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peregrino 01-17-2010 01:31 PM

Post Lasik Despair & Blurred Vision
Hello. Any help from knowledgeable folks/people with similar experience. I had Intralase/Bladeless Lasik done six days ago at a reputable doctor with the VisX machine. I am young, healthy and had "moderate" myopia (-3.00 and -5.00). I was told I was a good candidate and had a great potential for 20/20 vision after the surgery.

So, it has now been 6 days since surgery. I do not have 20/20 vision. Perhaps closer to 20/40, and with slight double vision/haze. I'm unsure of course, as I can't measure myself. I can't read street signs until I'm right up on them. I tested 20/25 on the day after post-checkup, but it was very blurry and I don't think I really deserved the rating.

Now when I wake up I have near perfect vision (near, not perfect). This lasts about 1-2 hours then my vision degrades quickly. I develop strain, headache and blurred vision of anything more than 6 feet out. My surgeon assures me that this is classic Dry Eye and we can treat it. While that makes me feel better, I am very nervous/skeptical for several reasons.

1) My near vision is always perfect. If I was experiencing dry eye blurriness, wouldn't this be blurry as well?
2.)Wetting drops certainly make me feel better and relieve some strain and pain, but do not clear up my vision. Wouldn't I expect to have good vision for at least a minute after drops?
3.) My left eye (originally worse) is now much better. My right is now worse (originally the better eye). If I was having Dry Eye only, wouldn't I expect to have equally poor vision in both?

My vision has stayed this way since day two or three with no real improvement. I am very worried that I am just stuck with sub-par vision, despite the optimisms given to me before surgery. In fact, I'm beginning to despair pretty intensely and spending much of the day regretting this surgery. Now I'm out a few grand AND I have lousy vision AND I have to use a regiment of pricey drops? What was I thinking? Trying to stay optimistic.

But is there really any chance for significant changes this far into the process?

I'm hoping to hear from folks who had similar experiences, OR from folks who noticed major changes 6+ days after LASIK (to give me hope, mostly).

Thank you so much for any input.

merlintl 01-17-2010 02:44 PM

Re: Post Lasik Despair & Blurred Vision
Dry Eye can definitely cause blurriness. I can't say thats what causing your issue since I'm not an MD. However, dry eye did cause blurriness for me. It was not as bad as your scenario but I remember on one occasion my right eye had bad dryness and it went from 20/20 to about 20/40 in about 2 hrs. Luckily 2 days later it was fine.

and BTW... Do NOT despair. Worry and Stress slow healing. I know that's cliche to say but its true.

Do I regret my Lasik (7 weeks ago)? Haven't made up my mind yet. I have 20/20 (R) and 20/25 (L) so far. However, I'm having really bad dry eye and using lubricating drops about every 30-45mins. Also, I have ghosting/astigmatism in low light. And halos but the halos are much better than week 1. I started panicking about week 3 (dry eye / ghosting) but I've finally come to terms that this maybe a slow healing process.

One thing I do wish I could change is when I had my surgery. Wintertime is the absolute worse time to have Lasik in my opinion since is so cold and low humidity in most of the US and that will dry you out in a heartbeat. If you are using a lot of drops make sure you use the preservative free kind. My personal preference for drop is Refresh Endura (available in Canada), Refresh Dry Eye Therapy, and Refresh Optive.

DollBaby24 01-25-2010 10:01 AM

Re: Post Lasik Despair & Blurred Vision
I had fluctuating vision starting about a week after Lasik (had Lasik 3+ years ago), and of course I freaked out, but it turned out to be dry eye as well. I was put on Restasis, which I was on for about 6 months. I didn't really have any vision "problems" ever, but just more of fluctuating vision. I would be able to see something really clearly one minute, and not so clearly the next. I was very scared too, so I completely understand what you're feeling. But after I started the prescription drops, it cleared up. Your eyes are still healing. I know that all the advertisements make it sound like Lasik is a piece of cake and you'll be able to see great the next day, but your eyes really do take months to heal. Fluctuating viison is normal, and it really could be just dry eye like mine was. Good luck!!

landar 01-25-2010 08:14 PM

Re: Post Lasik Despair & Blurred Vision
As the others have said, you are in the very early stages of healing and it takes a long time to heal those burned corneas.

You also sound alot like me. I had LASIK about one year ago. And my vision still fluctuates during the day and from day-to-day. In the morning when I first awake...perfect. Then, an hour or two later, the sharpness is diminishing. Happens every day. My near vision is always good, which is great because I work on the computer for a living. And that is part of the problem. Up close work can make you lose(momentarily) the distance sharpness and also contribute to dry eye as you might not be blinking alot. Drops usually bring my vision back around but only for a short period (minute or two).

