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i ruined my sweet life with LASIK

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  • i ruined my sweet life with LASIK

    I am 3 1/2 months post LASIK. My eyes hurt every day, and I have done EVERY therapy there is (lots of different drops, steroids, Restasis, plugs, compresses, sleep mask). My vision isn't even very good, although my O.D. says I measure "plano". I don't know if it's the dry eye or if my surgery is botched. All I know is that lenses don't fix my problem.

    I am depressed every waking minute, and look forward to going to bed. My precious husband and young children are paying the price, because I am no longer myself. I started an antidepressant today, but am scared the side effects will make me worse. I truely feel like I ruined my life. I knew there were risks - why did I take them??? How will I ever get over the feeling of guilt and and how can you ever be happy again when you're always in pain? We went to Disneyland last week - the "happiest place on earth", and I felt like I was the saddest person there. I could barely make it through the day with my dry eye pain.

    Did anyone's dry eye get any better after this time period after LASIK? Hope for some improvement would mean so much, but there are so many bad stories on this website it makes me even sadder. I ruined my eyes and ruined my life and I can barely get through the day. How can I be a good mother and wife when I feel like this? I hate getting out of bed in the morning because I know the pain and depression will rule my day.

    I knew I had somewhat dry eyes before the surgery and even knew it was a risk, but I was told it was temporary and I really had NO IDEA how painful it could be, because my eyes didn't hurt before.

    Sorry for being such a downer. No one really understands unless they've felt the pain themselves. I know my husband is probably getting sick of my whining and dumpy moods.

  • #2
    Hi Texas-
    Sorry you have to be here.

    Did anyone's dry eye get any better after this time period after LASIK? Hope for some improvement would mean so much, but there are so many bad stories on this website it makes me even sadder
    Yes, many people's eyes get better in three months time. However, if it's a more severe case of post-lasik dry eyes, it can take more like 6 months to a year or longer. This means you are early in the healing--especially if you had a high prescription.

    You are reading all the frightening stories on here because, they are true, however many people post on DEZ for a few weeks or months and move on because they are feeling better. The very worst thing you can do is add guilt to your situation. I know what dry eyes feel like so very well. Most people with severe dry eyes become depressed too. This eases after awhile for most people. Please do not add guilt to your already full plate. I had lasik 7 years ago and came up with dry eyes and bad vision. I am a rather complicated case and still have my problems, but this is very rare. You will learn to cope and each day seems too long when you feel like this, I know. Think of relief not in terms of days, but maybe in weeks.

    Be strong, read the board, and most of all don't feel guilty.
    Don't trust any refractive surgeon with YOUR eyes.

    The Dry Eye Queen


    • #3
      Hi Texaseyes

      I can only reiterate Lucy's comments, she after all is The Dry Eye Queen.

      3 1/2 months may seem like a lifetime at the moment in time but can I reassure you that you are in the very early stages of healing and there is plenty of documentation to suggest that a lot of the dry eyes symptoms post lasik resolve usually after 6 months.

      Just because you have it now, doesn't mean you will have it forever and I know first hand how difficult it can be to motivate yourself to get on with your life with laser induced dry eye.

      You have tried lots of things and sooner or later you will find that 1 thing that makes your life "almost normal" and allows you to cope with your symptoms until such time as it heals by itself or you become better equipped to manage it.

      There are lots of horror stories here but simply because it is a dry eye support group and you will find a concentration of people with problems. You will not find the countless people who go through this surgery with minimal side effects, and it may be difficult to believe right now but this may get a lot easier for you in the coming months.

      Hang in there, you are at a difficult period, a lot of us have been there also and hopefully we can support and encourage you to get through this difficult period.

      It is a tough road that you have travelled but have faith that sooner or later things will get a little easier for you even though it may seem a world away at this moment in time.

      I wish you well



      • #4
        Lucy and Ian are right. You are VERY early in the healing process. I have seen plenty of people come and go from the boards, and I just assume they must have gotten better. In fact, alot of the people that were going through the worst of it with me right after my lasik 2 years ago, have all gone on to feel much better. It makes sense that those of us who are still here are still having problems. But the large majority of people that are no longer having problems just don't come back to post about it I guess. And I can tell you that whether these eye problems are going to be a chronic condition for you or not, your life is not ruined. Even those of us who have not gotten better have learned to manage it better, and learned to cope much better than in our early days after surgery. I know how hopeless it seems now, but there is always hope!


        p.s. I'll respond to your email tonight.


