My PRK Adventure

In late 2007 I underwent PRK laser vision correction surgery. This is sorta like LASIK, but instead of cutting a flap in the outer corneal layer, they chemically remove that layer, then zap you with the laser. It involves a longer recovery time, usually several weeks to several months as that layer grows back and stabilizes. I’ve even read some reports of people taking six months before their vision had settled, but such long recoveries seem to be pretty rare.

I was a candidate for LASIK but opted for PRK because I do a lot of fighting (kickboxing and grappling, sorta MMAish). While involving a longer, more frustrating recovery time, the PRK surgery leaves your eyes in a more stable state than LASIK. Had I gone with LASIK, there would always have been a chance that a stray punch brushing against my eye could loosen or separate that corneal flap, and that’s something I really didn’t want to experience.

I was quite timid about even undergoing the surgery, until I found several blogs of people’s experience online. After reading firsthand accounts, I was more at ease and knew what to expect at a level not conveyed by the surgeon. I decided that I’d keep such a log of my experience with PRK. So without further ado…

283 thoughts on “My PRK Adventure

  1. Thanks for you info..I had my prk on dec 20th and left is still blurry and I was kind of downa nd depressed and checking internet about PRK and came across ur site and made me feel little better..i guess it will take time to recover..will wait for it…THANKS AGIAN.

    • Thanks for sharing your experience. I just wanted to leave thoughts on my experience as well because I came across your blog just before my surgery and reading the blog and comments almost scared to the point of calling it off. I’m so glad I went through with it as I am amazed at the results and couldn’t be happier. Had my PRK done at 5pm on Friday March 16th with Dr. Newman in Hercules, CA. The first 2 days the pain was incredible but by night 2 the pain started to fade. Morning of day 3 I woke up to no pain at all, seeing so clearly I just can’t believe it. There is still some minor sensitivity and cloudiness as well as sensitivity to light but literally every hour it gets better. I was planning on taking tomorrow off from work but I can Definatley go back tomorrow and drive. Clearly everyone heals at a different rate so healing timetables will vary with each person. Also I wasn’t sure what to expect at reading distance but have found my reading vision to be just as good as before. I am a 40 year old male. Just wanted to make sure to record my positive experience here because I have a feeling that the negative experiences are the ones that usually end up on the web/blogs and if I had cancelled my operation because I got freaked out it would have been a mistake. cheers, Eric

  2. Good info.

    I got mine 2 weeks ago, and was discouraged that I’m still at 20/40 to 20/50. Apparently the doctor is correct when he tells me to just keep being patient.

  3. Hi, I am six days in and having a really difficult time seeing since I am used to being able to read. Can I cheat and just ask you when you felt like you were “back to normal” but yet improved?

  4. I am at my 2 week mark of haveing the PRK and I am now starting to say I wish I had not done it as I can hardly do anything, no driving, no computer, tv or all of that. I am so depressed about it. I know you must be patient, but the doc said it was going to be faster than the reality. I will continue reading your progress and see what all you went through, if I can read at all.

    • GOSH..I am the same…very frustrated!! I cant read, drive or do anything..my head hurst from straining and I am overly depressed that I spent $3700 and still cant see! If I had known this..I might would have opted for LASIK, as my friends who have had LASIK, see in 3 days! I am in day 11 and still cant see……

  5. Hi- and thanks for this. I have actually printed out your 5 week post op. blog and read it from time to time to gain some reassurance. Turning the the internet for reassurance can be so dangerous. You read terrible things and then worry more.

    How is it that you were so positive in your journey? You just seemed to know things would improve, whereas with me at 3.5 week post-PRK, I have such uncertainty that I will heal and become fully happy with my vision again. My eyes are still blurry (from close up to within first 30 feet- all day), and my left eye seems so much worse than the other. I wonder, will the left ever catch up? Will I ever see fine detail clearly again? I am so doom and gloom, but what I notice about your posts is your faith in the process.

    Poor vision is hard to ignore, because how do you get lost in something else? We use our eyes for everything- t.v., work, movies, playing with children… The only escape is sleep- so it is hard to enjoy life. I can’t sleep for 3 months! I don’t really want to lose one day of my life to this negative thinking, but have lost many. And I still have so far to go (assuming I get there at all).

    I do thank you very much and am happy for your success.

  6. Thanks for your account… I’ve had my surgery a week ago, and, although it is a GREAT improvement because I had -13 DO, so I really couln’t see ANYTHING without glasses, now I can fairly move around, but I still see blurry and much worse than with my lenses, but I’ll be patient and wait for the next months….

  7. I had the surgery done yesterday early in the morning. the procedure itself was a bit more uncomfortable than I expected. The first 3 hours in post op were very very uncomfortable. After the pain killers kicked in I was able to sleep for about 6 hours.

    i woke up being able to see pretty well with very little discomfort. This morning I put in my drops and went in for the exam. 20/20 and 20/45. I’m ecstatic to say the least. I was 20/600 yesterday. I have a minimal amount of ghosting, blurring, of double images. It gets better after the drops.

    I almost decided to not get the procedure done because I read about so many negative experiences. I spoke more in depth with my doctor and was assured that I had nothing to worry about. my main concern was missing more work that i could afford.

    It’s only about 32 hours since the surgery and I can honestly report that I’m completely amazed. I think that people who have negative experiences with PRK tend to post their story more often than people who have positive experiences.

    It’s only been a day so I’ll post again soon for an update. Probably when the lenses come off on Monday.

    I just wanted to post something that isn’t so negative. Obviously I have a long way to go by so far this has really been a walk in the park.

  8. At 8 months out, I have not been so lucky. My vision is much worse than it was with glasses, I have terrible eye floaters, and can’t see well up close any more. It has been the worst time of my life and I am afraid that I’ll never see well again. My problems are not even fully correctable with glasses. Especially the floaters.

    I hope everyone has a good outcome, but fear I am the ugly exception.

    • So am I. Left eye turned out fine right didnt do so well. I had PTK which is basically second PRK on my right eye 8 months ago. My eye never healed correctly and I am left with a scar across my cornea that blurs and distorts things. I really would recommend just leaving eyes alone, dont fix it if it isnt broken. Glasses and contacts are good for correcting. Surgery is an unnecessary risk. If surgery doesnt work out your left not being able to correct ever again. Its a real joy!

  9. It was reassuring reading your little “diary”. I had lasik in 2002 and in 2005 my vision started to get bad again. I got prk done 17 days ago and everything is really blurry and my eyes just hurt from the strain. I use eyedrops about every 30 minues and it just doesn’t seem to help. I am optimistic about a good outcome but it is very frustrating not being able to see anything. I thought after about 1 1/2 weeks I’d be able to do normal things. Driving is still hard, using computer is very difficult, but I can see the tv pretty good but then it stars getting blurry again. I can’t wait until the 3 mth mark. I’m just hoping I won’t need any more corrective surgeries in the future.

  10. If your job requirs alot of reading or night driving you need at least 3 weeks off of work to get PRK done. DONT be stupid like me and think your going back to work in 5 days. When they say 5 days healing time they mean thats when the pain should be gone. I had my PRK done about 12 days ago. Holy blurry vision, My wife is a doctor at the place I had mine done and she says its a combo of the steroid drops and swelling in the eyes that cause the blurry vision but you need to take all your drops it helps with overall outcome. It takes about 3 weeks for the swelling to go down. Ibuprofen helps reduce the swelling and the drops stop after 3 weeks so by week 3 or 4 you should be good to go. They say you get better resaults with PRK vs regular lasik. Regular lasik heal time is only 1 to 2 days but not every one can get regular lasik, I think 3 to 4 weeks a blurry vision is worth the end resault of 20/20 or better vision without glasses or contacts. So happy laser vision correction dont let 3 weeks get you down.

  11. I’m almost 3 weeks out, and hearing that the ghosting goes away soon after the steroid drops go away is very reassuring. That’s my biggest fear. The starbursts (both standard and pupil-induced) are much less annoying than not being able to read! The patience is definitely the hardest part.

    To Mel, I wish you the best. I’ve heard there’s a new procedure out recently (costs ~10k) and I have no idea if it’ll help, but you may want to talk to your doc about it.

  12. Thanks Matt! I think you are correct in your statement saying there are alot more people blogging about their negative experiences than all the people with positive ones. I had LASIK done 5 years ago and I am going for an Enhancement on both eyes on January 12th. I won’t know if I am getting PRK or if they will be able to lift the flap and give me LASIK again.It is quite an apprehensive time for me not knowing if the doctor will be able to lift the flap or not and I am not sure if I have the patience to do PRK if he can’t do a lift. Time will tell. As far as Mel is concerned,I have never heard of any case like his.One thing to always do is a thorough check on the doctor and company doing these kinds of procedures.It helps for your confidence level for sure. I will report back once I am able to see again.

  13. Hi guys,
    I am so glad to hear success stories. Even though my outcome was not what I wanted or expected, it somehow makes me feel comforted knowing that I am a rare exception. That in fact, maybe it wasn’t such a terrible decision I made- that these results could not be predicted. Does that make sense?

    I am learning to live with what I have. I can’t risk further damage or more eye floaters with another surgery. It was in hind sight, the worst decision of my life. But I couldn’t have known I’d be in that smaller percentage of people with unfavorable results. My farsightedness, eye floaters and up-close blurry vision persist.

    Thanks for the words of encouragement and congrats to those who are happy with your outcome. And to Brad- I’m a girl Mel!

    Mel

  14. Had PRK Surgery on Oct. 30, 2009 – left eye only. Took approximately two and a half months experience real clear vision. Eye test results: 20/25 entire line with several letters on the 20/20 line.

  15. Had PRK Surgery on Oct. 30, 2009 – left eye only. Took approximately two and a half months to experience real clear vision. Eye test results: 20/25 entire line with several letters on the 20/20 line.

  16. I’m 13 days post PRK, I wasn’t given enough information before surgery, so I was under the impression that it would take a week before I would get my vision back going by the brief info. I got from a nurse. I’ve done most of my information searching after the fact and find it comforting and more re-assuring that I will eventually see again. I now think about how many people are on the roads driving with the healing process of PRK…a very scary thought! The more I read about other peoples experiences the better I feel about the whole situation. Thanks.. :)

    • me the same…not too happy right now.. a little depressed but from reading everyone’s experiences….I still have hope! but wish I had had more information given to me of the outcome of this surgery…a.s the commercials and the pamphlets expres…YOU COME OUT OF SURGERY SEEING, which is not true!

      • i am down on hope….almost 3 months now and still not doing well!!! migraines are killing me daily!! floaters are stil there..vision improvement is so-so….dry eyes got better but seem to be getting dry AGAIN….so…NOT HAPPY STILL AFTER 2.5 months!

  17. First, let me apologize to Mel! I am sorry Mel i wasn’t thinking. As far as my January 12th procedure which ended up being PRK. Everything was pretty smooth. Had surgery @ 4:15pm and was in my hotel room (after some dinner) by 7:30 by the time we picked up some meds. By day 4 I wa seeing fairly well considering my CLB’s were still in my eyes. Never once did I have to take any of the Vicodin he prescribed. The only meds I took were 800mg of Ibuprophen. On day 8 I drove to have CLB’s removed and I was warned by the Doc that things would be worse over the next 12 hours and that it would take 2-3 weeks to start to see better. She was right. I had CLB’s taken out on 1/20 and here on 1/22 things are very eratic in terms of blurriness and clarity. As I write this I must get up close to the screen to proof read it. I have to say that the first thing in the morning is pretty clear. I am confident that things are progressing in the positive direction and I was told I will have to be patient. That will be something, my wife says that I wasn’t in line when those were being given out. All in all I guess since it’s been only 10 days, and it was PRK vs. Lasik, things are going according to plan.I will update in about 2 weeks. Again. Sorry Mel!

  18. hello i just had PRK on the 28th of jan. and on sunday had the bandage contacts taken out, vision is very blurry in just one eye and you are all right about the drops hurting like lil buggers…wowzers! i can see out of my right fairly well but the left is just a blur and has been since sunday (tuesday new). i am happy to report tho that i am not taking any pain meds besides the drops and a tylenol 500mg every so often to numb the scratchy feelings. any other info on how long the blurry vision should last after bandage removal from anyone would be very helpfull.

    steve d.

  19. Hi Steve
    As I said previously, I had PRK on Jan. 12th and it is now 1 month since the procedure. Things are starting to get better for distance although it’s still not totally healed yet.I still can’t watch sports on my 50″ Plasma unless I am sitting like 6′ away cuz i can’t read the score. I am functioning back at work. I returned to work 3 weeks after having CLB’s taken out. I have to say I was quite dissapointed when I had CLB’s remove because my vision went to s**t 8 hours after. So, it’s just like my Dr. said it would be. For me I think things will be alot better once I get off the Lotemax drops in 6 weeks.Dry eyes are not too bad either.All I can say Steve is Patience,Patience,Patience. At least thats what I have to keep telling myself.

  20. I’ll have my PRK thursday,20.05.2010. I read everything you wrote.It helped me make an idea of how things will be afterwards.I’m a litle nervous about day 2 and 3 after the intervention but…i am still anxious yo get rid of my glases.I’ll let you know how things were.

    Sonia

  21. Today is day 6 after the PRK.It went well.As I read,the first day after the PRK was difficult and with each day that was passing my eyes were getting better,till yesterday,when I had the contacts removed…and my vision became very blurry…I also use a lot of eyedrops.With all this going on,I’m not sorry at all that I had the PRK,I’m very optimistic and the fact that I can read,watch TV or post this comment without my glasses keeps me holding on.

  22. Thank you for your blog and encouraging words. I am in Alberta, Canada and was wondering where you had your procedure done? No one mentioned the vaseline-like ointment I have to put in my eyes nightly for a month, post removal of the bandages and was curious if in fact anyone has to do this? It helps the eyes stay moist as there is no tear production while sleeping. My husband calls me squinty as I am compensating for the blurriness. I appreciate the reminders that the eyeballs need to stabalize and the swelling to subside for vision to continue to correct itself…patience…my sister had Lasik last year and the dy after her procedure she was sewing a button on a shirt…I gues I was hoping to have the same experience but am grateful for the daily improvements and all you people sharing…..M

  23. Thanks for documenting your story. I had PRK 13 days ago and was starting to really get a little disheartened thinking that I was supposed to be good to go in like 2 weeks. This is FAR from the case. I mean I’m driving to work now, but work is very challenging and I’m far from my best since I have to read/write on a computer all day.

    I noticed a great deal of similarity between the things you’ve said and I’ve experienced, so hopefully 20/20 will be waiting for me on the other side. Like you, I didn’t have to do PRK but heard good results from others, more stability over time, and my optometrist said it’s what he would do over LASIK.

