Wow. This past week has shown drastic improvements in my vision. Last week I was finished with the steroid drops. A few days after that, and all of a sudden I started seeing noticeably better. It has improved even until today.
This morning I had my 5 week eye checkup. The eye doctor did the standard wall chart thing, and I managed to read the 20/20 line with each eye separately! That’s a huge step! The vision is still far from perfect, but at the core of the smudgy blurriness, I can see sharp letters. It took some effort to focus in on the letters, but I managed. It’s still better in my left than my right.
Things are much clearer, though I’d estimate my vision at about 80% of optimal. I’ve been able to go back to my standard font size on the computer. My vision is more stable throughout the day. It doesn’t fluctuate as much as it did in the past month. They’re still dry, but less dry than before, and the dryness doesn’t affect clarity as much as before.
I’m still using the eyedrops very liberally. I switched to normal rewetting drops as instructed, but after telling the doc how often I use eyedrops (on average, 1 to 2 per hour), she suggested that I go back to the preservative free drops for most of the time. Apparently the preservatives can cause some discomfort in some people, although I haven’t really noticed a difference. She said the dryness is normal and will decrease in the coming weeks and months.
Overall, I’m very, very pleased with where I’m at today. After spending the last 5 weeks in varying levels of blurriness, the bubble in which I’ve been living has been greatly expanded. Imagine the first time you saw a high def TV compared to the static-laced black-and-white of yesterday. It’s that much of a difference. And the great thing is that it is going to improve, with a very good chance of getting better than 20/20 vision.
Four weeks have passed since having my eyes dissolved and zapped. There was significant improvement over that first week following the surgery, but the past three weeks have shown improvements so slight that it is next to impossible to know whether my vision is better one day or the next. The cumulative affect is greater and I do say that my eyesight has definitely increased in the three past weeks, but nowhere near the acuity I had with glasses or contacts… yet.
If I had to put a percentage on it, I would rate my current vision at about sixty percent of optimal. For two and a half weeks, I have slowly clambered my way up to being a contributing member of society within the realm of operating independently. I’ve regained the ability to drive safely and work staring at a computer screen for a full day’s time, albeit with a major increase in font size. I wasn’t very comfortable driving at night until about a week ago when either I got used to the smudgy lights, or my vision got good enough to drive safely in a starbursted world.
Ghosting is still the biggest problem. This goes away with time, and from some reports I’ve read, mine is still healing faster than others. Halos around lights at night have lessened in thickness and brightness and have turned more into starbursts. Such oddities are limited more towards distant, smaller lights rather than the brake lights ahead of me. They still exist on bigger lights, but are absorbed by the size of them.
I have gotten used to reading in a big font size, although last week I was able to move up one resolution setting. It feels like I may be operating at this capacity for a few more weeks as my eyes continue to heal and the ghosting dissipates.
My left eye is definitely healing faster than the right, which seems to be drier on average. I’ve been told that dryness can play a significant role in a speedy recovery, so I have been dousing my eyes with the preservative-free drops quite often. My pamphlet said that after three weeks I can switch to regular eyedrops (with preservatives). Call it paranoia, but I’m still using the preservative-free kind even though they cost an arm and a leg.
Today was the last day of taking steroid drops, so it’s just rewetting drops from here on out. Next week I go in for the one month checkup, and I should report back by then. Strangely enough, with all the ghosting going on, I think my left eye may be nearing the 20/20 vision mark when I focus just right. I can still see duplicate images, but I can tell the center image is much crisper. I can do something similar with the right eye, but can tell it’s worse and farther behind than the right.
I’ll give another update next week after my eye appointment. Happy holidays!
It is now 14 days after my PRK vision correction surgery. Improvement during this past week has been much slower than the first week. There is still a significant amount of ghosting, making reading a chore and driving somewhat questionable. I am very liberal with the preservative-free rewetting eye drops, since I’ve found that dry eyes will only perpetuate this ghosting effect.
I’ve been able to work full days in the office yesterday and today, though I’m a continued object of mockery by my coworkers when they see the huge fonts on my screen. Vision still seems best after using the rewetting drops and closing my eyes for a while. In fact, after a long nap today, my left eye was surprisingly ghost-free for a good ten minutes. The right eye was more smudgy, but still decent for awhile.
Throughout the day, the ghosting is worse in one eye than the other, and it switches throughout the day. Good, then bad, then good again. It’s frustrating at times, but I’m still optimistic. Once my vision is stable, I plan on creating a few images demonstrating what effect this has on vision while driving and reading. If you’re considering PRK and have a job where reading is involved, such as computer work, make sure you’re not in a huge busy season. I’ve heard that everyone’s recovery time is different, but it has a significant impact on work performance.
At times, I can close one eye and force myself to focus in or out with the open eye, in a way which I focus through an object, and it seems to resolve the ghosting temporarily. It allows me to see slightly clearer for a few brief seconds, but due to the effort and strain involved, is not a permanent solution. It’s more of a way to pass time or experiment, though it can clear up some smudgy text for a brief second.
What else is there to say? Tomorrow I start taking the steroid drops only twice a day, then once a day the following week, after which I’m free of the burden of Pred Forte. The improvements aren’t quite as drastic, so it’s harder to tell when something is noticeably better. Therefore, I’ll probably wait to write to this blog again unless a significant jump occurs.
I’m still in good hopes, albeit a frustrated mood during times when I have to read. Good luck to anyone else out there undergoing the same.