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Extreme Hyperopia and Astigmatism - Mumbai, India

This is the end of a very long journey for me, one...

This is the end of a very long journey for me, one that has led me all the way from Australia to Mumbai, India. I wish I had more time to reflect but I have to be up early for surgery tomorrow and thought writing something is better than nothing. My background is that I have extreme hyperopia, some astigmatism and intermittent strabismus. My script is right eye +600 / -025 and left eye +750 / -175... I wore coke-bottle glasses up until the age of 16 which was truly a defining part of my childhood. I would be called all sorts of nerd-related names, it added to my terrible coordination, I remember walking in the rain and not being able to see because my glasses would get wet. I then discovered soft contacts and basically refused to wear glasses in public after that. I got a number of eye infections in the early years because of this (silly I know). Contacts have never been able to control my strabismus as well as glasses so I have always had to be mindful of my eye turning in, especially when I'm tired. It happens when I focus so I basically have tried to not focus on people's faces so that it would not turn. I guess its been like living in a haze... A couple of months before I turned 21 I went to visit a local lasik eye surgeon, and was crushed when he told me I wasn't a candidate. I went for a second opinion and was told I was also not a candidate for ICL because my anterior chamber was too shallow, but offered me the option of an IOL where I would lose my ability to accommodate. I definitely thought about it, but didn't go ahead with it. So over two years went by and the thought of lasik re-entered my mind. I’m not sure what triggered it now but I hoped there had been some advances in technology and on top of that I had begun to think outside the box (abroad that is). I contacted a number of surgeons in Australia and when I had no luck I began contacting surgeons in the United States, UK and Europe. I stalked the forums, read journals and researched all of the different lasers. For cases like mine it looked like a lot of bad news, and I read quite a few horror stories which put me off the idea, but there were glimmers of hope which I was desperately looking for. I received two positive responses from all of the surgeons I contacted, the first I decided against due to an unprofessional tone in email correspondence and the second was the London Vision Clinic in the UK. They implied a partial correction would be the most likely outcome. I began organising a university exchange in the UK partly around my plans to book a consultation there, but I continued searching the internet for information. I’ll be honest and say I was put off by the price, the currency exchange rate for the pound is beyond painful! So I stumbled onto a publication by a centre in Mumbai, India which outlined lasik outcomes for treatment of high hyperopia. It dealt with my degree of hyperopia, which is extremely hard to find, and documented excellent results. I contacted them immediately and this has brought me to the hotel room I am sitting in right now. The laser they use is Wavelight Concerto 500 Hz Laser and from what I have read, it is best suited to my condition - if in fact lasik is right for me. I dealt with a lovely woman via email correspondence who answered all my questions in the lead up to my consultation, and eventually concrete plans were made. I told my family I wanted to visit India before my exchange in the UK so as not to worry them. To be continued… (Wish me luck!)

I had the surgery yesterday and am so so relieved!...

I had the surgery yesterday and am so so relieved! My eyes are a little grainy and sore but I can see well enough to read the ingredients list on my eye drop packaging. It was definitely a scary experience, especially being in a foreign country on my own. The nurse put anaesthetic drops in my eyes and I was led into the operating room which had about 5 people inside (not sure if some were observers or doctors in training). The procedure didn't take very long and the doctor talked me through the whole process, and said things like 'enjoy the lovely lights.. 25% done... 50% done' and so on. I think I held my breath the whole time. Immediately after my eyes were hurting and I would tear up when I tried to open my eyes for the eye drops. I chose to stay at the eye centre for 5 hours and let the nurse administer the drops every hour while the other patients went home straight away. Things improved very quickly after that. This morning I had my check up with the doctor and he said things were looking good and gave me advice about caring for my eyes and travelling around India generally. I will have one last check up with him before I leave in 3 weeks time. I don't want to get ahead of myself but I'm glad I took this risk, and I hope my eyes continue to heal and improve.

Two days after the surgery and my eyes are still...

Two days after the surgery and my eyes are still improving. To give you an idea I have uploaded a photo - yesterday I could read the ingredients on the blue box and today I can just read the ingredients on the green bottle. Currently taking three different eye drops four times a day. Can't wait until my eyes are less sensitive and I can wear eye makeup again!

One year update

I've gotten a few messages lately so I thought I should update you on how things are going. Sorry it’s taken so long! To start where I left off... In the weeks following my surgery the grittiness which felt like something scratchy in my eyes and dryness bothered me. There was one point when I was on a rickshaw (open air taxi) and the wind was blowing in my face and I had a bit of an anxiety attack wondering if I had made a mistake. But I’m happy to report the grittiness disappeared within the first month and the dryness has improved over time to be manageable. I now use over the counter eye drops which I typically use every second day. I can go without if necessary.
At around 6 months post op I was living in the UK and decided to go for a comprehensive check-up. I didn’t even know what my script was. The doctor was a lasik surgeon and not an optometrist, and he said my eyes were perfectly healthy aside from mild dryness, noting that the corneal thickness was good and the flap had healed well. He even took a copy of the scan to show the other doctors. I was over the moon! However, he told me that I have +0.75 remaining power in each eye. I’m fairly certain I will back to India next year to get retreated since it is free within a certain amount of time.
Looking back this was probably one of the riskiest decisions of my life considering I went against the advice of so many doctors. But it has been life changing! I am more confident looking people in the eye, I’m not worried about being stuck somewhere without my contacts, and I have my peripheral vision back. For a couple of weeks before the surgery I wasn’t allowed to wear contacts so I tripping over the uneven ground and flinching at the movement on someone near me because I was paranoid he was going to hit me (or something?!) due to my bad peripherals. So embarrassing. I’d be happy to help anyone with questions so please message me.
Dr Anand Shroff (Shroff Eye Hospital)

