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  • Post-LASIK Regret

    Hey DEZ,

    I spent the last few weeks browsing the forums and just last night I gathered the courage to register and post my story. I am relatively new to having DES, but already having immense trouble, more than physically, dealing with it.

    Early in March 2010 I received LASIK (all-Laser) surgery in preparation for a physically demanding career...jeez, in hindsight I wish I would have just told them all to f*** off. However, I rushed into it far too quickly (at the recommendation of my brother who received PRK in 2006) and wasn't even aware of what dry eyes was prior to my procedure. My LASIK procedure was a success in the fact that I see 20/10 (I was only a -1.75 in both eyes prior) and have no visual disturbances (no halos, ghosting etc).

    The first week of healing was, I assume, normal. I had the "foreign object" sensation for about a week to two weeks which gradually improved. And from the second week on my eyes were as they had been prior to the surgery. I was back to my regular lifestyle, and by the fourth week I weaned myself to only dropping after waking and before sleeping.

    I went about two or so months before I started developing DES. I recall waking up one morning, about 2 weeks ago, tearing profusely. Since then I have had the "menthol" or "exposed" feeling along with dryness in the inner part of my sclera, the part between my cornea and bridge of my nose. I blink a ridiculous amount without any relief and have started reusing Systane Ultra frequently.

    I scheduled an appointment with a Cornea Specialist at the Brandon Cataract and Eye Clinic here in Tampa. I tried to prepare myself for the appointment going through all the questions I needed to ask, and while I felt at the time of the appointment I exhausted myself and him, I wish I had of asked more. He prescribed me with Alrex (a corticosteroid) which I have come to learn is an anti-inflammatory. I have been using 1 drop in the morning for about a week now with zero improvement. I have another appointment with him in a week and am again writing down all the questions that gather in my head. This time I am going to ask him for some tests so I can have some tangible answers.

    Aside from the physical pain and discomfort I have been struggling with this emotionally and mentally. I am a 23 year old guy, recent graduate from college with so many hopes and dreams professionally, financially and personally. I am in a serious relationship with my girlfriend, and I fear that I've f***ed it all up. Struggling through the last 2 weeks, I can't imagine my next 60 years like this. I am soon to hear back from the FAA on my Air Traffic Controller application, and I just began my application to Air Force Officer Training School. LASIK was meant to better my life, not ruin my plans.

    Anyways, off to work. I am excited to join the community and am thankful for a place to share my concerns and my story.

    Thanks,
    Steve

  • #2
    I regret my lasik every second I'm awake. My dry eyes are not as bad as they used to be though, I think that taking omega 3's, doxy, restasis and having punctal plugs have made big difference for me. Really sorry to hear about your difficulties and hope you improve soon!

    Comment


    • #3
      Steve,

      You have time to continue healing, so don't freak out yet. It will get better one way or another.

      If you can swing it, try to see Dr. Richard Hector in Bradenton/Sarasota at the Eye Associates. He is THE BOMB.

      Rose

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi, Shogan.

        Aaron and Rose are right. You have some healing to do. I have seen a lot of people who have had LASIK here try different routines, and things improve for them, once they find out what you need.

        One thing that you said stood out to me-- the tearing and pain upon waking. You may want to ask your cornea specialist if you are having recurrent corneal erosions. If so, there are a lot of things that you can do to help them.

        You're in the right place, and you will get through this. One thing I learned (and I never had LASIK, but I have severe dry and and a corneal dystrophy) is that the eye heals in a superficial way quite quickly, making it hard for doctors to see what is really happening, but real healing takes some time.

        Hang in there!

        --Liz

        Comment


        • #5
          Update 7/13/10

          Well itís been a little over a month since I first posted and about a month and a half since I developed the DE sensations following a great 3 months of no complications.

