It is now two days since I had my laser eye surgery, and so far everything’s going according to plan.
The treatment itself was a strange experience but painless, and although I was in the clinic for two hours the actual op was only 15 minutes from start to finish, with the actual laser correction taking only 15 seconds per eye. Afterwards I donated two pairs of glasses and one pair of prescription sunglasses (they re-deploy them to developing countries), and Karen arrived to take me home in a taxi.
The evening after the op went as per the leaflet said it would. I had some discomfort as the anaesthetic wore off — a dry gritty feeling in my eyes — but a couple of Paracetamol and a lie down made light of that. From the first evening onwards my distance vision has been as good if not better than before with my glasses, and I can now watch TV quite comfortably with the picture looking brighter and sharper than before. It can take from a few days to a few weeks for one’s vision to settle to its new permanent standard after surgery, as the eyes recover from the procedure and the cornea, post-op bruising and protective flap heal. Right now as I said, my distance vision is fine but my close vision is worse than before, and I sometimes find it difficult to focus on anything closer than arm’s length. As I write this the words appear blurred on the screen. I’m told this is normal and part of the recovery process.
The flap that gets cut on the front surface and lifted out the way during the op is simply laid back in position and left to hear naturally, so it is not stuck or stitched down. This means that you have to treat your eyes with great care in the first few weeks. For the first week I’m not allowed to touch or rub my eyes, or to get water in them. I therefore have to shower very carefully and they’ve given me special goggles — a bit like swimming goggles but more comfortable — to wear in bed so I don’t rub my eyes in my sleep.
I have three different types of eye drops:
Moisturising: one drop in each eye, six times a day
Antibiotics: one drop in each eye, four times a day
Anti-Inflammatory: one drop in each eye, six times a day.
That’s 32 drops per day in the right combination: not always easy to keep track of! After seven days I’ll be done with the Antibiotics and Anti-Inflammatories and will just have the moisture drops from then on.
Yesterday afternoon I went back for my first post-op check, and was told that my vision one day after the op is as good as it was with glasses previously, and that it will get better as the eyes continue to heal. I have further checks at op + 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months and 12 months. They also told me that I can drive during daylight but must take extra care if driving at night because I’m getting quite a lot of glare on bright points of light.
This morning (my Birthday btw!) I went out on my bike for a couple of hours. All went well and I had a great glasses-free ride for the first time. Then this afternoon we went up to the school to take Elliot & Abigail out to lunch, and I drove most of the way, again with no problems.
Laser eye surgery has fulfilled on its promise to me, and I’m excited to see how much more my vision will improve. I’m really looking forward to getting used to life without glasses.