Reading about the experiences of people who have had LASIK or other laser vision correction procedures offers those who are thinking about their vision correction options some valuable insights. Here, we continue to share stories from recent patients talking about the decision to have laser vision correction.
Cody S., Real Estate Agent
Cody S. is a young real estate agent in San Antonio who chose to improve his vision with LASIK earlier this year. We asked him to share his process for choosing laser vision correction.
Honestly, I was sick of contacts. Pretty much everything about them. My contacts were constantly dry and my eyes were irritated when I wore them; like always having an eyelash in my eye. It was really annoying to deal with them, particularly at night after being out. I’d have to remember to take them out, otherwise, my eyes would really hurt in the morning. Plus, I’ve been wearing contacts since I was 14, now I’m 22, so that is a long time and if you add up the money I was spending on contacts over that time – it’s a lot. Glasses weren’t much better. They are expensive too if you want to look good as well as see. Being in real estate I’m in an out of the office all the time and it is hot and humid here in Texas. When I wore my glasses, they would fog up. My glasses would always slide off my face if I was looking down.
Until I had LASIK, I really didn’t acknowledge how annoying my glasses and contacts were – how much they were getting in the way of just living my life. Now I can see better than I ever did before – even with my glasses or contacts. I can’t remember the last time I said: “I can’t see that.” My vision is that good. Growing up, I was super jealous of others with normally great vision – my kid brother is one of them. Now, that’s me. I’m the one with great vision. For the first week or two after my procedure, I’d find myself in the bathroom at the end of the day thinking I needed to deal with my contacts – but I don’t. I can just go to bed. And every morning, I’m still so grateful I can see well without having to deal with my contacts. It is just so great.
Optometry Student, Katelyn H.
Katelyn H. is studying to become an optometrist and chose LASIK a few months ago to correct her vision after wearing glasses and contacts since the 4th grade. Here she shares insights into that decision and how she feels about her vision today:
I really wanted out of my contacts and glasses. Not that I wore glasses that often, most just before bed. But it wasn’t unusual to fall asleep wearing my glasses and wake up with ugly red marks all over my face. Mostly, I wore contacts, but there were challenges there too. I had problems with dryness. But it was more than that. Working out, being active, is very important to me. I’m a swimmer. I love water skiing, wakeboarding, just being in the water. And even though I’m an eye care professional and know the risk I was taking; I broke the rules. I wore contacts in the lake. I didn’t feel safe wearing glasses behind a boat while waterskiing.
Not be able to do the things I love to do without jeopardizing my eyes was the main reason I wanted to have LASIK. But there was also the expense of glasses and contacts. My training in optometry gave me insight into what I would be spending over my lifetime for glasses and contacts. I knew there was a better way to invest those vision correction dollars and be able to wake up and do the things I wanted to do without having to worry about my eyes and vision.
Now my vision is excellent. I no longer have issues with dry eye symptoms. I don’t wake up with red marks all over my face. I can see in the shower. I can see what products I’m putting in my hair, on my face. Before I had to memorize the shape of the bottle, now I can just read the name of the product on the label and know. It really is the little everyday things that amaze me about my vision.
Being in eye care, I relate to my patients with vision issues since I was just like them. I truly believe LASIK was the best thing for my eyes and for my patients who are good candidates. I was a struggling patient, and no one should have to – at least not if they are my patients.
Katrina R., Digital Creator
After a lifetime of wearing glasses and contacts, Katrina R. always expected to have laser vision correction. What surprised her was how long it took to become a candidate. She had to wait a few years for her prescription to stabilize and then, with a very high prescription, her options for laser vision correction were limited. Ultimately, in June of 2019, she had PRK – a type of laser vision correction that uses a laser to reshape the surface of the cornea. Here she shares the reasons why laser vision correction was what she wanted to achieve her vision goals.
I’m now 28 years old. Pre-surgery, I wore glasses since I was 8 and contacts since I was 12 – that is a long time to have difficulty seeing when it comes to everyday things. I have a pretty high prescription plus astigmatism (cumulatively a -10) , so I was one of those people who woke up not being able to see. I was tired of it. Plus, I travel a lot and wearing contacts is a source of anxiety with travel. Carrying liquids onboard is a hassle and you need drops and/or contact lens solution with you since the air is so dry on planes. With daily disposables, I was worried about ripping a lens and not having enough lenses with me. Each of my eyes had a different prescription, so it wasn’t easy or cheap to get contacts.
As for glasses, I never liked wearing them. I was one of those people who only wore them when absolutely necessary because, with my prescription, the lenses were really big. Even with anti-glare coating, I would still have problems seeing at night. In fact, I also had problems driving at night with contacts. With my line of work, I look at screens all day long and the eye strain was getting to be more and more of a problem. My contacts would get irritated often and sometimes particles would get stuck under my contacts, which created major issues for me.
All this being said, I really felt strongly about having the procedure. I just needed to get to the point of qualifying, which took a few years. Even once my prescription stabilized, LASIK wasn’t recommended for my vision – but PRK was. The recovery was tougher, but it was totally worth it.
Today, I’m just so grateful to no longer have poor vision. I’ve completely forgotten what it was like to rely on contacts and glasses. I’ve pretty much forgotten about having the procedure as I adjusted easily to my new eyesight and my vision feels so natural. I couldn’t be happier with the results!