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Laser eye surgery - anyone else had it?

(11 Posts)
Mmmmcoffee Thu 01-Oct-09 11:20:52

I had my surgery on Monday, very high short-sighted prescription.

Had to laugh at their 'you might feel some discomfort, take some paracetamol'. I took co-codamol AND ibuprofen, and it still felt like someone had, oh I don't know, cut my eyes open and burned them with a laser or something!

Anyway, it was only bad for the first couple of hours. Bearable by teatime (I watched telly at 9pm through dark glasses and from across the room). Three days later and they're just a bit scratchy - like when you haven't had enough sleep.

... and I can SEE!

mummygogo Thu 01-Oct-09 13:59:19

I had mine done a couple of years ago. Apart from being utterly petrified it went well (well as well as could be expected bearing in mind the actual procedure)

Coming out was the worst thing, eyes streaming and not being able to see anything and then having to sit on a bloody train to go home (was with DH by this point tho) The miracle when through the blurs you start to get minimal, followed by reasonable, then good, and then excellent vision with no glasses!! thats an amazing feeling.

rabbitstew Thu 01-Oct-09 14:09:11

Yes, I had my eyes done and have no regrets - my vision is MUCH better now than it was with glasses and my eyes actually feel more comfortable not having to peer through smeary glasses all the time (or wear hideously uncomfortable contact lenses). I particularly love taking my ds's swimming, walking in the rain, being able to see the time on my alarm clock in the middle of the night (I used to wear a watch all night) and waking up to an in-focus room every morning.

However, a word of warning - week 2 can be pretty hideous if you do get dry eyes, as you are suddenly putting in fewer of the steroid drops they give you, so dry eye problems are most likely to rear their ugly heads at that point... And dry eyes don't necessarily cause discomfort, but they can affect the quality of your vision as the day wears on and by the end of the day, if you've done nothing about it, will feel pretty uncomfortable, in a wanting/having-to-keep-closing-your-eyes sort of way (I had a lot of early nights in the first 3 weeks). In fact, the annoying thing about dry eyes is you just don't realise they are getting dry until they are hideously dry, and then it's too late to get total relief from putting the dry eye drops in. So, my advice is to put dry eye drops in your eyes constantly for the next few weeks, regardless of whether or not your eyes actually feel dry, because you can't lubricate your eyes too much and by the time you know you need dry eye drops, you've left it too late!

NeedCoffee Thu 01-Oct-09 14:21:35

Oh its FAB isn't it, know what you mean about the pain though, was horendous. One of the best things I ever did! Oh careful for night driving if you drive, oncoming lights can dazzle you quite bad.

decena Thu 01-Oct-09 17:52:06

When you say short sighted, can I ask how bad? I am -10.75 and haven't found anyone as blind as me who has had it done!

rabbitstew Thu 01-Oct-09 20:30:33

decena - with eyesight that bad, I'd avoid the high street chains and go somewhere well set up to deal with the more complicated cases and higher prescriptions. The higher your prescription to start with, the greater the risk of complications, albeit mostly minor, so researching carefully where to get it done is particularly important. You really want to go somewhere that has the latest equipment (the most recent lasers can shave less off the cornea, enabling safe treatment of a higher prescription), where all consultations are by eye surgeons, etc, etc. There are people out there with your prescription who have gone ahead with the procedure, so you wouldn't be alone!

Mmmcoffee Fri 02-Oct-09 13:39:08

hi decena - I was -9.5. Wow, you beat me!!! I had it done in Optical Express, and they can do up to -12 with good success rates.

I did look at Moorfields, going as a private patient, but the travelling and hotels and suchlike really put me off.

Optical Express were very friendly and nice, I have no complaints.

It's been 5 days now and the blurriness has gone - I can read number plates easily! I wouldn't say my vision is pinpoint-perfect, very very slightly off normal (probably -.5 or less) but MORE than good enough! I'm thrilled.

Early days yet though.

spiralqueen Fri 02-Oct-09 13:53:33

Did you get much counselling before you did it? I was told by optician never to have it as there is a family history of cataracts and that laser surgery would mean they couldn't do anything for me if I was to get a cataract and I would then be completely blind rather than -10.

rabbitstew Fri 02-Oct-09 17:50:58

Spiralqueen, what your optician told you is either out of date or a lot of rubbish (depending on when he told you!). You can have cataract surgery after laser eye surgery - cataract develops in the lens of the eye and laser eye surgery is an operation on the cornea, so so long as good procedures are followed for both types of surgery, you are not excluded from having both types of procedure at different times in your life. However, you do need steroid eye drops for a few weeks after laser eye surgery, and in large doses over an extended period of time these can increase the risk of you developing cataracts at a younger age (not generally a consideration for most people having the surgery, as the time frame and amount used is too small for this to be a serious risk factor, but possibly a consideration for someone already at risk???). Also, in the past, previous laser eye surgery did make it much harder for surgeons to assess the correct lens with which to replace your natural lens during cataract surgery in order to restore your vision to expected levels, but these days the measurements of your eye made prior to surgery and after surgery (at a reputable centre) mean that this is no longer a valid consideration - they can deal with the issue quite easily, so long as they have the data taken when you had the operation done. They perform both laser eye surgery and cataract surgery at the place I had my eyes done and have successfully done both procedures on many people.

It is also important to ensure you have access to the information about your eye before and after surgery because laser eye surgery affects the thickness of your corneas, which affects the pressure readings in your eyes. Pressure levels are an important measurement for assessing whether someone has glaucoma, so it is important that any optician is aware of the new thickness of your cornea so that they can adjust the pressure levels they are expecting to get from your eye, rather than thinking that a dangerously high pressure level for your eye is actually within normal limits.

alysonpeaches Fri 02-Oct-09 18:29:58

Can anyone clarify something for me? Im the wrong side of 40 and Ive been short sighted wearing glasses since my 20s. My eyesight for reading is fine, but as Ive got older, I cant see to read through my distance glasses, so I have varifocals. I dont need a prescription for reading though.

A couple of work colleagues had their eyes done about 7 years ago, they were about my age. One of them had to wear reading glasses after her laser treatment, but didnt before the op, just distance glasses.

I didnt go any further into it because I didnt want to wear reading glasses, and therefore just swap my distance glasses for reading glasses IYSWIM.

Does this happen?

rabbitstew Fri 02-Oct-09 18:45:37

Hi, alysonpeaches,

Laser eye surgery doesn't stop the normal ageing process, so you may well end up needing reading glasses after eye surgery, but disposing of glasses for distance. It is possible to have one eye left deliberately slightly short sighted and one eye slightly long sighted, which can prevent the subsequent need for reading glasses (one eye effectively being used for close-up work and the other eye for the distance...), but this doesn't work for everyone and in some people can cause some quite unpleasant effects, as their brain just can't adapt! I do remember at a talk I attended, though, that they were talking about some new developments in this area to keep an eye on (so to speak!) for the future, but have no idea what these might be, as I'm just a neurotic researcher of the facts in relation to my own eyes, rather than an eye specialist!

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