          I still am experiencing the foreign body sensation in my eye, however I was started on Alrex, a steroid, in my left and it seems to have eliminated the sporadic burning sensation. However, the menthol and foreign body sensation have not improved in the last 1 & 1/2 months. As a result I'm still on the up and down emotional/mental roller-coaster ride. I'm sure there are quite of bit of people who aren't going through this alone so I want to give a shout out to my girlfriend; there is no way I'd get through this without her.

          Itís been approximately 4 months & 1 week since the procedure; still hoping for continued healing. I saw my long time optometrist yesterday concerning the dry eye and was able to get a more thorough examination then the Lasik doctor and the other ophthalmologist I saw. According to her, my flap margins look good; no sign of debris or what not. She observed no staining in my right eye and a small staining spot on my left eye below the Lasik margin. Otherwise she said my eyes look healthy and the staining looks normal. She made sure to reassure me, as she could see panic in my face, that she has see this before and has seen patients get better after 6-8 to 12 months of healing. While it does calm my nerves a bit, I still fight the constant fight against my rather new pessimistic nature.

          I did ask about some general questions about sclerals, RGPs, and Synergeyes. I wanted to go in showing I've done my homework and I am interested in a solution. I told her I understand I still have a considerable amount of time to heal, but also informed I want to be prepared for the future especially if it involves RGPS. She told me not to worry and itís a river we'll cross in the future if we needed.

          Nearly forgot...I have noticed some possible regression in my left eye. I'm not sure if its natural or due to Alrex, but it has raised even more concerns. With the regression I notice that my left eye, while still 20/20 on the eye chart, sees a bit more blurry and perhaps has a trace of ghosting. Not sure. My left eye sees great in the daytime and at night sees well too but the ghosting/starbursts/glare become more apparent, especially on the neon signs and lights. My right eye, however, hasn't changed since the surgery and still sees perfect 20/15 day & night with very minimal starburst (no worse than contacts prior to Lasik).

          I'll be back in continuously and feel free to PM or respond with any insights/stories/suggestions or contacts.

          Thanks,
          Steve

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi Steve-
            What a shame to go through Lasik for a mere -1.75 diopter correction. I am sorry that a doctor would even do that, but we know they do. That, however, will probably be in your favor over the healing part. I had Lasik 10 years ago and was -10 diopters.

            Lasik brought dry eyes, bad vision, horrible pain and a bunch of years of problems continuing today. My vision is bad, but the pain has cleared considerably. Oh, to fix myself very well, I was diagnosed with Sjogrens about 4 years ago. I've been through RGP's, sclerals and a bunch of things. I cannot wear contacts because of damage to my cornea.

            You should not have any of these things I'm talking about. After being around boards for so long, it takes different amounts of time to heal. Yours should not be bad. Even if yours are a tough case, I'd doubt they would take more than a year total. You need to give yourself a break when ever you can. It helps the pain a lot if you put a cold cloth over your eyes and rest during periods during the day.

            Come back here as often as you need. I should doubt you'll need any RGP's or the like. Do some fun things with your girlfriend as often as you can, even if it's a drive, a movie, walking your dog (if you have one.) Anything to take your mind off your eyes is a big help. Good luck to you. Lucy
            Don't trust any refractive surgeon with YOUR eyes.

            The Dry Eye Queen

            Comment


            • #7
              Takes a year to heal

              I had lasik last year May 2009 and my vision is 20/10 (great), but I didn't have a clue how bad dry eyes are until after this surgery.

              It has taken 1 year and countless different eye drops, hot compress, humidifiers, sleep masks to make my life 'normal' (if normal is being dependent on eye drops for the rest of my life!).

              I can go longer be without eye drops now even though the lasik dr said "I'm fine" (what else is he going to say?).

              I am better, but I never recommend the procedure and will never do it again -glasses for me will be just fine.

              Give it time .. you will heal. Also, I do believe that your vision can degrade a bit after lasik.

              Monica
              San Diego.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Lucy View Post
                Hi Steve-
                What a shame to go through Lasik for a mere -1.75 diopter correction. I am sorry that a doctor would even do that, but we know they do. That, however, will probably be in your favor over the healing part. I had Lasik 10 years ago and was -10 diopters.