Some days are really good, some are fairly bad. Even after almost a year, I feel my corneas are still healing. It takes a LOT of time. Hang in there.

williamske 01-26-2010 07:12 AM

Re: Post Lasik Despair & Blurred Vision

I had Lasik done November of 2009. I was worse than 20/400 and had a glasses prescription of -7.50 and -7. I am a 24 yr old female.

I would not worry too much about the fluctuations you are experiencing. After surgery it takes a while for your vision to ultimately adjust and settle. I want to say that I kept a journal of what I was seeing (not seeing) for 3 weeks. I would write down the eye and how it felt throughout the day (dry, blurry, halos, etc).

I was experiencing the fluctuations in vision as you describe. Sometimes I would wake up with perfect vision, and then around lunch time it would get worse, by dinner it would be better and when I went to sleep my vision would be perfect. I did not always experience the same fluctuations, but my vision did fluctuate.

My Doctor has been out of the office for the past month and I finally have my one month checkup this Friday, so I will let you know how that goes. I was 20/20 the day after surgery and 20/20 1 week after, my one month evaluation is pending, but I believe I am 20/20 still.

I have read on various sites that your vision can fluctuate for months after surgery. I mean think about it, you had a traumatic procedure done to your eyes. You reshaped your eye! haha, but it is modern technology that has been around for years and for one reason or another, like me, you decided to take a leap of fate. Your vision may get worse, or it may get better. But I would bet on it you will be fine.

I know it's freaky because they are your eyes, but just breathe and take one day at a time. Take your medications as directed - and keep hydrating those eyes with sterile (individually packaged) drops. Track how your feeling and how your vision fluctuates so you can see if your symptoms are getting better or worse. But what you describe seems normal and almost identical to what I went through.

If my vision stays this way, it is by far the best decision of my life this far. I hope my post was a little helpful. Take care.

ddefer 02-27-2010 03:12 PM

Re: Post Lasik Despair & Blurred Vision
Any update on your condition? I had LASIK done on Jan 15 2010 and am in your exact same situation. My vision is perfect for about and hour when I wake up and degrades steadily all day long.

Went on a business trip this past week and only then did it sink in how POOR my results are. Unable to see road signs (took me 90 minutes to find a place 15 mile from the airport) and unable to see meeting projections and whiteboarding sessions by end of day.

LASIK seems like a complete disaster to me right now and feel sick that the damage cannot be undone.

?vision? 02-27-2010 11:20 PM

Re: Post Lasik Despair & Blurred Vision
[QUOTE=ddefer;4194295]Any update on your condition? I had LASIK done on Jan 15 2010 and am in your exact same situation. My vision is perfect for about and hour when I wake up and degrades steadily all day long.

Went on a business trip this past week and only then did it sink in how POOR my results are. Unable to see road signs (took me 90 minutes to find a place 15 mile from the airport) and unable to see meeting projections and whiteboarding sessions by end of day.

LASIK seems like a complete disaster to me right now and feel sick that the damage cannot be undone.[/QUOTE]

What was your prescription before lasik? You may still be slightly myopic. You could get a thin pair of glasses just for driving. You won't need reading glasses though which is great.

landar 02-28-2010 12:12 PM

Re: Post Lasik Despair & Blurred Vision
[QUOTE=ddefer;4194295]Any update on your condition? I had LASIK done on Jan 15 2010 and am in your exact same situation. My vision is perfect for about and hour when I wake up and degrades steadily all day long.

Went on a business trip this past week and only then did it sink in how POOR my results are. Unable to see road signs (took me 90 minutes to find a place 15 mile from the airport) and unable to see meeting projections and whiteboarding sessions by end of day.

LASIK seems like a complete disaster to me right now and feel sick that the damage cannot be undone.[/QUOTE]
Don't despair. You are right in the time period where a lot of second guessing occurs. I went through that too. Buyers remorse. Many people do. So, take a deep breath. It will work out fine.

My vision is still good right after awakening then fades. I just went to the doc last week. Both eyes are -0.75 and I can see pretty well. Right now I have started a regimen of "Hydro Therapy" (it's a fish oil supplement), Restasis (prescription drops) and hot wrap on my eye lids (hot towel applied to lids to soften the Meibomian glands). It has only been a few days and already I see some improvement. So, I will stay on that treatment and go back in 2 months.

Then we will look at the options. Perhaps an enhancement or I might just choose to wear a pair of glasses while looking at fine details. Even with the issues, I really like the freedom of not being as blind as a bat w/o my glasses. So it was worth it. Unnerving at times? You bet. But it will work out fine.

peregrino 03-01-2010 05:05 AM

Re: Post Lasik Despair & Blurred Vision
Sorry to leave you guys hanging, thanks for keeping the thread up. In short, life is much better now, though not perfect.

