I recently went through this surgical procedure called LASIK to correct my vision and stop my dependency in glasses and contact lenses. I’m penning my journey to help those who might be considering LASIK.
A high myopic, I’ve used contact lenses since my early teens. In those days, it was quite something to be wearing itty bitty bits of plastic directly on the eyes to see properly. I was quite the sensation at school, I remember. As I grew older, it became a part of me. It was after I hit my 30s that I started having issues.
It was a regular check-up at my hometown’s eye hospital. The head of the department would check me in his off hours and life would go on. But this time it was different. The doctor found 2 retina holes. He patched them up with laser immediately and I came home partially blind and with a killer headache that lasted me days. I wasn’t really abusing my eyes, but yes, I have been getting old and that was affecting my eyes now. In fact, Doc told me clearly I can’t wear contact lenses for more than 12 hours and 1 day of the week should be lens-free.
I hated wearing my glasses. Looked exactly like the nerd I am inside, not the image consultant someone would hire for a makeover.
Anyways, it was doctor’s orders so had to be done. I started being careful. Life went on. And then I got pregnant. It was a high risk pregnancy for reasons beyond the scope of this post. But having a high risk pregnancy meant I was bed ridden for almost 8 months. That meant less contact lenses and more glasses. My baby arrived almost 2 months early and keeping up with her meant absolutely no contact lenses and only glasses. Once she turned 1, I started getting back to life and in an effort to be more money-savvy, I opted for monthly disposable contact lenses. Till that time, I had been using daily disposables.
Gradually I started having issues with my eyes. Not vision though. I had headaches. My vision was sometimes blurry, like watching through the windows on a rainy day. Be it glasses or lenses, my problems persisted. Thankfully my yearly eye check came up and my doctor suggested LASIK again. He had mentioned it earlier but then because I had the retina holes he had not pursued the matter since there should not be any pre-existing problems to undergo LASIK. From what I understood, below is the eligibility for LASIK:
– Plus or minus, your vision should be at a steady power for a couple of years.
– Eyes should be problem-free for at least a year, that is, no diseases, healthy cornea, retina, etc.
– Cornea thickness should be above a certain number. I won’t be disclosing this.
LASIK is basically cutting the cornea, opening a tiny flap over the pupil, letting the laser do its magic and then reattaching the flap. Within 5 minutes the procedure is finished. The doctor’s expertise and the laser machine’s capabilities are the 2 factors that determine how successful LASIK can be. There may be over-correction (where in you may need glasses to correct your vision) or under-correction (where in your vision may be blurry for at least 6 months but you won’t be needing glasses any time soon).
But before you decide, I’m going to repeat what my doctor said to me:
“Don’t do this because your family or friends or your doctor is telling you to. There’s a certain degree of risk in all invasive procedures. Understand what is at risk here and what you aim to gain from such a procedure and then sign up for it.”
My goal was to look at my baby’s face whenever I wanted without scrambling around to find my glasses. So I signed up for LASIK.
I didn’t wear my contact lenses for 2 weeks so that when they did the preliminary tests to see if LASIK is okay for me, they would get my pumped up cornea to test, not a oxygen deprived one. These tests took about 2 hours to finish. They tested every aspect of the organ. Sometimes I was looking at a small house at a distance, sometimes at red and green blinking lights, or sometimes just staring into the earlobe of whoever was testing my eyes. I had no idea what most of them meant, though there was one test where they inject diluted water right into the inner corners of my eyes. Sounds painful but there was NO pain. Just a mouthful of weird tasting water. That test opens up the passageway between eye ducts and mouth. They even took my blood to test for retrovirus and random blood sugar.
The day they okayed me for LASIK, they gave me a couple of eye drops to use every 2 hours. And the day AFTER that, I had LASIK (post coming up next..)
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