                Lasik brought dry eyes, bad vision, horrible pain and a bunch of years of problems continuing today. My vision is bad, but the pain has cleared considerably. Oh, to fix myself very well, I was diagnosed with Sjogrens about 4 years ago. I've been through RGP's, sclerals and a bunch of things. I cannot wear contacts because of damage to my cornea.

                You should not have any of these things I'm talking about. After being around boards for so long, it takes different amounts of time to heal. Yours should not be bad. Even if yours are a tough case, I'd doubt they would take more than a year total. You need to give yourself a break when ever you can. It helps the pain a lot if you put a cold cloth over your eyes and rest during periods during the day.

                Come back here as often as you need. I should doubt you'll need any RGP's or the like. Do some fun things with your girlfriend as often as you can, even if it's a drive, a movie, walking your dog (if you have one.) Anything to take your mind off your eyes is a big help. Good luck to you. Lucy
                Yeah I know Lucy...my eyesight was never awful; looking back I would not have done it for a minor adjustment. Prior to Lasik, when I was without glasses/contacts my vision was functional but could not see detail out passed 4 or so feet. I could recognize shapes, colors, peoples, signs etc but it all was a blur.

                I don't know where I stand mentally with the procedure yet. I still am gripped daily with coulda, shoulda, woulda...but am also finding it easier to say 'live and learn', 'move on' and what not. I've taken to Lasik research ever since and am angry at myself for only listening to the positive stories I heard from my brother and the surgeon and technicians. My technician and my surgeon both had the procedure done and he has performed over 30,000 Lasik surgerys. My hopes are still high.

                Forgot to mention in my updated post that I switched to using Refresh Plus (PF) for daily lubrication instead of Systane Ultra (PF) and have noticed that it seems to provide more comfort. Its more viscous...more watery and less 'gooey'.

                I also have a question for those with more experience and knowledge. I recently noticed I am more affected by computer usage than I previously was. Prior to Lasik I could be on the computer all day and night without any ill effect, but now feel some slight strain/pressure behind my eyes after a couple hours of use. Is this an expected occurrence as the eyes and brain adjust or am I facing a possible overcorrection or imbalance in my eyes? I believe I am left-eye dominant (I am aim weapons etc with my left eye).

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Shogan View Post
                  I also have a question for those with more experience and knowledge. I recently noticed I am more affected by computer usage than I previously was. Prior to Lasik I could be on the computer all day and night without any ill effect, but now feel some slight strain/pressure behind my eyes after a couple hours of use. Is this an expected occurrence as the eyes and brain adjust or am I facing a possible overcorrection or imbalance in my eyes? I believe I am left-eye dominant (I am aim weapons etc with my left eye).
                  I'd spend over 12 hrs a day on the computer before lasik with work and personal stuff, now an hour or so is all I can really handle. Had to take almost a whole yr off work and then had to come back to a completely different job that does'nt require computer use. I find wearing tinted glasses seams to help out a bit but I'm basically like ten percent of what I used to be on the computer. Lasik really sucks for me. I think a big part of it is the dry eyes but probably there's also the fact that lasik has reduced the focusing strength of my eyes and hence more eye strain - the eyes can't work nearly as hard as they used to. I'm taking tons of supplements but not really sure if they will make much of a difference, maybe just more time - not knowing if I'll get significantly better though is driving me a little mad.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Shogan,

                    When your eyes are drier than normal, they tire more easily. You don't blink as frequently when you're using the PC either, so this contributes to the dry eye effects. All of this is part of the healing process and does not mean that you will not be able to spend hours upon hours in front of the computer for the rest of your life. When you get home, redirect your attention to chores, gardening, working out - whatever takes you away from the PC.

                    I had LASIK in Jan of 2008. I acted like things were fine until June of last year because the dry eye was mild. Then I broke down and went to the doctor with a myriad of complaints. Ends up I have a minor regular astigmatism in each eye, the need for some up-close (aka computer) correction and also some dry eye.

