Wednesday, September 25, 2013

My LASIK Experience - 2 weeks post surgery

This post is a continuation of the posts about my LASIK eye surgery experience.  I believe in sharing information to help others if they plan on doing LASIK.

It's been 2 weeks since my surgery.  The doc tells me my eyes are very dry.  I didn't know what dry eyes felt like before this, I never had dry eyes before.  Since surgery my eyes feel like they have sand in them.  They're scratchy.  I guess that means they're dry.  I put drops in all the time, about every 30 min to every hour.  The doc told me to use Refresh Plus or Refresh Optive and Refresh Celluvisc drops.  They're all over the counter, no prescriptions needed.  I finished the steroid drops and the antibiotic drops already.  My eyes actually itch sometimes, they feel so gritty.  I just want to scratch them with my fingernails, but of course I restrain.

I went to my 1 week after LASIK appointment.  The doc said my eyes were very dry and I needed Restasis drops twice a day.  Restasis helps your eyes to start lubricating themselves.  It takes about 3 weeks to start working, according to my doc.  He gave me a sample and a prescription.  I started using the sample.  Immediately I noticed a constant twitching in my left eye.  My eyes continued to itch and the scratchiness increased.  The night I started Restasis I woke up 4 times to put eye drops in my eyes.  For the next few days I continued to wake up on average of 4 times/night with severe eye scratchiness and pain.  I was putting Refresh Celluvisc in at nighttime, per doc's instructions.  Refresh Celluvisc has fibers that seal my eyelid closed and make my eyes feel like there are sticks sealed inside the eye.  It was very uncomfortable and finally I stopped using Refresh Celluvisc.  I continued the Restasis for almost a week.  The insomnia was terrible, I started taking sleeping pills so I would sleep through the night and not continually wake to put eye drops in my eyes all night.  The constant twitching in my left eye continued the entire time I used Restasis.

I realized that Restasis is very expensive when I attempted to fill the prescription.  I didn't fill it.  Instead I stopped using Restasis.  The first day Restasis-free, the twitching stopped in my left eye and never returned.  I've been sleeping fine ever since I stopped Restasis.  I'm not going to use it again.  I'm going to manage without it.

My eyes are still dry, but I think they are slowly getting better.  They still itch most of the time.  I still use Refresh Plus or Refresh Optive drops about every 30 minutes to hour.

My distance vision is awesome.  It's everything I was hoping for.  I can see 20/20 for distances and I love it!

However, I'm struggling with reading now!  I used to be able to read without reading glasses.  Now it's hard to read.  It's blurry!  I had no idea I'd lose the ability to see up close immediately after LASIK.

Honestly, I think I need to retrain my eyes to focus up close.  I try not to use reading glasses, I try to force my eyes to focus on up close reading.  It strains the eyes, but eventually I can make the up close letters clear.  The first day I didn't use reading glasses at all my eyes were exhausted by the end of the day.  Most of my day is spent reading - computers, reports, etc.  That evening as I drove home I could feel my eye muscles struggling to hold my eyes straight.  It was scary, I felt like I was having a strabismus problem again.  I decided to take it easy and use reading glasses for maybe 50% of the day and let my eyes learn to refocus on up close work the other 50% of the day. 

This whole LASIK process has been an experience for me.  Honestly, I don't know if I'd do it over again, if given the opportunity.  Maybe.  I think the scratchiness will eventually go away.  I do think I'll be stuck with reading glasses forever.  I didn't mind using reading glasses before when my eyes were tired, but I didn't know I'd LOSE my up close vision on the day of LASIK surgery.  It's hard to handle losing the ability to see up close so quickly.  I used to be able to see so well up close, I miss it.  It's a tradeoff.

On a good note, reading glasses are a whole lot cheaper than distance glasses and contact lenses.


Carolyn said...

Did the doctors tell you that you might lose your close-up vision, if even for a while? I had heard people talk about dry eyes, but figured it wasn't everyone. Thank you very much for sharing your experience and keep us updated, please.

Renegades said...

Interesting read as I've been asking people who had it what they think.

motherhen said...

I was so flabbergasted when the doc told me I needed LASIK I foolishly didn't seek another opinion. The surgeries went well and I returned to my usual habit of eye exercises that I do as bedtime and on awakening, as 2 minutes of yoga relaxation without difficulty. No problems with dry eyes. My problem is after 6 years I still lose my glasses all the time because prior to LASIX the glasses were always on my eyes I was so near sighted and thankfully could read the tiniest print, pluck errant eyelashes or whatever. With the exact opposite eye condition after LASIX it was soo difficult for me to cope. I would never recommend this surgery for 20/200 eyesight, especially if there are no symptoms. Don't let a doctor tell you need the surgery if you don't.