Friday, April 18, 2014

Thoughts on Lasik...

A month ago, I had Lasik surgery.  It was very unexpected for me.  My husband sprang it on me and asked me to make an appointment.  So, I did.  It's a good thing it came on all of a sudden.  Otherwise, I would have chickened out.

I learned that some Lasik doctors charge for the consultation and others don't.  I made an appointment with one that didn't charge because I didn't want to waste a hundred dollars if I wasn't a candidate at all. I didn't know anything about Lasik going into this.  I knew a few people that had had the surgery, but that was it.

I learned a few interesting things...
1) If you're under 40 years old, you're a better candidate.  Your eye muscles are stronger and you likely won't have bifocals.  If you have bifocals, you probably won't want lasik.
2) If you have a thick cornea, you can have Lasik surgery done, if it's thinner, you can get PRK surgery, but the recovery takes a lot longer.
3) If you have allergies, don't get Lasik done in the spring.  I don't have allergies and I am very thankful.  A friend pointed this out to me this week that she is constantly rubbing her eyes because of her allergies in the spring.
4) You can't rub your eyes for a year.  So, if you are in the habit of rubbing them, you'll want to break that habit before the surgery.  I've woken several times in the night and freaked out when I realized that one of my hands was about to touch one of my eyes.  Ugh.  
5) If you have dry eyes, Lasik can make that worse.  For the first month after surgery, you have to follow a strict regimen of eye drops and keep them moist.  I'm past the 30 day mark, but I've still been using drops 3-4 times a day right now.  When my eyes are dry, it feels like I need to take my contacts out... except I can't.
6) I looked online before my consult to find out what a reasonable price for the surgery is.  The articles I read said that you don't want to pay less than $2000 per eye.  The two offices I inquired of were priced at $4500 and $5400-5700 (depending on the surgery).
7) After surgery, you are always supposed to wear sunglasses when outside (especially for the first 30 days after surgery).  I know many people who've had the surgery who don't wear sunglasses though after a lot of time has passed.
8) After surgery, use preservative-free eye drops for moisture drops.  There's a specific type of Refresh drops that Lasik patients use.  I tried the Systane Ultra drops, Refresh, Refresh drops in a bottle, and Target's generic of the Refresh preservative-free drops.  Verdict?  I like the Refresh drops best (either in a bottle or one time use disposable containers.  I don't like Target's generic and I don't like the Systane Drops.  I lost over half of my eyelashes because of the Systane drops.  They glumped together on my eyelashes so I had to be very careful getting them off.  You can't get water on your face for 3 days after the surgery and you can't rubber your eyes, so glumping is hard to deal with!  The Systane drops also made my eyes cloudy until they cleared, which is kind of freaky.  The Refresh drops don't cloud my eyes.  The biggest problem with Target's packaging is that the drops come out too fast!  The refresh drops have similar packaging, but you have to turn them upside down and flick them with a finger to get the air to rise to the top so that you can squeeze a drop or two out.  
9) Your prescription needs to have been stable for several years in order to be a good candidate.  The under 40 is also a good guide because your eye muscles are stronger.  I clearly noticed this during the surgery.  I had to stare at the laser for 16 seconds with my right eye and 17 seconds with my left eye.  It was easy with my right eye to stare straight ahead.  I struggled with my left eye.  In that moment, I realized how much stronger my right eye really was.  I prayed that my left eye would stare straight ahead.

I should mention...I didn't really realize how bad things can turn out from the surgery.  There are risks.  I didn't expect to have 20/20 vision after the surgery, though I do.  I do have some night halos, but that is supposed to dissipate in time.  Everyone I know has had positive results from the surgery.  It isn't wise to go into the surgery expecting perfection.  The doctor cautioned me about this.  I realized this afterwards as I puzzled at times about whether I had clear vision or anything was slightly "fuzzy".  I realized that my vision is clear.

My husband felt very strongly that I should get this surgery.  He told me multiple times that God is in control and that I needed to fight my fears by trusting Him.  His providence undergirds everything.  He said that even if something were to go wrong, I could know God was in control.  I am very thankful, though, that the surgery went well.

Anyways, these are my thoughts...

No comments:

Post a Comment