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    Old 02-09-2006, 03:20 PM   #1
    bowriter
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    One eye at a time with PRK?

    I am scheduled to get PRK done on 2/15. It was strongly advised by the doctor to do only one eye at a time because of the longer healing process (PRK vs lasik). I have to have PRK because of thin corneas. The doctor suggested I wait at least 2 weeks apart before getting the second eye done so that I'll have at least one good eye while the other heals.

    Is two weeks too soon? From reading some of these forums on PRK, it sounds like the healing process is a bit complicated compared to lasik. I am going to a reputable doctor in this area, one of the top three I believe that do this sort of thing in St. Louis.

    Has anyone had any good results from PRK? I've read plenty of the bad and I'm beginning to wonder if there are any good stories out there? I do appreciate the stories good or bad because it gives me more information to bring forth to my doctor tomorrow (for my eye dilation process). For all who have shared their stories, thank you for the information. I really hope it works out for all of you. I agree that no two people heal alike, but it's also good to know we have this support link.

     
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    Old 02-10-2006, 11:06 AM   #2
    Elyse S.
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    Re: One eye at a time with PRK?

    Dear Bowriter,
    I guess I agree with the one eye at a time, but I am 5 weeks post today, 2-10, and still can't see clearly out of my left. Thank goodness my right eye is clear. Went to the doc 2 days ago to find out wazzup, and we started me on different drops, other than the FML which has to be taken to reduce swelling and help healing, thinking my eye could be reacting to the Systane and causing a film, which in turn, could be causing my blurriness. My right is 20/20-20/25ish and the left is 20/60. It is very irritating to see off balance like this. Thank goodness I have 1 good eye. Obviously, 2 weeks would have not been enough of a time spread for me.

    Just be forewarned, in the days after, particularly 2 1/2 - 4, it is VERY painful!!! This was the worst experience I have ever had, and I've had a handfull of surgeries, and had I known then what I know now, I would have NEVER done it. But, that's just me. I am still in the "I regret doing this" stage. The doc said it could take up to 6 months for my L eye to clear up.

    I wish you luck. Some don't have any pain or problems, and then there's ME!!!
    Let us know how you do.

    Elyse S.

     
    Old 02-10-2006, 07:45 PM   #3
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    Re: One eye at a time with PRK?

    It sounds like you had both eyes done at the same time. I can understand your frustration with that. Mine are scheduled 2 weeks apart, but I can always postponne the second eye until I feel ready. Right now I'm scheduled to have my right eye done on 2/15. I know there will be some discomfort with it for a few days and then after that, it's just putting up with haze and blurriness for awhile.

    I don't know if this will help you or not, but on another bulletin board someone mentioned that they were told to take vitamin C everyday and this will help with the hazing problem and improve the night vision. I mentioned this to my doctor and two of the doctors at that office confirmed it. They suggested taking 2-500mg tablets a day: one in the morning and one later in the day for a total of 1,000mg a day. The one doctor suggests to his patients to start taking it 5 days prior to the procedure and continue for a couple of weeks after. I started taking it several days ago so I should have plenty of it in my system by the day of the first eye procedure. They also did a dry eye test on me and I had a lot of tears, more than average. They said that was good too. But who knows what lies ahead. I've done so much research and asked so many questions of people, that I feel that I am committed, so there's no turning back. I hope you continue to recover. I'm sure you will. I've been told over and over that patience is the key and no two eyes heal the same way. I'll stay in touch and let you know how it goes!

     
    Old 02-14-2006, 08:35 AM   #4
    Elyse S.
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    Re: One eye at a time with PRK?

    Dear Bowriter,
    Good luck to you!!! Get good pain meds! I only had haze for about a week, and it really was not that bad. It was the pain in the days after and the non-clear vision with the Left eye that are the two most prominent things at this time. I have changed my eye drops, 1 week tomorrow, your lucky day, and I see virtually no difference. They now tell me it could take up to 6 months for this eye to clear up. I could just imagine if both my eyes were like this. Arrrgggghhhh!!! It seems strange to me how they couldn't give me glasses for the time being. 20/20 (R) vs 20/60 (L). I would think they could accomodate me with glasses. Go figure. I don't know you, but I WILL be thinking about you tomorrow.

    Vitamin C you say? I'll add that to the 9 pills I already take. 4 are the same thing, 2 pills a day.

