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Laserfit (very lengthy!) trip report

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  • Laserfit (very lengthy!) trip report

    I wrote the following trip report just after my time with Dr. G. for Laserfit Lenses fitting in February 2018. I meant to post this sooner, as I hope it will be of some help to others. The delay was due to waiting to see what happened with the insurance company, waiting to see how my eyes adjusted to the lenses, and my own laziness. I’'ve included some later “"Updates"” where relevant. Without further ado:

    I just returned from a visit to Dr. G. in Texas. Overall, it was a great trip and I am very happy with the results...…not 100% perfect results but I think it would be unrealistic to expect that. [Update: After continued wear of the lenses I would have to say I’'m 100% happy with the results at this point! See below concerning the minor issues I was having initially.]

    A little about my eye situation and my goals with Dr. G.: I have moderate KC in my left eye, while my right eye is more regular. Glasses do a good job of correcting vision with my right eye but don'’t really work with my left. I’'ve been wearing a corneal RGP on my right eye for 5+ years with very crisp vision. On my left I wore some synergeyes lenses but was pleased with an upgrade to a generic small scleral about 2 years ago or so. The scleral was very comfortable with improved vision, but I still did have ghosting that I mostly ignored but was annoying at times, and starbursts at night. Once I experienced the comfort of the scleral, my right eye RGP started bothering me more, and I developed a bump that would get irritated from the lens. My doc at home tried to fit me with small sclerals for my right eye…...vision was a little worse than my RGP, but the main issue was I would get pretty bad redness in a couple spots from the lenses, which I took to be a fit issue.

    So my main goals with Dr. G. was to (1) improve the comfort with the right eye and hopefully retain the crisp vision from my RGP, and (2) improve the vision and ghosting/starbursts with my left (moderate KC) eye. Both of these goals have been achieved, with my only reservation being that my right eye still seems a bit unhappy with the lens…...improved from the small sclerals I had tried at home, but not perfect (yet). I’'m hoping with a little more time my right eye will become accustomed to it. [Update: With more wear time and some extra care with insertion/removal of the lenses and the use of lubricating gel, my right eye is completely happy with the lens! See more info on this below.]

    Some more details about my trip: In preparation for my trip, I went without wearing any contacts for almost a month, so my eyes could relax and unmold as much as possible. Luckily glasses correct my right eye well enough that I could get around…...my vision was annoying but manageable. The hotel offers free shuttles from the airport and to/from Dr. G…....luckily I could see well enough with my glasses to rent a car, which made things a little easier throughout the week and allowed me to do some sightseeing. I checked into the hotel...…it'’s quite nice and the little kitchen was very convenient. There’'s a 24-hour walmart nearby for groceries etc.. Again, the car came in very handy here.

    I met with Dr. G. for the first time on Monday…...we talked about my situation and did numerous scans. Throughout the week, Dr. G. often discussed his processes and thoughts on what’'s happening or how things might be improved. His terminologies are often technical and tough to follow, but it’'s still interesting to learn a bit about his methods. When it comes down to it, you don'’t really have to understand the methods to benefit from them. Overall, Dr. G. seems very hard-working, dedicated, and personally invested…...he gets a bit upset when things aren’'t going well and gets happy when they are. The meetings never feel rushed whatsoever.

    Dr. G. scanned my old contacts on Monday and said he would try to input those prescriptions into my lenses for Tuesday, so I could have lenses that worked fairly well for me on that day. Unfortunately, the lenses I received on Tuesday were basically unusable as far as the prescription goes. Another patient told me the same thing happened with him. I was certainly disappointed as I hoped to have usable lenses and it felt like a wasted day. Thinking about it more though I realized it wasn'’t really a wasted day, because the lenses did fit and Dr. G. was able to use the phoropter on those lenses to figure out my correct prescription for the next day'’s lenses. So it was basically the same as having lenses made with no prescription (which I suppose would be the normal process for those without old contacts?)…...I guess I just got my hopes up that I'’d have working lenses with my old prescription inputted, so I did end Tuesday a bit disappointed. My prescription was too far off for Dr. G. to start implementing the advanced optics stuff as well.

    I received new lenses on Wednesday and voila, I could see! After not wearing contacts for a month, I had a huge smile on my face! As I wore the contacts more and more and we checked the vision, it seemed the vision was a little worse than I was used to (at least in the right eye), but very promising, since Dr. G. hadn'’t done any work with advanced optics and aberrations yet. They tell you to start with shorter wear times and extend that more and more each day. Since I had previous experience with sclerals, I thought I could wear the lenses a little bit longer to start. The lenses felt a bit itchy but comfortable overall. I kept my lenses in quite a long time on Wednesday (6-8 hours)…...driving was great even at night. Again, vision a little worse than I was used to with my old contacts, but very promising. However, when I returned to my hotel room to take the contacts out I noticed that my right eye was very red! Again, another wave of disappointment hit me...…was the fit wrong? Would my eye not accept the lens? etc. I quickly emailed pics to Dr. G.

    Throughout the week, I often emailed Dr. G. with eye pics and questions and concerns. He was super quick to respond at very late hours. It was really impressive and reassuring to have such a responsive and direct contact with Dr. G. throughout the week. This guy works his butt off!

    So I was pretty discouraged on Wednesday night and Thursday morning. I wasn'’t sure if my right eye had been injured to the point where I couldn'’t continue with the process in that eye. I didn'’t really have a helpful solution yet for either eye. I felt like I'’d never be able to get home to my family by the end of the week. I didn'’t want to disrupt the process for my left eye, so I put that contact in and wore my glasses, removing the left lens from my semi-rimless glasses (with a corkscrew!)...…I looked pretty ridiculous.

