LASEK diary: two months in

Undergoing corrective laser eye surgery

This is the eleventh in a series of posts describing my personal experience of having laser eye surgery in February 2012. To start at the beginning, go back to the first post in the series.

It’s now eight weeks after my LASEK surgery and I can happily report things improved a lot since the last post. Around three weeks after surgery, my right eye became pretty clear, although my left eye was still experiencing some double vision. That is still ever so slightly true, but my overall vision is now probably about 90% of what it was with glasses before the procedure. That is to say: I am no longer struggling to see things at all, thankfully.  They may well continue to get a little better over the next few months.

I now regularly forget that I’ve had the procedure (apart from when I’m tired and think I need to take my contact lenses out, only to remember they aren’t in!). I’ve experienced absolutely no dry eye (but sometimes I put drops in late in the evening if I’ve had a long day). It’s great now that they have settled down enough for me to use my computer at full resolution again and I’ve started taking / editing pictures with my SLR again.

There’s one more check-up in late April at the three month point, but then I’m done.

All in all I’d recommend the procedure. Aside from a few weeks of frustration whilst I was healing, I think it’s been a total success. If I were to go through it again, I’d have it done in a break between jobs to have a proper four week break to recover.

View the next post in this series

19 thoughts on “LASEK diary: two months in

  1. Thank you so much for writing these posts! I have thin cornea’s and as such am only suitable for Lasek. My appointment is on the 27th of April and I’m really excited but of course, also completely terrified!

    I’m the type of person who likes to know exactly what I’ll be dealing with and your diary has given me an invaluable insight! I hope you vision continues to improve!

    Lisa x

  2. Thanks for this! I too am the same with my lasek booking for just under 2 weeks. Reading forums is terrifying!! But I’m hopeful that it will go ok! Plus have to go back to work 4 days after treatment so fingers crossed :/

  3. Thank you. I’m at the three week post-op stage and was starting to worry a bit about continual blurriness but it seems that patience will be virtuous.

    My experience so far has been pretty identical to yours (including the unexplained roll of masking tape with the meds – I thought it had fallen in by accident!). But I did have a boozy and sleep-deprived week last week due to birthdays so I think I’ll take it easy this week and keep my fingers crossed.

  4. Great blog. I had LASEK on 23rd june and on Day 13 post surgery. I also have thin corneas – but my prescription is not particularly bad (-2.75 and -1.5). I had a really similar experience to you ( again including the masking tape!!) and was pleasantly suprised by the lack of pain. I met the driving standard on Day 5 when they took my lenses out so I have been able to return to work as normal this week and can see pretty well. Not back to standard with glasses yet though so am just waiting it out and hoping that I will eventually get to 20/20.

    The only notable difference between your experience and mine is that my drops were prescribed less frequently, so I only had 5 drops per hour on Day 0 and then 3 sets of drops per 4 hours for 2 weeks afterwards. I dont know how you did it every 15 mins – took me that long to get them in!

    Good luck… would hugely recommend LASEK at moorfields private so far 🙂

  5. Thanks so much for sharing your experience – it’s been so valuable for me! I’m on day 5 post LASEK & I have such little patience. I work for myself & really want to get back to work! But reading your blog just now has convinced me to try & chill out – at least for a few more days 🙂 thank you!

  6. Thank you so much for this!! I have started something similar and am up to day 6….I’m self employed and was hoping to be driving by day 7 but there will be no chance….had no pain or discomfort and the procedure was a breeze but I can only see about 1 metre at the moment and I was starting to panic!!!

    I suppose patience is the answer but its good to know it’s pretty normal!

  7. HI! I’ve had Lasek 20 days ago with Optical Express and I’m very confused as on what to expect. My vision is better than before the op without glasses, but it is far from being satisfactory. During my last check up a couple of days ago they told me that my prescription might not have been completely corrected so that I might need another procedure, even though it is too early to say. However, right after that they took a scan that shows an 80% correction, which according to them is good news. so why is it that my vision is still so poor? I’m just confused and I don’t know what to expect, I’d like to share my experience with someone who has gone through this already. It is all so frustrating. Help please!

  8. I had lasek surgery 6 days ago at ultralase. I have to say surgery itself was fine, no discomfort that I was dreading. But literally straight after like 3mins in the recovery room, the pain and discomfort kicked in, the surgeon took his time an didn’t come into seeing me for almost 45minswen I was told he’d be in in 20. I wwasnt in any mood to talk to him with the pain of my eyes. He put wat I taught was an anesthetic in but did nothing. That day an 2 an a half days after was horrible, bright lights, taking all my drops but the only ting that would relieve me was the anaesthetic, I must say that was my saviour. Contact plaster is out now an by the 6th day now im worried that my eyes arnt as good as they should be but hopefully because its still early days. Drove last nite on the dark, was fine but can’t see as good in the distance at signs an even regs say 10 feet away arnt clear, must clearer with my old classes. There’s my story

  9. Hello,
    I’m looking everywhere to find information on LASEK surgery and your posts on it have helped me a great deal. I just wanted to ask something I can’t find anywhere else. I think you mentioned somewhere that you’ve had blepharitis before due to contact lenses. I used contacts for 8 years before deciding to have surgery (I’m scheduled for early January) and switching to glasses. But I wasn’t fast enough, I guess, and I suddenly developed blepharitis around October. I have consulted two separate doctors in a 2-month period, one of whom will be my eye surgeon. They both seemed unconcerned about this condition affecting the procedure and my chances of healing. But they also said a couple of weeks of antibiotic drops would be enough to completely cure the infection. Well, they weren’t. And I keep reading things about blepharitis actually being chronic? I’m dead worried. Has your existing infection affected your experience at all?

