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  • 7 weeks post lasik, dry eye, help...

    Unfortunately I had LASIK 7 weeks ago. I did my research and chose what I felt was a very reputable doctor that is a corneal specialist, not just a LASIK doctor. But after my surgery my right eye is plano, with a 0.5 astigmatism, and my left eye is +0.25, with the same astigmatism. I recently went to my own optometrist and that is what he told me my eyes were. I have not been back to see the surgeon so I am not sure why the astigmatism remains. My vision is not really that bad and I am 20/20 with both eyes. But I can tell the slight difference when looking in the distance. My optometrist also said my eyes don't look really dry. He put some sort of dye in my eyes. He also touched them with a piece of paper.

    But this is more about dry eye. From the day of the surgery my right eye has been very dry. My left eye, the one with the clearer vision, has only bothered me a few days. It feels like I could still put in the preservative free drops every 15 minutes some days. I also have plugs in both eyes, do hot compresses daily, take about 2 grams of Omega 3s a day, wash my eye lashes with baby shampoo, and use a humidifier when I sleep. I am not sure what else I can do?? It constantly feels like there is an eyelash in the bottom rightside of my right eye. Also looking back on it I was never able to wear contacts. So I now wonder if it was due to dry eye.

    I know after reading this forum that I am in the extremely early stages of recovery. But it seems all I read is horror stories that the dry eye never goes away. Yet on other websites that have doctors on it, they say it usually goes away in 3-6 months.

    I totally regret this decision to get LASIK and would love to go back to my eyesight. But what is done is done. I just am not sure where to go from here? Should I contact a dry eye specialist this early in the recovery?

  • #2
    I really feel for you; I had Lasek 8 weeks ago and I am going through a similar experience unfortunately, and yes, I bitterly regret being stupid enough to go through with it.I haven't had any plugs put in or anything like that, but I am sure that someone on this site will be able to help or offer advice.

    I agree that it's very difficult to remain positive when you feel like this, but as you say it is still the very earliest stages for both of us. Like you I've been very worried to read some of the terrible cases on here, but I would hope that they are the exception rather than the rule (and I'm really hoping that I'm not proved wrong on this).

    Best wishes.

    Comment


    • #3
      Jovver,
      Well sounds like we are in the same boat. I have read both horror stories of people never getting better. Then I have read stories of people that get better after a year or more. Everyone I know that has had LASIK absolutely loves it and had to complications at all. Figures. Just my luck. I am actually searching for a dry eye specialist in the Boston area to go for a second opinion.

      The worst part about it is that I chose to have this done. I did it because I wanted to be active with my 4 year old and 6 year old. Things like swimming, skiing, etc. I hated when we were in the pool or at the beach and I couldn't tell which kids were mine. So I am trying to hold it together for these guys.

      Good luck and I hope things clear up for you

      Comment


      • #4
        I've been finding that holding it together is a lot more difficult than it sounds.

        However, we are both still in the very early stages of healing so I have to got to hope that it is much more likely that things will get better with time. None of the people I spoke to before hand experienced such dry eyes either, but I guess that these things do happen and that in the vast majority of cases, things will improve radically.

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        • #5
          Yup. I can relate to how hard it is to hold it together.

          Another thing that LASIK has unlocked on me is what they call accommodation spasm. This is where you are focusing on the computer for a while and then when you look up it is all blurry. This takes a while to go away. The crappy part is that it only happens in my right eye, which is also the eye that is much drier and is my dominant eye. My left eye has not given me hardly any problems. If both eyes just turned out like that I would be one of the happy LASIK people. But not so much. So I am waiting for my prescription to settle down and then I am going to get some prescription computer glasses. I guess these help a lot.

          How is your overall vision? Or does the dry eye just totally screw it up?

          But you might be interested in what I did today. I had bought Dr Steven ******s book on dry eye from Amazon. After reading it I decided to google his name to see where his practice was. He is in Florida, and unfortunately I live in Massachusetts. But on his website you can send him an email. So I figured I would give it a shot and see if he could recommend a colleague up here in the Boston area. He got back to me in an hour with a name of a doctor!! So I am going to call and make an appointment on Monday and see what they say.

