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  • 6-month update

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    Old 05-16-2006, 02:02 PM   #1
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    merryish's Avatar
    Join Date: May 2006
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    6-month update

    I know when I first came here a few months ago, I was really hoping to find stories from people who had started off with problems, and ended up okay. I haven't been around since my first bout of posting right after my lasik (mid-December 2005), but I wanted to share the latest on my progress.

    I had Custom intralase lasik for my right eye and regular intralase, no wavefront, for my left. My eyes were 3.75 L / 4.00 R, or thereabouts, with slight astigmatism in my right eye. No wavefront was done for my left eye because they couldn't get an accurate read on it when I came in for the surgery, and if the read wasn't accurate, they didn't apply wavefront.

    Immediately post-surgery I had hazy hazy hazy eyes for about 24 hours, lots of pain and tearing and "foreign-body sensation" in both eyes for about 8 hours (nothing for about two hours after the surgery, then WHAM with the pain). I slept as much as I could, which wasn't a lot. I could watch TV that night, but it was like watching through a fine white curtain.

    My visit the next morning showed my vision at 20/30 in the left eye, 20/20 in my right eye.

    In the following month I had incredibly dry eyes, using drops about every hour and several times during the night. I couldn't sleep with a fan on (hell, for me, as I like the air circulation and also tend to use them as white noise generators). I worried it would never get better. I had minor starbursting at night in my left eye, some halos, but nothing major. My biggest concern was ghosting, which seemed constant but changeable - sometimes in one direction, sometimes in another, sometimes more, sometimes less.

    At my one-month checkup I was 20/20 in my left eye, 20/20 in my right. Fused vision was 20/15, as my right eye has always been dominant.

    Late in that month I noticed floaters as well, more in the left eye than the right, but some in the right that I'd never noticed before. A minor annoyance, I was still more concerned about the ghosting.

    A month after that I had other things to worry about; I'd somehow developed two herniated disks in my neck, and had to go in for surgery. A week before the surgery was scheduled, I noticed that there was a spot on my vision - a very small spot, just left of center and a bit lower, like a constant after-image of something. I didn't then, and still don't, think it's related to the Lasik. I have another eye condition (optic nerve head drusen) that can occasionally cause problems like that. And anyway, it's so VERY small and minor that I only notice it about 5% of the time. I saw my surgeon, and then I saw a neuro ophthalmologist, and whatever is causing it is too small to be measured by the most sophisticated equipment the (very good) hospital could offer. It doesn't get bigger and it DOES get less noticeable as time goes by, so I'm not worried about it.

    One weird note: One of my big concerns, going into my spinal surgery, was the dry eyes. I was using drops almost constantly, and I wanted to make sure the nurses new I would need the drops as SOON as I regained consciousness. I gave a bottle to the person in charge of the recovery room and one to my nurse and one to my SURGEON. ANd of course not one bottle could be found by the time I was lucid enough to ask.

    However! I have not needed drops at all since then. I fully believe (in the absence of any actual evidence) it was because I was on a saline drip for two straight days - completely hydrated. My eyes feel a bit scratchy first thing in the morning, but no worse than they were before Lasik.

    For the past two months I've been more concerned about the recovery of my spine than I have about my eyes, but when I think to think about it, I've noticed that the ghosting has decreased a LOT. It's still there, but not nearly as bad as it was out of the gate. Very minor. My binocular vision seems to work fine, and I'm still 20/15 on all my tests. Because of the optic nerve head drusen I see my surgeon for every check-up, not the various ODs in the office, and he says I could fly F-16's if I wanted. =) I actually think I'm a bit over-corrected in the right eye, as I could cut paper with my vision at a distance but up very close, it's sort of hard to focus. My left eye is great up close, though, so I think I ended up (inadvertently) with a kind of monovision.

    So, I guess I just wanted to say that at least for some people the problems do resolve; sometimes it just takes time. It's really not a one-minute-miracle the way it's advertised; it's a long and sometimes scary journey. Even now my vision isn't perfect; it's way better than it was before the Lasik in some ways, but a little bit worse in others. It's as good as I expected, I guess, but not as good as I hoped, if that makes sense.

    Looking back at the worry I went through, I'm not sure I would have the surgery again; I know I won't ever go back for enhancement, I'd rather just take these years of no-glasses for what they are and then move back to glasses when and if that time comes. At any rate, that's where I am now; better than I was straight out of the factory, mostly, but not exactly cheerful about the process.

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