    I’m a madman with the rewetting drops and I use a combo of the Refresh liquigel and the Refresh optive drops (with preservatives), probably every 10 minutes or so. My left eye is worse than my right for sure, with blurriness and with ghosting, but I can tell sometimes when I put in drops and blink some that it is really clear.

    Before I read your blog I was pretty frustrated, but now I just realize that I should trust the doctors and that everything will turn out well…I just have to keep waiting to do the things I want, like play golf. Thx again

  24. I had my surgery just over 4 weeks ago. I’m still very blurry at times. It fluxurates throughout the day. My big problem is at work at computers all day so there is no avoiding. I could only afford so much time off work. I thought I would be back to work in a week but ended up taking 2 weeks. I could of used a few more too i think.
    I am from Ontario Canada. And I too have to put that Vaseline type stuff in my eyes at night so my eyes don’t get dry. I had a couple nights before I used it were i woke up in pain because my eyes dried out and according to the doctors some cells get stuck on the lid as you open them and that is what caused that. Since I been using that gel like stuff at nights I haven’t had that problem again. It only happen 2 times but that’s more then enough to scare ya LOL
    I’m trying to keep positive but I have to admit I’m getting frustrated with the slow healing processes and I’m nervous that it didn’t fully take with me and I’ll have to go through it again. I still take the steroid drops though a couple times a day so I’m hoping by the time i finish those my site will be manageable.

  25. Thanks for writing this. I’m on day 8 after PRK now. Everything is blurry and it sucks to work on a computer (which is what I do for a living).

    However, this blog does give me hope for the future. Maybe after a few more weeks I’ll see better. I’m pretty impatient and miss reading without blurriness.

    At this point, I really regret getting PRK. My doctor really glossed over the recovery. While ‘lying’ might be a bit harsh, if I would have had any idea about this recovery I wouldn’t have had it done.

    I thought that after a few days I’d be pretty much fine. Yeah…no. I’m next to worthless at work, I’m late on several projects, and it’s not like I can go home after a bad day and curl up with good book.

    But regardless, thanks for blogging your experience, it’s nice to see light at the end of the long blurry tunnel.

    • My wife just had the PRK, was starting to get worried too, thanks for the blog.

      In hind sight I would suggest talking with your optometrist first who doesn’t have anything to gain.

      I also don’t think we were lied to, just not given all of the info up front, kind of like buying a car at a dealership.

      I would just don’t bite on “we can only offer you this discount for a week” an so on, do some research and look outside the “doc in a box”.

      So far pleased with the results, just disappointed in the ethics of our “doc in a box” not truly disclosing the recovery process except on a form in lawyer talk on the day of surgery.

  26. Hey guys… I am 4 weeks post prk and I would have to say that I am think my vision is about 65% of what I think it should hopefully be by the end of this unknown healing period. I have experienced ghosting and starburst at night but do get ghosting during daytime. My left eye is def ahead of my right eye and just like all of you i am hoping my vision improves because it’s very frustrating and scary. I am currently still taking the steroid drop flarex (3 times a day) fixing to go to 2 times a day .. In 2 days…. I hope decreasing the steroid drops will improve my vision…. It seems if I squint i can see a lot better and that scares me that maybe they did not correct my vision enough???? Please everyone update your current status bc I would love to hear how everyone has progressed.. Thanks!!’

  27. DAY 12:
    I am freaking out! I had my surgery on both eyes on 12/14 so I am at day 12. I had about 3 weeks off from my MBA program that includes a TON of reading and I work on a computer all day reading architectural specs and drawings. I don’t know what I was thinking! I have 10 days before my courses start up again and I can’t even come close to being able to read a text book. The doctor said my vision would be so-so but I kind of feel like I was misled to a certain extent. I new my vision wouldn’t be perfect right away but I am seeing double out of both eyes. My left eye is more blurry than my right. I usually have about 10 minutes of pretty good vision in the a.m. right after waking up but then it goes pretty quickly after that. My right eye comes and goes and my left just stays blurry. To say I’m scared and second guessing this whole thing would be an understatement. I actually had pretty good vision in the right eye for about 5 days after the surgery but then it went. I am pretty much sitting around wearing sunglasses because my eye muscles just feel sore. This sucks. I didn’t want to be a drag over Christmas so I tried to shrug it off while people asked questions but on the inside I’m really freaked.

    DAY 14:
    Visited the doctors today he said I have island healing on my eyes…said he hadn’t seen it in ten years but not to be worried the chances he would have to go back in are only 10%…ughhh ooookaaay….Has anyone heard of this type of healing? He said it used to be much more common with wide range lasers but not the newer narrow beam lasers that he used on me. I can’t remember the exact type of lasers he described. He put contact lens bandages with a minor prescription back in my eye and also put a light prescription into my glass frames while I waited. He reduced my Pred Forte from 4 times a day to two and gave me a prescription for Alphagan P. Any feedback would be appreciated since I am freaking out. The fact that he cut my lenses while I waited at no charge is kind of making me think there might be a problem….

    DAY 15:
    Went to bed last night thinking at least I could see…even if it was with glasses. I woke this morning got to the office put my glasses on and everything was blurry again. The new glass prescription is barely working….I’m not sure if this is because my prescription is changing daily or I have a more serious issue…I’m definately scared. I imagined not having crisp vision but at least being able to read by now….

  28. Hang in there Tom. It took a while for me, but I’m seeing better now (I was the post above you). I see about as well as I did w/ my glasses prior to surgery.

    Would I do it again? I’m not sure. I definitely was not prepared for the recovery. It was a very scary experience and I’m guessing I’m not the only one who came to this blog looking for some hope. So, if it helps you at all, there is hope.

    Try to stay positive. I know it sucks, but it will get better. I spent a couple of weeks at work within inches of my display, but it slowly got better.

  29. Thanks for the support. I appreciate it. Right now I’m just wishing I hadn’t done it but it can’t be taken back. I feel the same way. The doctor did not flat out lie about the recovery but it was definately glossed over. I just wasn’t prepared for this. I hope the “island” healing goes away because it’s horrible. Anyways we’ll see how I feel about the whole thing as my recovery continues.

  30. I had PRK 12 days ago and my vision is coming along really well. The problem I’m having is my eyes start to tear up through out the day. I was wondering if anyone else has had a problem with watering eyes in their recovery period?

  31. i’m so glad that finally i’ve found someone who has the same symptoms as mine.. i got my syrgery 2 weeks ago and i can’t say that i see well. Frankly it’s all a blur… I was quite worry and anxious about my recovery until i read your experience. And truly i’m very thankful that you published it, because it gave me courage!!!

  32. Thanks for the post! I just had PRK on April 15, so 10 days ago. I’m happy to read your experience, so I know what to expect and when! Currently, I’m at exactly the same place you were at 10 days. I can’t wait for the end results! :) Cheers!

  33. Hey, Thanks for posting this. I had PRK surgery on April 14, making this 3 1/2 weeks into the recovery for me so far. My vision is still blurry (like there is a film over my eyes? it’s sort of hard to explain), I don’t have good long distance sight yet, and my eyes are still light sensitive. (I wear sunglasses everywhere) My eyes get irritated a lot too. I’m trying to be patient with the healing process, though I do get frustrated and depressed sometimes. It is good to hear that you had a good end result!

  34. I’m here too taking courage! Wow! What an experience this is. I had my surgery on the left eye only April 23rd, so I’m 24 days in. Still quite blurry, a bit irritated and sore, and does get watery when that occurs on occasion.

    I had very successful Lasik on the right eye in December, and the next day the flap was cut on the left eye, but it was ‘off center’ so we stopped and let it heal for 4 months. Then tried again, and there was still a problem, so we did PRK that day.

    I’m having some pretty serious dry eye, and when I do (voraciously) my various concoctions of artificial tears, I can usually see clearly for a few minutes. But I have a pretty good ghosting going on now (which really worries me) and that doesn’t seem to go away. I’ll say one thing, if both my eyes were like this now, ie: with PRK healing. I would nearly be out of commission. Since I work at home, I’ve been living with the shades drawn for these three plus weeks now, and have only spent two days out of the house.

    So we’ll see. I can relate to the posts regards the fear, loathing and frustration that goes on with this. All the websites explaining PRK say 4-5 days or a week. Seems like a few months may be normal too. So, please keep in touch people, and update your status… I’ll do the same… :-)

  35. been 5 weeks sine i had the re-do enhancement for my left eye. Still blurry and miserable. My right eye I use for close up reading / computer. My dr said its still swolen and hazy, but not to worry. Well ni am worried.. I decided to get a pair of glasses temporarily for my right eye ( low prescription ) I hope to get thru this with NO corrective apparatus at all. Reading these posts, at least i dont feel alone. I guess it just takes time.. catch me on facebook: Carole Yarmo

  36. been 5 weeks sine i had the re-do enhancement for my left eye. Still blurry and miserable. My right eye I use for close up reading / computer. My dr said its still swolen and hazy, but not to worry. Well i am worried.. I decided to get a pair of glasses temporarily for my right eye ( low prescription ) I hope to get thru this with NO corrective apparatus at all. Reading these posts, at least i dont feel alone. I guess it just takes time.. catch me on facebook: Carole Yarmo

  37. Had my 5 week to the day appointment Saturday. It was not a very good eye day, as it was quite dry, and that is what we are working on.

    So, my prescription was off, and not as good as previously. They didn’t even discuss it with me. The fogginess is lifting, but because of the ghosting / overlapping images, things are still not clear or of good quality.

    Dr. gave me his own private stash of a preservative free steroid in place of the Durezol I’ve been taking 4 times a day as he thought maybe the preservative was irritating the eye. Certainly it does burn/sting for awhile after I had taken it. This new steroid is very easy on the eye, I don’t feel anything from it.

    So, it’s Tuesday now, and I had a good eye night last night, and most of the day today, perhaps the best day I’ve had. In fact, I had pretty clear vision driving to the coffee shop this morning. So that was a nice treat. Had some other moments of clarity today also. Perhaps the new steroid is helping?

    The ghosting is still there of course, I was out this evening, and was in a parking lot looking at the lit up Wells Fargo sign against the dark sky, and there were some heavy ghosting going on there.. so that was a bit disturbing.

    But I’m planning on three months of major recovery, then three months of slower/final recovery, and am only just over a month in, but hopefully I won’t have to take two steps back from this recent advance forward… :-)

  38. I had my surgery June 9th, so it has been 11 days since my PRK. I had a check up this morning, and my doctor said I’m healing surprisingly quickly. I was reading at about 20/25 maybe 20/30 (I’m also having a little trouble focusing on smaller fonts), but I was able to read this entire page comfortably from a normal distance (maybe 2ft).
    You were right, the second day was agonizing, and my vision reduced significantly after taking out the contacts. However, I am able to drive/read/watch tv comfortably. I would say I’m at 80-85% optimal vision at the moment.
    I just wanted to post my little personal account to also give hope. Like others have said, you mostly see the negative experiences posted on the internet, so I just wanted to let everyone know that not only can this experience be (rarely) very negative, but also incredibly positive and a great experience. In 10 days i leave on a study abroad to Spain, and i fully expect to be able to see the sights and function in a classroom just as well, if not better than before my surgery :]

  39. Update: I had my PRK surgery on April 14/11 (2.5 months ago. Already?! Went by quick!) My eye drop regime ended today. (Yay!) Since my last post, most of the irritation has gone away, although my eyes still feel strained sometimes. My long distance vision has improved. I still have issues picking out fine details (especially facial features at some distance) Most of the ghosting/halo effects have gone away. I was told at my last appointment that I would see even more improvement once the eye drops/gel were done. The recovery has taken longer then I expected. After the first month it has gotten much easier to deal with, especially as my vision is improving. I finally feel confident in my decision to have had the surgery (I was worried for awhile there). Adjusting to my new glasses-free image is the is one thing that I was completely unprepared for and it left me feeling shaky and uncertain in the first few weeks. Right after surgery I thought I had made a really bad decision because I didn’t like the way I looked without glasses (just wasn’t used to it yet). They were such a part of my identity for so long, I really had to adjust. 2.5 months after the surgery, I can say that I like the way I look without glasses now. I don’t know when it changed, I just gradually got used to the new me, and I like not having to deal with glasses now.

  40. Just to follow up, I last posted June 1 where I had a bad eye day. I’m doing quite a bit better now at 81 days / 11.5 weeks. My double-vision was still strong on my June 10 office visit – in fact every bit was there as on day one, and I had another visit June 22, still had strong doube-vision then too… but I could tell something was changing.

    Well, in a 10 day period I went from full-strength double-vision / ghosting as on day one, to totally clear distance vision! And distance vision was my goal.

    So, I’m in a much happier state now. The only thing that is bothersome is how much my near vision took a hit, a big hit. I’m hoping some of the near vision comes back, as it is quite blurry now. Whereas before the distance vision came in, the near was OK.

    So I give me eyes this grade out of 10:
    Left / PRK eye 9 distance / 3 near vision
    Right Lasik eye (from December) 8 distance / 7 near vision

    So right eye wins with a 15, left PRK eye only has a 12. Let’s see what happens in the next month.

  41. i am 3 weeks into recovery and am feeling very depressed. My vision is getting better but I cannot seem to focus or keep my eyes open when watching tv, talking to someone as in actually looking at them while conversing and driving is scary I have been surfing hoping to find others with this problem that say it goes away but I’ve found nothing – I hope this goes away as this would be a terrible life to live if it does not

    • Hi Pat,

      I come from the Netherlands and have a question about your vision right now. I recognize your problems at that time and wonder how it is at the moment?

      Where I really bothers is particularly able to focus, poor tired eyes, loss of depth perception and restless look.

      I hope you can indicate how long it takes? Indeed, it is very tiring and disruptive to daily activities.

      Thank you very much.

      Sincerely,

      Steffan V

  42. I highly recommend laser eye treatment. I am a 50 yr old man and did not have the chance to do it before as it is obviously a new technique. However I’ve recently decided to undertake the surgery and it is successful ! It is unbelievable actually 20/20!

  43. Update: 5 months since my last post here, 7 months since I had PRK. I just wanted to say that my vision is back 100%, everything’s healed, and I love being glasses free more then I ever thought I would!

    To everyone who is considering getting this surgery, I would say get a good surgeon, it makes all the difference. Even if it costs more. To me, it’s worth it to have a surgeon you trust. The clinic I went too was all inclusive, which meant that the drops, medication, and supplies I needed were all included in the cost. Totally worth it to me and I would suggest this route if it is offered. It took so much stress off me knowing that I didn’t have to deal with filling prescriptions or paying extra for the drops, that it was just provided as part of the package. When my left eye got red and sore (minor infection) 4 months in, I got in to see the doctor right away and they gave me the extra medication I needed free of charge. Also, if you are thinking of PKR, be prepared to wait longer then you expect for full recovery. I thought for sure I would have my vision back fully sooner and it was really frightening and disappointing when I didn’t. Because I wasn’t prepared for the reality of how long it would take for my vision to be completely back with no blurriness, no halos, no tiredness, no light sensitivity, etc I got really depressed, thinking something was wrong. Had I known then that it would just take far longer then I originally thought, I think I would have felt a bit less anxious.