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          • #6
            My eyes are generally fine, a little blurriness very occasionally, but if I'm totally honest my visions is excellent.

            Good luck with your consultation. I live in the UK so if this persists for a few more weeks, I'll look into doing the same thing.

            Chances are we will both be fine in the long run, but it's very difficult not to worry about it when you are in the middle of it. I've slowly become obsessed with it, and I am trying to occupy myself with other things. The constant worry (and maybe even paranoia) has really worn me down over the last few weeks, and I've not enjoyed seeing what it has revealed about me. Anyway, it's really early days for both of us, so hopefully we will both look back on this in six months time and wonder what all the fuss was about.

            Please let me know how you get on, it's really helped me to talk to someone about this.

            Comment


            • #7
              I can tell you this... 7 weeks isn't that long. Try to be patient... and then be more patient.

              I'm coming off the worst dry eye "episode" I've ever had (only the second one in my life). It took me about 5 months to be even close to feeling normal again, and there's still progress to be made.

              The eyes heal REALLY slowly. Just take solace in the fact that you are still very early into your recovery and there's no reason that in less than a year you could be back to normal-ish. Of course, no one can promise you anything with this stuff, but I would say you definitely have a shot.

              Hang in there and be super patient with yourself. It's not easy, I know.
              32/M ATD Getting better every day!

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              • #8
                These forums do help when you know others are battling the same thing as you. Some mornings I dread getting out of bed because I know it's going to be a battle with my eyes. Especially days I have to go to work in front of the computer. Stresses my eyeball out big time. I will keep posting on my progress.

                Marty, you said it took you 5 months to feel normal. Are you 5 months into it now? Or further along? It sounds like you didn't have constant dry eyes? Just a few episodes? How is your vision? I can't tell if mine is slightly blurry due to the dry eyes or the leftover astigmatism. Either way I was much better off with glasses.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by db_9 View Post
                  Unfortunately I had LASIK 7 weeks ago....I just am not sure where to go from here? Should I contact a dry eye specialist this early in the recovery?
                  I waited 3.5 years to get a second opinion from someone other than my LASIK surgeon (LASIK guy kept insisting all I needed was artificial tears). Anyone else I know who has had the surgery and had a "normal" recovery, felt great very soon after, just as advertised (ie. next day back at work, within a week they were 100% normal).

                  While 7 weeks is indeed early in your recovery (since some have taken 6mo. to a year to get better, or even longer...), and there is every hope that you will recover fully, if it were me, knowing what I know now, I would absolutely 100% get a second opinion from a dry eye specialist (most likely a corneal specialist) who has no affiliation with the place where you had your LASIK done. Perhaps with early intervention and treatment, your eyes will have an even better chance of getting back to "normal"...

                  Useful info to know is what is in the treatment guidelines for management of dry eye: http://www.tearfilm.org/dewsreport/p...DEWS-noAds.pdf Skip ahead to the chapter on management of dry eye, to save your eyes reading all the other stuff in there!
                  Yet another post-Lasik (2005)...
                  Anyone have a time machine so I can go back and undo this mess?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Saag, how did you manage for 3.5 years with just artificial tears??? Did you ever get it cleared up, and if so what was the cause and how did they treat it?

                    The person that did the actual LASIK on me is a corneal specialist. He was not just a LASIK operation, which is one of the reasons I chose him. But that seemed to do little good. I would have probably had a better outcome at a LASIK shop!! I have been back to see the surgeon 2 times for the dry eyes. The first time he put a plug in the right eye and gave me Lotemax for a week. The second time I went back he put a plug in my left eye. He then said the next step would be Restasis. Sounds like he is just going through the motions. The other thing he said which basically made me angry was, "The good news is that the dryness will get back to where it was pre-surgery, the bad news is a I can't tell you when." Thanks alot.

                    But the person I plan to see for the second opinion is another corneal specialist that is not affiliated at all with where I went. I just hope they can get me in ASAP as I am almost 8 weeks out from the surgery. The problem is that the artificial tears do nothing for me. They give me about 5 minutes of relief. It just feels like I am making ZERO tears!!

                    I did read that link you sent me and my head almost exploded with all of the info.