                    My eye doctor said that the whole "computer vision syndrome" is ALIVE AND WELL. I went out and bought the fanciest freaking glasses I could find (they are Juicy Couture and they are HOT HOT HOT). They correct my astigmatism, correct the need for the up-close fine-tuning, and also have the anti-computer glare on them (that was an extra $100). Does it blow to have to wear glasses at work in front of a computer? Not really. They are not the coke bottles I previously wore and when I take them off, I CAN STILL SEE.

                    Your eyes will continue to heal, you probably won't need glasses at the computer, but on the off chance you do, it is not a big whoop!

                    Rose
                    Last edited by Sammy B.; 16-Jul-2010, 10:07. Reason: added details

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Update #2

                      Its been a month since my last update and 5 months and 1 week since Lasik. I just saw my optometrist (I know I need to see an opthamologist but I just feel so comfortable with my optometrist, plus she doesn't charge me for visits which is awesome!) for a monthly checkup.

                      From the last time I posted I started a two week use of Alrex once a day in my left eye only and then was to go two weeks off of it before seeing her again. Well now its been two weeks since I've used it and I must say that I think the drop was exacerbating the irritation in my eye. Also I stopped using Celluvisc overnight because it just makes me eyes feel goopy and sluggish. Plus I hate all the excess **** in the morning on my eyelashes.

                      So its been two weeks off of Alrex and I still have some burning occassionally in the eye it does seem to have gotten better. It does not occur every morning like it used; the burning seems to come and go irregularly, no idea why. Usually burns after showers though. I am still using Refresh Plus morning, day and night, usually about 3-4 times during the day. My eyes still scratch and feel tired/heavy and gritty. All the usual.

                      My optometrist said she saw two small dots/spots of staining on my left eye; one on the flap margin and another just below the flap margin and also saw some blocked ducts on my bottom lid. I have noticed this too recently. I occassionaly have one little clear bumb on the margin of my bottom lid that I break open with a Q-tip and then have started to put pressure on my bottom lid to clear out some oils. I'm beginning to think the blocked ducts are from too much oil; I have been taking 2000mg of Flaxseed and Fish oil both everyday for the last two months.

                      She decided she wanted to put a contact lense in my left eye to act as a bandage contact. She believes my corneas are hypersensitive caused by the dry eye. So since about 1:00 PM EST today I've been wearing a Accuve Hydrogel Silicone (?) lens. I don't seem to feel the lense but my eyes still feel dry. I am interested to see if cuts down on the menthol/exposed feeling and on the friction of my eyelid. As of now, when I close my eyes and move my eyes around under my eyelid I no longer feel my left eye scratching and rubbing on my eyelid. That part seems organic again.

                      Starbursting has increased along with nightime glare. I am fatigued from this situation and just tired of it all. I wish I would have found these contact lenses one day prior to lasik. Part of the reason I wanted lasik was that I was wearing one day disposables that contained alot of water and would dry in my eye after 8 hours of wear. Damnit.

                      I am also still experiencing eye strain/headaches from both up close and distant vision. When I drive I for more than 20 mins or so I get intense pressure and eye strain and all I want to do is close my eyes. I just feel if its not one symtom its another. I just pray for one normal day.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I wore the contact lens from 1:00 PM to 10:45 PM and it did not stick to my eye when I tried to take it out. I think that's a good sign. The lens did not cause me any noticeable discomfort. The discomfort that persisted while wearing it I attribute to the dry eye already. I feel pretty good about the lens and am sort of hopeful that it gives my eyes a chance to heal and reduce the inflammation which I believe is the cause and result of my dry eye. She said it would be ideal if I could wear the lens for about a 2 month period.