    Anyway, I just wanted to add some more of my thoughts on the experience I had with this process. I have my last check up appointment next week, so unless anything changes this will be last my post here. Good luck to anyone considering this surgery!

  44. I am so glad I found this post. I am two weeks post op and I am starting to feel a little crazy. I had the surgery so I could see better not worse. I hear that it can take 4-6 weeks to fully recover. My visual acuity shifts in and out of focus. When I use the eye drops it is better but only for a few minutes. The most challenging thing is reading, being on the computer, watching t.v. and driving. My night vision is so bad I just want to get home and close my eyes. I am going by what others have shared and what some friends have shared. Honestly the Lasik at this point would have been the better choice, I am also very impatient and I probably need to just wait and see.

    I feel like I want to get my glasses at times because I will begin to strain my eyes trying to focus in on certain things. I will keep waiting and in the mean time take it easy.

    Thanks

  45. Excellent documentation of your experience; saved my life! lol. I got the procedure done on November 4th, and have my 6 week post-op coming up on the 16th of this month. I’d say my vision is about 90%; I can pretty much see clear, and most ghosting has gone away.. I know the feeling, like your vision is taking forever to get better and you’re used to the crisp feeling that you had with contacts or glasses.. I still bitch about it all the time to my wife, she’s soo tired of me complaining about it.. Something she just doesn’t get though, but I totally understand. It will get better, rest assured!!

  46. Thank you for posting your experiences! I’m considering having PRK done, but I was feeling very anxious about the decision. I’m self employed (I’m a Barber), so I really wanted to know what kind of time frame was needed for healing. It seems like with most of the experiences, there is blurry vision right up to, and sometimes past, the 6 weeks mark. I’m not sure this surgery is the best thing for me. I need to work to have income, and I can’t do that if my vision is constantly shifting in and out of focus. There could be some pretty bad results walking out my shop! ;) Again, thank you for your info..

  47. I had my PRK done one year ago this month! First off, I got to tell you, you have to be patient. Tissue healing time is 10-14 days. You will most likely NOT see much improvement until after that. I wasn’t expecting this long with this procedure, but it seems like almost over night after the 2 week mark, my eyes were darn near perfect. Or at least I could read the computer again. Dont stress out or worry too much. Try not to get online much either. You will end up reading bad reviews, and that won’t help you at all. The “ghosting” is normal. Not really double vision, but more like an outline. PRK takes longer to heal but better long term results. I am 20/20 both eyes now. ITS WONDERFUL!! I read many reviews in my worried state that said people didn’t start seeing much improvement until a month or two….if not more. This was not the case for me but it did take longer that what I had assumed. Hang in there, it will all be ok!

  48. Im thinking about getting prk. Ive had major problems with my eyes. My vision went from -4.5 to -6 in a matter of days. Im on drops to help with imflammation and i go in for a lasik and prk consult on tuesday………but after reading the ratio of good and bad experiences….im really scared.

    • Rayna – for either surgery they would really like you to have an unchanging perscription for about a year.. I would be very hesitant to have either if you’re eyes changes that much in just days.. i would want to figure out why first, as it sounds like something else is going on. I hope for you that it’s nothing.

  49. I just had my prk done a month ago. For people who are considering PRK, i would highly recommend that you do 1 eye at a time. I did my left eye first and waited about 2 weeks later and did my right eye. If i had to do it over again, I would wait 3 weeks. It took me 3 weeks for the left eye to completely clear up and can see up close (I work in front of the computer all day) and being able to see the computer is crucial. During the time I had 1 eye done, I wore my glasses with the left lense popped out for reading. It’s not ideal at all because of the lense distance, but if you don’t shift your eyes focus, then it’s not a big deal. If you have contact, then that would be way better. You can just wear contacts in the 1 eye while waiting for the other to heal.

    Right now, as i’m writing and my left eye is back to normal as before with glasses for up close and far out. The right eye is still not fuzzy. It’s been 5 weeks for the left eye and 3 weeks for the right eye. Only my right eye is slightly dry since I sit in front of a computer all day. But it feels better and better everyday. I used a lot of drops the first month. I used up 2 bottles (15 ml each). The drops helped tremendously.

    By the way, i was able to drive a week after the 1st eye surgery without any glasses, but it’s just to and from work which is only 3 miles away. I would not drive anywhere else since I can’t read the street sign. Hope this give give you hope and at least another option for when doing PRK..

    • Did it drive you crazy to have one good eye and one bad for so long? I dismissed the idea of doing one at a time because I was afraid of how it would warp my vision and give me headaches.

  50. Actually, it did. But I think that’s mostly because I had glasses and could not walk around wearing them with 1 lense popped out. So I opted to not wear glasses at all. But if you have contacts, then I don’t think it would be bad at all. It’ll be like how I am right now (one good eye and one not so good – 20/40). The glasses with one lense popped out is only good if you’re in front of the computer or TV. It was the one time that i really wished I had contacts! I really only had to do this for work for about a week. I had PRK on the first eye right before Christmas, so I had 10 days to not care about my distance or up-close vision.

  51. Thanks for sharing your experience. I’m on day 5 post PRK on both eyes and thought I was doomed after having experienced the rapid recovery time of lasik.

    Your sharing helped me maintain perspective.

  52. Thanks for posting the story of your surgery and recovery. I found this a few days before I had my PRK done and was glad I did. Between yours and a few other blogs, I had a pretty clear idea of what to expect and have been way more laid-back about my recovery than I would have been otherwise.

    I’m 26 days post-PRK now, and am really happy with my progress so far. I’ve been posting about it as well, for anyone who wants to read another story of a pretty successful (so far) procedure: http://lasereyesprk.blogspot.com

  53. I just came from my 1 month post PRK eye appointment. I’m 48, have been wearing progressives for 4 years, glasses since i was 9. My perscription pre-PRK was -7.5 and -6.5 with slight asigmatism in each eye (-.75 and -.5). As of two weeks ago, I was overcorrected to +2.5 and +1.5, with -2 and -1 astigmatism. As of today, I have regressed to +1.5 and +1.25 with -1.5 and -.75 astigmatism, respectively. My night vision is better than pre-PRK, and my long vision is pretty good. Near vision (up to 6′ away) is still really lousy, with lots and lots of ghosting.

    My doctor made it pretty clear that the recovery was long.. but I wasn’t prepared sufficiently, for the hopefully temporary poor near vision. I have two more weeks of steriod drops, and then I hope to join the ranks of those whose ghosting cleared up after the steriods were finished. I suspect my sight will be good to quite excellent then.

    Good luck to everyone going through this… having all these experiences posted makes us realize that we are not alone.

  54. I find these comments on here to be somewhat reassuring, as I have been having horrible regret, anxiety and guilt over having Lasik done just 6 days ago. I had only one eye done since my other is perfect 20/15 vision, so not that I wasn’t worried before, but I figured even if I ended up in the un-lucky few, I’d still have my good eye. I did research and saw a two different doctors, one opted I do Lasik while the other recommended PRK – I chose Lasik. So far, I’m not happy; I could see better with both my eyes together prior. Now my left eye is almost overpowering my right and causing me to feel “off.”

    For those of you who have Lasik, is it normal to see starburts/halos around objects at night? If so, how long did it take for these to go away?

    Does anyone know if glasses and/or contacts are a possibility to help with clarity and visual acuity?

    Thanks,
    :J

  55. Hello,
    I was recently tested by my eye doctor to see if I am a candidate for Lasik. Unfortunately, due to my thin cornea, I’m not a perfect candidate but he suggested PRK. After reading these reviews, I am really concerned about the long recovery time as I work in front of a computer all day. I’m not prepared nor can I take a week or more off from work. My doctor suggested I have the surgery on Friday and return to work the following Wednesday. Based on your experiences, does this sound reasonable? Will i be able to function 5 days after surgery?

    • Some people are functional that soon afterwards, but it’s well in the minority. Most people take a week off work and suffer through two to three months of horrible vision before things become clear again. Just make sure you know what you’re in for.

    • I had my surgery on a Monday; I went to work on a Wednesday – all day. I went to work on Thrusday and found I could not read AT ALL. I went home – Friday I did not go to work because I still could not read or use a computer. The next week (this week) I have worked Monday thru Friday but at times it has been a real struggle with computer work and reading. Yesterday (thursday) was pretty good – the best so far but today has been tougher. I cannot wait to get rid of the Pred Forte as they seem to degrade my vision for several hours after use……….Good Luck.

  56. Hey there!
    So I read all your posts when I had my PRK surgery last year. I’ve had the exact same thing with my right eye the whole time. It’s been a year – and I can still tell a light difference. My left eye is absolutely perfect and it’s like sometimes there is a slight distortion on my right… Did your right eye ever catch up?

    Ryan

    • My right eye is very slightly worse than the left eye, but it’s nothing I notice unless I focus on it. It’s not so bad

      • Hey chad – thanks for writing back. Cool. Yeah, I kind of fixate on it so that’s not good. During my surgery, I had trouble focusing on the red light and sort of lost vision in that eye while the laser was working, so I’ve been convinced that that’s why it didn’t turn out as great as the left – but who knows. Anyway – my eyes are 1000 times better than they were before the surgery. take care -

  57. Thanks, Chad–hearing your experience has eased my mind. I am almost 40 yrs old and didn’t qualify for LASIK when I looked into it a few years ago, because my eye structure is too thin, but I finally had PRK surgery 5 days ago (Feb 9), and this is the first day I can see good enough to be on the computer for more than a couple minutes (in the largest font). Days 2 and 3 were the worst– my eyeballs felt like the doc used sandpaper instead of a laser, but I stayed in bed wearing sunglasses and headphones filled with Pandora comedy until the Percocets and sleeping pills wore off, or it was time for more eye drops (antibiotic, steroids and natural tears), and the cycle continued until I got up yesterday. It (day 4) wasn’t too bad– I had the “bandages” removed and got off the “crack”– I switched to Ibuprofen. Today, I took my first short drive since the surgery, but it sounds like I’m right on track with Chad (and the majority of posts) in that all is still quite blurry, with ghosts everywhere. I will probably continue for a while using light pain meds for headaches caused by the eye strain. I agree the docs were a litttle misleading in the “recovery” time– I felt prepared when I scheduled two weeks off. I was certain I would be seeing better now than I am. I guess it’s going to be a rough next couple of months at work, but I think it will be worth it in the end, even if I need reading glasses by the time I recover… Thanks, again.

    • I had my 3 month check-up, and the good news is, according to the doc, the surgery was a success because it “reduced my dependency upon glasses”. The bad news is I’m still -1.00 and -1.25 (20/25 vision average), so he gave me a new prescription for glasses. Sarcastic Yay! I was -2.00 and -2.50 before the surgery, so I can see better without wearing any glasses than I could before, but I used to be able to count the hairs on a fly’s backside without my glasses, and I now need to use my glasses to see details both far and near. I expected to need reading glasses soon, but also expected 20/20 far sight. Doc says since I’m 40, I could be healing at a slower rate than the average patient, so we’ll “see” at my 6 mo. checkup. To end this post on a positive note, I don’t need to use eyedrops nearly as often any more, and the doc said I could switch to preservative eyedrops, so it’s nice to carry the single bottle…Will update in a few mos.

      • Hi billogna – I am 61 and had PRK about 4 months ago (I had lasik 12 years earlier and needed a touch up or glasses) I had mono vision both times to be able to read and see afar – this of course reduces the distance clarity somewhat but was not a problem with Lasik. At my 3 month check, I could read alot better and had less trouble focusing back and forth (reading and watching TV at same time for instance). However, I am still not 100% pleased with distance altho it is good enough for driving. In stores, while driving, travelling, etc. I do not see things clearly. My dr. was happy with my healing, I don’t use drops as often but he has prescribed restasis for 6 months so using that. He was OK with my vision and also told me that at 6 mo I might that is MIGHT see some additional improvement in vision. I am hoping for that. I may end up getting some weak glasses to use in extreme circumstances. That being said I am happy I did it as I do not need vision correction all the time or to read…… I see my optometrist in July and the surgeon in August for the 6 mo.

        Best of luck. BTW my doc told me to take 3000mg Omega 3 and 1000mg Vit C for a year as well……….I already took those but he has found these helpful.

        Jaye

  58. Well, I’m discouraged. I have vision in the -10 range and also can’t read or see anything going out about 2 feet without those store-bought reading glasses. We recently decided to go ahead with the recommended PRK and I was so excited at the prospect of improving my eyesight, but this long recovery time you are all posting about just isn’t going to work for me. My husband travels for business and I am the sole adult around to ferry my kids to and from school and all their frequent after school activities. Of course I also work at a computer, which I clearly won’t be able to do for quite a while either. Beginning to sound like this is not going to be an option for me :(. Very disappointing. All the best to those of you who are benefiting from the surgery though.

  59. Glad I found this site. I had my surgery 11 days ago. While I haven’t experienced pain, I was caught off guard on the vision blurriness and ghosting. I am not driving at nite but do drive to work and back – a few times it was more than scary about 1/2 way thru the commute. I had a white out and some major ghosting and blurring.(I live in a large city with lots of traffic) Traffic signals were a cluster of 6 – but at least I knew what color it was! :-) I work at a computer or desk – some days I have not been able to read anything so home I went. Interestingly I have my best vision in the evenings – go figure! I was given prednisone – 5 days; antibiotic drops – 4 days; Pred Forte for 3 weeks; restasis for 6 months beginning after contacts were removed. I was advised to take 1000mg of Vit C and 3000mg of fish oil. I had Lasik 12 years ago so this was an enhancement – with Lasik there were no vision distortion explaining my early dismay. My doctor is happy with my healing so that is encouraging. It is great to know that what I am seeing (rather not seeing) now is normal and doesn’t mean I will not be able to see well SOON! I also find that using wetting drops helps immensely and I use them like crazy before and during my commute. The sunglasses I was provided (UV400) make my vision blurrier – so at times I pop them up to get a better look. I stay in the right lane to avoid changing lanes – I avoid making turns in front of oncoming traffic to the extent I can. Best of all – my boss had PRK at the same time so I am not getting much pressure at work.

  60. I had PRK done on my left eye 10 days ago (luckily I was able to get LASIK in the right eye because if not I would be stuck at home) LASIK healed within 2-3 days. It’s a strange feeling have great vision in one eye and fuzzy in the other. I recently purchased an eye patch to cover the PRK eye. I am trying to stay positive and trust me I know it’s hard some days! It’s hard to forget you can’t see when your eye is open!:) best of luck to all if the fellow healers! Hang in there!