    Good luck to you, keep in touch. I'm curious as to how you'll be feeling. Some have no pain, and I hope for your sake, you're one of the lucky ones.

    Take care
    Elyse S.

    Last edited by Elyse S.; 02-14-2006 at 08:36 AM.

     
    Old 02-14-2006, 12:20 PM   #5
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    Re: One eye at a time with PRK?

    Thanks for your words of encouragement. Yes, tomorrow is the day. Right eye first, then the left on 3/1.(unless I decide to wait longer). When you say "pain" are you referring to the feeling of gunk or dirt in your eye? Similar to a dirty contact lens? I know when my lenses got something in them, it was a horrible feeling. If that is what it is like, I think I can deal with it hopefully, because with contacts, I was used to stuff getting under my lenses. Is most of the discomfort gone after 24 or 48 hours? This is what they tell me, but I know everyone is different.

    Be patient. Some eyes heal differently and at different paces. You may wake up one day and the vision will be noticeably better. I've read so much on this stuff and heard different experiences. My doctor told me that if they have to do enhancement surgery, they like to wait at least 6 months, because by then, the eyes should be fine and if they are not, enhancement surgery may have to take place.

    Make sure to wear really good sunglasses when outdoors. Not just for UV protection but also for glare (the good ones will elimnate the need to squint). Those are expenses glasses but worth it. I bought some from Lens Crafters (I got a pair of Ray Bans) this weekend in preparation for this. (don't go to a discount sunglass shop). I paid about $120 for mine but insurance covered some of it. The doctor recommended good sunglasses after this procedure and to wear them all the time outdoors for awhile.

    I'm sure your left eye will be fine but if you are unsure, you might want to get a second opinion.

    I'll let you know how it goes.....thanks again for thinking of me. It means a lot, it really does!
    Bowriter

     
    Old 02-14-2006, 02:52 PM   #6
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    Wink Re: One eye at a time with PRK?

    Bo...
    Let's see... The pain was like an ache in the eye, if you can imagine an achy eye, real bad, topped with a sting that was like just jumping into a heavily chlorinated pool and keeping your eyes open for... oh say... about 5 minutes . I don't want to scare you, just prepare you. It was not too bad on the morning of day two. The pain started up about noonish, and lasted for 2 1/2 days. I have a very high pain tolerance, but this hurt!!! I have heard some people have had a non issue with it, everyone is different, and I just hope you are totally opposite me. I don't wish what I had on anyone.

    Ya know... my father just said to me last night the same thing you said. I'll wake up one day and wahlah!!! I can see. Not that I can't see, it's just like taking out one contact lense and keeping one in.

    You will have a contact lense put on your eyes after the lengthly maybe 10 minute procedure, which serves as a bandaid, for about 3-6 days and when they take that off, with a tweezer, eeeesh, your eye will feel like mild sandpaper. Use a lot of drops and you'll live through that no problem. That lasted a day or so.

    I will be thinking about you. What time do you go under the laser? I expect to not hear from you tomorrow, unless you're up to getting on line. They want you to go home and sleep/rest for at least the first 5 hours.

    And the fancy schmancy goggles??? Everyone should have a pair.

    Oh yeah!!! The sunglasses , you're right. I do have polarized uv sunglasses, but they are cheap swap meet glasses. I found a pair at costco for $90.00. I'm just so cheap!!! And the way I treat my glasses??? Maybe if I had an expensive pair like that I'd have a better maintenance plan for my sunglasses. I'll have to think on that one.

    Take care
    e

    Last edited by Elyse S.; 02-14-2006 at 02:54 PM.

     
    Old 02-14-2006, 03:06 PM   #7
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    Re: One eye at a time with PRK?

    You're too funny. Yeah, get a good maintenance plan for the sunglasses!

    I'm having my surgery at 2:15 (CST). Well, that's when I arrive so it will be more like 2:45. Only getting the one eye done for now. Since it's late in the day, I figure I'll be sleeping the rest of the day, up for a bit and back to bed again. So I won't really have to get up until about 9:00 the next morning, so that might help.

    I wonder if the stinging is from that alcohol stuff they swab on before they laser you? I heard about the bandaid lense. That'll help for sure. I'll just try to sleep it off for several hours afterwards. My follow up is at 11:00 the next morning, otherwise I'd sleep all day if I could!! What kind of pain meds do they give you to take? Does Advil help or maybe something stronger?

