LASIK

My experience with LASIK

Pre-surgical History

At age 10, I developed increasing myopia (below) which stabilized around age 30.  I also developed astigmatism.

Pre-operative prescription (September 1998):

Surgeries

At age 32, after several inquiries with optometrists in Pasadena, CA and Manhattan Beach, CA, I chose to have LASIK on both eyes.

First surgery:

Second surgery:

Third surgery:

Post-surgical Complications 

All symptoms below (except flap striae) were caused by the first surgery.  Neither the second nor third surgeries corrected any symptom below, with the exception of dry eyes which have somewhat improved, during five years.

 

Condition 1 year after first surgery (November 1999)

Refraction:

Comments:

Condition 2 years after first surgery (November 2000)

Refraction:

Comments:

Condition 3 years after first surgery (November 2001)

Refraction:

Comments:

1. One reason my halos are so obnoxious at night is because I endured (or have) all the possible causes mentioned on LASIK Disaster 

2. I was told my irregular astigmatism (which is only partially corrected by wearing glasses now) could be helped by contacts but I don't want them because:

Condition 4 years after first surgery (November 2002)

Refraction:

Comments:

Condition 5 years after first surgery (August 2003)

Refraction, as measured by Stein in Manhattan Beach:

Comments

Condition 6 years after first surgery (August 2004)

Refraction, as measured by Stein in Manhattan Beach:

Comments

I have been where you are.  

It's lonely because doctors, family and friends don't really know what you're seeing and feeling.  But you can find some peace in knowing we're luckier than others (e.g. blind people).  Remember we're all born with (and quickly and unconsciously learned to live with) our limited five senses.  For example, we can only hear 20Hz-20kHz of the sound spectrum, and we can only see 400nm-700nm of a vast spectrum of light.  What you don't have now, you don't really need.  Let your brain adapt.

You must consciously adapt to your new limitation.  You can do it.  It's tough because we're all hard-wired to protect (and fix) ourselves to survive and prosper.  So our brain clings to problems it finds.  Let go, focus elsewhere, and you might feel less frustrated.  Keep yourself distracted. 

I'm not apologizing for imperfect medical or legal systems.  In fact, I was angry for three years and fought to understand and prosecute those who wronged me.  But eventually we learn we have to spend our time elsewhere, and that will help brain to adapt to the new limitation in eyesight.

Simulation

Simulations of my sight

In low-light conditions, I see: 

1. Starburst (and scroll to bottom)   The radial length of my starbursts vary directly with the diameter of dilation of my pupils. 

2. Halo

With and without refractive correction (glasses), I constantly see: 

3. Blurriness and Ghost images (I see 1 ghost image in my Left eye and 7 ghost images in my Reft eye, dispersed across about 1 degree of area)

4. Glare (not simulated, but I would rate it moderate)

5. General blur

Looking Ahead (written in 2004)

I hope someday a topographically-linked laser can help me.  But even when solutions such as these are claimed to be effective, I'll hesitate to use them, as I have learned to distrust both the medical and legal communities.  I usually avoid thinking about this topic, because I become frustrated, angry, depressed, and start thinking about killing myself.   Instead, I try to move forward, and I try to forget this piece of my past.

Epilogue

I am dissatisfied with the outcome of all three surgical procedures because:

The good news is that I'm not a "horror case" who needs a corneal transplant or is legally blind.   But I wish I'd never had these surgeries. 

Contact me

Considering refractive surgery?  Suffering complications now?  Feel free to reach me first.

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