I got lasers shot into my eyeballs! And I’m going to tell you all about it.
I had lasik surgery on April 30th. It was something I had been thinking about for at least 5 years, and seriously considering it for the last 2 or 3 years. It’s a bit crazy how I ended up finally saying ‘yes, I’ll do it’ and taking the plunge!
Basically, I just went to an eye clinic (here in Egypt) because I thought there was something wrong with my right eye. One doctor checked, said everything was normal with my vision (or as normal as it could be with near-sightedness) but I wasn’t convinced so they took me a specialist. He checked everything and said my eyes were very healthy and that I probably just has some stress in the optic nerve. By now I had seen that this eye clinic also had lasik facilities, and I decided to bring up the question: “So, would lasik surgery be good for me?”. Turns out this specialist was a Lasik specialist. We did some more tests and I was given the green light. We booked it for two weeks from that day. Crazy, I know! It happened all so fast!
Going in – Before & During Surgery
Now, first off, everyone seems to have a slightly different experience, so don’t base your decisions on how my experience went. If you have seen a specialist, your eyes are healthy and you really want to do the surgery, do it!
Beforehand, I was fairly nervous. I knew what the process would entail and watched a few videos on YouTube about it. I was reassured by a couple of people who said that they could not see anything or really feel anything during the whole procedure. This was great news for me! Since those are the 2 exact things I was most worried about: 1) Will I see when they cut my eye flap? and 2) Will I feel any pain?
Well…let’s just say my experience proved to be quite different.
Right before the surgery, with the gown, cap and plastic covers over my shoes, my doctor lets me know that I can, in fact, see the entire process. WHAT? Actually, it’s vital to the surgery that you are in control of your eyes and that you look directly straight at a green light so that the whole procedure is a success. Great. Just perfect. He did, however, reassure me that I would not feel any pain, only ‘pressure’. Hmm…what kind of pressure?
I have some sensitivity to light, and I’m a coward when it comes to putting things in my eyes (I did master contacts though, because I desperately wanted to not have to wear glasses 24/7) so right off the bat, I was very nervous and uncomfortable because there are bright lights, and they need to put the aesthetic drops in your eyes to numb them.
My dear husband was in the room, and what he had to see was probably a lot worse than what I could see being done to my eyes. The worst was having my eye held open with a clamp. Some people don’t get bothered by this at all during their surgery, but I was nervous and not relaxed, so my eye muscles were tight. Whenever I did relax (for a few seconds at a time) it wasn’t so bad. I think most of it is really a battle in your mind.
Yes, I could see when they cut the flap of the eye and it is truly a mind-blowing, freaky experience when they flip that flap over. Your vision goes extremely blurry, but you don’t really see or feel the laser. You might smell your eyeball burning (smells similar to burning hair) but I actually did not feel any pain. I did require more drops because I’m the kind of person who needs stronger aesthetics than the average person (just ask my dentist), but apart from the discomfort of having my eye pried open and blinding lights in my eyes, most of the procedure is not so bad.
The most terrifying part was knowing that a piece of my cornea was flipped and my eye was exposed. My whole body was rigid and I just focused on breathing and counting down the pulses for which the laser is shot into the eye. In all, the actual surgery takes about 5 minutes. Trust me, there is great comfort in knowing that it will all be over in a just a few minutes!
Results & Side Effects
Instant improvement! I could tell RIGHT out of surgery that my eyesight had improved. Before I was -3.50 and -3.75, which means anything after a foot or two starts to get fuzzy and anything a few meters away is getting blurry.
Now, I could see a few meters fairly clearly. At first, everything looks foggy, kind of like a steam room, and lights have a weird glare/halo effect that will diminish but last for a week or more. You will notice an even bigger change on day two after you wake up. You will be light sensitive, and the fogginess will take a few days to clear up as well, but you probably won’t care because you can SEE! I know I was pretty ecstatic the morning I woke up. I looked around outside, seeing how far I could see and what details I could make out.
You will get a number of eye drops and your doctor will tell you to put a drop of each in your eyes 3 times a day. I ignored those instructions during the first 10 hours and put the drops in every 2 hours or so because my eyes were sore, a bit dry and very much irritated. I also wore my sunglasses the whole first day and most of the second and third days for 4 reasons:
- I was still fairly sensitive to light and it is very sunny here in Egypt
- My eyes were red and not pretty to look at so I wanted to spare myself from shocking people
- It is a great way to stop yourself from rubbing your eye
- It helps cover up the fact that you can’t and are not wearing any make up!
Now, how long will this go on for? It depends on how quickly you recover.
To me, the first 12 hours after the surgery were almost worse than the surgery itself. Only because I came out with a cold. A COLD! Of all things! This meant that light sensitivity, which is already high up because of the surgery, is marking at a painful 10 for me. Your eyes will water, and you might feel exhausted. I know I did! After all the stress and tension left my body, I felt like I ran a marathon.
You will continue to feel, once in awhile, like there is something in your eye, like a dry or dirty contact. So it won’t phase you or be painful in anyway. Just keep using the eye drops, don’t touch your eyes, stay clear of swimming, wear sun protection, and your eyes should heal just fine. Be sure to call your doctor if you notice anything off, even if you have a check up a few days away.
I am 2 weeks into my recovery and I have noticed an improvement in many things. Light glare and light sensitivity are now all nearly normal, there is no fogginess at all, my eyes have virtually no redness, my eyesight is 20/20 though still has some fine tuning to work through, particularly in my right eye, which is not seeing as good as the left. I have my 2 week check up this weekend, so hopefully it is all good news.
To summarize the experience, it was a bit terrifying, very uncomfortable, but totally worth it! As long as you have a knowledgeable doctor and a up-to-date facility, you’re in pretty safe hands. I went to Dar El Oyoun eye clinic in Rofayda hospital, and my doctor is Dr. Mohammed Hosny, if any of your are interested. His English is superb, since he studied in the UK.
I probably won’t write another blog post about this topic, but I might update this blog post once I reach my full recovery. I hope this is informative enough for those who are curious and have no idea what is involved in Lasik surgery, or those who really are considering it, but maybe a little scared to take the plunge. Just remember to consult your eye care specialist to make the right decision.
If you have any questions you would like to ask, please let me know in the comments below!