  61. I am glad I found this site i had prk on my right eye March 1st which makes today 6 days post op and its very scary seeing how your eye gets worst after they remove the bandage contact. I definitely am fresh and need to be patient to see the full outcome of the surgery its just very frustrating noticing one eye sees good and the other sees really blurry like there is a film over it…it has been very reassuring to read this blog and see everyone that has gotten better within time and knowing they went thru what I am going thru. Today was really hard for me to wake up and see the blurr in one eye. I ve definitely been reading the blog over and over that’s what has been helping me…well good luck to everyone..

  62. Hello,

    After reading all the comments, I proceeded to get PRK. I had PRK performed on Friday, March 16th at TLC Laser Surgery in Atlanta, Today is day 6 and it’s my first day back in the office. Day 1 was ok. It was short and painless surgery. My vision was blurry but I didn’t feel any discomfort. I used the eye drops as prescribed and stayed in a rested all weekend. On day 2, vision was better but still not clear. I was able to drive myself to my follow-up appointment which is about 4 miles from my house. On day 3, I was able to see far but not near and had a throbbing headache which was probably from the sensitivity to light from my TV. On day 4, I was able to see near but not far and no headache. I actuallly left home and drove to have lunch with a friend. On Day 5, visiion is blurry all around and no discomfort. I took myslef out to get a manicure/pedicure. It’s day 6 and my vision is still blurry like I have a film over my eyes but I’m able to function at work (computer intensive environment). I’m having the bandage contact lenses removed on Friday so I’m anticipating what kind of vision I will have when they’re out. My progress is going as advised by the doctors. The first week is very unstable as your eyes are healing but the pain was minimal and I’m a punk when it comes to pain and I didn’t have to take any pain meds. I continue to use my eyedrops as prescribed and try to sleep or keep my eyes closed as much as I can. The only scary event I had was driving at night on day 5, the lights were a big blur. I couldn’t wait to get home.

  63. Here is a synopsis of my surgery in point form;

    1. Male 32 years old
    2. -2 in the left eye with astigmatism, nearly perfect in the right eye
    3. Never wore contacts or glasses, just dealt with the problem my whole life
    4. I’m a baby when it comes to pain
    5. Got PRK 3 weeks ago from the day of this post on just my left eye
    6. Day of surgery, it was painless and non eventful
    7. Day 2, still no pain and did not use any of the eye drops the doc gave me. Went for the check up and everything looked fine, no infection. Was driving but covering my eye most of the time.
    8. Day 3, pain and discomfort kicked in and I began using the pain drops every 3 hours. When the pain drops wore off it felt like someone had put a bag of rocks and the Sahara desert into my eye. I would wake up frequently during the night.
    9. Day 4 to 7, same as Day 3 but now I was beginning to think I made the worst decision of my life, I could basically see nothing out of my left eye, thankfully I still had one good eye. If I didn’t I would probably have been on suicide watch (slightly kidding).
    10. Day7, went to the doctor to get my contact lens removed but was told I would need another few days before it healed. He replaced my contact lens while I was there and it felt like someone ripped a bandage off my eyeball. I couldn’t drive out of there for 45 minutes because my eye was watering so much and the pain drops were doing nothing.
    *** Key Turning Event *** The doctor told me to not use the pain medication and just stick it out. He said the healing would speed up. Wow, that was the best advice I got. I could literally feel my eye starting to heal over the next few days. It felt like when you get a scab and it starts getting itchy all around it. I knew right away that things were different. The pain turned to just discomfort and my vision got better but I was basically still blind out of the one eye.
    11. Day 14, finally got my contact removed, I had a small amount of discomfort for a few days, it first felt like I had a small rock in my eye and then began to feel like an eyelash and then finally 3 days later I had no pain at all. My vision got progressively better.
    12. Day 21 (Today), no pain, no dry eyes, my vision is getting MUCH better, I would say its where it was before the surgery (-2) if not a bit better.

    My biggest advice to anyone getting PRK, get one eye done at a time or you will likely be unable to do any kind of work for 1 to 2 weeks. If I didn’t have one good eye I would have lost my mind….. also, try and stay off the pain drops. I believe my body didn’t heal because it didn’t know there was anything wrong with it because I was hiding the pain with the drops.

    Be very patient! It takes time!

    All the best,
    Mike

  64. I am 3.5 weeks out and am 20/25 in my right eye and 20/30 in my left eye. I am 45 and couldn’t see more than a foot away from my face without glasses. Here is my brief story:

    Day 1 – I went to the doctors office around 4:00 on a Thursday. I finished the paperwork and had a valium. After about 30 minutes, I went in for the procedure. Everything took about an hour and half from start to finish (post op. check out with the doctor.) I had little discomfort immediately following and could see much better than before immediately following the procedure. My eyes were very sensative to light and I highly recommend getting a pair of those sunglasses that patients use after having glaucoma. After my ride home, I slept for about 3 hours. I tried watching a little tv afterwards wearing my sunglasses, but I found that anything emitting light was too strong. I went to bed thereafter. I took two advil and an extra strenth tylenol.

    Day 2 – I could see much better in the morning. I needed sunglasses outside, but was ok in natural light inside. Fluorescent lights were unbearable for the next several days. Television screens emitting light were also very comfortable. I went to my my doctors appointment that morning and had 20/25 vision in both eyes. I even drove a little that day. All was well, but that evening, things began to get a little foggy. My eyes tired easily. There was a lot of star-burst hazing with outdoor lighting. Reading a computer was impossible.

    Day 3 – The worst day. Everything looked clear with the bedroom fairly dark, but then as it got brighter, I noticed that everything looked like it does in a sauna. Very steamy-like. My eyes were excessively sensative to light even with sunglasses. I did not have much pain except for being uncomfortable with the light. I took two advil and a extra strength tylenol. I slept a lot too. Reading a computer screen was impossible.

    Day 4 – Still steamy-like, and very uncomfortable to flourescent lights. I could see clearer as the day progressed. Reading a computer screen was difficult, but making the fonts larger were much better.

    Day 5 – Much less steamy-like vision and flourscent lights were slightly bearable so as long as the light was not real intense like in a grocery store. I could see much clearer which was similar to day 2. I got my contact bandages removed and everything got a little blurry again.

    Day 6 – I woke up and crystal clear vision for about 20 minutes or so. I had less light sensativity. After about 20 minutes, things were good, but less sharp. My first day back to work (tuesday). Driving in the morning with oncoming headlights was annoying. The day went well, but my eyes tired easily.

    Day 7 – Same results as day 6.

    Day 8 – I decided to go into work a little later to avoid the headlights. My vision was clear for about an hour now and then became less sharp as the day went on. My vision with a PC was improving. I began to notice that my near sighted vision was poor.

    Day 9-14 – I noticed improvements each day. I decided to check out reading glasses in Walmart. I got a pair of 1.25 strength reading glasses and noticed that I could see perfectly close-up. The starbursts from headlights subsided substancially. Bright flourescent lights were a little uncomfortable but bearable now. Watching tv was no problem.

    Day 14-21 – The sharpness of my far vision is not consistent but I am told that this is due to the healing process. Virtually no problems with flourenscent lights now. The need for reading glasses surprising varies on a day to day basis. They aren’t needed for casual reading, but I am more comfortable using them if I have to focues. My right eye is still 20/25 and my left eye is 20/30. The doctor said that my lenses are not as smooth as he would like to see which is probably effecting my vision, so now I am using these lubricating drops in my eyes.

    Day 25 – I am feeling pretty darn good. My distance vision is great and I am still noticing minor improvements with my far and near sighted vision. I will keep you posted.

  65. Thanks for this site! I am almost 4 weeks in and have been worried because my left eye is still a little blurry. I thought it would never come back! Your site here put my worries to rest. Thanks again!!!

  66. Thanks for posting your PRK experience! I am four weeks in and was really starting to have doubts about having the surgery due to all the ghosting and blurred vision. Reading about your experience has truly been uplifting and no longer doubt my decision. Thanks again!!!

  67. Hi, I just wanted to know if anyone has experienced corneal hazing? I seem to have it and the steroid drops they started me on haven’t seemed to help. I had PRK surgery almost 2 months ago and would love any information.

    • I had PRK on May 17th–and still cant see! I am frustrated with trying to fgirue out what went wrong..why my doc didnt advise me of these issues I would have when EVERYONE I talked to that had LASIK, started clear vision within 3-5 days!!!! I am frustrated but rtying to be patient..but I am not a cery patient person…..sorry for the type-o’s, too…….but I just wish I could see and enjoy my summer with my twin girls…but I cant b/c I CAN NOT SEE~!! blurred vision, haziness and MIGRAINES….are killing me……so not sure what the true difference is that causes THIS PRK surgery so much longer to see……what is it????? does anyone know???? hope you are better soon SARA…hope we are all better soon!!

  68. hi, Sara – I had PRK 3 months ago and experienced hazing for the first month. Things improved for me when I STOPPED using the steroids – actually my vision improved after that as well. Don’t know if it was just a coincidence or not. My doctor only asked that I do the steroids for 3 weeks beginning after removal of the bandages.

    I had lots of vision ups and downs but in the past few weeks it has settled although I hope to get more improvement (clarity) for distance. I see “things” at a distance well but reading signs, not so great. Up close is good. I had lasik 11 years ago and was just getting a tweak for close up and distance.

    I go for my 3 month check up this week and see what my vision is and if I can expect more healing in the future.

  69. I Sara, I only had hazing for about 10 minutes after taking the steroid drops. I was told that the steroid drops were used to slow the healing process down and avoid scarring. My doctor had me reduce the perscription each week.
    Week 1 – 3 times a day.
    Week 2 – twice a day.
    Week 3 – once a day.
    Week 4 & 5 – once a day only on Mon Wed & Fri

    My doctor said that my lens was not as smooth as he would like which was effecting my vision slightly. He gave me an over the counter eye drops called Optive made by Refresh. Its basically a lubricant. There is also a gel type that makes things blurry for about 10 minutes and was recommended to be used at night right before bed. I use the Optive drops several times a day which helps alot. I hope this helps.

    • ensure to check with your eye doc before using any new drops – especially if you have any issues… Some people are okay to return to normal drops but apparently some should stick with the pre-surgery “no preservatives” for a long
      while after… myself falling in the latter category apparently.

  70. I had Lasik in both eyes in 1998 and Lasik enhancements in 1999. On 2/28/2012 I had PRK in my right eye (as most of you should know no reliable surgeon will re-tear a LASIK flap after years of it being healed for fear of tearing in a no-preferred place) and the plan was to have the left eye doen on 3/27/2012. (I have worn glasses for about three years since my vision regressed again slightly after my last Lasik enhancement).
    On about 3/25 my right eye seemed to be pretty darn healed I was about 20/20. But then something happend on 3/26 and I regressed so when I went in for my left eye pre-op on 3/27 we had to post-pone it (or cancel it). I was at -2.75 when I went into the right eye procedure at about -1.75. As of about 4/20 I am at -0.75… I am checking out this website as it seemed odd that I would be almost 3 months out with such fluctuations after such a minor correction.
    I am hoping based on other posts on this website that the eye is still improving :) Trying to be optimistic and I figure in the end if I can at least correct with glasses again it will be okay :)
    The surgeon is puzzled by what has happened which doesn’t add to my confidence level. Extremely relieved I only had 1 eye done to start as I drive and use the computer daily. I was able to drive about 2 days in since I had 1 strong eye.
    Thanks for your posts!

  71. Thanks! I am going on May 29th and feel the office didn’t give me very realistic ideas of when I can return back to work… :( As a business owner, I am a bit freaked out when I read your blog and realize it could be a huge hinderance to my business to have this done… but then again, the idea of living without my vision deficit is also a huge draw.
    Are you happy? HAve you had the perfect vision now that you wanted? Can you do a final post to let us know?
    thanks again for sharing!

  72. JT – I was nervous before I went and had a lot of thoughts racing around. Everyone’s posts on this blog (good news or bad news) accounts for only a fraction of those that actually elect to have the surgery. Try to keep everything in perspective. Don’t let bad experiences freak you out, instead use them along with the good ones when accessing your personal risk.

    More important is your doctor. Mine does lasik and prk. He said based upon my check-up I was not a good lasik candidate. He was very confident and “realistic” about my level of discomfort iwith PRK and the amount of days that I would miss work. Again, this was “typical” and “best case”. Fortunately, I fell into both these categories! Second and third opinions aren’t a bad thing if you have concerns. Mine was recommended to me and I am very happy. Check out othe patients recommendations and also the BBB if you have concerns.
    Based on my doctor (which he was very optimistic) and spot on with me… You will have 4 fair-to-bad days in the beginning. I had my surgery on a Thursday late afternoon. Friday was was fair, Saturday was bad, Sunday was fair to better, Monday was a little better than the day before. Tuesday I went back to work. Everyone is different and from what I read, the results will vary. Realistically, you will be out of work for the rest of the week if you get it done on Tues 5/29 and I bet you will be fine by Monday. Good luck and post your results! PS… It is definately cool to be able to wear non-prescription sunglasses!

    • I was told 2-4 days rest (no work) and that I should be back to somewhat normal routine in about 5-7 days. so that seems realistic based on what you said but seems a lot of others were not really able to see for quite a while after… :( Anyways, I am booked and staying optimistic and hopeful (and terribly nervous of course)

  73. EM- I wouldnt worry to much about the change in your vision. I am at 2 1/2 months and my vision in just my right eye has changed significantly for the worst. About 2 weeks ago I was at 20/30 in each eye. Today my left eye is 20/20 and my right eye is at about 20/150 (its as though im looking through very frosted glass), its a terrible thing but most likely whatever your changes are they can be fixed. Mine is most likly hazing but they arent completely certain why there was such a rapid change and only in the one eye. The doctors are running cultures to see if its an infection and all the doctors want to have a look at it as I am in the 1 percentile of patients with weird problems and most of them havent really seen this. It is scary and it is a bummer but we have tried different drops and different combinations and my eye seems to be improving. And if that doesnt work they are pretty sur a touchup type surgery will do it. Its going to take time and probably experimenting to see what works best for your eyes but dont stess to much.

    JT- your recovery is entirely unpredictable. I typically heal rapidly, scars, bruising no problem so i thought maybe this would be quick. It wasnt. I know 3 other people who also had PRK and for some of them it was better but be aware that it is painful and can take a while to really be fully functional. If I were you I would try to have no less than 2 weeks off. You may be able to go back sooner but would benefit from taking it easy for longer. Ive had a lot of problems but i would still say that it is worth it… or at least im still hoping that it is because my left eye is so strong.

