PRK Laser Eye Surgery Part 1

Author: Jeff Anderson

I got PRK laser eye surgery this past November. I wanted to blog about some of the technical things I did to cope with the recovery time, but it ended up turning into six parts about my vision, the motivation, the surgery, the recovery, and my results as well.

Motivation

I got my first set of glasses in the third grade. I got contacts in seventh grade. Glasses break, contacts fall out. Soft contacts was a wonderful switch from glasses. Glasses don't correct peripheral vision, contacts do. My problem with contacts is that I'd never take them out. I also had some other fun experiences with my corrective eye gear.

One time when I was out of town, my right contact fell out. I was in an auditorium, and I had to wait for whatever I was there for to get over before getting on my hands and knees to find the contact. By the time I found it about twenty minutes later, it was dirty and partially dried out. I had a Handspring Visor at the time, so I put the contact on the screen and closed the cover. On my way back to my room, I realized that the contact was still drying out. I didn't want to wait for the elevator, so I ran up the stairs. Once to my room, I took out the contact to put into solution. Dry contacts spring back to their original shape with very little effort, and this one hadn't been dry long. The problem was that this contact had broken. A bit of it had become brittle because it was dry, and the cover of my visor didn't give it quite enough room. I had forgotten to bring a spare set of contacts, and I didn't have any glasses. That happened on Wednesday. I didn't get home until Saturday.

I had a bit of astigmatism in my left eye-- enough to make blacks not quite so sharp compared to my right eye, but not enough that correction would help. I went through several eye doctors before this was explained to me. This made for some frustrating visits to the eye doctor. I even managed to talk one eye doctor into increasing the strength of the prescription on my left eye. This did make things like text as sharp as the right eye, but I was in for quite a set of headaches for the three or four months that I suffered through that prescription.

Even with contacts, I still had to get glasses. Contacts just can't be used at all times. This cost extra money, and I ended up with both sets of problems given by contacts and glasses.

My biggest problem with contacts is that I forgot to take them out at night. I usually had the kind where you are supposed to take them out at night, and then throw them out after a month. I almost never did this. I'd put them in and forget about them. Sometimes I'd go a whole month (or more) without having a contact out. It wasn't until they collected enough protein from being in my eye that they were blurry that I'd consider taking them out. This is not good for your eyes. I did this for years.

I asked about night and day contacts. I was told by at least one or two eye doctors that I had that switching brands or types of contacts was generally a bad idea since I had never had an eye infection with my previous brand. Finally, I ended up with a trial pair. They were not comfortable. After my one week period, the eye doctor said that everything looked good, and I could order more. I wasn't interested. I ended up taking home a trial pair for another brand, but never put them in. I let my eyes get used to the night and day brand. After wearing these for a long time, it was time for them to be replaced. I ended up wearing glasses for several months. This usually gets tiresome after a few weeks.

I finally decided that I did in fact want contacts again. It had been long enough that I needed to redo the exam. The eye doctor didn't have another trial pair for the night & day, and they didn't have them in stock. I figured I'd order the contacts online. This ended up being more confusing than I'd have liked. I'm sure I could have ordered the right thing, but I was about to fork over $250 or so for these things, so I figured I should get it right for sure. I started calling around to see if any eye place had them in stock. No one stocks them.

Continue to Part 2

Posted: Apr 26, 2010 | Tags: PRK

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