        • #5
          Texas Eyes,

          I can feel every ounce of your pain. Your description of your life was exactly how mine was about 15 years ago. My dry eyes are not from lasik but none the less, just as painful. I suffered like you are describing for two years until I found a doctor who could help. Plugs helped me enormously.

          In the state you are in, I would almost recommend you get on a plane and go see Dr. Latkany in NYCity. He has a Dry Eye clinic and just recently wrote a book about Dry eyes that you can purchase here.

          He also participates on this forum in his own section, check the main index page.

          Since I haven't had Lasik, I don't know if this would be jumping the gun. I do know the most important thing in the world with dry eyes is to be seeing a doctor that CARES, knows what they are doing, and is very up on dry eyes.

          My best to you. IT WILL GET BETTER WITH TIME. Dr. Latkany told us he is yet to find a patient that he could not help. Let's see what the lasik people here think about my suggestion. They would know best if we are jumping the gun. When the time is right, spend the money and get to Dr. Lankany. Don't go another second without having the very best possible care for your dry eyes. You emotional state is very serious. You need relief. By the way, I have been on anti-depressants for years (not due to dry eyes) and they have not affected my dry eyes at all. The first couple of weeks, you do experience the typical side effects but they are ususally temporary and fade.

          You are not alone! I have walked your path. There is hope for sure. Please let us hold your hand and help you through this. Keep posting and let us know how you are doing.



          • #6
            Hi Texaseyes
            I to recently had Lasik 4 months ago and have felt exactly the same as you. Pain, vision not that good in right eye, due to dryness. I am travelling the bumpy road of recovery and still trying to get there. It is getting better ( l hope,l'm verging on sanity at the moment)though very slowly, l'm still going through trying new things, the clinic says it's early days but it's seems a long long time when your in pain. Being on this website has helped me and people have been very informative. Keep thinking of your kids and they will get you through this, try to be strong and think positive, l know thats hard when you feel down but you have to try. My depression has lifted some what due to understanding friends and husband, they don't understand what l'm going through but they are shoulder's to cry on and l have cried alot.
            Stay strong
            We are all in this together
            Take care


            • #7
              thanks for your support

              I appreciate so much the support I have gotten from all of your posts. There is nothing like talking to those who have been there themselves. The emotional pitt I have fallen into is as bad as the eye pain, and I am hoping that the antidepressant I'm taking will help. I've never had to take one before, but I am no longer myself. You are all right about feeling like I'll never find peace, but that is because you have felt that too. Somehow you have found acceptance - I'm hoping for healing, too. Thank you for caring.


              • #8
                that makes two of us.

                I too, had recent lasik. I am so very fresh out, it may even seem silly to complain. it has been 2 weeks. At least, that leaves me with at least some hope. But, like you, i feel like I may have ruined my life and my eyes. I have not been able to enjoy a minute since that daybecause of the constant agony in my eyes.. I can not even get through one single meal without breaking out the drops several times, and the pain is unending. going out to dinner now is an embarassing and painful event, in which every moment all I can notice is this problem.... I try to have conversation and pretend I am okay, but soon the conversation turns again to my agony, and thismakes me extremely poor company. I have a very understanding boyfriend, but as you said there is no way anyone could understand this without going through it.
                I have tried every possible drop, ointment, warm compresses, you name it. I have minded all the warnings and instructions very close. It is embarassing to go out of the house like this with drops and tissues in every hand, but worse yet the constant pain and agravation is like a nightmare has come true. I feel like I am trapped in a hole in hell that i can only hope to be able to crawl out of one day. and its all because I treated myself to Lasik after 22 years of contacts and glasses due to VERY poor vision. I atleast do realize I have some potential to get better at this early time, but the severity makes me extremely concerned. I have to use drops almost constanly to try to tolerate the pain and dryness. I can't seem to make a SINGLE tear on my own unless I cry.'s just bone dry. I have missed a lot of work already, and after reading up I have seen that this is not the way it should be. I have had dry eye problems for 10 years since I started birth controll pills but it had been manageable even wearing contacts daily. I did not know this life-defeating dryness was a posibility, especially that it could be chronic and take away our quality of life itself.. as we know it. those of us that are very active and healthy could face a severe dramatic change in entire life as we know it over a 20 second feels good to know I am not alone....but I wish nobody had to go through this at all..........mary


                • #9
                  Oh Mary, I am so sorry...