  74. Thanks! I will definitely post once I have it (and can see enough) and let you all know. My doc is a leading and best surgeon here locally so I am in good hands but of course, one never knows and there is a .1% risk at this clinic. Good stats although of course sucks for that small percentage. Good luck to all of you and thanks for the reassurance! :) sara- hope yours clears very soon x

  75. So glad I found this website! Thank you to everyone for sharing your experiences. I’m at day 10 and was getting concerned that I’m still having trouble reading (especially on the computer), having ghosting and blury vision. I was concerned because my doctor told me that I should be all set to go back to work on Monday (had the procedure the prior Thursday). So I was a little nervous when on Monday (day 5) I could barely recognize myself in the mirror! At about day 5 I was wondering if I had made a huge mistake by having this procedure and that maybe wearing glasses wasn’t that bad after all. However, after reading everything on here, it appears that this is an exercise in patience and that I can probably expect my vision not to return to normal for 1-3 months. I’m just frustrated that my doctor never mentioned that I may have issues reading for 1-3 months. I had the impression that I would be all set after about a week. My doctor tells me my vision is currently about 20/40, however it’s blury and there is ghosting. I’m going to do my best to stay optimistic and be patient.

  76. It’s day 5 for me as well, and my vision is very very blurry. I get a little worked up sometimes thinking something’s not right. It doesn’t hurt but doesn’t seem to be improving much. The day after surgery was the best for me and hasn’t been that good ever since. So, whenever I brush my eye or today, I  was taking out a screw and pushed a little to hard and got myself in a panic thinking I did someone detrimental. Which I know I didn’t.  I decided to educate myself about the recovery period and found that most people where like me.  I’m more confident now and relaxed which allows me to be excited about the future. Unfortunately though, from what I’ve read, it’s going to be a long long road. At least I know now.

  77. only 4 days until I go for PRK. Found myself so stressed and nervous that have started taking clonazepam 1/2 pill .5mg at night and that seems to have settled my nerves to a more normal level. I also have a presecription for ativan for before surgery day in case I get panicky… keep “happy-eye” thoughts in your heads for me on Tuesday! :) I will post as soon as I can. P s- -8 in left, -6 in right with astigmatism in both.

  78. JT – best of luck to you. Please know that the surgery is easy, painless, and quick. My dr gave me a sedative just prior as it is important to NOT fidget during the procedure. I think I was in and out of the procedure room in less than 20 minutes……

    I look forward to hearing of your success. I had my PRK 3 months ago and am still getting some improvement……..

    Don’t despair as your vision fluctuates wildly for the first few weeks – you will see well then blink and all can go blurry. Just know we all have survived this. I was happy to find this site during my recovery as it was not as I expected – it would have been helpful to find it before and know what was coming.

    Best of luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Jaye

  79. Had prk 7 months ago and still have pain and eyelid sags!! I have been on and off steriod drops, Restatsis, Refresh (celluvise). When is it going to get better?? Is anyone else having this problem?

  80. Well for everyone having problems I have a good bit of information/ encouragement as I have now fallen into the .01% of people with crazy problems. I posted earlier but just for a catch up I had PRK 3 months ago and my left eye healed fine however i still have trace hazing which should clear up in time. My right eye however is a different story. At 2 months I began to have hazing which rapidly turned severe. I went from seeing 20/30 to seeing about 20/200. They ran tons of test, took cultures and tried multitudes of drops. Nothing helped and they concluded that basically all the cells in the epithelium layer of my eye had died and were just spongy on my eye.

    I underwent PTK surgery at 3 months. Basically they do all the same things they just dont reshape the cornea. Im at 2 weeks post op and still see about 20/300 if that. Theres tons of swelling, the surface of my eye is extremely dry and apparently my eye has edema (excessive liquid in the eye). At this point its a playing and waiting game… try these drops then switch to these or oh maybe these will do the trick time is what its really going to take. So now I wait and hope and pray that my right eye will heal. I believe it will and that Its just going to take a very patient summer.

    Im sorry for everyone else having problems but most likely there is a fix and one of the best ones may be time. I would say trust your doctors and have patience. Also as for having the surgery it doesnt hurt a bit, just make sure if they offer to prescribe vicodin or anything else take it! Its best to get a lot of rest during the first few days and dont worry about not seeing at first, itll get better.

    sara

  81. Sorry to read about those of you (Cheri and Sara) who are still having problems….. I remember that my doctor gave me this “anti-scarring” drops immediately after he finished each eye and before he put the contact lens bandages on. I then took two other drops along with the steroids. My doctor told me that the key to healing properly is to “not” heal to quickly. By that I mean, the steroid drops slow the healing process which helps avoid hazing. I was then weaned gradually off of them. I do remember that the steroids caused a slight hazing immediately after taking them, but then it subsided.

    I just had my two month check-up and thank God, everything is going smoothly! I am 20/20 now. My vision will vary slightly towards the end of the day, but I still take my lubricating eye drops which helps avoid dry patches in the eyes. I still continue taking vitamin C and Omega 3 daily as I have been for the past 2 years. I’m not sure if this helped me, but my doctor said that it definately can’t hurt. I read on the internet that those two vitamins are good to take.
    Good Luck!

    Jim

  82. Hi All – so sorry to hear of others problems above.. :(
    So, my good news is I am about 32 hours posk PRK both eyes and wow, it was all SO much better than I had even hoped for best-case scenario! L: 7.75 + astigamtism, R: 5.5 =.25 Astig.)
    I have had absolutely no pain at all, the procedure cause no discomfort or pain or anything really… a few seconds of looking at some pretty lights to remove the epitheleal and then another few seconds of more pretty lights and then i was done!!! Remarkable. I was so scared going in and they gave me 2mg ATivan and another big valium. I had my wits about me but really, you could have told me to take off all my clothes and sing broadway songs and I likely would have done it.
    Regardless, I was sent home able to see somewhat although of course blurry. More blur in left than right which has continued although moments of exreme clarity in right. I used a whole box of Celluvisc the first night – waking every hour by alarm to put the drops in. I also used a cool air humidifyer and drank as much water as I could.
    Only awoke once with dry eyes that were stuck together and quickly managed to unstick them with drops.
    Today I am more bored than anything although I took advantage of the extra ativan tab to sleep most of hte afternoon. I have been bathing but keeping water away from my eyes.
    Lenses feel normal and Id on’t feel like anything is under them or on them. At times I do and putting drops in quickly fixing that.
    I am on anti-inflammatory for 2 more days, an antibacterial and antibiotic drops plus of course the celluvisc. Once lens comes out it all changes to another regimen.
    I can clealy read the screen and have had absolutely no light sensitivity so far. I don’t feel like working or using my eyes so resting them as much as possible.

  83. Just a note that I am taking the doxycillian and omega fish oils 4000 mg daily. I chose the best doctor I could find here in Vancouver and paid $3500 for procedure with no follow-up care (which will all be handled by my own ophthamalgist). Will keep posting as things progress. :) blurry hugs from Vancouver Canada.

  84. June 5th I have an appointment with the surgeon to figure out why after 3 months of healing my eye is still fluctuating to sight levels worse than pre-surgery. Really weird. Hoping to find an explanation.

    • Tuesday I saw my surgeon again and after running several tests they found out my Epithelial cells grew back in a cone shape instead of flat. There was a possibility (over time like months, years) this would have corrected itself (as my eyelid rubbed them flat), so my PRK was re-done, minus the laser, on Tuesday evening. Back through the healing process for me. Only 2% of PRK patients have issues and I didn’t really want to be one. But it is really amazing the state of the art machines which can measure things like epithelial cells and tell the surgeon exactly where and what to take off. My doctor in over 65000 patients had never actually seen this problem, but had read about the few cases in studies.
      I am excited I should be on the way to clear vision! They don’t know what causes this but everything should work out, will be on steroids longer to slow the healing in hopes of preventing the random growth.

  85. After reading all the comments and struggles….I am to the point…I wish I had had LASIK instead…I cant find one person complaining about LASIK as we are about PRK……what is so dramatcially different about these two surgeries? and why so many issues with PRK? and why did my doctor choose PRK vs LASIK? I tol dhim I have worn glasses over 30+ years and just wanted to see without them…not wait 3 months before I could tell a difference..I cant work, I cant read, I cant drive, I cant play with my girls…it is terrible and HORRIFIC!!!

    • I had lasik 12 years ago and touch-up PRK 4 months ago. I can tell you that the recoveries are extremely different. In lasik, a flap is cut in the cornea. They say that this weakens the cornea and altho they would have allowed me to do lasik one more time, my dr recommended PRK. I find that most drs do not want to touch a healed lasik flap. In PRK they use a chemical that removes the cornea instead of cutting a flap. The healing time comes from the corneal cells having to repopulate. The vision is so variable because the new cells distribute themselves willy nilly. The steroid drops slow down the healing process so that scarring is eliminated. So while you use the steroids I don’t see how vision could improve very much. My vision made a big jump in the right direction about 1 week after stopping the steroid drops. I did the drops for about 3 weeks after the bandages were removed.

      I was not prepared for the struggle with PRK recovery. I think I was given the information, but it didn’t register because I saw immediately with the lasik. I wasn’t told that I should not drive or could not drive. I think that all patients should be told that at a minimum, you can’t drive for 2 weeks. Of course, this is likely to discourage some……..

      My friend could not have lasik because of the curvature of his eye and the cornea was too thin – but they could do PRK.

      For me, I was back to some semblance of normal in 2 months altho reading at a distance was/is still somewhat blurry. I had monovision (because I am OLD) that is one eye is not to be 20 20 so that I can read w/o glasses. My reading is very much improved as is my readjustment from near to far and vice versa. My distance vision is not that much better than before – but I was about 20-40. Now I am 20-30 or 35. Because of the variance the dr. thinks I may continue to get some improvement over the next several months. I hope so!

      Best of luck. Keep writing and let us know how you are doing and what the dr. says.

      Jaye

    • Hi Deborah, sorry that you were seemingly misled on this but all research will tell you that healing is 3-6 months minimum! So that is expected. Also as this search shows a PRK adventure, you will not be hearing much about Lasik on this particular page. Talk to your doc about why you were a candidate for PRK versus Lasik. Some people can ONLY have prk and you might be one of them. There are loads of complications (Some MUCH worse) for Lasik including flap issues etc.

  86. Hi All. Just wanted to give an update on my progress post PRK. I’m at 3 months and still absolutely LOVE the results of my surgery. I have my final checkup next week. I’m sorry to hear the stories of those that have had ongoing problems and complications. To anyone considering PRK or LASIK I’d just urge you to do a lot of research, choose a Dr. That does a TON of these surgerys and follow his instructions to a T. I can’t speak highly enough of my doc and highly recommend him if you’re in Northern CA. I had pretty good corneal thickness and was offered both PRK and Lasik. I chose PRK as I didn’t want a flap and the final results are supposed to be identical. I was back at work 4 or 5 days later and I’d say at a month my eyes were very settled and I was seeing 20/20. I’ve been lucky enough to never really need drops for dryness, maybe a little dry when I wake up but still never as dry as my contacts would get. PRK remains the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. I’m more than happy to talk to anyone about my experience. Feel free to shoot me an email. Best of luck. Eric

    • awesome! thanks for sharing your encouraging story :) Good luck with your further healing and I look forward to my 3 month!

    • Eric, I was just told yesterday that my corneas are probably too thin for LASIK, and I was so disappointed because I’m really hesitant about the PRK. Whatever surgery I get will occur one week before school starts and I’m a teacher. I wasn’t worried about recovery with LASIK, but I am concerned about it with PRK. I;m really not sure what to do because I don’t want to miss the beginning of school. I will be having surgery at TLC in Pittsburgh and I know the doctor is excellent, but I may not have good results. I’m leaning toward not having the surgery, but hate wearing glasses and contacts aren’t working for me after 40 years of wearing.
      Most of the posts I read are negative about PRK. I guess I need a pep talk. Connie T.

      • Hi Connie. I’m at the point now where I forget that I had the surgery sometimes because I’m so used to seeing normal. I can’t express how nice that is. I put off surgery in favour of contacts until my eyes just wouldn’t let me put contacts in anymore without turning bright red. I wasn’t a very good contact wearer either as I’d fall asleep in them often.

        In regards to healing all I can say is that it apparently varies greatly in terms of time, based on everthing I’ve read on this site. Probably has to do with a number of factors such as age, amount of correction being done (-4.75 for me). 1 week before school starts is really pushing it I’d say. Pick a time when you’ve got more of a window. You can also do just one at a time. Things to consider.

        I couldn’t be happier and would do it again 1,000 times out of a 1,000. But I wouldn’t rush it either. Hope whatever decision you make is one that works for you!

  87. ERIC: I am so glad you results have been great, I guess I didnt do as much research as I SHOULD have BEFORE surgery……because my expectations from PRK vs LASIK, were the same..and was told no different…….just it COULD take up to 3 months before I could see clearly..but NOT JUST PLAIN SEE…..but glad you are happy…hopefully, VERY SOON, I will be writing better results but right now…I AM NOT!

    • Hi Deborah – just read further and wanted to reply again. If it is 3 months and you can’t see then I would question further what is going on. I am not sure it should be that bad after 3 months! if your eye care provider is same as the one that did the surgery then I suggest getting a good ophamologist 2nd opinion on what is going on exactly with your eyes and ask them to clearly explain it to you. Go back and re-read all the instructions for drops and make sure you followed them exactly as well as that is apparenty SO key to maintaining and keeping vision. It would really concern me that you can’t see well enough to function in 3 months… while there are on-going fluctuations, your sight should be good enough…. It is possible that your expectations are getting in the way of where you actually are, but if you can’t read at least 20/40 on the eye charts by now or still have any haze or blurring then something should be addressed!! Good luck and let us know. Also, keep in mind that the 98% of people who have sucessful surgery do not go back to sites and post because they have moved on and are thrilled…so you are likely to find the 2% on the sites and it seems like a higher percentage of PRK issues. The actual risk is .1-2% at the clinic I went to. Ask for the stats where you went. If you are one of those <2% then it totally sucks but generally apparently most are happy with the results… again, good luck and I hope things turn around for you soon! :)

  88. I have had both Lasik and PRK plus I worked for a University Hospital in the ophthalmology clinic. Lasik: near instant gratification (i.e. a person with a -7.0 has the surgery early evening and by late evening is likely at less than -1.0), very few if any vision fluctuations after the surgery, IF you have a thick enough cornea (and if your past Lasik surgery was less than roughly a year ago) you tend to be a Lasik candidate, with Lasik the surgeon cuts a flap in your Cornea and then scraps as needed for your correction (hence the reason you need a certain cornea thickness or they can not fully correct you safely). If you have had Lasik more than a year + it is too dangerous for them to re-open the flap without risk of tearing (and no one wants to be on a cornea transplant list because that happened). There are risks with any surgery.
    PRK has been around longer and tends to (if all goes right) provide steadier, longer term correction but Lasik appeals to the “American” I want it now with the shorter healing process. PRK tends to be used when you have too little cornea thickness (or other factors) for a full correction or a safe correction with Lasik (i.e. if they scrap too much off with Lasik the flap you are left with might not be thick enough to be viable). PRK depending on your correction (i.e. -7 my surgeon said can take months to heal) fluctuates for a few weeks+ as you are healing the top of your cornea (think of a burn on your skin, about the time you think it is healed up a piece flakes off, the cornea re-generates every 7-10 days so your cells heal during that time and then it takes time for the correction the doctor made to actually settle in and for the “corrected cells” to fall into place.
    There are many doctors who feel PRK is preferable. I know a few years ago the Army allowed PRK but not Lasik correction; believe pilots can get PRK but not Lasik. Both surgeons I spoke with even though I was only -1.75 (this time) would not do PRK on both of my eyes at once because of the frustrations with the healing process.
    I knew going in that there was no guarantee the surgery would work, it is a surgery after all. But I had no doubts as to how long the healing process would be. Mine unfortunately is baffling my primary doc and the surgeon as with my minimal correction I should have been healed and shouldn’t still be fluctuating. Not sure what happened hope to find out more next week.
    I had a cousin who did Lasik even though she was on the border with cornea thickness; as a result they under corrected her for safety and two years out she needs glasses for meetings and driving and if she wants clarity. She didn’t want PRK because none of her friends (in the Air Force) needed it so she wanted Lasik also, should have went with PRK and she could have been fully corrected.
    If you trust your surgeon and he/she told you PRK instead of Lasik then you made the right decision.

    • THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR INSIGHT and INFORMATION…it has helped me tremendously…..more than you know!!!! I am getting a LITTLE better but not much….I go in Jun 20th for my next 4 week follow up, but as you once stated….when I wake up and not on the steroid drops…I see like I am in HEAVEN……but then once the drops are input, I cant see a bit…..very blurry and fuzzy…..but seems to be getting better…but I am one of those who want INSTANT GRATIFCATION..lol!!! so if I had been informed of what all YOU have taught me, I might have chosen LASIK, but may in the long run be glad HE chose PRK for me…..I will keep you posted and thank you for keeping me informed!!!!!

  89. Update! Hi all, so day 4 and had my contacts taken out a few hours ago. My near site is almost perfect now and that thrilled me since I am 48 years and was told I would likely need reading glasses to see. This morning I easily read a magazine for the first time in ages (astigmatism kept me from reading properly for years). It was overwhelming and emotional for me.
    I see worse now with the bandages off which I wasn’t expecting! lol. But apparently 4-5 days more and I should see somewhat well enough to function and then 3-6 for my eyes to settle in of course and hopefully no complications. I am currently seeing about 1.75 so pretty awesome as my prescription going in was -8 and -5.5. :)
    Had no pain at all although some discomfort for past few days and found it just easier to take the T3’s and not deal with it at all. Slept a LOT and felt the need to rest my eyes so basically was imobile and lying in bed with eyes closed about 20 hours per day. Today I feel almost normal and no tiredness. Will update as I go. :)

    • Congrats JT! I’m stoked for you and glad you’re getting great results! Just wait for a month down the road, it just gets better. I still find myself trying to see how small a font I can read from across the room Lol.

  90. Hi Susie,

    My doc was Leonard Newman. I didn’t want to make this forum a billboard but since you asked and I wish I had more info before going in, what the heck :) Absolutley recomend him and his staff. I really felt like everything was well explained and all of the options were presented. I also felt like my health exams were thorough and they were all performed by MDs not just nurses or MAs. Followup exams have been great and appropriate in number. You probably won’t meet Dr. Newman till the day of the surgery but he is the nicest guy ever and he explained everything to me step by step as he was performing the surgery. He does all of the surgerys, you won’t be passed off.

    • Forgot to add that he has multiple locations. I think Sacramento is the primary office but I live in San Francisco and they have a satellite office in Daly City for prior and post OP exams. Bay Area surgerys are done in Hercules which is kinda neaar Berkeley. I think I paid around $3,600 total, included PRK on 2 eyes and 2 years of follow up with correction if necessary. Lasik was more expensive but I don’t recall the pricing.

  91. Day 10 and things are clearing a bit :) I go for first follow up (2 weeks) on Monday with my own Ophthamologist and looking forward to her comments. I was a bit worried yesterday with the blurring but today is already such an improvement that I am not stressed anymore :)

  92. Day 14 – two weeks ago I had my PRK :) first follow up visit yesterday and apparently I am “well ahead of normal” right now for my state of myopia. All good although my eyes are quite dry and epi is still flakey so I am to use “as many drops as I can” – I use about a box every 3 days which seems like a lot but going to step it up. Being far-sighted is annoying but the doc assures me this is the best result right now as my eyes will naturally regress a bit and if I wasn’t far-sighted she would be worried. I purchased a cheap pair of 1.25 reading glasses at her suggestion and can see the screen pretty clearly with them with only a bit of “ghosting”.
    I am now 20/30 on the eye chart!! :) and cleared to drive although I don’t drive so that’s not all that exciting to me. SEems my astigmatism is now within .1-.2 diopters :)
    i can work about 3-4 hours per day but nap a lot and I am still more tired than usual. I would not want to be working full-time yet in an office and find floresent lighting is really annoying right now. I work from home on my own business and reallly only lost about 5 days total away from the computer although again, this is a slow time so 3-4 hours per day is about what I need to be doing regardless. :)
    I find it hard to move around still. Basically, I can see clearly in the distance but everything wtihin about 6 feet is blurry… lol. This is apparently normal but a bit unsettling when you are out and about. I also have dryness issues which was an existing condition that we were aware woudl be a problem.
    That;s just an update for anyone considering surgery and worried about healing etc.

  93. I am leaving my comments here, because I had PRK almost three weeks ago (May 2012) and on day six and seven (if you count the day of surgery as day one), I was having a really hard time, with burning eyes that were pouring tears down my face so hard I literally could not see. I found some good information and comfort here…

    So, I wanted to share what I hope is some really good information that I was blessed to find out and that my doctors tell me put me weeks or months ahead of the normal recovery times.

    First, I am an attorney, so my eyes are critical to my business. As I was working hard during the days leading up to my surgery, I told some of my clients that I was having surgery, just in case I had to let their work slip because of recovery complications…

    One of my clients is a medical doctor and sports nutritional expert. He invented a bodybuilding nutritional supplement that is now a staple of that industry. When he heard I was having PRK, he asked a few questions and told me he would bring me some “stuff” that would blow my doctors away by radically cutting down my recovery time. I weighed his statement with what I know about him and trusted that he was right. I also discussed the “stuff” with my eye doctor and surgeon. He was kind enough to drive to my office the day before surgery and give me a bottle with the instructions to take six capsules each day starting today (the day before surgery). He told me to keep taking them until I finished the bottle. After he left, I looked it up on the Internet and found that it sells for $85-$125 per bottle, so I sincerely appreciated the fact that he gave my bottle to me…

    Fast forward to my surgery, which I guess went well.. I took a bunch of sleeping pills and mostly slept all day the day of the surgery, woke up the next day for a quick trip to the eye doctor and then straight back to bed. On day three, I could see pretty well and read and used the computer a little with the vision assist features (making the fonts larger). On day four, I could see well enough to do about six hours of computer work on a brief that was due the following morning. On day five, I drove almost two hours to court (by myself) and then home again to the eye doctor who removed my protective contacts. I was fine for the rest of the day and then started to have a burning sensation in my left eye. The next day it was in both eyes. I could hardly keep them open and freaked a little. I read this blog and others and called my doctor who told me to tough it out, which I did by resting.

    Thankfully the next day, my left eye cooled out and the right eye followed the following day… No problems since. My most recent eye exam was 20-15! My vision is not what I would consider completely normal, but I think a new normal is coming. I can see fine, read very fine print, even on my cell phone and I can read street signs and other things at 80 mph on the freeway. It’s awesome.

    I initially had some double vision around day four-five, but that has gone away and by day 8 or so, I stopped all medications (drops) except artificial tears, which I seldom use because my eyes seem pretty well lubricated. I would guess my vision gets even better from here… at least that’s what my doctors are telling me.

    In any case, take the following information for what it’s worth and how it is offered, which is with the sincerity that it might help others to have the same (or a similar) recovery to what I have enjoyed. I make nothing from this recommendation and as my doctors told me, my healing was pretty remarkable – it might have just been my body doing the work, it could have been the “stuff” or something in between. For me, I would drop the cash and try and get every advantage possible. Oh yea, I have sincerely thanked my client / friend for taking the time out of his day to do me a solid favor by giving me the “stuff.”

    I was taking “Ascend Elite” Protein Catalyst – the packaging says it “enhances the effect of protean supplementation”. Do the research and see if it might work for you. I have no idea how to get it, but the bottle has a web site, http://www.ascendsport.com.au

    I think from my research, there is an equivalent in the United States.

    Be sure to talk it over with your doctors to make sure everyone is on board with your decision if you decide to use it and good luck. My PRK has gone pretty smooth and it is awesome to not have to use glasses for everything!

  94. After reading all these comments, I am definitely still rocky about my decision. I have PRK scheduled for next Wed (6/20) and am not sure what to expect as the results seem to be different for everyone. I am 24 yrs old with (what I thought was horrible, but learned not soo much) -3.75 vision in both eyes and thin corneas. I have been out of contacts since February (which is hard because I was naughty and even slept with them in TOO often!) because I had GPC (Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis) at a grade of 4+, (the worst my Dr. has ever seen) it took over 2 rounds of steroid treatment to get the bumps to go down to less than a 2 (the stage at which surgery can be performed). It took a long time for my eyes to get rid of these bumps and am now worrying that it will take a long time for the PRK to heal! I do not have time to take off work, as I am young and just started a FT career with my company one year ago. I am taking off the rest of the week but that is about as long as I can take off! I drive an hour each way for work and am extremely worried about driving now. My Dr. told me that I should be fine by Monday to drive, but now I am super concerned. Is there anyone on here that is around my age or even my eye prescription that has had this surgery relatively recently that can tell me how it went for them? I know everyone heals differently, but it does seem as if some of the people on here are a bit older than me and with far worse prescriptions and I am just wondering if that has any effect on the process (just trying to gather as much feedback as possible).

    • Hi Allison
      A friend had it done the week before me and he was 2.75 each eye, in early 20’s, and he was out driving very soon after – about 1 week and working full time as well. However, you must keep in mind that EVERYONE is different… you won’t know your healing until you get there… so it is an unknown.
      Until your corner closes up you are vulnerable to things but your 1 week appointment will tell you a lot and indicate what you can and can’t do. You need to be 20/40 legally before you can drive in the USA and your doc has to tell you that and mark it into the file before you can legally drive so that is really important.
      Use LOADS of drops (preservative free). As apparently a wet eye is a faster healing eye. Baby them a LOT in the first week and you might find yourself ahead of the game as well.
      Best of luck

      • I got my PRK last monday, June 26. next day check up was good, my eyes were a little red but nothing to worry about. No pain or anything until about 24 hours after the surgery when my eyes were starting to swell more than usual. i was already using ice packs to help, using the lubricant drops every hour, steroid, and a anti-biotic drop for the first few days. i ended up going back in on Wed because i could not open my eyes they were so swollen and in pain. dr said the bandages were too tight on my eyes and he took them out and put new ones in, smooth sailing from there on out. the next day he still ended up taking out the bandages and said the surfaces were healed almost 100%. he then said to use the Resatis and the steroid 2x a day and the lubricant drops whenever i felt it was necessary but at least a handful times a day. my vision is doing alright, i can see a lot better, but it def does fluctuate a lot. driving is a bit rough, i find myself getting a little nauseous, and my first day back at work was horrible. my eyes were so sore from the computer screen and just the extra daily functions, i took a nap after work and my eyes felt a lot better. never hurt, just were sore, as in over-stimulated/used. i dont see my surgeon anymore, i go back to my primary eye dr in well 2.5 weeks from today.

  95. Great first hand account of the impact of laser eye surgery. Great job in helping prosepctive patients to understand what it entails.

  96. Curious about others not seeming to have the same regimen as myself for after surgery. I am on steroid drops for 10 weeks and beta blockers for 9 weeks as well as REstasis (for dry eye). Having all of the weird and awful side effects with the beta blockers (not common) and really struggling with it but reading all of the above again, it almost seems like some people didn’t need to take these drugs and I am wondering what is going on with that? anyone know?
    I have been told that in order to prevent ghosting, corneal haze and any kind of regression, I need to take these drops no matter what – no exceptions. Of course I am doing so, but wondering if everyone else also did this? I am on FML and Betoid.
    I had chronic dry eyes and also must only use the preservative free drops (never switch back to ones with preservatives).
    Wondered if anyone else can comment on this?
    thanks!
    Jane

    • updates – three weeks today and all seems to be going well although my near vision fluctuates a lot and I am told this is because of the cornea re-growth which is a normal 6-7 day cycle… Today its a bit blurrier than normal. Using reading glasses I am fine on the computer and can read now with them which is good. I think the meds make me more tired than normal and I find by mid day or end of the day I want to rest my eyes for a bit – they become a bit sore and dry if I don’t.
      I have not put make-up on yet or anything near my eyes. Go for my 1 month next week and hopeful she will tell me its progressing normally. Overall I am happy but a wee bit frustrated when my close – up vision fluctuates so much…
      Still putting lubricant drops in about every 1/2 – 1 hour and at night I wake up a few times to put them in as well.

    • Hmm…I haven’t heard of the use of Beta Blockers in the recovery regimen before. I was on a steroid an antibiotic and preservative free wetting drops.

      • Diddo…antibiotic drop, steroid, and preservative free drops… recommended Vitamin C (1000 mg).

      • I took anti-b, drops, steroids, Vit C (1000mg), Omega3 (3000mg).

        I have taken beta blockers for my heart rate. They did make me tired, lose hair etc. Blockers are usually given to lower blood pressure – so maybe that is why your dr. prescribed it – to make sure you are calm and bp remains low. that is all I can think of. what is the dosage? 25 is the lowest.

  97. I just passed my 3 month update and am happy to report constant 20/20 vision for distance. I can see well at an arms length, but my near-sighted vision fluctuates a little. Not bad… but enough where sometimes I need 1.25 readers and sometimes not. I’ve been taking Omega 3, Vitamins C & E supplements prior to my surgery and continue now. I also use lubricating drops in the morning and at night. I was told that the gel type is better at bedtime. I was told that the Omega 3 helps lubricate the eyes (even though there is nothing officially published).
    I am just throwing this one out here, but I found this information on another website and did a quick copy/paste.
    Here is the link where I found it:
    http://www.lasermyeye.org/forums/showthread.php?t=1420

    I’d recommend researching it further, however, I was coincidentally taking the same vitamins and have been healing nicely. Here’s what I read…
    (“…. the original purpose of systemic vitamin C following PRK was to help prevent the formation of haze, which is an aggressive form of healing. Unfortunately, there is a lack of published information on this subject.