    I can't wait until I can splash water in my face again in the morning.

    Your input is so helpful! Thanks again. What city are you in. (I'm in St. Louis).

     
    Old 02-15-2006, 08:35 AM   #8
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    Re: One eye at a time with PRK?

    Bowriter and everyone else,
    I was once told by an eye doc to always wear sunglasses outside when there is light. Because, even on an overcast or rainy day, there is still UV out there and that, no matter how little, can still do damage to your eyes. Wearing sunglasses as long as it is light outside is one of the best rules you can have for yourself for the future health of your eyes well into old age. Some people are predisposed to have failing eye health as they get older but, we can help combat would be bad eye health simply by putting on the shades as we walk out the door, get into the car, walk out of a store and any other time we are outside. I know it seems weird that even on a rainy day, we need shades but, UV is UV and it is out rain or shine. So, for the not so bright days, get a pair of light shades (lighter tinted) to keep your peepers healthy!

    Just a word of advice that I have taken seriously since the day I was told. That same doc told me that it might have helped save my Grandmother's vision. She was blind by the time she passed. That is always in the back of my head whenever I think, gee...it sure is rainy. Just some food for thought!

    Take care Bowriter! Let us know how the surgery went as soon as you feel up to it!

     
    Old 02-15-2006, 08:51 AM   #9
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    Re: One eye at a time with PRK?

    I agree with your advice 100%. I've always been light sensitive but maybe because contact lenses enhance that. You get UV rays even from the flourescent lights at work (so the doc says). UV is all around us and the more we protect our face and eyes, the better.

    I'll let you know how everything goes this afternoon. I worked out this morning and I'm feeling really energetic right now. I'm sure that'll change after the valium pill they give me!

    Thanks for chiming in on this post. It's just good to talk to others and have a support system.

    Talk to ya later!!

     
    Old 02-16-2006, 06:19 PM   #10
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    Re: One eye at a time with PRK?

    Well I had my procedure done yesterday on my right eye and I must say, I am relieved that I am having very little discomfort. The proceddure itself (PRK) was painless except for when they took the tape off of my eyelids afterwards. They just yanked it off. Yikes! I would have to say that was the worst part. My eye watered a lot yesterday and all night long and part of this morning. Some burning, like a cold in my eye, but it wasn't bad. Every now and then, I think the Band-aid lens gets dry and hurts when I blink, but then it tears up after that and loosens up. Just like a typical dry contact lens would feel. I am almost through the first full day afterwards and I have felt pretty energetic. I could have driven to my appointment this morning but my husband was home and drove me instead. Fortunately, it was very cloudy and rainy today, so sun brightness was not a problem.

    The vision in my right eye is still a little blurry (like not wearing glasses or contacts), but it's better than it was prior. I can read some things at a distance but I have to be patient as it heals. Patience, patience, patience....

    My left eye is still scheduled for 3/1 but I can postpone if my right eye is a slow healer, but so far so good. I will keep you all posted on how this progresses. I have journaled this experience and I am keeping up the journal as days go on. I will probably post it when it's complete but I wanted to journal the procedure step-by-step to help others know in advance what it's all about. Thanks for all the words of encouragement from you guys. I was more relaxed than I expected and I think the knowledge that we all shared helped contribute to that. The doctors were great. I just hope my left eye goes as well as the right. It's my reading eye so it will be done a little differently (they won't use wavefront technology, but traditional laser).

    Anyway, that's my update for now. I'll stay in touch to make sure we are all healing okay!

    Bowriter

     
    Old 02-17-2006, 12:02 PM   #11
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    Re: One eye at a time with PRK?

    Bowriter,
    Yes thank you for keeping us posted! I just got my consultation the other day and they are telling me that I may have to do PRK. They are going to re-measure my eyes and let me know the day of.

    I am glad that yours is going well too!

    BE

    Last edited by Brown_eyes; 02-17-2006 at 12:21 PM.

     
    Old 02-17-2006, 12:05 PM   #12
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    Thumbs up Re: One eye at a time with PRK?

    Dear Bo...
    I am soooo glad your procedure went well, and you are in very little discomfort. That is the best news I could hear from you! I thought about you that day.

    I am in Orange County California.

