Are any of you interested in getting LASIK eye surgery? I have been wanting to get it done for years and finally bit the bullet and went for it this week at Sharpe Vision in Bellevue. I had a really positive experience and wanted to write a post for those of you who are interested.
Background: The word “LASIK” is an acronym for laser in situ keratomileusis (sometimes also called laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis). In situ is a Latin term meaning “in its original position or place;” kerato- is a Greek-derived prefix meaning “cornea;” and mileusis means “to shape.”
For me, my contacts over the past year have been causing infections and really irritating my eyes. I wear glasses but I feel like they create a barrier and also get lost often which is a pain when you rely on them for sight! My mom’s friend had the surgery and told us she wishes she had gotten it years ago. So I booked a free consultation, they said I was a strong candidate (thick cornea, eyes have stopped changing), and I booked the surgery!
Pre-surgery, you can’t wear contacts the week before. You also need to fill prescriptions for 3 different eye drops, all under $75 total. They are for antibiotics, dry eyes and steroidal use.
The day of the surgery, eat a big meal beforehand because you are given a painkiller when you arrive. I showed up at 1:30, filled out some forms, had another short eye exam, and them met with the doctor (Dr. Sharpe). He went over the surgery with me, and then we went into the room. The surgery is divided into two parts: 1. lifting the corneal flap, 2. reshaping the cornea. I laid back in the chair, and small forceps were placed on my left eye. Then, a telescope-like lens was placed on top, and I stared at a laser. I felt pressure where the lens was around my eye socket, but nothing else. Quickly, the same thing was done to my right eye while I closed my left eye. Then, the forceps were placed on my left eye, and I stared at another laser. I counted down to 30, smelled some burning which is normal, and then it was done! The same thing was done to my right eye. The doctor then sat me up and looked at both eyes through a lens. And done! In and out in what felt like less than 5 minutes.
They sent me on my way, my boyfriend drove me home and I sat with sunglasses and my eyes closed. When I got home, I put eye drops in my eyes, added a cold compress, and napped for about 1.5 hours. I woke up with a bit of a headache, took some Advil, added more eyedrops, and slept another hour. When I woke up, my vision was clear but slightly hazy. It cleared up as the night went on. In the morning, everything was clear, almost like I woke up with contacts in! I had another checkup that morning to make sure everything looked good, and went to work.
After surgery, you need to take eyedrops 4x daily, once at breakfast, lunch, dinner and bedtime. I also have a nighttime ointment I put on my lower lid to prevent dryness at night. These are taken until 6 days after surgery. Then, you have a month checkup for a final review.
Here are some myths about LASIK from Sharpe Vision:
1.Lasers cannot correct astigmatism.
Laser vision correction was approved for the correction of astigmatism in 1998, and we’ve been treating it with improved lasers ever since. When you have moderate to severe astigmatism, laser vision correction is an extremely appealing option, because toric (astigmatism correcting) contact lenses are thicker, more expensive, less comfortable, and give more variable vision than ordinary contacts.
2. I will need reading glasses.
We can’t avoid aging, but we can often avoid reading glasses. A moving part inside our eye, called the crystalline lens, becomes less flexible as we age. Although no current technology can restore this flexibility of youth, we can avoid reading glasses by employing a time-tested method called “monovision”. During your consultation, we demonstrate this option for our patients over 40 to see well at distance and near without glasses.
3. The laser will mess up if I move.
Our lasers have an amazingly fast infrared tracker that keeps the laser perfectly centered on your eye. It follows small movements of your eye during the procedure, so if your eye moves, the laser moves with it. Large movements of the eye cause the tracker to stop the laser until the eye is back into position.
I would recommend this surgery to everyone. It cost just under $4,000, which is pricey but think about what you spend on contacts and glasses every year. That also included a lifetime warranty, so at any time I can go back and have an adjustment surgery if needed, which is very rare. It has been 3 days now and everything is working as it should! Feel free to contact me if you have more questions.
R.I.P Glasses (Rome, 2014)