touch up but the odds are 98% it will go OK but it could make it worse. What I thought was weird is he did not ask me about my day to day activities or any dryness issues. I had to ask for temp plugs to be put back in as the others were gone and he was hesitant to do so saying I did not need them.
Yes, I do as I could tell the minute the old one's were gone as I had a lot of burning eye syndrome.
Well, He reluctantly put in another set of temps (they are free for lasik folks in the first year) and told me when to schedule a touch up if I wanted it done. Then he was gone....
So, I set up the appt for June and left.
I had vacation coming up with 6 days away from 8-9 hour computer work and I told myself I was going to see what happened as this would be the first long break from a computer.
I just returned 2 days ago and yes, it did make a difference in several ways to not have to work the computer and the eye strain was now gone. I had better vision than ever before and my left eye was not quite as bad with times (mostly in the morning) where I could see very clearly. The dryness was almost gone except around the campfire(understandable) and I used the artificial tears only a few times in all those days.
Long story short, my computer use is causing the poorer vision due to strain. The Dr. never asked. I'm canceling the appt for the touch up as I feel the risk is not worth it and my eyes are not stable. That should be the first thing he checked. Touch up's require stable vision for a good outcome. End of story. He is a very well known Dr. in this community but I think he has lost the personal touch and seems to push people through like cattle with no regard to individual situations.
I'll check back in later this year and update my progress.
4 months post op
17 Jun 2014
4 months post
Well, been 4 months now and all is pretty much the same as before. Left eye blurry and the right one ok. Mornings are better than later on in the day and the dry eye syndrome is still there as the temp plugs just are not lasting longer than 1 month for me. I can tell the minute they are gone or so it seems. Guess I need permanent one's but the Dr. says I don't need them at all. Strange as he does not have the tired, burning eyes like me so how would he know? They are sand papery in the morning, too, and I have to use drops. If that is not dry eye then I don't know what is! I'll try the other Dr. in the office as he is way more accommodating and helpful.
Long story short (ha!) I would not recommend lasik to anyone who spends a lot of time on a computer or if you are pushing 50 years old. The dry eye is more apt to happen in our group.
It i9s your call though so only you can decide!
7 Months Post op Lasik
7 Months have now passed by. Looking back, I can tell you that the dry eye peaked around the 3-4 month mark and has actually improved a little bit. I use drops in the morning when I get up and sometimes after a long day. My vision is best in the morning in the light but if it is dark out, it is not so good due to the left eye being what it is. Still blurry and an enhancement is needed but I'm going to ask the Dr. if he can do Lasek instead of lifting the flap and correcting it. I heard you can and so I may pursue this if he says yes, he can do it otherwise, glasses for nighttime are going to be needed and may anyway just to be safe.
8 Months Post Lasik
10 Oct 2014
8 months post
Hi all and hope everyone is well! Come to find out that I have a small pot on my right eye that has been there from about 1 month after lasik. The Dr. thinks it is from dryness but I'm not so sure as the dryness did not peak until later on after that time. Still, I hope it does not turn bad on me but I can say the dry eyes has not went away. I stopped taking Flax Seed oil capsules for a couple of weeks and noted a drier sensation on some days so I started taking them again. I have dry eyes in the morning and when the day has been particularly a long one. I switched back to preservative free vials of drops as per the Dr. suggestion. He said the preservatives in the others will build up and cause dry eye. I have not noticed any difference though in using either one over the other.
I bought a cheap pair of prescription glasses to where for night driving as my left eye is 20/30 still and that will not change. I decided against the touch up due to the dryness issue and since I can tolerate it now, I don't want to have to deal with it getting worse. I think my age (48) and the fact that I had med/poor vision to begin with is why they turned out dry (slightly). My right eye is 20/20 and I'm grateful that I can see well enough without glasses to keep on keeping on.
I have 20/20 in right
I have 20/30 in my left
close up vision is blurry now more so than before (age thing!)
I wear reading glasses, computer glasses, sunglasses(the kind with a foam gasket to seal out the wind), and night driving glasses. The story that says you can be glasses free may only pertain to the younger crowd or the lucky!
Yes, I do wake up in the morning and can see the clock. I can see in the shower too (may be good or bad! lol!) and I can see things I never could before without glasses but it is not as good as with glasses at certain distances. Just something to consider if you are considering lasik. You may not get perfect results like you do with glasses (in some cases glasses don't even get perfect vision but it is close). They never tell you your odds of the outcome and believe me, the Dr. have done many of these surgery's so they know first hand how many get 20/15 in both eyes and those who do not. They also know the percentage who get dry eye and how long it lasts but the money is worth keeping quiet on those subjects when you go in. Just my 2 cents!
1 Year 3 months Post op
Just a quick update! As the title states, I'm 15 months post op on my Lasik procedure now and my few observances are this:
The slight dryness is still there and it fluctuates with the humidity, computer use, allergens in the air or my overall health. At night I use artificial tears before bed but it does not really last until morning. I find myself waking at 3-4 am and one eye feels stuck in place so I have to add a drop and go back to sleep. I'm heading off to an Optometrist tomorrow for a second opinion and answers that my surgeon would never come out and say. I also may try Restasis or perm. plugs but my case is so mild that I believe I will just have to continue on with artificial tears until 5 years goes by and I will then know if it is permanent. Yes, 5 years folks is the time needed to regrow the nerves back in your eye after Lasik. They told me up to a year but the extensive research I have done, it is believed to be 5 years and that it never gets to pre op quality. You may get 80% back and they may not be as strong as before.
I can say that when I'm not on the computer for work, it is much better. I also need to drink more water probably but hate to unless I'm really thirsty as I'm not a big fan.
Another observation is the flap is pretty secure now and I do rub my eyes in the shower to clear the water and have not caused any ill effects but a flap is never truly healed and the Dr. can lift it easily so if you are thinking about that, it is a know fact and my Dr. told me it was easy to lift and do a touch up. I opted out of it on the eye that is 20/30.
The one eye that see's 20/30 can see up close better than the other one that is 20/20. This is one reason I opted to leave it alone. I would lose that if they fixed it. I'm 49 (almost) so keeping some close vision is better for me.
Young people don't have the close vision issues like us older crowd!
I have prescription glasses to bring into focus that other eye for night driving and one good thing is...they are so thin! Never had that before! I also bought some sunglasses with a slight prescription in them for when I go on my vacation and want crystal clarity but most of the time, I don't need any glasses accept readers. I have adapted to the right one seeing great now and the other one I ignore.
Like I said in previous posts:
If you are older and considering Lasik, do you work on a computer a lot? Do you have or ever have had contact intolerance? Have you gone through menopause (women) or Peri menopause? Do you live in a dry climate? Do your eyes water in the morning excessively for a few minutes? (sign of slight dryness that you may not know you even have).
If you answered yes to any of these, you may want to reconsider as your chances of dry eye are higher than most.
I'm in Peri menopause, had the tearing every morning, live in a dry climate (Idaho), and work on a computer for my job 8 hours a day. I have tolerable dry eye syndrome. It is not all the time except at work so I'm looking forward to a new job in 3 years where I can do something else mostly for the fun factor but to alleviate the dry eye which I believe I may have permanently but in 4 more years, I may know more. I was one of the slightly lucky one's to not have a severe case of it but it would have been better if both eyes were 20/15! lol! Wishful thinking but I went in with an open-minded view of the possible outcomes and I have been able to adapt and still live a happy life. That is key!