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Lasik Eye Surgery Message Board

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My story: -5.5/-5.25, excellent health with no history of dry eyes or any other eyes problems other than the need to wear glasses or contacts since age 10.

I went for LASIK surgery about 5 weeks ago and although I am pleased with being able to function without contacts or glasses, I am not completely thrilled with the procedure. I had done a lot of research on LASIK and thought I knew what I was getting into. I had spoken with numerous friends and family members who had had the surgery and all had excellent results with no complications or issues afterwards. I had read about some of the side effects but unfortunately did not really delve into the negative stories.

I had monovision correction where one eye is under corrected for reading and the other eye is corrected for distance. I've had no problems adjusting to the difference in my eyes. My left eye, set for reading, is pretty good and I am able to read without reading glasses (I am over 40 years old and was starting to need not only contacts and glasses for distance but also reading glasses.)

My eyes feel pretty OK for the most part and the surgery and recovery were uneventful. A little discomfort in the right eye for a couple hours but nothing major. However, my distance vision in the right eye has never been really great since the surgery. When my doctor first checks my vision, I can barely make out even the 20/100 line as it is all blurry. I can read nearly perfectly. The doctor then installs an eye drop in each eye, and for about 15 seconds, I can see the 20/20 line on the eye chart and my vision declines fairly rapidly over the next few seconds to barely being able to see the 20/70 line. This was the same effect that I had seen at home - when I use eye drops, I'm OK for a few seconds, but then my distance vision rapidly declines.

My doctor says that my eyes are dry and has told me to use drops. They don't really feel dry, except in the morning but since I can see better with the eye drops, I continue to use them. I currently go through a box of Optive Refresh drops in about 2-3 days. I've tried other brands but the Optive drops seem to work best. I literally need to have the little plastic vials with me all the time!

The downside is that, while I used to be able to see with contacts or glasses and to see very well, I can now barely manage in the city, or a large store or to see my child on the playground! Thankfully, I don't have a car or need to drive but if I did, I am not sure I could drive with my vision as it is. My doctor keeps telling me to be patient but I have now read more information about dry eyes after LASIK and I am worried that this will continue for a long time and perhaps forever. I am taking omega 3 and flaxseed oil 2x a day and now using Restatis 2x a day to help with the dry eyes and to improve my vision.

I regret having spent over $4,000 on the LASIK surgery as my vision with contacts was great and I had no problems after over 30 years with them. I thought that it would be a great option to have LASIK and finally not have to worry about contacts or glasses and be able to swim without contacts/goggles. I also thought it was a good time to do the LASIK as I am not currently working (I'm looking for a job in a new city) and I had the time to I wish I'd used the money for anything but LASIK. I've traded the "hassle" of contacts for the "hassle" of dry eyes and blurry vision.

Buyer beware.....
Your story is the same as mine. ~6.5 R/7.5 L, 30 yrs of contacts with np and then a burning desire to pay someone thousands to destroy my most precious sense.

I'm 5 yrs post op and dry eye only gets worse. That's the bad news.

The good news is you are only 5-6 weeks post op. I've done a lot of research over the years and the key to minimizing dry eye is treating the inflammation aggressively ASAP. The sooner the better ...

Restasis takes too long unless you started 2-3 mos before surgery. Azasite works much faster and steroids even faster.

If I were a Dr, which I am not, based on what I know now you should be on Lotemax (steroid) for 10 days, Azasite for 30 days and restasis for 6-9 months [B]concurrently[/B].

The Lotemax will quickly reduce the inflammation but can't be used long term. The Azasite will be kicking in around the time you stop Lotemax and the Restasis will kick in after the Azasite wears off ~45-90 days. This is the trifecta.

You also, need to keep using your unpreserved (single use) drops often as you need them. As the medications above start to work you should notice you need the drops less often but don't stop using them.

You probably will start feeling better after about a month or so but that is no time to stop. Keep it up for at least 9 mos.

If your eyes stay dry and inflamed during the first 6-9 mos of healing you will most likely have permanent dry eye. If you control the inflammation and dryness during this period you will heal as best you can. You may or may not have some dry eye but it will definitely be much milder if you do.

The reason you need to be extra careful now is that Lasik severs the nerves that tell the brain to make tears. The nerves that were cut were then blasted even further by the laser. These nerves need to regrow and they don't do so very well in a dry inflamed eye.

Again, I am NOT a doctor. You should consult with your surgeon and possibly even a good dry eye Dr. But don't wait until it is too late. If you think 9 mos is a long time imagine having to deal with this for a lifetime ...

I wish you the best.

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