    I need to go to Costco to get those sunglasses . Maybe tomorrow. It is supposed to rain this weekend, so maybe it won't be as crowded. A girl can only hope.

    They gave me numbing drops, every 3 hours and darvocet. It really didn't help all that much, either of them. I probably would have been better with the vicodine I have although that didn't even help with cramps (mixed with surgery)one time. Oh the timing of it all. Sorry guys... Maybe it's not a strong perscription. I need good STRONG drugs for my pain because of my high pain threshold.

    So glad to you are doing well. Please keep in touch, I'm a thinkin' about cha.
    Have a nice, pain free, weekend!!!

    Last edited by Elyse S.; 02-17-2006 at 12:08 PM.

     
    Old 02-17-2006, 01:00 PM   #13
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    Re: One eye at a time with PRK?

    Thanks Elyse and BE.....maybe getting one eye done at at time is the trick. Even though I had very little discomfort (I am back at work today), I don't think I would have wanted both eyes done together. In fact, I don't think my doc will even do that. My eye is extremely watery, maybe that's a blessing. I'm sitting here at work with my sunglasses on because it helps with the monitor and flourescent lights. Wow, it really makes a difference!

    Last night threw me for a loop because all of a sudden, when the Russian skater (gold medal guy) was doing his thing, my eye started hurting bad enough to where I had to pull my upper lid off of it. I think the figure skating had me to fixated to the screen and my bandaid lens dried on me. I should have been blinking more. I dropped some wetting solution in it and eventually it loosened up. I don't think it was centered when it dried so my cornea was exposed which is why it was so painful. Damn.....gotta quit staring at the TV!

    I just hope my second eye goes as well as the first. I'm not sure why you (Elyse) are in so much pain from this. That has me kind of worried. I guess as long as the eyes are improving, it might be worth it in the long run, but that seems like an awful lot of discomfort. Has it eased up at all since the procedure? They did tell me that pain levels are different in everyone and that some do experience "pain" with it. That's always nice to hear when you are trying to decide if you want this done or not.

    There is another health board that you might try. You can actually interact with lasik doctors. It's: [url]http://www.asklasikdocs.com/cgi-local/forum/board.cgi[/url]

    Maybe you can chat with them and see what they think. I don't know how the response times are because I've only read the chats, I haven't chatted on that BB. Give it a try and let me know what they say. I can't imagine going through what you are, but I guess I could with my second eye.

    I have a wedding to go to tonight, so this will be a long day for my eyes, but at least I'll be away from the TV screen! It sucks not being able to wear makeup, but my eye would water it all off anyway.....

    You both have a good weekend!

    Bowriter

     
    Old 02-17-2006, 01:03 PM   #14
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    Re: One eye at a time with PRK?

    BTW Brown Eyes, if you have to get PRK, I will be posting my journal of the experience soon. I'm trying to track it step by step in the doctors office and under the laser. It's just trying to remember it all but I think I have it pretty well documented. I might wait for my second eye to make sure I have all the facts right. I wanted to do this so that others would understand the process from a patient's point of view.

    Let me know how the exam goes. Did you schedule the procedure yet?

     
    Old 02-20-2006, 07:45 AM   #15
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    Re: One eye at a time with PRK?

    Hey Bo...
    I'm glad you're doing great with your eye . My pain was only for the first 4 days. I have no pain now, except Friday and Saturday I felt as though there was something in my eye , therefore, dousing it with drops. It finally felt better yesterday. It is tough to say if it is getting better. I am wearing +200 reading glasses to do my computer work. They help me. Mornings suck for me. My L eye is better up close and I tell ya, putting on make-up is a challenge. I'm never sure how it really looks as morning eyes are not clear. My right eye probably looks better than my L, but I can't see up close enough to know. They told me it could take up to 6 months, so I just sit back and wait. Afternoons are better, but the L eye is never clear . Sometimes after I do drops, I can struggle to read the liscense plate on the car in front of me, and get most of it right. This gives me hope that one day, boom!!! I can see!!! Don't get me wrong, I can see enough to do what I have to do, but it is never crystal clear as many lasik patients have said they have. My husband has had lasik and never complains about a thing. How rude is that?
    Keep us informed as to your progress. Do you know what the change in your vision is?
    Have a great day !
    e

    Last edited by Elyse S.; 02-20-2006 at 07:50 AM.

     
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