                    I thought I was having a decent day today. Then I went to the movies with the wife and kids. That dried them right out.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by db_9 View Post
                      Saag, how did you manage for 3.5 years with just artificial tears??? Did you ever get it cleared up, and if so what was the cause and how did they treat it?
                      Lasik doc insisted I was perfectly normal, that my eyes looked fine, and that I was "doing GREAT!"

                      As for how I managed, for the first 2.5 years or so, I had no pain as long as I used drops every 15 minutes, and did not use the computer for anything other than quick e-mail checks. I avoided getting water in my eyes, since that hurt quite badly, and wore regular sunglasses to cut down on wind when outdoors. Otherwise, I'd just be squinty if my eyes were bothering me more than usual.

                      Plus, the place where I worked then did not require me to walk around much, so "wind" from walking around all day indoors wasn't much of an issue either.

                      Finally, after years of begging him to do something else since this was clearly not getting back to normal, he said I had "foamy tears" and to use Blephamide drops in each eye every 3rd bedtime. But he refused to do anything else.

                      Then in 2008, my eyes started deteriorating further, by 2009, they went totally to hell, and that's when I finally switched doctors since my LASIK surgeon still insisted that I was "doing GREAT." Sigh... he was clearly an idiot.

                      Originally posted by db_9 View Post
                      The person that did the actual LASIK on me is a corneal specialist. He was not just a LASIK operation, which is one of the reasons I chose him. But that seemed to do little good.
                      Mine was a corneal specialist too - and all he did was LASIK... was not only the most expensive guy in town, but supposedly the most experienced, having done the most procedures.

                      Originally posted by db_9 View Post
                      I have been back to see the surgeon 2 times for the dry eyes. The first time he put a plug in the right eye and gave me Lotemax for a week. The second time I went back he put a plug in my left eye. He then said the next step would be Restasis. Sounds like he is just going through the motions. The other thing he said which basically made me angry was, "The good news is that the dryness will get back to where it was pre-surgery, the bad news is a I can't tell you when." Thanks alot.
                      Yeah, mine told me I'd be normal again too... but he was mistaken. BUT, keep in mind I was getting NO other treatments other than what I described above. So no plugs, no restasis, no treatment for MGD, no omega 3's, nothing else!

                      It's good that your dr. is at least willing to do plugs, try Restasis etc. At least he's trying things in the treatment guidelines to see if they help (unlike my LASIK dr). So do try these things... every little bit helps to reduce the inflammation that is likely going on, and less inflammation on your ocular surface is surely going to be helpful in healing you.

                      It's unfortunate when you feel like your dr. is merely going through the motions and doesn't actually CARE how you are doing though...

                      Originally posted by db_9 View Post
                      But the person I plan to see for the second opinion is another corneal specialist that is not affiliated at all with where I went. I just hope they can get me in ASAP as I am almost 8 weeks out from the surgery. The problem is that the artificial tears do nothing for me. They give me about 5 minutes of relief. It just feels like I am making ZERO tears!!
                      Good to get a second opinion... then you can stick with whatever dr. you feel more comfortable with going forward. In addition to the fact that my current dr. clearly is very familiar with the treatment guidelines, he also acts like a HUMAN at my appointments and like he cares, not like some robot impersonating a dr. who really doesn't give a darn.

                      Originally posted by db_9 View Post
                      I did read that link you sent me and my head almost exploded with all of the info.
                      Yeah, I know.. it's a lot. Maybe just print off the chapter on treatment of dry eye, and read it bit by bit as your eyes can tolerate it. The knowledge you will gain will help enormously in evaluating the correctness of the treatments that you are getting for your dryness. Then all that's left is finding a dr. that is not only knowledgable, but personable too.

                      Originally posted by db_9 View Post
                      I thought I was having a decent day today. Then I went to the movies with the wife and kids. That dried them right out.
                      Bummer... was the movie good at least?
                      Yet another post-Lasik (2005)...
                      Anyone have a time machine so I can go back and undo this mess?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Oh gosh, I just had lasik 5 weeks ago and can relate to everything said in this thread, from the reason for doing the lasik in the first place (kids and active lifestyle) to selecting "the best, most experienced" surgeon and corneal specialist in town to the nightmare of trying to see a movie.