    What literature does exist suggests that vitamin C can protect cells against oxidative damage, including damage from UVA, as well as stimulation of fibroblast growth. The fibroblasts in the corneal stroma are called keratocytes. Keratocytes are partially responsible for the formation of corneal haze.

    For those who believe that UVA plays a role in late corneal haze formation, vitamin C would seem to have a protective effect. For those who are worried about the over-stimulation of fibroblasts, too much vitamin C would appear to problematic.”)

  98. Thanks for this. I am on Omega fish oil (4000 mg per day) and 2000 mg vitamin C. The beta blockers are solely for eye pressure apparently (to counteract the steroids). I am not on any anti-biotics although I was for the pre-surgery.
    I am at 1 month and have developed a small bit of corneal haze in the left eye. There has been no change in my far-sightedness and the surgeon has now told me to discontinue ALL drops for two weeks and I go into see them to ensure healing is on track. I am trying not to worry…. lol.
    For now, I have functional vision although seeing far away okay and nothing clearly up close is a bit frustrating at times. The haze is a bit scary although I don’t really notice it and it only became apparent in the Ophthalmologist office. I think that might be becuase I have always had an astigatism in my left and therefore used to seeing a bit of blur.
    I now have zero astig in my left and .1 only in my right so that is awesome. NOw my eyes need to regress a bit and haze needs to lift.

  99. oh, and I am also taking 2000 mg of flax seed oil which is supposed to help with eye lubrication as well.

  100. Just wanted to say thanks for the post. At 3 months post PRK I was freaking out as I still had horrible ghosting. When I went to my doc she checked a visual acuity which was 20/20 in each eye, but the quality of the vision was terrible. If letters were close together, as on this post, it was impossible to read. I couldn’t read at all without getting a set of glasses. Not the cheapo reading glasses, but I had to get real prescription glasses as I had developed a post-op astygmatism. I was very down and felt like I’d made a horrible decision. I’m almost 7 months out now and my vision is almost 100% and I’m so happy I had the surgery done. So many people on many of these forums never give long term follow-up because I think once their symptoms/poor vision improves they worry less and feel less need to visit these forums. To everyone who is within their first 6months-1year just be patient. Get a set of prescription glasses and be happy as your eyes heal and the glasses don’t work so well after a while. Things will get better.

    • Yeah!!! thanks and glad to hear all is good with you. I think I am doing well for 2 months and hopeful things will get better over time. :)

  101. Thanks for the post. I’m coming up on 3 months next week and still have pretty significant ghosting. Glad to hear your ghosting got much better. Also, my eyes are very bloodshot in the morning when I wake up (some mornings it’s pretty nasty). My eye doctor tells me it’s that my eyes are too dry. I lubricate all day (use non-preservative drops about once an hour), but I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do for the 8 hours I’m asleep.

    • I am at 5 months – the ghosting has been gone for a while and I am still getting some improvement on distance clarity. My dr prescribed restasis for 6 months – then we will see if I need it longer. It helps some but it does burn a bit. I keep eye drops next to my bed – the gel type were suggested for drier eyes – if I happen to wake in the middle of the night – I put drops in. I also put drops in before I get out of bed. I don’t think I was as dry as you seem to be but my eyes were uncomfortable in the mornings.

    • have you tried “Flax seed oil”? I find it makes a huge difference in the lubrication in my eyes – I take 1 x 1000mg gel cap twice per day. Also, my doc has me on “Restasis” which is for dry eyes and is prescription. If you are not on that, ask about it. My dry eye problem is pretty much cleared up on this.

    • Hello Greg, as you are now after a few months? their ghosts gone? I’m at 7 weeks post PRK, and they have plenty of meaningful, more in the left eye … I do not see improvement, and yes, only when something changes it seems worse ….. is very dificl handle it, fear of having etenho made a bad decision. I look good noticiais! Hugs, Jessica

  102. I am 1 month since my PRK and am enjoying it greatly!!! It took me about 1 week to fully heal with day 2-4 being the worst. And by worst, it was only because my eyes got too dry from sleeping so much that the contact bandage ended up suffocating my eyes! once new ones were placed on, I was in much better shape. just saw my eye doctor a few days ago for my 3 week follow up and everything is looking good, corneas are awesome! a little dry, but can also be because of the allergies. just taking resastis now and lubricant drops. my vision fluctuates here and there, nothing tho that makes me not be able to do daily functions. however, driving in the thunderstorm the other morning was incredibly rough! i’m not sure why, maybe with the lightning, the wet pavement, the movement of the whipers, but whatever it was, caused my eyes to water and give me a migraine! after i got to work tho, and relaxed for a bit, i was in better shape. do not really see any ghosting or anything, but also do not try to drive far distances at night time still, just to be safe! :) so far super happy, even with the minor complications! :))))

  103. Hey–havent been on here since the surgery b/c I felt all I had was BAD NEWS to report…..and 2 months 2 weeks into my PRK..I STILL DO!!! I went back at my7 week ck up and he temporartily put a block in my bottom tear duct…which helped with my dry eyes and vision. he told me to come back in 3 weeks and he would re-evaluate my sitation where to do it permanently or not…I went back las Wed…..had good report –vision improved those some hazing……HOWEVER, I still complained of my horrific migraines I have had since surgery on May 17th…and his excuse this time was…it is your hormones due to your age (47 yrs old). Well, I think that was a LAME excuse as he is tired of having me back in his office complaining of my non-vision and constant migraines since my surgery….is anyone else having issues with daily migraines? to the point I am bedridden…with twin 4yr old girls at home and do not need to be in the bed…stay nauseated all day!!! do not feel good at all and stay iritated all day…….what is the truth? my vision now, since my appt last week…seems to be decreasing though he said I had a good report last week……STILL FRUSTRATED THAT I CAN NOT SEE…he gave me a pair of prescription glasses to get me thru for a week but now they are not the right script and no longer useable……..plus I didnt wear them at night because I didnt want my eyes to become dependent on glasses again…as we all know..THAT IS WHY WE HAD THIS SURGERY..TO RID OUR GLASSES AND SEE WITHOUT THEM!! I now have gone from +1.00 to +1.25 to now he tells me +1.50 readers…….so I am still frustrated but mainly now that he seems not to want to heal me or work with me anymore though my surgery was on May 17th..not quite to my 3 m onth marker….and set up an appt for 8 months!! HOWEVER, I will be calling him back for another appt next week to figure out more of what these issues are…esp. these daily migraines, I have never had…..now I have sinus headaches but allergy meds make that go away…but no matter what I take now, NOTHING CURES THE MIGRAINE……I do take my dail Vitamin C,vitamins and calcium……..but even Goody powders do not cease the migraine nor Toradol…..any suggestions????? thanks

  104. any suggestions would be great….should I go to my regular eye doctor and see what he says my vision is??????

    • Hi Deborah…that sounds horrid! What a horrible experience. You should definitely go to your regular eye doctor and get his/her opinion. If that doesn’t go well, maybe you could try finding another doctor who performs PRK and get a second opinion from them on your healing. Take care…and good luck!

  105. Hi everybody.A ophthalmologist and i did PKR ))How it happened i don’t know ,but now my third day post PKR hell))Why i chose PKR.?Because post PKR complications are more mild then Lasik,Laser,Epilaser due to loosing flap epitelial undergrow and ect.Refractive surgery is not field of my specialization,but i study a lot before surgery.Very big thanks to to YOu for sharing this info with us))

  106. I had PRK 10 days ago, and found this blog (thank GOd) trying to find if what I’m “seeing” now is the norm. I was uncomfortable and light sensitive for the first 2 days post op…then nothing. No pain, it was better iwth my sunglasses on, but much better than the first 2 days. So now everyting is blurry. It is better when I use the rewetting drops, but only for a mirco second. I’m trying to be patient and not start freaking out that I’m never going to see normal again. Thank you for your blog and giving me hope and peace of mind.

  107. Jen, I had PRK 6 months ago. Your description sounds very much like my experience. I used the wetting drops constantly when I was “driving”. I also had instances where I saw quite well then moments later – totally blurry. Although the healing was progressive, there were steps forward then steps back. Somewhere between 2 and 3 months, things were fairly normal although I did improve a bit more between months 3 and 6. I hardly think about my vision any more – this is a good thing. I should mention that because of my age, I had monovision which means that I would never have 20-20 vision, but I would not have to wear reading glasses either. I did purchase a pair of nonglare glasses for driving at night – especially in unfamiliar territory. It helps with the light glare as well – wish I had known that years ago. I have had monovision for about 15 years in my contacts and previous lasik surgery – so used to that type of moderate impairment.

    Use the drops, rest your eyes, I took Vitamin C and fish oil – and used restasis for 6 months.

    I was thankful for this site as well because of the vision issues that I did not anticipate. I thought it would be more similar to the lasik I had over 10 years ago – it was not. My surgeon has dismissed me so all is well – – now.

    • Jaye, thank you for your reply. I’m now a little over a month post-op and things are getting “clearer”. I now don’t have to guess which is the actual car coming down the other side of the road (scary!). I’m not quite at 20/20, but my eyes are still changing. I have an amazing eye doctor who started the recheck on my eyes twice a week, now it’s every two weeks…makes me feel better about my decision to have the PRK done in the first place. I know I may never have the same vision I had with my contacts (20/15), but I’m still hopefull. Take Care!

  108. Just an update – I am 2.5 months and apparently healed too fast leaving me with being now far-sighted in my right (and left). They feel the left is normal far-sightedness after the surgery and will on its own time regress back but they aren’t as sure about the right…. at first I was really upset and there are times where I am a bit frustrated with my near vision, but honestly, compared to being dependent on glasses I am quite happy.
    I still cannot see super fine print (with or without any type of reading glasses) or thread a needle and I don’t think they do a very good job of letting you know these things when you sign up.. however, at the end of the day, I can function quite normally and am happy with the results even if a bit concerned about the right. My far distance is awesome and there has been only a little haze (scarring) which resolved itself. The clarity I have now is unbelievable and much better than ever with contacts or glasses.
    I picked the best possible (and most expensive) surgeon and followed to a T the regimin of steroid drops, omegas, dry eye drops etc. I am 48 years old and if the far-sightedness settles as they think it should, then I don’t require reading glasses in good lighting. :)
    I wear 1.25 to see the computer clearly although still a bit of doubling (ghosting) in my right which of course is the effect of being far-sighted.
    I see my surgeon today and he has been seeing me steadily every 3 weeks instead of seeing my Eye doc. He wanted to do the follow up himself as he was concerned about the results etc so I feel like I am in good hands (thank god).
    Will post more as time goes on. Best of luck to all of you just starting out and yes, its DOES FLUCTUATE!!! lol. It worried me all the time as well but eventually your vision settles down.

    • my experience is very similar to yours Doctor mentioned about the haze a week and half ago I only did one eye. I don’t see very clearly now five weeks later I have probably 20/50 extremely dry eye I have to wake up a few times at night and and pry my eyes open just to try to get the drops in. The doc wants me to put drops in doesn’t mater preservative free or not as often as I can I try 15-30 min. the doctor did say I have become far sighted as well and if I put on a 2.00+ glass I can read this note I am typing. I have added my own experience a few reply’s below this one if you read it you can see. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  109. Hi, I’m 19, and opted for PRK surgery from the Lasik Vision Institute. I’m in the Army National Guard and was tired of wearing contacts and glasses during training periods. So I looked into laser treatment.

    I was incredibly nervous even from reading your PRK recovery e-journal dude.

    But —

    It’s been 3 weeks since surgery, and I’m seeing 20/20, and damn near close to 20/15.

    Maybe its because I’m younger, I was able to recover quicker, who knows? But this is definitely one of the best decisions I made thus far.

  110. Hi all, I am having surgery in 2 days. I have horrible vision, like -9 and -8.5 horrible. Was wondering if anyone out there with comparible prescription has done this? I am kinda expecting my recovery to be a lot slower, given they are doing such a big adjustment. Also, I HAVE to return to work a week after, and I work under flourescent lights at a computer for 10 hours, 6 days straight. Am I doomed?? or is there hope as longas I can take frequent breaks? I am already planning on wearing my sunglasses at work.

    • I would say that you are asking for trouble… although at this point you probably just had the surgery. Give yourself the time to heal properly even if that means taking a leave of absence.
      hope all is well and good luck!

    • Hi Laura,

      Hopefully you are recovering well. I had my PRK on a Wednesday and went to work on Sunday (making up time taken off during the week). I haven’t missed a day, and work under flourescent lights at a computer. The only real challenge was seeing through the blur. I would have to get so close to my computer screen to make sure of what I was typing and reading…I felt like Mr. Magoo (if you’re “young” enough to know who that is :) ). So, my point is, going back to work is do-able, you just need to constantly be putting in your drops. I’m a little over a month out and my eyes still aren’t where I’d like them to be, but they are improving everyday. Good luck!

  111. Hey Laura, I would not say doomed… well, maybe doomed for a little while, lol.. I documented my journey here back in April and am at the 6 month point. I am still 20/20 and need to wear 1.25 readers about 50% of the time. My experiences were almost spot-on from how my doctor described the process. As far as flourecent lights go, the first 3 or 4 days were unbearable even with sunglasses. By the second week, it was bearable, but my eyes tired quickly. Too much strain (i.e. focusing hard or bright lights) will definately cause headaches. Don’t forget, this is surgery and you want to heal properly. The steroid drops and other meds. are critical for properly healing, however, the steroids would make things a little blurry for a while. I would recommend using an incadecent desk lamp or use natural light and keep overhead flourencents off. To minimize the strain, I also descreased the LCD intensity and changed the screen fonts from 100% to 150% size. Buy a cheap pair of readers (1 to 1.25) since they will magnify the fonts better. Now… that being all said, please check with your doctor to make sure I’m giving you accurate information.

  112. Thank you to everyone who posted here, your comments really helped me make the best decision for me and my family.
    I want to give you a little history about me and my eyes.
    I am 34 male, -6 prescription thin corneas – not a candidate for lasik
    Self employed typical office fluorescent lighting, no windows and very dry. Computer majority of the time. I travel a min of 80 km to work a day.
    1 week off after surgery.

