I just had lasik done 2 months ago. For anyone considering the procedure, here is my experience.
I had been wearing rigid (gas permeable) lenses for nearly 30 years due to approx. 20:400 vision and astigmatism. My corrected vision with contacts was about 20:15. I am 43, and my near vision has always been very good.
I had put off getting laser surgery for quite awhile; waiting until I was comfortable with the technology evolutions and the long term data. I finally got fed up enough with the hassles of contacts, especially getting any small grit under the contact that drives you crazy until you can get the contact out and rinsed off. In the end, I researched all the nearby doctors, and resisted any thoughts of using a low-cost provider or going to Canada for cheaper costs. I wanted a doctor that I could reasearch easily, that I would be able to go to for all pre-op and post-op visits, and one that had a long history of verified success with the equipment. (I certainly paid more than most, but price was definitely not the primary concern in this situation.)
- I attended a free informational seminar and 2 pre-op appointments with the doctor doing the procedure, as well as a pre-op visit to the laser facility.
- I went over one month before the surgery without wearing my contact, so that my eyes would go back to their natural shape. This was to assure that the cornea mapping remained stable between pre-op visits, so that the laser mapping was precise.
- After the surgery, I had a 1-day, 1-week, and 1-month post-op visit with the doctor. I still have a 3-month appointment scheduled.
- I was given all the warnings about possible complications, but I had the success background of the doctor. He told me that I was an excellent candidate, with the possible exception of my larger than average (7mm) pupil size. This meant that I was more likely to have some night glare and halo issues when night driving.
For the procedure itself, I arrived at the center with my 2 small Valium pills with me. After making sure I had all the paperwork complete, I was instructed to take 1 pill. This really helped to calm down any anxiety I was having, especially after hearing screaming from a room when we first walked in. (It turned out to be the young child of a patient in a waiting room.) I had no trouble at all during the procedure, other than some discomfort as the doctor pushed to get the suction cup attached to my second eye. I was a bit surprised at how long it took for the actual laser procedure to actually run: about 2:14 per eye.
Immediately after the procedure, I felt a bit of the grainy feeling in both eyes. I also was quite light sensitive, since they dialate the pupils for the procedure. I was instructed to go home, take the second Valium, and rest. When I woke up about 3 hours later, I no longer had any grainy feeling. I can honestly say that I have not had any pain or discomfort whatsoever since.
My wife drove me to my 1-day post-op appointment, since I was not sure if they would be dialating my pupils again or if my vision was really good enough to drive yet. I think my vision was about 20:30 or 20:40 that first day. My close up reading vision was not nearly as good as it was before the surgery. I was told to avoid windy or strenuous activity and to avoid my dogs for the first week, since there was a higher risk of messing up the flaps that were cut.
I started driving after that first day. On my first night-time trip, I was surprised to find that my night vision was at least as good as it was before the surgery. I'm not sure why I did not have glare or halo issues, but it really has not been a problem for me at all. At my 1-week post-op appointment, my vision was 20:30 in 1 eye and 20:20 in the other. My up close reading was still not as good as I would have liked.
I knew that my vision was supposed to stabilize more and possibly improve over the first month after the procedure. Some days I would be a bit more foggy than other days. However, at my 1-month appointment, I was very happy to find that my vision was 20:15 in both eyes, and my reading vision was back to what it was before the surgery. I could read over half the 20:15 line with each eye individually, but I could clearly read the entire line with both eyes uncovered. The doctor told me that I have no activity restrictions anymore, except that I should avoid rubbing my eyes. (You aren't supposed to rub your eyes anyway, but the flaps they cut on the corneas for this procedure apparently never fully heal 100%.)
As far as medications, I was instructed to take a particular supplement for a month before and 2 months after the surgery, in order to help increase tear production. I was given 2 different perscription eye drops to use 4 times/day after the surgery. I am also using an OTC eye wetting drop a few times/day, which helps to clear my vision whenever the vision gets a bit fuzzy. I am supposed to be able to slowly reduce my need for these drops now too.
Overall, I am EXTREMELY happy with my results. I wanted better than average results, although I was prepared to have night driving challenges for a month or two. I did also expect to have discomfort from dry eyes for awhile. My vision is now at least as good as my previously corrected vision, and the only dry eye issues are infrequent fuzzy vision. This is immediatly relieved with the eye drops though.