One Month After LASIK

It has been a month since I had LASIK eye surgery to correct my nearsightedness. However, some old habits die hard—I sometimes find myself reaching to my glasses when I get out of bed. Finally having 2020 vision is awesome, and I’m glad I went through with the surgery.

Some background

I’ve had glasses since I was six. For more than two-thirds of my life, I dealt with the inconvenience of wearing glasses, such as smudged lenses and marks on my nose bridge. A few years ago, my spherical prescription stabilized to -7.00 in the right eye and -5.50 in the left eye. That was when I first thought of doing LASIK. I asked my friends who wore glasses whether they were thinking of doing it, too, and many of them said no. I suspect it’s because they have lower prescriptions than I did. When we tried out each other’s glasses, they would always comment that my glasses were strong.

About a year ago, I started to get a feeling that I didn’t want to be dependent on glasses for seeing well anymore. I hadn’t tried contacts because I didn’t like the idea of sticking a piece of glass in my eye. Similarly, my biggest concern for LASIK was having to keep my eyes open during the surgery. On the other hand, having to endure the surgery only once for better vision would be worth it.

Recounting the experience

The initial screening appointment was in late August to see whether I was a good candidate for LASIK. There was a second appointment over Thanksgiving break to make sure that I was fit for LASIK, and to confirm the surgery date—December 28, 2017.

Winter break came and soon enough it was December 28, the day of the surgery. I went to the ophthalmologist in the afternoon where they confirmed the paperwork. I was then given some eye drops and Xanax. Once the Xanax kicked in, I was escorted to the cold surgery room.

The entire procedure took about five minutes. First, the surgeons had me lay down and gave me a toy crocodile for comfort. I choked the crap out of that croc. Then, a laser made the flaps in both eyes. And then, another laser made the correction in both eyes. During the entire time, I felt like I was staring straight on at HAL 9000. Red and green lasers were flickering into my eyes, and in my drugged state, I watched in awe. I also smelled something burnt, but the surgeons told me that it was ozone and not my cornea. Finally, the flaps were closed. My eyes were propped open for most of the procedure; I felt like that was the most stressful aspect.

HAL 9000

For reference, this is what a LASIK surgery does.

The aftermath

After the surgery, I was prescribed a series of antibiotic and steroid eye drops. I was also prescribed artifical tears to combat the dry eyes effect.

The recovery was surprisingly quick. The first 24 hours felt a bit miserable; my eyes felt super dry and my vision was foggy. I couldn’t look at a screen without wincing. I also saw halos and glare around lights, which I think is correlated with dry eyes. After the first day of recovery, I could start seeing better.

I spent the rest of winter break recovering and listening to podcasts. After three followup appointments, the ophthalmologists determined that there were no serious complications. I still see some slight halos and glare around lights, but after I use artifical tears, I don’t see them. According to the ophthalmologists, having dry eyes is a common side effect and can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. This is exacerbated by the Midwest climate, where the winters are typically dry. Despite that, I’m still glad that I went through with LASIK and that I don’t need glasses to see perfectly anymore.

I would like to thank Chu Vision Institute for providing the best patient experience. I highly recommend them for anyone looking for LASIK eye surgeons in the Twin Cities suburbs.

Me with Dr. Chu immediately after the surgery
Me with Dr. Chu immediately after the surgery