Thursday, January 19, 2017

PRK Day 35 (One Month): Vision Fluctuations

My follow-up appointment with my surgeon isn't for a few more days, but I wanted to post today to give an update on my vision. It's been 35 days, or exactly five weeks, since my PRK surgery.

My vision during days 1-4 after PRK surgery was very clear during the daytime. I wasn't seeing a lot of detail (which was never as good compared to my left eye due to the congenital cataract in my right eye), but my vision was still good--so much better than before! My vision got a lot worse after the contact lens bandage was removed and stayed pretty consistent for the next three weeks! I saw huge starbursts and glare at night around any light source. I wasn't comfortable driving at night for the first three weeks, which wasn't an issue since I take the bus to work. I also couldn't read very well with just my right eye. I'm so happy that I only had PRK in one eye, since my left eye made up for the poor vision completely when I was wearing a contact or my glasses. I do a lot of reading and computer work, and can't imagine I would be able to function at work if I had PRK in both eyes at once.

Speaking of glasses, I went to Costco and bought non-prescription lenses for my glasses, so I could wear them for the next couple of months without having one missing lens and looking completely ridiculous before my left eye Visian ICL surgery. I still look ridiculous with my glasses on since my right lens is prescription-less and my left lens is -11 diopters and makes my left eye look tiny in comparison! I usually wear my contacts but my eyes get red and itchy so it's nice to take them out after work.

Even though I read a lot of blogs and knew that healing time was really variable, I will admit I was worried during the first three to four weeks. I ended up doing a lot of research to ease my mind. I learned about residual astigmatism, corneal haze, central island healing, and high-order aberrations, which can all be caused or intensified by PRK.

View of Trees Outside my Window
In the last week or so (from about day 28, or week 4) my vision has really began to improve, both during the day and at night. I look out my living room window at trees to compare my vision day to day. I'm seeing a lot more detail close up and mid-range, though things very far away are still blurry. During the day, I am still seeing starbursts around small lights (like the Wii or TV light), but they seem to be getting smaller. When I go outside during the day, I have ghosting (double vision) where I see one or two copies of the number on a street speed sign or icon on a walk sign. When I go outside at night, I can now tolerate looking at traffic lights and headlights. There's still some starbursts and glare, but they are much less intense than a few weeks ago. I have never experienced halos.

My vision is also best right when I wake up, and gets worse throughout the day, especially if I have to read or use the computer for extended amounts of time. I'm still using preservative-free lubricating drops every hour or two, so I don't think it's a dryness issue, but who knows. My next follow-up is just a few days away and I'm so curious what I will score on the Snellen chart, consider I wasn't able to read the big 'E' 35 days ago!

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