The doctor is extremely direct, well spoken and has the latest technology at his disposal. But I have to say the aftercare was poor. I went back for my check-up at three weeks and he spent all of 5 minutes with me and seemed annoyed by my questions. I think he prefers when overseas patients have the surgery and then fly back the next day! But at the same time I'm overjoyed with the outcome.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
3 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
3 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
1 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
3 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
4 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
4 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait tmes
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Comments (13)

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Wow! I have an extreme case of hyperopia +4.5 and a lazy eye at the same time. I am looking at options but my doctor says it is down the road (after 30). However it really bother me since I dont want to be stuck with fat glasses for the next 5 years. Looking at options, but this article gives me hope. Thanks for sharing
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Hello, I have a 2 and a half year old daughter who has extreme hyperopia +16 diopter in both eyes. Her doctor told me it's a very rare case and had advised on wearing thick glasses, which i prefer not. I've been looking around lately on the net about the kind of surgery suitable for children that age. Does anyone have any experience on this matter please?
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I have a coworker whose 8 week old granddaughter had the procedure done. She was born prematurely and her retina was about to detach. The procedure went well but I don't know if I would recommend it for someone who cannot make the decision for themself
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Yesterday I went to the specialist for more tests for my daughter's eyes. She had an eye dilatation test and the dr told me she has retinal lesions in both eyes. I will need to get her undergo an MRI scan in order to know the pathology of her problem. Can anyone please share with me if they had similar experiences and what could be the causes of retinal lesions?
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I have Hyperopia + 5 diopter in my left eye and and Astigmatism + 8 diopter in the right eye, I was seeing double vision and my right eye was turning in towards to the nose but that at least has been fixed with dialating eye drops and soft lenses but can any one advise of their similar diopter and their experiences and knowledge please.
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Hi fraggle, my script was similar so please read my update. I also suffered from severe stain and sometimes double vision in the months before my surgery. It was affecting my studies and work. After the surgery my eyes are sometimes 'tired' but improved and no double vision anymore.
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The issue of eyes crossing and farsightedness is an interesting one. This is due to the reflex called accommodation. This reflex pairs the increase in the focusing ability of the eyes with slightly crossing the eyes. It is made to allow both eyes to look at near objects. To do this, the eye has to increase its power and both eyes have to look towards the nose to some extent. This is different from all other circumstances when both eyes look in the same direction (right or left) rather than the right eye looking slightly towards the left (or nose) and vise versa. If you imaging holding a pen and looking at it in the near you will see why eyes need to cross to some extent to see near objects. People who are farsighted essentially have lens power in their eyes that is not strong enough. For this reason, their eye often has to increase its power to see even the distance. Now because of this coupling of the crossing of the eyes to the increased power of the lens of the eye, sometimes farsighted people tend to cross their eyes when looking in the distance or cross their eyes somewhat even when looking in the near. The way to treat this is to give the full farsighted prescription of individuals in glasses or contact lenses, which is found by doing what is called a cycloplegic refraction. A cycloplegic refraction is the measurement of your prescription about 45 minutes or so after receiving dilating drops (which paralyzes your eyes ability to focus in the near, thus exposing your full farsighted prescription.) That being said, many individuals have a tendency to cross their eyes that goes beyond just the accommodation reflex. If your eyes cross even after getting your full farsighted prescription, you should visit a strabismus (or eye alignment) specialist to do a full evaluation. I hope this has helped!:)
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That's a really great write up! I have a similar story to share except that the geography is in a reverse situation. I am an Indian and like most Indians, I always thought that the grass was greener on the other side. Determined to get my Lasik done in UK or US, I trawled the internet for latest advances in Lasik. Funnily my search brought me right back home where I underwent my lasik using the Relex Femto technology at Advanced Eye Hospital in Navi Mumbai! Its been three weeks after surgery and I have almost regained my vision.
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Welcome to the community.  Thank you for posting your review and updates.  You seem to be doing very well and improving each day.  Keep us up to date on the process.

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Thanks for your story. It looks like us Hyperopes must go out of the country to get decent treatment. And that is what I intend to do. Already emailed Dr. Shroff
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Hi slimdaddy, glad you have found this useful. There doesn't seem to be much information available for prescriptions like ours so thought I should share the experience :)
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Hello and thanks for sharin your experience. I must say a big congratulations for taking the plunge. I had my LASIK done in England July 07 after wearing glasses for 25years. Cost me £2900 but 'twas the best money I ever spent! It's so liberating to try sunglasses on now and swim....the list is endless. I must add, the healing process was gradual though. Though I could see straightaway, the graininess and discomfort gradually faded over the years. But all in all, well worth it! 5yrs later I still have 20:20 vision !
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Thank you! I'm glad you had a good experience and are still happy your decision after all this time. I'm interested to see whether there will be any changes, I've definately noticed it feeling less 'grainy' like you mentioned. No major fluctuations in my vision though, but maybe minor ones that are hard to distinguish
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