Apr 19, 2008
I am writing this because I recently had PRK (vision correction) done on both eyes, at the same time. I couldn’t find much information the months that I was searching online, prior to my procedure. There were many articles on how the procedure was done, but mostly, about how long the cornea took to heal. There was little explained, in any of the articles I had read, as to how long it takes until you can actually see clearly enough to be able to live a normal life. I am here, anonymously, to tell you that it is not as simple as it may seem and that it can be an unpleasant experience.
I suffer from very dry eyes and had a condition called MDF (nothing serious), both of these facts prevented me from being a Lasik candidate. I had been wearing contacts for 10 years and found that the contacts were damaging my eyes and had to stop. I tried glasses for 4 months and I couldn’t deal with them. Therefore, I had PRK done 2-1/2 weeks ago. I was under the impression, from everything I had read, that it takes between 4 – 6 days until the cornea heals itself. In that period of time, a bandage contact is placed in each eye to protect the cornea while it heals. While the procedure itself was painless (they put numbing drops in your eyes), after the first few hours, when the drops wear off, you do feel mild to severe discomfort as the cornea heals for a few days, depending on how sensitive your eyes are. I can deal with the pain, especially since I was aware that it would only be for 6 days. Six days after the procedure, when the protective contacts were removed, everything was extremely blurry, more so than before. I asked the doctor how long it would take, so I can give my employer a return date to work, and he said that it depends on the individual; that it could take anywhere between two weeks to even 6 months until I can achieve my optimum vision. Ok, so here again, I was under the impression that I would be able to see ok, but that it would just keep getting better and better and within 6 months, I’d have x-ray vision, so to speak. Well, what he actually meant was that I would not be able to see enough to be on my own. My husband travels and he had to leave the state for a week and I was left alone. We both thought that by the time he left, I’d be able to take care of myself. Not so. Here I am, alone, can’t read, can’t drive, can’t get on the internet and can’t watch tv. I had to wear dark glasses around the house because the light bothered my eyes. I began to get a little anxious. Days passed and no improvement. I called the doctor’s office only to be told that it would improve slightly every day. I honestly didn’t see the improvement. A few days later, I had a breakthrough and began to see about 5 feet away. The next morning it was back to blurry. It’s still blurry. I don’t need to look at the keyboard to type but I feel the need to share this with anyone who is planning on doing this. I would suggest to anyone considering this procedure, to have one eye done at a time, and space it well (at least a month in between). Make sure that you can take the time off work and that you have someone to help you out.
The day before my procedure, I read a blog by a football player who told of his experience where it was 4 weeks and two days before he could see. I was told that maybe his case was different, since certain conditions, like severe myopia, can affect the time it takes to heal. I’m thankful that I read his blog, which is why I’m writing this one, because I have hope that in another two weeks or so, I’ll be ok, too. By the way, I went to an excellent ophthalmologist, who I have total confidence in and is very capable (I researched him well) and he works for a very successful and well-known eye institute in my area. I just wish that he had made it clear at the beginning, how long I’d need help and how long it would take for me to get back to work.
It is now 3-1/2 weeks. Not much change. Went to see my opthalmologist who prescribed glasses because I am now, supposedly temporarily, nearsighted. Can't get used to the glasses, too strong. I mean, in a matter of days, I became very nearsighted and it takes awhile to get used to such a strong prescription. Therefore, I am still unable to drive. My distance eye seems to be getting a little better, although still very hazy. But my reading eye, seems to be getting worse today. I wonder if it fluctuates as it corrects. Not sure. My employer has been trying to be very patient. I really hope I don't lose my job. My opthalmologist explained that his patients who are farsighted, as I was, when they have PRK, the prescription overshoots and eventually "hopefully" goes to where it was aimed. This may take months. And why didn't I know this before? Well, if you are contemplating this procedure because you are not a good candidate for Lasik, make sure you get all of the facts first. I wish I had read a blog like this before I had mine done.