                        I posted my lengthy story elsewhere, but mostly what I am wondering is how are you all doing as of now? These posts were from about 4 months ago. Have any of you seen improvement?

                        I hope things are looking up for you all! Seems like a few of you are "regulars" on this site b/c I've seen other posts on other threads.

                        In addition to dry eye in both eyes, I had a flap wrinkle that was re-floated and one eye is 20/20 but blurry (maybe contrast sensitivity loss) and right now I'm so freaked out that my problems will be permanent.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I have had a little improvement since i first posted, but it's very slow going. The really bad stabbing pains have gone by and large, but both eyes still very dry in general and I need to use drops a minimum of once per hour. The one thing that's kept me sane is that my visions is to all intents and purposes perfect, 20/15 uncorrected and 20/10 corrected, so at least they got that right. All the specialist have said I should recover to normal or normalise as I had never had dry eyes before, but that it might be a long haul to get there.

                          Like everyone else here, I think that 5 weeks is far too little time for your eyes to settle down. This is a great place to get advice, but try your best not to obsess about it (and yes, I appreciate how easy it is to say that, but how difficult it is to achieve - I nearly fell apart in the first few months).

                          This is a great place to get advice, and Rebecca is just a great person.

                          Best wishes, I hope you get better soon.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Jovver, thanks for updating. Does anyone else from this thread have an update?

                            I'll be 7 weeks the day after Thanksgiving and am glad to report I'm having some improvement, albeit very slow and I'm certainly not "normal" yet.

                            Every day I wake up wondering how I'm going to feel. The last 5 or mornings it has been "not terrible" and that's a huge improvement. But I fear at any moment things will swing back in the other direction. I'm sure you all know what I'm talking about!

                            The main improvement is that the pain has lessened - I'm almost afraid to type that for fear of jinxing myself. Overall I'd downgrade what I'm feeling in the right (botched flap) eye from pain to discomfort/irritation, which is still constant, but I sure can think more clearly now that it isn't totally excruciating. Vision is still not great though, even though another doc just this morning confirms that I'm 20/20 now with .5 astigmatism (so that has gotten worse b/c it was 0 and then .25).

                            My left eye has no pain anymore and just a little dry feeling, so I'm guessing a big part of the pain in both eyes was dryness and as the dryness is a little better, overall the pain gets better. But I fear what will happen with the allergy season (where I live Dec-Feb is worst) coming up! I also still have to use artificial tears hourly while on the computer (have to be for work). But the rest of the time I can usually go a couple hours between drops.

                            I went for a 2nd opinion today b/c my surgeon wants to lift and refloat my flap and I'm really unsure about it. The 2nd opinion doc thinks it may be an option, but that I should wait longer to see if any of my blurring/double vision/haziness symptoms resolve on their own and also if the astigmatism worsens (in case enhancement is needed and then they just lift once). Makes sense to me. I'll be seeing the surgeon again next Friday so that gives me another week to see if there's any change.

                            The 2nd opinion doc did aberrometry and there's really not much in the way of HOAs. If anything my left eye has more (weird). But the outer edge of my right eye flap has what he described as "waves" which could be fixed by flap refloat. However he thinks they are so close to incision edge that they will ultimately not affect my vision. He thinks my pain is nerve pain and that all of it will most likely resolve, it just may take another few months.

                            Oh, I hope he's right.

                            Anyway, if anybody else has news I'd love to know. It's good to talk to other people who "get it" because this is so hard to explain to people.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I definitely get it all right! I remember that the first couple of months were pretty bad from a vision point of view but things gradually improved radically between months three and four. I definitely would't give up hope just yet, seven weeks really is nothing from a healing point of view. Just to reassure you, my vision started out as 20/40 in the first few weeks and gradually improved to 20/10 in both eyes after six months (I think that's 6/4 in "American"? :-) They're still very dry but very slowly improving now.

                              I think it's easy to rush into things in the hope of trying to make things better, but sometimes all you need is time. The human body is a pretty amazing thing, and hopefully it should start to heal itself over the nest few weeks and months.

                              Best wishes and take it easy (easier said than done I know, and I speak from bitter experience!)

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