This is part 3 of a 3 part series. To read part 1, click here.
As of today, it’s been 20 days since the surgery. I still carry eye drops around and use them before I go to bed, when I first wake up, and occasionally throughout the day. Right after the surgery, I would use 16 vials per day, and sometimes more in addition to the other drops. I’m down to 3-4 saline drops per day right now and that’s it. I could easily get away with less, but I bought 200 vials so I might as well use them. Besides, I was told it’s impossible to use too much saline, so I’ve been keeping my eyes hydrated to help with the healing process.
One of the “major” side effects that I encountered in the first week was that my vision did experience some serious fluctuations from one day to the next. This was probably due to the serration I talked about. For example between the fourth and seventh days, my right eye went from good to bad, and then back again. My left eye did basically the opposite. I’m wondering if they were trying to compensate for one another and eventually straightened each other out.
Let me be clear about something, no pun intended. By “bad” and “good”, what I really mean is that things (mostly lettering on signs and numbers on clocks) I could see clearly at a distance the previous day were a little fuzzy the next day. It’s not as if I suddenly couldn’t see things in front of my face. I also felt like I could see clearly up close and really far away, but my mid-range vision was affected by this fluctuation. My long-range vision did improve, but it was really the mid-range vision that fluctuated a lot more.
I’ve compared my vision to that of a colleague who has really good eyes and he was amazed at how well I could see at great distances only a couple of days after the surgery. I have not yet gone back to the doctor to get an accurate measurement of how good my vision is, but it’s easily as good as it was when I had glasses.
I used an iPhone app to test my vision and after five days, it was around 20/25 or so. That’s a ballpark estimate and probably not terribly accurate, but I was told my vision would get better over time as my eyes healed. My best guess at this point is that my vision is 20/20 by now, maybe even better. It’s hard to be sure without an official test. When I do that, I’ll be sure to update this blog post.
I can distinctly see crosswalk symbols and colors at more than two city blocks away when previously I would have been hard pressed to even see the light itself, let alone be able to tell there was a crosswalk sign. I feel completely comfortable driving without glasses and can clearly read clocks at a distance that would have been unfathomable just a few short weeks ago.
At night, I do notice some halo effect around lights but it’s something that is actually not quite as bad as when I was wearing glasses. If you wear glasses, look at some traffic lights at night. Then take your glasses off and compare the halo. For me, the halo I see now isn’t as bad as it was when I wore glasses, so for me, it seems as though things have gotten better. I haven’t worn contacts in close to ten years, so I don’t really remember what contacts were like so if you wear contacts, you might notice the halo a lot more after surgery than I did.
The bottom line is that it’s been 16 days since I had the surgery and I would call it the best $3,000 I ever spent. There’s a list of things that I’m not supposed to do for the next several weeks. For the next six months during any activity with a high risk of impact, I should wear goggles, but overall my eyes feel fantastic and I can see really well. I carry my sunglasses everywhere to help shield my eyes against the sun or high winds, but it’s probably no different than anyone else.
My muscle memory seems to kick in a lot still. For example, every night when I am about to get into bed I’m still reaching to take my glasses off. I also find myself constantly reaching up to adjust my glasses, but I think over time those impulses will pass as I adjust to being able to live without glasses.
As you can tell from the photos below, I’ve still got some blood spots on my eyes. They’re slowly fading away, but it’s taking quite a bit longer than I had expected. I really thought they would have been gone by now. I can’t see them and they don’t affect my vision, so even if they never went away it would be a very small price to pay. I expect they will go away in time, but I’ll update this post if they aren’t gone in another month.
Day 16 after Lasik
My only real regret is that the TSA guy didn’t give me a lot of trouble when I went to the airport the day after surgery. The look on his face as I assumed a dumb (read: normal) expression, raised my arms at him, widened my blood streaked eyes and said “braaaaains” would most certainly have been worth the additional detention time.
Care to share your story, experiences, and perhaps some of the lesser known side-effects? Add them to the comments section below.