When I was a kid I longed to wear glasses…don’t ask why because I honestly don’t know. I must have thought they were cool or something. When I was twelve I finally got my wish and was received a glasses death sentence. Over the next 8 years I had a love-hate relationship with my vision and eyewear. At first I loved glasses (I had 6 pairs total because my prescription changed nearly every year) but then I hated them because they were so limiting. I couldn’t wear regular sunglasses, I had to get prescription; I had to constantly wipe off my lenses when it rained; my glasses fogged up when I came in from the cold; I got hit in the face during gym class one too many times and broke my glasses; I developed head aches from the ear pieces being too tight…need I go on? I was able to get contacts when I was seventeen but my eyes were so dry that they almost always rejected the lenses.
In 2010, a few months before I turned twenty, I started seriously considering laser eye surgery. I was good candidate for it because I was young, healthy and had a stable prescription and I was working a great job while living at home so I could afford it. After some consultations with my eye doctor and the specialists at the surgery center I decided to go for it.
I’ll spare you the gory details of how the procedure is done, but I will say I had the less desirable surgery because my corneas are too thin for the other one. The surgery I had is called PRK (as opposed to LASIK) and lasted a whopping 15 seconds per eye. My recovery time was very slow and scary at times because my vision was blurred for several weeks before it improved. People who have LASIK are usually able to see perfectly within a few days.
You know what? I will tell the gory details because it helps you understand why my vision seemed worse…ready? SCROLL DOWN IF YOU ARE SQUEAMISH!!!!!
Here it goes: Basically, in the PRK surgery the thin epithelial layer of the eye is shaved off to reshape the cornea. That layer slowly grows back from the left and right sides of the cornea until it meets in the middle and your vision is restored. After the surgery I was given dark sunglasses to wear at all times, special plastic cups to tape over my eyes at night and some medicated drops. I wasn’t in any discomfort or pain, except for when I was wearing a “bandage contact lense” to protect my newly exposed corneas (since my eyes are so dry those lenses made me itch like crazy and I had to wear them for a few days). Within 2 weeks I could see enough to legally drive but I sure wasn’t confident about that!!
PICK UP READING HERE IF YOU DIDN’T READ ABOUT THE ACTUAL SURGERY!
I’ll admit the whole thing was kind of scary but so worth it! I didn’t like wearing glasses at all; I didn’t feel pretty and I didn’t want to get married wearing glasses. I can say only good things about my experience and happily answer any questions about it if I’m ever asked.
It’s been almost 3 years since my surgery and I’m so happy I did it. My vision is still 20/20 and my eye doctor is very pleased with the results. A lot of people find the price of the surgery a little hard to stomach and I totally understand that (for me, the cost was $5000). BUT I spent at least $200 every year on new glasses and I would have to wear them for the rest of my life…so let’s say $200/year X 60 years = $120,00.
While I still have to pay $100 yearly for an eye checkup I have peace of mind knowing that any additional corrective surgery will be at no cost to me because I have my eyes checked annually. I’d say that’s a pretty good deal!
Is there anything else you wanted to know about laser eye surgery? Comment below and I’ll answer anything:)