                  Mary, reading your post about severe dry eye ater Lasik was heartbreaking. I know exactly how you feel and what you are going through. I was there 10 months ago. Everything: walking around with eye drops, tissues, unable to work due to constant pain (I missed as much work due to Lasik as I did for 3 hours of pelvic surgery). I would come home from work and just sit on my back steps, crying my eyes out.

                  It did get better for me after 3 months. I am hesitant to recommend punctal plugs without knowing your medical background. They can make a huge difference during this worst time but if you have any type of underlying inflammation like I did, they can also make things worse. What does your surgeon say? And if he/she is not being helpful, demand they send you to a Dry Eye/corneal specialist ASAP. If they won't pay, then go to one anyway. Knowing what I do now, I would have done that immediately when I realized my surgeon was not equipped to deal with this.

                  It can get better. I and many others here are living proof. A few months from now, things can get a lot better. I know how stressful this is right now and the mental pain is just added to the physical misery.

                  I wish I could give you a big hug.

                  Lasik induced Severe dry eye 7/14/06


                  • #10
                    any improvement?

                    Hi Natalie,

                    I am three months plus and still suffering. Have things gotten any better for you at 10 months than they were at three months?



                    • #11
                      Hi Texaseyes, This is actually the first time I've written on the site, but I've been reading and learning alot since my lasik. I had other problems besides dryness the first three months, but the dryness was always there. I am now 15 months post-op and things have definitely gotten better. I still have dry issues, but nothing like I did. I do take vitamins to help. There are lots of facts about that on this site. I personnaly take Bio-tears and fish oil. There are lots of smart people on this site that know much more than me. I just wanted you to know that it is really early since your surgery, and everyone heals differently. I have improved even in the last few months. Just keep going to your doctor and make him listen and help. Take care Goba


                      • #12
                        goba, thanks so much for the encouragement. I love to hear good news, it really lifts me a bit out of my sadness.



                        • #13

                          Yes, things have gotten better at 10 months but it's not always consistent. Part of is that I have to accept that I will be dealing with this for a long time (maybe forever) and part is some healing and part is that I've finally found a regimen that keeps me realitvely comfortable. I also just started seeing a dry eye specialist.

                          Critical to me are preservative free eyedrops, Doxycycline (which I hope to be able to stop in another 4-5 months) Lid scrubs which have been very soothing and best of all, the heat packs. Initially I used the heat 3 x per day but I am now once, at night. In the am, I take advantage of the hot shower to "restore" my eyes. I am also on Therateras nutrition and trying very hard to reduce caffeine and drink more water.

                          For me the gels and ointment type eyedrops make things worse. So far restasis has been a big zero and also made things worse. Ditto for steroids.

                          It can get better. Hang in there and be good to yourself. My times with my "heat packs" are now like meditation for me. I am even insisting that my employer book me into hotel suites that have microwaves so that when I travel, I can still ZAP my rice baggie.



                          • #14
                            Linda, sorry to hear about another lasik dry eye. I am just over a year now and believe me my first 6 months + were very tough. I do lid scrubs and was on doxy for 3 months and tried every drop out there. I finally found things that helped a bit. That an time. I am in a much better place than i was even at 6 months. It is a very slow process to comfort. Just 2 months ago I got my upper plugs and they help but have some overflow. But it took away the eye pain and my site is better. I am just hoping it helps my eyes to continue to heal. One thing I know is don't change things you are doing too fast. Give a few weeks with a regimen or product if possible to see what really works.
                            While I am not happy about the way my eyes are now, I am able to do things again. And feel alot happier because of it. I am not stopping though until I am as comfortable as can be!
                            Stay tough and use the support and info you find here to help get you through.


                            • #15
                              I never got better

                              I had lasik in 2002 and am still in misery. I hope you do better than I have.



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