|Posted by Aura Charisse on June 22, 2015 at 9:20 AM|
Sharing this because I know there are a lot of glasses-wearers out there... If you have 20/20 vision your whole life, you're very lucky.
Since 2007, I've lost my 20/20 vision and have been wearing glasses every since. Come 2008, I've decided to start wearing contact lenses as it became increasingly difficult to function, especially in situations where any physical activity was involved. My eye grade has continued to increase immensely since then. I've had thicker and thicker glasses and I regularly had to purchase new disposable contact lenses. Maintenance just kept getting more toxic (and expensive!). My bad vision was becoming such a hassle! When my grade reached over 500 back in 2011, I knew my vision just kept getting worse. Fast forward to 2015, my grade reached over 700 and that's when my parents and I decided it's high time to have my Lasik surgery. We literally couldn't wait for my grade to reach a thousand! THE STRUGGLE IS REAL. It's safe to say I can identify with Velma... My glasses!
See the difference from the actual?
Last Friday, April 19, I finally had the opportunity for my eyes to be permanently corrected. Thank God indeed! Before anything, I first had to sign several papers and release forms. Then I had my pre-op screening, which is a series of eye tests that determine if the patient is already a candidate for Lasik surgery --- this is the fun part! If all goes well, the next step is dilation. Through medication, you'll have your eyes dilated for 3-5 hours for the retina to be clear and ready for the laser. For my case, I skipped this part as my tests results from the screening were consistent, so I no longer needed the dilation. I just had lunch (Japanese lunch yum!) and went straight ahead to the procedure.
The procedure itself happens very quickly, like more or less 20 minutes. The thing is you literally cannot move an inch (moving your head is a big no-no!) and you have to follow every single instruction your doctor tells you. If you experience any uneasiness along the way, express your discomfort verbally. During the surgery, your eyes will be subject to pressure, irrigation and A LOT OF LIGHT. If I were to describe it, I'd say it's a "bright light concert" for the eyes!
A warning to the squeamish: you may want to skip this paragraph as I describe graphic details. The first step is slicing a flap onto the eye. This can be done in two ways, either with the use of a microkeratome blade (traditional Lasik) or laser (advanced Intralase). Traditional lasik is faster and less expensive, while Intralase is more sterile and accurate. Both are effective Lasik procedures, although Intralase has much less discomfort afterwards. After the slicing, they open the flap and that's when your cornea is melted and resculpted by the laser. This allows better light refraction of the lens and hence, a crystal clear 20/20 vision! As soon as the procedure finishes, you'll be able to see clearly.
For future Lasik candidates, here's what I can say: It's definitely normal to feel apprehensive at first, especially if you're easily anxious like me. The key is to open your eyes wide, look straight, and relax. Trust your surgeon. You're being handled by a professional who has had years of practice and expertise training. Don't be scared, the procedure has been tested many times and has been proven to be safe. *It may seem a little over the top that I'm actually giving tips, but when you're already on the operating table, I'm quite sure you'll find these useful!
Now, to answer the FAQ: Is it painful?
During the actual surgery, no. I didn't feel any pain during the procedure itself. My only difficulty was calming myself down. After the procedure, that's when the pain kicked in. On a scale of 1 to 10, I'd rate my pain an 8. Thankfully my doctor applied anesthia to numb the sensation. For the first 12 hours, it was definitely painful. Of course, healing time varies from case to case. Some patients are able to proceed with their usual daily activities, even to the extent of driving right after the surgery! It also depends on your pain tolerance. If you have high pain tolerance, you're quite lucky! As for me, I had to take it easy. Whether your pain tolerance is high or low, you'll be given post-op medications anyway. And you can sleep through the pain just as I did. As soon as I woke up the next day, there was no more pain. Don't let the pain scare you! Remember, the pain is only temporary. In exchange for the short-term pain is long-term clear vision! **If you're wondering which procedure I had, I chose Intralase.
It usually only takes a day or two for the flaps to epithelialize and heal but several protective measures still have to be taken; just to avoid infection and other complications. After the surgery, you'll be given your post-op kit which includes medical eye drops (anti-infective/anti-inflammatory and artificial tears/eye lubricant), goggles, eye shields, and oral pain-relievers. You'll be wearing goggles during daytime and eye shields during sleep, for an entire week. For the eye drops, you'll apply them as instructed by your doctor. No swimming and any contact sport is allowed for the next 3 months. Also, no makeup is allowed for one whole month (not even powder!). The next day you'll have a post-op check up with your doctor.
Last day selfie time with the glasses!
Now I'm on my 4th day of recovery. I still have a little hemorrhage in my eyes (which is absolutely normal) but other than that I'm completely fine and already enjoying the ease of not wearing glasses. My vision is back to 20/20! Velma no more!
Hopefully this kept you well-informed about the procedure, in case you're considering having your eyes lasered too. Good luck!
Huge gratitude goes to my beloved parents and my great doctors!
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