    My memory is a little fuzzy from Thursday…...Dr. G. gave me drops to help with my right eye redness, and I think I refrained from wearing a lens in that eye. I did wear my left lens but it was definitely awkward using the glasses for my right eye and the contact for my left...…it was tough to tell how things were going for the left. Dr. G. did completely new scans of my right eye to completely rework the fit of the lens, in an effort to prevent the redness issue. He thought I might get more accurate and useful scans now that I was more comfortable with the machines and processes.

    I went in to get my new lenses on Friday...…these were the first lenses that had the hydra-peg coating…...the previous ones had plasma coating I believe. I had really good results on the eye chart with these lenses. The right eye was seeing practically 20/15...…I could read the whole line although I think I said “"O"” for a "“C"” and “"K"” or "“H"” for an "“N"”. Still very impressive and the Laserfit was matching or beating my RGP at this point! And I didn'’t feel like I had dirt in my eye like with the RGP...…I just had to hope the redness issue wouldn'’t return. My left (moderate KC) eye was still stuck at around 20/30, although the ghosting I experienced was basically gone or unnoticeable and the nighttime starbursts were greatly reduced.

    I hadn’'t booked a return flight, and after discussing with my family I decided I would extend my trip to Monday/Tuesday, so I could monitor the redness in my right eye and so we could hopefully improve the vision in my left a bit more. For Monday, Dr. G. reworked the fit a bit for the right eye and the optics for both eyes. On Tuesday, he just worked on the left eye trying to get the vision better. However, the lenses I received on Monday and Tuesday didn'’t really improve things over the Friday lenses. Sometimes the scans would show improved stats, but when it came to how things actually looked with the lenses, the Friday lenses seemed better. I think the Monday left lens completely eliminated my starbursts at night, but the overall vision didn’'t seem as good as Friday’s. The fitting tweaks on the Monday right lens didn'’t really improve things. Luckily, it seemed that every day the lenses felt less itchy and my right eye, while still a little red, seems to be improving. I’'m hoping that the comfort of the right just gets better and better in the coming weeks...…I’'ll be sure to report back on that. [Update: Happily, I can report that I don’t have any redness or discomfort issue anymore with the lenses. With more testing at home I discovered that I have dry eye in that right eye, so I think that was the cause of the redness. I’'ve been more careful now about rinsing the lenses with saline before insertion in the morning. I also put a few drops of Refresh Celluvisc lubricating gel in each lens and top off with saline before insertion each day, which I believe I found recommended on the My Big Fat Scleral Lens facebook group. (The only negative is that my eyes feel dry and burny if for some reason I don’t wear the lenses for a few hours in the morning...…perhaps my eyes have become more accustomed to the saline/gel baths.) Another thing I discovered is that it'’s important to hold your lids wide open when you remove the lenses as well...…I think beforehand the lens would bump against my eyelid and back into my eye and cause redness. With all this extra care and methods, I don'’t have any redness or comfort issues at all!]

    Although staying Monday/Tuesday didn'’t really improve things, I don'’t regret the decision. If I left Friday I would have always wondered if even better results would have been possible. And I was able to do some fun sightseeing, eat incredible food, and do shopping for the family.

    Overall, it was a great trip and I think a great success. Time will tell with the comfort of the right eye, but I’'m optimistic. [Update: Yes a great success indeed!] It seems like my main goals were achieved...…improved comfort and RGP-crispness with my right eye, and improved vision with my left. It was a pleasure working with Dr. G. and chatting with his friendly staff. I'’d definitely recommend Laserfit...…it’'s just you can'’t expect miracles and you need to go in realizing there may be disappointments along the way…...it’s a process and you have to allow Dr. G. to work through his methods. It’'s certainly a risk though...…you just can'’t go in knowing you will have useful results...…luckily, I’'m very pleased with my results, and will be ecstatic if my temperamental right eye decides to be a team player! [Update: It decided to play along wonderfully!]

    [Update: I wanted to provide some information about insurance too. I went in hoping, but not being too optimistic, that insurance would end up covering some of the costs involved. Eventually, after a lot of persistence, I was able to get about 1/3 of the money back from the insurance company. My advice would be to make absolutely sure that the paperwork is all perfectly filled out for them with the codes everywhere. Repeat the codes over and over and don'’t assume just because it’'s somewhere on the page that’'s sufficient. Keep calling the insurance company if you don'’t hear anything. They initially declined coverage but we called and filed an appeal and I think they called and spoke to someone in Dr. G.'’s office about the specifics of what he does...…I think the insurance company was told that the alternative might be a corneal transplant. It might help to include a pamphlet about Laserfit when submitting the insurance forms, I’'m not sure. Overall, I wouldn'’t go in expecting that insurance will help with the costs, but with enough persistence it may be possible.]

    I hope this lengthy report will be of help to others. It'’s certainly a stressful process overall…...deciding what to do with your eyes and then hoping it will all work out. I couldn'’t be happier that I took the leap with Laserfit. I'’d recommend it passionately to others. But I’'d also recommend that you accept that it might not work out, that you trust that Dr. G. is sincerely working very hard and wants to succeed, and that you have patience during your visit because there can be disappointments and obstacles along the way that you will hopefully overcome. Good luck with your eyes, and let me know if you have any questions!
    Last edited by Phaedrus29; 11-Feb-2019, 13:53.
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