First, and most importantly, we discovered that my slow healing was the result of a steroid reaction. The OmniPred drops I'd been taking were causing an overreaction in my eyes. That paired with me taking them too long (by about a week, due to the lack of any indication from my doctor to STOP taking them) caused a pressure problem. Ocular pressure usually remains the same or drops slightly after Lasik. Mine went from 12 to 20. This was causing discomfort and lens shape changes.

So, I stopped the steroid and took a two week trip to Costa Rica (the trip had been already planned, but was conveniently humid AKA good for dry eyes). It helped with the discomfort, though vision remained about the same.

Now, it's been almost two months. My vision is not perfect, and still what I consider mostly unsatisfactory, but it's so much better that it seems a miracle (after what I'd gone through). I woke up a week ago with 20/20 or 20/25 in my left and 20/30 or 20/35 in my right (depends on the dryness). I have a thin pair of glasses (given to me by doctor) that I use when I need the extra sharpness and for use in lowlight conditions and while driving at night.

I find now that I'm fine all day, until the sun gets low, or I go into a lowlit room or store (especially fluorescently lit ones). The amount and quality of light seems to have a major effect on the vision.

It's still pretty obnoxious to have glasses at all and to have to carry around a bunch of drops (morning eyes are still so dry they stick shut, yuck), but compared to the terrible vision and searing headaches and despair of those first weeks, it's a huge relief. I make my living doing ornithological/bird work, and vision is of paramount importance. I'd been really upset after the Lasik when I could no longer ID birds flying past. That's mostly changed, though the glasses are helpful for fine detail and those high-flying hawks.

In short, life again seems manageable, so much so that I am currently riding my motorbike across the United States (it's cold) to make a new bird job in Arizona.


Hope my words help, glad to keep the discussion going.

- C

anniegirlf1 03-08-2010 06:04 PM

Re: Post Lasik Despair & Blurred Vision
Hi! please give yourself lots of time to heal - your corneas and eyes have been traumatized - no joke - the brain and your eyes have to adjust; I'm seven plus weeks since my conventional Ilasik (I was -12.00 on both eyes) and am now 20/10 on the left (awesome) and 20/30 on the right with this eye taking longer to heal. Sometimes it feels like seven years but I tell myself that the body heals on its own timeline and it does you no good to beat yourself up with regrets and recriminations. Take good care of yourself - I limit my computer time as my eyes get tired really easily; I live in Florida so dark sunglasses and limited sun are a must; my eyes are dry alot and I only use Preservative free drops (yeah they cost more but work better for me). Let your doctor know your progress but I can attest that it really is a long recovery; have faith and take care!

jh64 03-19-2010 02:31 AM

Re: Post Lasik Despair & Blurred Vision
I had Lasik a month ago. I had about -5 in both eyes and astigmatism. I can now see much better than I ever could without glasses. But if I'm honest it's not how I expected it to be. My vision fluctuates a lot and I know that it is not as crisp as it was when I wore glasses. My surgeon says I have 20/20 or better but like others have said I'm not entirely sure I qualify for that in that I struggle to make out the letters and they are far from stable/clear.

I'm trying to be positive about the results but deep down I think I may have been better off sticking with lenses/glasses. Yes, the surgery has meant that I don't need to wear glasses/lenses in an everyday sense. But I feel as though I'm putting up with inferior quality of vision for the benefit of no frames or not messing about with contacts.

For around 60% of my life this is fine - day to day stuff that kind of thing. But close up work, detail work, moments when you just want everything to be crisp. They just haven't happened.

I'm hoping things will improve. I actually don't mind if I could wear glasses for the detail and leave them off for everything else. I do however feel a bit miss sold. I thought the surgery would correct my eye sight. Instead it seems to have given me a different set of issues. If I have a late night or a little too much to drink the night before my vision is poor the next day. If the light is dim my vision is also poor.

My eyes don't feel dry which is good - but I suspect they may be as sometime I get better vision a few minutes after the drops go in. Then later on it slips away again.

I'm very surprised that the treatment is quite so variable and also that the variables are not clearly explained. I tolerated my lenses- the vision wasn't great with them and they were a bit unstable. But for most things where I didn't need glasses they were OK. And I could always take them out and go back to glasses for detail work. I now seem to have permanent contact lens quality vision. Variable, slightly soft and probably not as good distance.

Will things get better?

