By Dr. Lawrence Jacobs
As I sat in the recovery room I was surprised at how well I could see compared to my expectations. My wife picked me up to go home for my drug induced nap. My eyes felt a little scratchy, but no pain that day or the next day. On the third day there was a lot of blurry vision and more scratchiness.
My PRK procedure was done on a Friday and I was back seeing patients the next Tuesday. My prescription went from four units of farsightedness to four units of nearsightedness. PRK patients are overcorrected for the first two weeks because the healing process continues to change the prescription and will eventually become the desired correction. I used temporary glasses to help with my nearsightedness.
Being nearsighted was very strange. I kept having to move forward to see the computer instead of backwards prior to the procedure. There was some scratchiness the first five days, but it was definitely tolerable. On the fifth day, the bandage lens was removed. It was bizarre to be able to read without glasses. I was put eye drops in every 30 to 60 minutes, because I knew I would have the best results if my eyes stayed moist.
While patiently waiting for my eyes to heal, I measured at three units of nearsightedness at the third week. By the fourth week, I measured at two units of nearsightedness. After 25 years of explaining vision at various levels of nearsightedness, I was seeing first-hand what it was like. Reading was awesome but my distance vision was a very soft focus. My favorite experience was the light show while driving at night. Tail lights had all these streamers and a kaleidoscope looking appearance, because I was not fully healed. I knew this would eventually go away.
My wife kept asking when I would be able to see at a distance without glasses. I explained that some people heal quicker than others and in two to three months, I would be able to go without glasses most of the time. I was able to return to the racquetball court about five weeks after the procedure. I had temporary safety glasses made with a mild amount of nearsightedness in them, to be able to see the ball. It was great to be able exercise at full speed on the racquetball court again!
At eight weeks, my nearsightedness decreased to about one unit. Now, I could walk around the office without glasses and not get a headache. My computer screen was easy to see and I only wear my temporary glasses to drive. I was still using moisture eye drops five times per day, but life was getting much better visually. Now, my right eye sees distance a little better, my left eye sees better for reading and I rarely wear my glasses.
Gone were the headaches that I got trying to do anything without my glasses prior to the procedure. My eyes are still getting better each week with fewer problems with lights at night.
It only took 20 seconds for each eye to be reshaped and now I can function without glasses or contacts!