About 2 months ago, I made a decision that I never thought I would in my lifetime, and that was to do Lasik. The way I landed on this decision was an odd one, starting with an eye infection and some other complications, I decided to invest in getting my eyesight corrected and finally achieve perfect vision in 21 years of my life (I was born with myopia if you're wondering why 21!). It was honestly kind of emotional for me to even be given this opportunity and I wrote a blog post jotting my feelings down pre-op which you can read here, but this post is going to be about my experience with lasik and hopefully it will help you out too!
One of the reasons I decided to do lasik was because contacts were really drying my eyes out and I could hardly wear them without getting an infection. The amount of money I've spent on and was going to spend on contact lenses/ glasses also justified the cost of lasik. Prior to the assessment, I had many people saying I was too young to do lasik and were very concerned for me. I realised however, that there were actually a few misconceptions with reference to the procedure and advancement in technology and thought I would address them now.
Epilasik vs Bladeless Lasik
Firstly, I would like to point out that there are actually 2 different types of lasik. The first, is Epilasik and the other is Bladeless. I'm not sure when either came about but I do believe that Bladeless Lasik is a newer procedure that most of my parents' generation did not get to experience.
Epilasik is where the top flap of the cornea is being scraped off and lasered to correct the eyesight. The process is more painful and it takes about 5 months to heal perfectly.
Bladeless lasik is where the top flap of the cornea is being detached (though I'm not sure how they do it), the inside(???) is lasered and the flap is attached again. This process is almost painless and takes about a month to heal completely (though you can pretty much see perfectly well and resume all activities in a week or 2).
I chose to do bladeless lasik (as most people probably do nowadays), and I do believe that many of the dangers or downside to lasik I've heard are actually with reference to Epilasik; especially since it was mainly coming from adults who did lasik more than 10 years ago or some of my friends who have parents who went through lasik!
Once done, if the degree worsens, correction cannot be done.
This is actually what I heard the most, from both my friends and parents' friends. Almost everyone I knew who went through lasik before or knew someone who went through lasik before, told me that the degree can no longer be corrected if worsened, after lasik. To my pleasant surprise however, I was informed that technology is amazing and ever-changing, and at the clinic I went to, they could do a correction for me anytime and as many times in the years to come after my operation. Personally, I think this is the most crucial misconception to clear because it is probably the greatest deterrent for people around my age to go through lasik. The fear of eventually going back to contact lenses and spectacles.
It takes a few months to receive clear vision
Clear vision will be obtained in a week or less! You can then resume driving, though things like swimming, contact sports and any activity that can get dirty water into your eyes are banned for a month. Makeup and eye creams are also not allowed for 2 weeks!
I will be blind for a few days
No, you will not be blind. The friend was asked me this was obviously just being ridiculous but the moment the surgery is done, you will be able to see immediately! The only thing is that vision will be a little hazy. The best way to desribe it, is the feeling of a post-swim with contact lenses on, when you look around and everything is hazy due to the chlorine, though still visible and readable.
I have to stay home for a few days to recover and eat only certain foods
There are absolutely no food restrictions involved and following the surgery you can pretty much resume your daily life activities aside from contact sports, driving and some other precautionary measures they briefed me about. In general however, I didn't experience any difficulty going about doing my own things, even heading to school and work the next day.
21 is too young to do it
I think this is related to the first point on correction. Because many people thought correction of the eyesight can no longer be done, it became scary to think of doing it now and perhaps having your eyesight worsen just a few years down the road and going back to spectacles or contact lenses again. For my lasik at eagle eye center, they offer correction within the 1st 3 years of lasik free of charge and 40% off for a lifetime after that! It honestly made me feel so much more at ease knowing that I can maintain my eyesight following the surgery.
It is painful and a long procedure.
The actual lasik procedure for me only lasted about 5 minutes. I came in for an assessment 2 days before which took between 2-3 hours, and I waited about an hour before my turn on the actual surgery date. Eagle eye clinic also does assessment and surgery in a single day for the people with busy schedules and want to get everything done at one go!
The actual lasik experience is honestly very fast and painless. The nurses dripped multiple eyedrops including a numbing one so you pretty much can't feel anything happening to your eyes during the surgery. The doctor, Dr Julian Theng, who did my lasik was very nice and talked me through the procedure while doing it the whole time. 5 minutes later, I get up and I can see the words on the wall, a little hazy but it was amazing to even be able to read it all together. A feat I never thought I would live to see (literally).
Post-surgery, once the anesthetic wore off, I started to feel like everything was very glaring and opening my eyes was difficult. Eagle eye center actually gives a complementary pair of sunnies to all their lasik patients which was so useful in the car on the way home. Everything started to feel really glaring and one of my eyes felt like I had a dirty contact lens in it but this only lasted for about an hour or so before I was able to open my eyes as per normal again!
As for post-surgery care, I was given 2 bottles of medicated eye drops and 2 boxes of regular preservative-free lubricant eye drops. I was also given a pair of sleeping goggles to put on at night and was instructed to ensure no soap or water enters my eyes.
You are required to go for multiple post-surgery reviews.
1 day after the lasik
1 week after 1st review
1-2 months after 2nd review
4-6 months after 3rd review
2 weeks in
Within 2 days I was driving around although I would not recommend doing so at night as the lights can be quite glaring. After a week, I went back for my 2nd post-review and I was off my medicated eye drops and was told I could sleep without the goggles. My eyesight was perfectly clear in the day with the exception of really bright lights and I still experienced slight halos (around lights) at night. I could also wash my face normally, just ensuring my eyes are shut tight so no soap or water enters.
Within 2 weeks I could start using eye cream and putting on makeup! This was probably what I missed the most and I was ecstatic to be able to put on makeup during my CNY visitations, feeling my best.
2 months in
By this time, I was so comfortable with my new vision that you could tell me I did lasik a year ago and I would believe that. I can now shower and wash my face with no worries about water entering and can engage in any sport including water sport. The only thing I noticed is that my eyes can still be dry at times but I just need to continue with my daily lubricating eye-drops and that'll do the trick. Occasionally, I can still feel slight glare from the sun or under bright lights, but I ensure to bring my sunnies everywhere I go and I also wear a pair of blue-light glasses when using my laptop so the light doesn't tire out my eyes. The nurse at the clinic told me the glare will take up to 3 months to completely wear off so that's probably why I still experience it, though, it's hardly noticeable and totally bearable.
I hope you enjoyed this article and that it was helpful for you! Do drop me a message or leave a comment if you have any questions or worries and I'll do my best to answer them (-:
If you're interested, I did my Lasik under Dr Julian Theng and you can contact them/ find out more here.
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Disclaimer: I am not sponsored by any company or centers and all opinions are my own!
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