                        Oh yeah the lens pretty much eliminates the ghosting and starbursting of light sources, especially LED lighting. I forgot what night is supposed to look like.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Its nearing the 7th month after my surgery. A quickening decent. I would describe my mental state as more "accepting". I hate to call it that, but I sort of realize I have to deal with this now. However, that doesn't diminish the physical pain and mental grief I still go through.

                          I have been off of any drop except for Refresh PF drops for nearly 2 months. My symptoms have changed somewhat. I have less burning nowadays, still comes and goes, but other things have surfaced. I am experiencing persistent aching/strain/tension in my eyes. Its even there if I do everything I can do relax my eyes. Starbursting and ghosting have increased dramatically since post-op Day 1. My vision has degraded noticeably. Sucks ass.

                          I started to notice floaters in my left eye about a month ago (beginning of Sept. time frame). That has become enveloping. I do not know what to attribute it to. Squinting? the procedure? Alrex (which I used only on my left eye)? Hands down, no one ever do Lasik. Its so stupid. I wish I would have been more knowledgeable prior to this. I would have opted for a newer technology in contacts (Oasys or corneal refractive therapy lenses).

                          My family wanted me to get in touch with Dr. Maskin, but I can't afford that place. $550 for a consultation was a no-go. Rebecca suggested that I seek out Dr. Hector and I followed her advice, unfortunately he's not available until Oct. 27th. I've also set up an appointment with Dr. Boshnick in Miami who's website I've scoured through daily. He was actually caring enough to call me on his personal number and talk to me. Felt great. So I see him this Friday, Oct. 1st for consultation. I am extremely excited to get information from him and have a thorough diagnosis on my eyes. If anyone has any suggestions of what to ask and what information I should know prior to the appointment, please I am all ears.

                          Also Rebecca, I received your email and attempted to contact you via phone but could not reach you. Left you a VM. I really look forward to speaking with you.

                          Thanks all,
                          Shogan

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Shogan,

                            Sorry to hear about your problems. But, as you probably have noticed being online here (and maybe elsewhere), you are not alone. I'm still trying to get over regret, and trying to stop blaming myself for what seemed like a good decision at the time.

                            I'm just over three months post op. Dry eye is one of the issues I'm trying to deal with (which is why I'm here), but have posted more about the other issues in this forum http://www.lasermyeye.org/forums/index.php . I have the floater issue too, but started noticing mine within the first week. Since then they got worse, and have been at a level state for several weeks now.

                            I saw your post about the contact lens decreasing starbursting. Is this the Hydrogel lense that you saw this improvement with? I have read only about hard lenses being able to do this. This would be good to know before the next follow up I have with the Lasik surgeon in a couple weeks - as he first wanted me to try glasses for the nighttime issues (especially driving) but they make no difference - accept maybe being able to read road signs a little better.

                            I also read about your use of Refresh PF tears. Over the past 3 months I've tried several brands of PF tears to see what agreed with me the most, and found the Refresh to be the worst. My eyes feel dry again, and even slightly irritated, within an hour after insertion. So just wondering if you've shopped around and done your own compatibility tests? For the daytime I've found the best relief from Oasis Tears (PF), or Tears Naturale (PF).

                            For the eye strain, have you asked about accommodation or binocular vision issues? If not, this may be something to bring up on Friday. Similar to Sammy B., I got computer glasses made to help with eye strain. Not sure yet how much they help, but worth a shot.

                            Good luck with your upcoming appointment.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hey Perception,

                              It is the Hydrogel soft contact lens that I was using; specifically the 1-day Acuvue TruEye. I have not used one in awhile. I am not sure how it would affect my starbursting as of today as I believe it has gotten worse.

                              Regarding eye drops - I started off using the Systane PF drop but found that would to be too "goopy" and caused a gritty sensation. I immediately enjoyed the more "watery" consistency of the Refresh PF.

                              I too went out an purchased computer glasses about 3 months ago. They don't seem to help unfortunately.

                              I received a call from Dr. Boshnick's office and they had to reschedule which really put me in a tough spot. I scheduled time off for this and now its wasted. Dunno what I am gonna do now.

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