  10. Hi I have read all your posts and wondered if a year on there significant improvements/ perfect vision? I have Lasek wavefront procedure booked for 18th april and I am stil deciding! I live with my daughter who is 8 and will have my mum to stay for the first few days to help. I understand this particular procedure takes longer but I aam obviuosly worried about being able to get around my house and look after my daughter ok after the initial period. THANKYOU SO MUCH for submitting these posts I have found them very informative and impartial. So much more helpful and honest than the various company webites, Becca

  11. Hi, it’s been great reading your LASEK diary – I am having my treatment on May 20th and beginning to get quite nervous about the whole thing but have wanted it done for the last 20years!! I have chosen to have it done now as a 40th birthday present to myself, plus the fact I am on maternity leave until Sept so no time off work will be needed. Now I know more or less what to expect, so thank you. Beth

  12. Hi. I had my lasek surgery 17 days ago and have pretty much had the same experience as these posts. I can definitely see better than before the surgery but not nearly good enough.
    My prescription was -4 before surgery.
    I had a check up 5 days ago and they told me I am not at driving standard yet (which I already knew as I see a lot of blur).
    My eye sight is worse at the end of the day than it is at the start.
    Before surgery I had no issue with my short vision but I have found this very difficult after surgery but there is very slight improvement every day.
    I have told to be patient and continue with eye drops.
    I had my surgery with optimax.
    The surgical tape in the bag is to stick the goggles to your face at night so you don’t take them off in your sleep. (I only did this for 3 nights then forgot to put them on after that).
    I haven’t suffered with dry eye but have been told to use the refresh drops as much as possible to help recovery.
    Hope this helps someone 🙂

  13. For what it’s worth (and I imagine this forum thread has possibly come to an end) I thought I’d just add one more note. Before surgery I had -4.75 in my left eye and -3.75 in my right and worn glasses from age 4 and then lenses from 16.

    I had Lasek surgery at Ultralase in Bristol (now taken over by Optimax) in Feb 2012, which pretty much went as most of the above experiences, though with perhaps a little more post-op discomfort across a couple of days. However even after the six month supposed final healing/settling time I still hadn’t achieved the 20:20 vision that was suggested by the surgeon. A month into the surgery and I was prescribed a pair of glasses for distance vision although close-up/reading vision was perfect. I kept using the distance glasses throughout the following 10 months and eventually went to Optimax to ask their advise on why my vision hadn’t improved. They tested my vision over the next nine month period (3 appointments) and concluded at the last one that the eyes were now stable and that a second laser treatment (covered by the initial payment) was the appropriate course of action to tweak my vision the last little bit to 20:20 or better. The reason given for the treatment not being completely effective the first time was most likely the strength of my prescription.

    An appointment was made and I had the surgery 5 days ago (Friday, Sept 20th 2013). The equipment used in the procedure has been updated and there were minor differences in the treatment itself but more or less the same (minus the re-use of my epithelium tissue, this was wiped away entirely). I was given the post-op meds bag and instructions, again very similar to before, minus the eye shields as I was told these are only now used for Lasik treatments (as the eyes are far more unstable to begin with, due to the ‘flap’ technique).

    The 2 days that followed the procedure were far more uncomfortable than the last time, with the anaesthetic drops providing very little relief from the pain, and the 800mg Ibuprofen tablets offering not much more in the way of help. I actually returned to the clinic the day after the treatment to let them know I would be needing more anaesthetic drops which they actually did give me, however as it was a very low strength it gave only partial comfort. I got through eventually, having spent 48 hours mostly in a dark room trying to sleep, not very successfully).

    Things eased up on day 4 (Monday) once I had the protective lenses removed and although it did feel like sand behind contact lenses this was a marked improvement on the previous 2 days. That sensation only lasted about 12 hours and slowly normality returned. My eyes remained sensation free as long as I kept them moistened with the lubricating drops. (Also maintaining my regime of FML and Exocin drops 4 times a day too.

    So I am now on day 5 (Tuesday) and am in no discomfort, but patiently waiting for my vision to start to improve. It is a very slow process and I am hoping to be able to drive in the next few days, though I did cycle across town today.

    I will try to return to give an update in the coming months on the success of a second treatment. Of the 5 people in the surgery the morning I was there 3 of us were there for top-up procedures. It seems as though it’s not that uncommon.

    Best of luck to all of you and any other secondary treatment experiences would be great to hear about.

  14. Would be interested to know if anyone else has experienced excruciating pain at night when trying to open their eyes. Had my Lasek 5 weeks ago and started experiencing this pain about 10 days ago. Surgeon told me it was probably due to dry eyes at night and the fact that the epithelium hasn’t seated itself at the back yet and he has given me pain relieving drops, but obviously these are very very difficult to administer when it’s agony to open your eyes.

    1. Hi Barb, I had lasek 6 weeks ago and I’m suddenly being woke up at night by a sharp shooting pain in my right eye causing my eye to stream tears and not want to open. Did you ever find out exactly what it was and if it is common? Much appreciated

  15. I had lasik three years ago but my eyes deterioriated after the first six months. I am due to have a lasek ‘top up’ procedure next week and have been doing a lot of research. I am very scared. Of the pain and also the long recovery time. David, just wondering how the rest of your recovery has been?

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