My Lasik Experience: the good, the bad, and the burn

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The Truth About Lasik: the good, the bad, and the burn

So many of you emailed asking for all the details regarding my Lasik experience, I’m sharing the full scoop on my Lasik experience with you here today. I shared some of my initial thoughts on Instagram and Snapchat and promised that I’d write up the whole story after my eyes had healed completely.

If you do not want the details of my Lasik surgery, you’ll want to skip reading today’s post and head directly to this post on How To Eat A Salad Everyday {and Like It!} and then satisfy your sweet tooth with a couple of these Monster Cookie Bars.

Why Lasik?

For as long as I can remember, I was hesitant to consider Lasik. However, my eyes have always been super sensitive to light and I finally hit my limit with the constant swapping of my regular glasses to prescription sunglasses. I’ve been wearing contacts more frequently than ever over the past few years and I never was able to wear them for more than 6-8 hours max.

I let the unknown scare me away from Lasik for a lot of years. When I finally researched it seriously, I learned that the procedure is incredibly advanced and it’s also lightning fast. I finally decided to do it.

My initial consultation took about an hour and a half. Eye measurements, prescription checking, double checking, and triple checking. Lengthy conversations and consultations to make sure you know the procedure inside out. Once I knew I was a candidate for Lasik (most people are), I immediately booked my procedure for later that week.

The Truth About Lasik: the good, the bad, and the burn

The truth about Lasik: What to expect during Lasik surgery

On the day of my Lasik, the actual procedure itself took less than 5 minutes. Your eyes are completely numbed with drops and there is no pain to the Lasik procedure itself.

Literally 22 seconds on each eye (to detach the cornea). This is a strong suction feeling on your eye that while very uncomfortable is fast enough that it’s over before you know it. Your vision goes black for a few seconds and then it’s done.

I’m not going to sugar coat any of this story, okay? That part of the process was not fun. I don’t know if it was the crazy feeling of the unknown or the suction or what exactly, but I was literally telling myself “you can do ANYTHING for less than 1 minute.”

Immediately following that, there’s the laser procedure itself. You stare into a colored light and (in my case) the procedure lasted just 11 seconds on one eye and 7 seconds on the other one. While it was a little difficult to focus on the colored light, it wasn’t painful at all.

After that, more medicated eye drops and dark sunglasses for the ride home. (You definitely need a driver for Lasik day.) I couldn’t focus through the blur and my eyes were tearing constantly. Doctor’s orders were to go home and go straight to sleep. Ideally, for 3-4 hours at least. You’ll be given clear glasses/goggles to sleep in so that you won’t accidentally rub your eyes in your sleep.

First 24 hours after Lasik

The first afternoon was rough. I only slept about 2 hours and my eyes really hurt. Your eyes will burn when you wake up and you need to put drops in every 20 minutes, alternating a few doses of the medicated drops with the sterile tear drops.

There is relief with the drops, but in my case, I could barely see through the haze and light was painful that first night. So I wore light sunglasses in the dim house and listened to an audiobook. No tv, minimal texting, no reading or computer work.

As promised, things were so much better in the morning. It was amazing to look across the room and see the clock without my glasses, to walk through the house without my glasses, to make coffee and see the writing on the side of the package.

I had a follow-up appointment with the doctor the next morning. I had Sean drive me because my eyes were still a little tired and it was nice to be able to close them when the sun was super bright despite wearing sunglasses.

My follow-up appointment with the doctor was a fast one. My vision was officially better than hoped, 20/15 in both eyes less than 24 hours after my Lasik procedure. The doctor told me that my vision should continue to improve through the week and the slight haze should be gone completely in the next week or two.

I did have subconjunctival hemorrhages on both eyes following the surgery and for about two weeks afterward. This is simply a bruise which presents as red spots on the white of the eye. These red spots are temporary and usually disappear in about a week and two. They are completely cosmetic, cause no pain, and have no impact on a patient’s vision.

Post Lasik instructions from the doctor, for the first two weeks:
Most important – do not rub your eyes. Avoid touching them at all.
Clear glasses/goggles to sleep in for one week.
Medicated drops 4 times daily for one week.
No make-up, eye creams, or any other products near the eyes, at all for two weeks.
No swimming, hot tubs, smoke-filled areas (campfire or bbq grills), basically avoid any situations that might irritate your eyes normally.
Blink tear drops, anytime eyes are dry or burning or irritated, about an hour apart. You can’t use them too much. You want to keep your eyes as hydrated as possible.

Week one after Lasik

Two days after the surgery – a slight haze happens when my eyes are dry now, and frequent use of eye drops is encouraged and immediately clears it. I used the sterile tear drops about every 30 minutes to an hour. There’s no pain at all now. Just a little sore or tired, but the tear drops relieve that.

Four days later – this whole Lasik thing was pretty amazing. My eyes were still extremely dry in the mornings. The routine was sterile tear eyedrops as needed for the next month or two. The dr said the more eye drops I used, the faster they’ll heal, so I set an alarm on the hour for a couple weeks and made sure they never actually got dry during the day.

What to expect months after Lasik

Three weeks post Lasik – eyes were still dry, that can last up to six months and in very few cases is permanent. The teardrops help immensely. Second follow-up appointment, no more visits should be necessary.

Two months post Lasik – I can tell you now that I wish I’d done this years ago. If you’re even considering it and it is an option for you, I encourage you to do it. Having clear eyesight without the help of glasses or contacts is better than I ever imagined.

I notice that my eyes are dry a handful of times a day, and the teardrops immediately relieve that. I still use the drops first thing each morning, but it’s nothing like the severe dry eye that was the initial wake up post Lasik.

Other than still needing eye drops on occasion, this is better than perfect vision and I couldn’t be happier with my decision to finally have Lasik. I thought it would be kind of like just wearing contacts all of the time, but this is so much better.

The Truth About Lasik: the good, the bad, and the burn

Now that I no longer need them, anyone know the best place to donate all of these glasses?

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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    • Mary says

      Yes, they did. Whether or not I’ll need them again for nearsightedness can vary, but it’s almost a guarantee that everyone will eventually need to wear reading glasses.

    • Colleen says

      Thank you for sharing your story Mary. I had lasik surgery in the summer of 2004 and I still do not need glasses of any kind. It has been so wonderful waking up without dealing with contacts. A coworker of mine at the same time also had lasik, he went to a different place and I remember he had trouble afterwards. He would be walking around rubbing his eyes and I think he still needed glasses. It was worth the risk to me, I couldn’t see a thing a few inches beyond my face. There were many trips before the actual surgery to have my eyes measured, and I had to wear glasses for a while before hand so my eyes weren’t shaped by contacts. It cost about $2000 then and I have saved so much in all these years not having to wear glasses or contacts.

  1. Sherrill says

    I just found you. I’m looking to have intra occular surgery To remove cataracts after the coronavirus is gone. Also hoping for better vision..
    a tear drop procedure Has to be done before before the cataract removal .

    Anyway if you still have glasses as don’t know when this was posted, the Lions Club is a collector of glasses. Charitable

  2. Lisa Kelley says

    Thanks for sharing on Lasik. I have been considering it for awhile. It was nice to hear step by step. Gives me more determination to move forward and do it.

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