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  • Thinking About PRK

    My eyes experience a few dry eye symptoms at different times. I do not take drops. I have a good schrimer score, but believe I have evaporative dry eye.

    I am looking for comments/experience from people who have gotten PRK in my situation.

    A

  • #2
    Dry eye is a risk factor for a bad case of it post refractive surgery whether or not you have PRK, LASIK or whatever.

    Comparing cases won't help you - one person may do great, another will end up in dry-eye hell forever. Which will you be? Nobody can guarantee you anything. It's like spinning a roulette wheel and hoping you get a lucky number. Is it worth the risk?

    Since you already have dry eye symptoms sometimes, can you live with the worst case scenario? (You are more at risk of this than the average person, since you already have dry eye symptoms)

    Can you handle a life where your eyeballs stick to your eyelids so badly overnight that you can't open them for fear of ripping a layer off? Can you stand to ever-so-patiently unstick them with drops, sometimes taking 20 minutes to do so? Can you handle never, ever being able to go to sleep again without your eyelids sticking to your eyeballs? (How old are you? How many decades of this would you have to endure in your life? Dry eye can tend to worsen with age also... maybe you can handle your eyes now, but PRK combined with getting older could tip you into dry eye hell in the future... tick tock tick tock... when will the hell hit you?)

    Can you handle trading your dependency on eyeglasses for being totally 100% dependent on a steady supply of eyedrops to function? (and certainly not function at your best... not ever again... always being a gimped version of your former self...)

    Can you handle the self-consciousness of wearing moisture chamber glasses almost everywhere you go?

    Can you handle potentially spending 20 or 30k in the next few years treating your dry eyes if they become severely dry after PRK? Can you afford missing time from work because your eyes hurt so bad that you can't work your normal hours?

    Can you be find a way to be happy anyways if all of this happens to you? Or would you join those who have killed themselves because they can't handle it?

    Anyhow, not meaning to be depressing - people can and do go on even if the worst case scenario happens to them - but they are often never the same again... never the "best" version of themselves that they used to be. Just make sure you think long and hard if you can handle it IF that happens to you.

    I get that you may be skeptical that this is likely to happen... many refractive surgeons paint an overly rosy picture of the aftermath, and it's natural to want to put more stock in their opinion than some random people on the internet. (This was me prior to my own LASIK surgery - no way was I going to believe those random people on the internet when my surgeon was adamant that they were lying and/or exaggerating... I figured the doctor swore an oath to "do no harm" so surely I would be silly not to put my trust in him, right?... and keep in mind I had zero signs or symptoms of dry eye prior to my own surgery, unlike you.)

    But keep in mind that although there are many good doctors, there are also those who care more about getting your money than what is truly in your best interest - I don't think all of them are bad people, just that some get blinded by the money. Are you sure you can tell the difference? How can you be sure that you are right about them? Even the most experienced guy in town, with the most expensive and advanced equipment can't guarantee that you'll turn out ok. (This is the kind of guy I chose for my own LASIK... certainly didn't save me from what I've been going through for almost 9 years now... will it save you? or would you end up like me?)

    Fact is, no-one knows for sure why sometimes even an "ideal" candidate ends up in dry eye hell. Never mind someone like you who already experiences dry eye sometimes... you're a greater risk.

    Anyhow, you're going to do whatever you're going to do - I just hope you end up ok if you go through with it, and not like me and others who have come through here over the years. But as you can tell, I hope you don't take the risk... I don't think it's worth it. Instead of spending money on PRK, buy yourself a kick a$$ pair of eyeglasses that makes you look amazing.
    Yet another post-Lasik (2005)...
    Anyone have a time machine so I can go back and undo this mess?

    Comment


    • #3
      Crikey, think about it long and hard and then do what SAAG says, get a nice pair of specs.

      I had LASEK in May of last year, and have had pretty dry eyes ever since. To say this has been the worst year of my life is an understatement, the pain and stress have turned my life upside down and I simply do not know if I will ever recover.

      Would I consider having the surgery if I had realised what I was letting myself in for? Absolutely not, and I am probably one of the "lucky unlucky" ones if you see what I mean: the surgery has given me 20:10 vision, i have no issued with star bursting or halos and my close up vision is still excellent in spite of the dryness.

      However, let me just reinforce what SAAG has said, the pain from the dryness has at times been completely debilitating, and is only improving very slightly after 10 months of hell. I had no issues with dry eyes before the surgery, and had a fairly medium prescription (-4 and -3.5) and I still ended up like this.

      If you have dry eyes already, I cannot imagine that this will improve your situation. I only wish I'd come across this site before I trusted the unscrupulous doctors who treated me.

      Good on you for doing the research though and I hope you make the right decision.

      Comment


      • #4
        My new plan of action is to get more evaluations from other optometrists to diagnose and treat the dry eye symptoms I have. I do not have a high prescription -.75 and -1.25 would be the correction. I'm not sure if this helps decrease chances of dry eye?

        Comment


        • #5
          Will they even be prepared to carry out the procedure on someone with a -.75 prescription?

          I'd have thought the margin of error for the surgery is far greater than .75?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by adame24 View Post
            My new plan of action is to get more evaluations from other optometrists to diagnose and treat the dry eye symptoms I have. I do not have a high prescription -.75 and -1.25 would be the correction. I'm not sure if this helps decrease chances of dry eye?
            My understanding is that the lower your prescription, the less corneal tissue they have to obliterate in the surgery, so less nerve tissue is damaged, so less risk of dry eye.

            But, we have had people on this forum with extremely small rx's who still ended up in dry eye hell. So, it appears there is more to it than just your rx as far as risk of bad dry eye goes.

            To be honest with you, knowing what I know now, even if I had a super small rx like yours AND no dry eye symptoms whatsoever, I still wouldn't take the risk of refractive surgery.

            And if I DID have dry eye as you do, even if treatment successfully resolves it, there is no way in hell I'd have refractive surgery - the very fact that you have dry eyes now means you are more prone to it than the average person (not everyone your age has it, so why you?)... so why add to that by having refractive surgery.

            Even if you successfully treat your dry eyes now, the surgery still could tip you over the edge into dry eye hell - it doesn't take much for some people. And clearly you are already susceptible to it.
            Yet another post-Lasik (2005)...
            Anyone have a time machine so I can go back and undo this mess?

            Comment


            • #7
              All,

              I just wanted to provide a quick update on my situation. After a lot of consideration I decided to undergo PRK surgery. It is now 6 weeks post-op and I am happy to report that I have 20/15 vision.

              For whatever reason my dry eyes have also gone away. I really do not know what has caused it. I changed many things before and after surgery that I think may have helped. These include eating a cleaner diet, taking fish oil daily and reducing my alcohol intake. I pray daily and no doubt give God credit for the success I have had.

              I want to thank everyone on this forum for their insight and kindness. I can understand the pain the dry eyes causes and I will pray for you all!

              Thank you again.

              Adam

              Comment


              • #8
                If you already have dry eye pre PRK laser, my advise is DON'T.
                I am truly struggling with my dry eyes post PRK, it has had a significant impact on my life and social interactions.

                Comment

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