On March 24, 2010, I had LASIK eye surgery to correct my nearsighted vision.
At my 6-month post-op check-up, I was still having some trouble focusing at night or in any situation where there was a stark contrast between black and white (movie subtitles or credits, backlit actors on TV). I was also having trouble under florescent lighting — whenever I’d walk into Wal-Mart or a grocery store, I’d notice that the large aisle signs were a little bit out of focus. It wasn’t awful, but I still had to fight the urge to squint to see clearly.
My eye doctor checked my eyesight, and said that while I was seeing 20/20 out of both eyes and my right eye, my left eye was actually seeing 20/25 on its own. His thought was that the slight nearsightedness that remained was causing the disruption of focus that I was experiencing. To rule out any lingering dryness or allergic reaction (swelling), I tried another kind of eye drops. It didn’t get better, but it didn’t get worse either… and the feedback from the LASIK place was to wait and see what happened over the next six months, because the new prescription was too slight to warrant a laser “fix.”
Now it’s been a year, and I’m still plagued by a focusing issue at distances. Florescent lighting aggravates it, but I also notice trouble focusing on road signs in the daylight too — especially after a day spent at work, staring at a computer. My eyes have a hard time readjusting to a distance when almost everything all day has been at close range. I find myself pulling my TV set closer to the couch to watch a DVD instead of leaving it against the wall, across the room. The other day at lunch Mom was surprised that a large sign with big lettering was blurry to me, sitting only across a small parking lot and a driveway,
At my one year post-op check-up today, my right eye was 20/25 and my left was 20/30. Together, I still see about 20/20, but with the slight blurriness I register at distances it’s difficult for me to believe that this is 20/20.
My doctor will report my one-year status to the TLC Laser Eye Center team, but they will probably say that it’s still not enough of a prescription to warrant a laser fix. I’ve ordered new lenses for my frames that I bought pre-surgery a year ago, so make driving at night and watching movies on a distant screen more comfortable, but I’ve been warned against wearing them all the time.
Am I completely happy? No. For the amount of money spent ($4,290.00) I was really hoping that I would not have to squint to see large signs posted several hundred feet away. In daylight. All of the extra focusing/squinting makes my eyes tired, especially after a work day, and I’m definitely not as comfortable driving when I know I’ll have to look for road signs.
Is this amount of vision better than I had before? And is it healthier for my eyes to not wear contacts every day? Absolutely. I know that there was no guarantee that I would see a perfect 20/20 or even 20/15 after surgery, despite the fact that everyone I know who has had LASIK has had a good (if not excellent) result. But if I’m being honest, I’d have to say that if my prescription degrades to the point where I can go to TLC and say, “Can you fix this now?”, I’d definitely be interested in taking advantage of their 100% satisfaction guarantee and I’d allow them one more shot to give me a future without squinting.