I really am trying to be positive. I do want this to work. I also want to be realistic. If I need to wear glasses for something then that's OK. Not ideal but OK.

anniegirlf1 03-20-2010 01:38 AM

Re: Post Lasik Despair & Blurred Vision
I agree with so many of your observations - Lasik is much more involved than any advertisement might have you believe. My initial response to you is for you to remember that Lasik causes trauma to the eyes - it takes at least two to six months for your eyes and brain to even figure out what's going on which in my case following 30 years of contacts and glasses at minus -12.50 w/mild astigmatism. I truly agonized over my decision and it now has been nine weeks since my conventional Ilasik surgery with excellent results so far. HOWEVER, there are so many little continued bumps along the way (there are still moments where I start to wonder about my decision but catch myself because the surgery is done and now I have to move forward; my new reality includes things like dry eyes, halos, "tired eyes syndrome" - yes, your vision or at least the acuity will decline if your body is tired or run down. Your eyes will tell you what you can get away with - listen to them; I had the flu last week coupled with a nasty sinus infection and bronchitis and thought my right eye was going to jump out of its orbit. The FDA has launched a study into post Lasik complications particularly to determine if there are similarities among patients with certain post surgery complications; I strongly agree with you that results are so variable which makes the prescreening process and in being in the hands of experience so critical. Yes, dim lighting affects the vision as will allergies and certain medications and most notably the degree to which you are taking care of yourself. Even though my surgeon is amongst the best in the world - there were things even he didn't tell me - I had made it a point to obsessively inform myself and to be realistic in my surgery expectations. Please remain positive and give lots more time - your body and eyes are not the same anymore - everything has changed and please address your concerns during your regular post surgery follow-ups; This surgery goes beyond the advisement of "decreasing dependence on glasses and contacts" - it involves such a willingness to accept new challenges as a trade off for old inconveniences. Again, you have to give it more time - four weeks is nothing considering what your corneas and surrounding areas went through.
Best wishes to you!

kassandrarayne 05-07-2010 09:59 AM

Re: Post Lasik Despair & Blurred Vision
Hi All, the blurry vision I have been experiencing after my lasik was probably the biggest issue I've had. Like everyone else I'm wondering if it was worth it. I was -6.5 and -7 before the surgery and the day after I had 20/20 in my left eye and 20/25 in the right. Yesterday marked my 2 week anniversary since the lasik. I had a yahoo moment when for about 10 minutes I could see perfectly!! No blur no halos! Gave me hope for sure. My surgeon told me the way they gage recovery time is by your initial perscription so since mine was -6.5 & -7 to expect recovery to take 6-7 weeks.

episcopalienne 05-08-2010 10:46 AM

Re: Post Lasik Despair & Blurred Vision
Did you have LASIK or LASEK? Did the MD cut a flap or do it with no cutting? They can cut with a blade or with a laser. So, even if they used a laser, they might have still cut.

I had no-cut surgery done in 2005. I had watery eyes for a few days, but I was putting so many drops in my eyes - the watery-ness was really because of the drops.

I have always had worse vision when I am tired. I was tired for a few days after the procedure. My surgeon is Dr. Emil Chynn in NYC, google his name and read all the information on his website.

I too scored 20/30 a few days after and then a few weeks after was 20/20. Then a month after I was 20/15. I am now 20/10. Five years later - still 20/10.

ddefer 05-19-2010 11:25 AM

Re: Post Lasik Despair & Blurred Vision
More than 4 months later and this is what I have learned / experienced:

Lasik hurts. I found it to be very painful for that first 6 hours. This is experienced by about 50% of patients I am told.

The first Lasik procedure did not achieve the desired correction. This happens about 8% of the time I am told. I was provided a pair of glasses and we waited until mid-April for vision to completely stabilize before going for the second correction.

The second correction in late April went great - for about 18 hours. My vision was 20/15 at the next day follow up (at 0800). It was also observed that both my eyes were infected. Apparently that's about a 1 in 5000 chance. I feel soooooo lucky.

They took me back to surgery, opened the flaps again and scraped my corneas so they could grow cultures. I then spent the next 24 hours putting 3 kinds of drops in my eyes every hour, spaced five minutes apart. Follow up on next day showed no improvement and I was switched to 2 alternative anti-fungal drugs, again every hour, five minutes apart, for 24 hours. It was a painful, dismal experience and now, almost a month later, I am still using one form of anti-fungal drops, plus steroids to fight the persistent inflammation that the medications cause.

The infection was a potentially vision ending event. I was fortunate in that my Doctors were able to defeat it and that the scarring that occurred is on the outer periphery of my vision and not dead-center. The white hazy scars on my corneas are visible to the naked eye.

My vision is approaching 20-20 and I hope it will stabilize there once I am finally off all eye medications. Given what I know now and of course in light of what I have experienced I would NEVER do lasik if I could go back and do it over again.

I don't care if I end up wearing glasses - I'm never letting anyone F with my eyes again as long as I live.

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