Laser Eye Surgery

pew pew pew

So, I got my eyes lasered!

I went with, essentially, PRK, rather than LASIK.

The main difference between PRK and LASIK is the first step of the procedures.

In LASIK, a thin flap is created on the cornea with a microkeratome or a femtosecond laser. This flap is lifted to expose the underlying corneal tissue and is replaced after the cornea is reshaped with an excimer laser.

In PRK, the thin outer layer of the cornea (epithelium) is removed and discarded prior to reshaping the underlying corneal tissue with an excimer laser. The epithelium repairs itself (grows back over the corneal surface) within a few days after surgery.

Why would I do PRK rather than LASIK? PRK is older than LASIK and harder to recover from!

  • I'm really nervous about the idea of a flap being permanently cut into my eye.

  • At least with my clinic’s modern laser, they promise outcomes that are better or superior to LASIK, if you're patient. (spoiler: i am not)

  • The clinic that I chose has been around a long time and has a good reputation.

Unfortunately, PRK has a longer healing time and - as I'm discovering - takes longer to actually improve your vision, so I'm writing this in hyper-blurry 30pt text.

Anyways, I got surged last Friday.

My vision is still pretty bad, so that's not great.

So far, reviews are pretty mixed.

For one thing, claims that the procedure is "painless" are absolutely lies. Well, not lies...

It doesn't help that my personal pain tolerance is somewhere between "powder puff" and "soft soft marshmallow".

I felt at least a little concerned when they offered me a prescription for T-3s and Ativan just in case.

so, yeah, this experience has been somewhat more painful and itchy than expected.

By end of day 2, most of the pain was gone - by day 4, most of the itchiness was under control. Now, at day 6, my eyes mostly just feel gently _gritty_ all the time, like I'm wearing a contact lens. Because I am, I'm wearing a "bandage contact lens". I'm looking forward to not wearing it anymore - it gets taken out on Friday. I've always despised the feeling of "contact lens" and having one in for an entire week is not helping that feeling any.

Since Friday, my vision has been gently recovering, but very, very slowly. It's certainly slightly better than it was before the surgery, except before the surgery I had glasses that gave me perfect 20/20 vision and now I've got nothin'.

I have audiobooks and podcasts, and I have quickly discovered that audiobooks and podcasts leave me with nothing to do with my hands and I get very bored, very quickly.

As of the last few days, I've been able to use my computer or phone, in dark-mode, with text turned up to stupidly-huge size, if I'm willing to suffer through some fairly significant blurriness (I am). The Mac's Retina screen is far-and-away the easiest thing I own to look at.

All things considered - I'm going back to work on Monday and it seems like I'm in for a rough couple of weeks of squinting at the screen. I have a new-found appreciation of computers' assistive technology options to ramp the contrast way the hell up, and kind of wish that it were easier to flip a computer into a "I'm blind as a damn bat" mode.