    Day of surgery.
    I expressed my concerns to the nurse saying I have read in the information package your company sent me a couple of days ago saying vision may be blurred for 6 weeks + I told her I drive(160km a day), working 12-16 hour day, computer reading. legal docs and so on, she said shouldn’t be a problem to drive only a few people experience difficulty driving, I chuckled to myself reading every ones experience on this blog I knew better. I think she has to say that so they will get me to do both eyes better $$$ all at once for them. My wife and I will tell the Doctor i only want one eye done.
    When the doctor came in for my final consult b4 the surgery I brought fourth my concerns again about can I drive, work self employed I said I think I would feel more comfortable if I only got one done. He said Okay :) He said to me we wont do your dominant eye first.

    During your Free consults they really don’t give the straight goods on what to really expect. This web page does.
    Surgery
    1 Valium
    Finally Eye exam, to get final prescription what to expect
    went down stairs Paid $ 2700 PER EYE Toronto, Ontario CDN
    waited in chairs with Wife and Baby watching someone else get there eyes done through the glass surgery room pretty cool but SO NERVOUS
    my turn asked to lie down put 4-6 drops in my Left eye to freeze
    few min later couple more drops and Dr. walks in
    placed some liquid on my eye then brought what looked like a oral b rotating tooth brush
    put in on my eye vision went blurry. the Entire time Doctor told me what he was doing or what to expect.
    Dr. said Look at green light you may smell hair burning he said ( you do smell it)
    after that more liquid, what felt like ice on the eye felt great, Dr. said get up look at your family and for the first time in 13 years I could see them clearly (not sure if thats because of the prescription contact (lens) bandage i later found out they put on but sure made me feel great too see that clear)
    Sat in recovery sitting area in a leather vibrating chair got looked at b4 leaving got a free baseball hat cool bag with eye drops, meds and instructions for the next 8 weeks and cool black shades.
    went home straight to bed didn’t need any pain meds. Basically I closed my eyes (yes both eyes even though I only had one the recommended don’t close just one you may remove the contact. either open both or close both). I read if you close your eyes you heal faster so I closed them from wed till Tuesday opened them just for drops and find my footing on the stairs.
    Week 1
    I had discomfort for the first week but no real pain Ibuprofen really helped when needed it.
    Discomfort- felt like a eye lash stuck in the eye or a gritty feeling.
    sleeping was difficult because I tend to be restless sleeper. I wore the shades found them uncomfortable so I tried eye patch, and travel mask both too tight glasses seemed to be the best choice just hard to sleep and every morning i would have to try to find where they ended up.
    I don’t normally wear contacts but wearing my glasses with one lens popped really gives you a feeling off or drunk feeling. I found wearing contact is working for me and the prk eye with the untreated eye work well together.
    Back to work = Dry eye, headache and sense of why did i come back to work for the first few days but I made sure I came back on a Thursday so I didn’t have to tolerate a full week. Drops drops drops
    Week 2 –
    My vision still blurred , can’t read yet can’t really focus on anything. I can see a person and can tell who that person is in front of me I couldn’t b4 surgery :) that is amazing. You may get down about the speed of your healing but try to keep positive and look at small accomplishments.
    I found I had some sharp pain on top of my eye went back to doctor he said he would have to put the contact lens bandage back on because every time I blinked I would undue the healing process frustrating YES, extreme dry eye even though I put drops as often as possible. Concerned YES, about the healing process, will I still be able to do my right eye as planned Oct 15.
    Week 3
    Starts tomorrow.I have a follow up apt this Saturday too see if the Dr. will remove the bandage lens or leave it on. If the eye is healing better I trying to put the drops in my eyes now every half hour I am hoping for great news on Saturday.

    I would recommend doing only one eye to anyone concerned with driving or working downfall is that I will have to do this twice. Also Expect your other eye to have some pains and feeling of being over worked.

    Once again thank you for creating this page, thank you to everyone for posting your experiences I am hoping my experience will help someone,

    Andrew

  113. I just want to say thank you for doing this post about your experience with PRK. I feel like even though I did tons of research it still didn’t prepare me for the fact I still cant freaking see very well 10 days post. I can’t fathom how all the eye guys I talked to said a week recovery and AFTER are telling me my blurriness and inability to safely drive are normal. I do like my Dr, nothing against him but seriously…..as a single mom and business owner this is frustrating and I came across your day to day blog about it and it made me feel so much better (I was almost in tears in frustration) SO thank you. Also, I have had so many people ask me about it this week I am now referring them to your story so they get the real deal

  114. Sorry for all the pain and suffering some of you are having!! I am right there with you. I had PRK in one eye (have monovision-still a contact in other eye) on Nov. 27th LAST year 2011 and I am still in pain and have a droopy eyelid. The dr. finally told me last week that I am one of the few whose has ptosis-the muscle holding the eyelid up has weakened from the
    surgery. I am also over-corrected. I had a -10 contact in this eye and now need glasses to see signs at night. I am not happy,to say the least, and now going to see a ocular surgeon to fix my eyelid!!!

  115. Thank You so much for writing this blog! My husband just had PRK surgery yesterday and is kind of freaking out about it now. At least now I have a sense of what has occurred as well as what is coming. I’m so happy to hear that your journey worked out well. I’m hoping my husband can be patient enough to wait it out calmly, as you have done.

  116. Thank you so much for taking the time to provide detailed information! It’s really helped me with my recovery. I’m at 10 days now & your 10 day account is very similar to mine. I hope my recovery goes as well as yours.

    Take care & thank you again!

  117. Like everyone else, I’d like to thank you for this blog! I’m at Day 3 and my experience has is very much like yours so far, which helps me realize that what is going on is very normal. My Day 2 was very similar to yours – I felt like a vampire hiding out in my dark house, fearing even a ray of any light, lol). It’s really helpful to know what I might expect in the next few days and weeks to follow which already gives me hope. Thank you again and the best to you! :)

  118. Thanks for sharing your day by day story of your PRK procedure. I went in for my Lasik consultation and was told I would have to have PRK instead (due to thin corneas and high prescription), and It sort of freaked me out….but I know the benefits afterwards will be great so long as I’m ok with the recovery time and your blog has really helped reassure me!

  119. Hello everyone … My name is Jessica and I am Brazilian. I’m almost two months post prk and have significant ghosting in both eyes, and in the right eye for things sãodupla far ….. I’m very worried, I went to another doctor and he told me that healing can take six Naor months … but I see improvements. I’m too scared to have taken a horrible decision. I await good news! ah, I was in the left eye and -4.5 + 1.25 astigmastismo right eye -4.00 and 1.75 astigmatism eye … I have astigmatism of 0.5 in each eye ….

    • two months (8weeks) since I did my left eye i still see ghosting can’t really read clearly, night vision is horrible star bursts. I had my right eye done last monday and its doing really well. I keep seeing people write hang in there your vision will come around so that is is what I am doing and will recommend to you hang in there and keep praying. Good luck!

  120. Hang in there Jessica! You’re experiencing the same fears as everyone. I’m nearly 1 month post-op and have good & bad days. From what I understand the ghosting that you’re experiencing is usually the last thing to resolve itself. Just give it time & let your eyes fully heal. Keep us updated.

  121. hi guys! thanks for replying! Only those who live this experience and know how frustrating and distressing my family ….. I do not take any more, I feel sad during the day, the doctor said I need to wait six months to improve, but I hope to improve heart! I have a current view of the old television full of ghosts, performing PRK has always been my dream, living a daily nightmare more …. more afraid of what is to think that there is no treatment to solve this problem ….. well, I still have faith and pray for better days! In brightly lit environments have excellent vision, I had no time to blurred vision, clarity is great since day one .. my degree is zero, restarou astigmatio of 0.5 in both eyes …. ‘ll tremely them updated …. sorry for typos, I’m Brazilian. good luck to us!
    my email is jthuannie@hotmail.com
    thank you

  122. I had my PRK in February and went thru all the ghosting and vision ups and downs for about 3 months – then slowly things improved. I am of an age – read that as a senior citizen – so I had monovision meaning one eye would not be 20 20 so I could read w/o glasses. My reading was the first to improve. Distance was OK but not great at 4 months – some starbursting at nite but not too much. At 6 months, I was seeing well and decided to get nightdriving glasses that really cut the glare. I took 3000mg of fish oil, 1000mg of Vitamin C and lots and lots of eye drops. Also used restasis for 6 months – hated it. At my 8 month check my distance had improved and may improve a bit more at the annual or so they tell me. It was stressful to go through but I made it and am happy with the results. The biggest problem for the first 3 months was driving – the rest was not fun but manageable.

    So many success stories on this site and one day yours will be here too. I found this site about 2 weeks after my surgery – when I was in a definite panic – I was reassured to know that what was happening was quite normal and would one day lead to great vision once again. I still had my doubts that I would ever see normally again -so I would reread the diary and take deep breaths! Hang in there and

    Good Luck everyone…………..

    • Hi Jaye, I was not prepared to go through it, is very complicated ….. since operated on according hopes and nothing changes for the better! but do not lose faith! I am also taking vitamins. What happens to me is the following left eye has ghosts, not quite double vision ….. and when I drop the lubricant nothing changes, it scares me too!! will he not be good? right eye has double vision for long distance, and when I drop the lubricant improves …. problems are different between the eyes …. I reported this to the doctor, one of the best doctors in Brazil, he said the left eye is more swollen right eye and drier …. provavelmnte and I’ll be fine …. I’m scared too! the doctor who operated on me said I’d be good in two months! good luck to all!

    • Hi Jaye, Thank you for this post! I’m not quite a senior citizen and I also opted for monovision. It’s now been two weeks and 3 days since my PRK surgery and I’m wondering if I’ll ever be able to see clearly or drive again. I don’t think I’ve improved this week, when I probably should have. Everything is blurry, and as a passenger in a car, I see both stop signs & stop lights as double. My “reading” eye is somewhat blurry, too, but managable – and because it was seemingly perfect the day after surgery, so I feel optimistic about that one.

      Fortunately I can walk to work, and even the store if I need to, but really hope to be able to make a 4 hour drive in a month as my daughter has an important musically performance. If you don’t mind my asking, could you tell me more about when you were able to resume driving, both locally & long distance, and anything else that might be related to driving that you noticed or would advise about? I’d really appreciate it! Thanks.

      Regardless, your post has given me hope! Camille

      • P.S. I just saw your post below and you have given quite a few details about driving and good advice, but I still would like to know when you resumed driving in the day time, but locatally and long distance. Forgive me for the oversight of your below post – my vision is bad (hee hee)! :)

  123. In the beginning I saw more than double. when I looked at the traffic light – it looked like a flower there were so many images. At least I knew what color the signal was. I avoided all left turns and always stayed in the right travel. I didn’t drive at night for about 2 months and it was scary. In the beginning – the first couple of weeks, the eyedrops helped alot. Driving I put drops in everytime I stopped. As time went on the eyedrops did not improve my vision. My eyes were quite dry initially but no swelling or pain. I also had days I saw quite well then the nest day not so much. Very frustrating. I am happy to say that is all a distant memory.

    Hang in there, Jessica. We all heal differently and you will get through it……….

    • Hi Jaye, you described everything I’m going through ….. on October 31 complete two months, and hopefully pass this time so I’m here to say the same as you! return to the doctor tomorrow. I’m using colirio to contract the pupil and the vision for a few hours is perfect! I hope to continue using these drops …. so the doctor has new update!! compelled by force!! kisses

  124. Jessica –

    I was able to drive the very next day to see the doctor post-op and the next day I drove to work. THEN the next 2 days I could not read or see well at all – stayed home. The entire week after the bandages were removed was rough. I did do day time driving on the 4th day after the bandages were removed – but it was scary and I really should not have been on the road. I was more scared driving in the neighborhood than on the interstate. I was afraid an animal or child would dart in my path and I wouldn’t see that soon enough. On the interstate I stayed in the right lane and kept a safe distance. I could see the car ahead of me but those further away were blurry – I couldn’t judge how fast cars were moving so I didn’t change lanes at all. I stayed right so I could pull over if things got rough but I never had to do that. My eyesight seemed best around 4 pm so that is when I drove home. (My commute was about 15 miles) I used drops every 5 min or so for about 20 min before driving and then at every red light or stop sign – I added more. I was told to wear sunglasses but I found that the glasses made my vision a bit worse so I took them off sometimes. The biggest problem going home was driving into the sun. The first month was awful. As I said I never made left turns – I made 3 right turns instead. Also the steroid drops made my vision worse so I didn’t put them in until I got to office. I don’t think I drove at night for about 2 months. I had an earlier experience – early morning – the on coming lights were horrendous – I didn’t try again for a time. It may have been about 4 or 5 months before I was feeling comfortable at nite.

    I knew I was getting better when I was no longer afraid of changing lanes – it just happened one day. My eyes are still improving a tiny bit – my surgery was in February. I will tell you that I never thought I would see well again, but thankfully I was wrong. I got driving glasses (anti glare and they make my vision 20-20) but I only use them at night or bad weather.

    When driving on I-95 I would practice reading signs – to see if I could see them in time if I were driving someplace new. It was always disappointing when I would see well for a day or 2 and then suddenly seemed to regress. I tried to convince myself that since I saw well early on it would get back there someday. My close up vision improved more quickly than the distance. Use alot of those drops!!!
    Hope this helps or at least lets you know that you will be getting better eventually altho not soon enuf!!
    Jaye

    • Hi Jaye,

      I don’t know if you were writing back to me or not, but thank you for more information about your driving experiences. For me, that is the most difficult aspect during this healing process. All of my driving is “neighborhood” so I have the very concerns you had, so that is why I’m not driving. The taking only right hand turns sounds like a great idea, that I may incorporate once I feel comfortable enough to get behind the wheel. As a passenger I’m always looking at the signs, too, trying to gage what might be acceptable to allow me to drive again.

      Also, thank you for the encouragement that things will get better. Right now I’ve gotten somewhat use to living in a blurry world. And I’ve had no improvement for the last 2-1/2 weeks of the 3-1/2 weeks since I had surgery, so every now and then I wonder if they really will heal. Because if they don’t heal, glasses won’t help as I see double at distances. (My close eye is doing well, thankfully!) I’m trying to “forget” about my vision, so that one day I’ll realize they are really are better – but having to depend on others for transportation is always a sore reminder.

      Thank you again for your post and encouragement! Camille

  125. Hello All,

    I had my PRK procedure done October 15th 2012. I’m currently at 2 weeks and 4 days post operation my left eye was -4.25 and my right eye was -3.50. My procedure included the “wave guide” the doctor described this like getting a custom shoe fit to your foot vs. Buying one at the store. I experienced very little pain the entire time, but I also kept up on my pain medications. I was cleared to drive 5 days after the surgery and have been driving ever since then with the only problems being bright lights, dry eyes, and a little ghosting, so any long distance driving I will stop regularly to put in eye drops. My vision still isn’t as crisp and clear in fact it has fluctuated a bit day to day and my doctor said this is normal as your eyes are healing. To anyone who is considering this surgery you have to be very patient with the healing process as it will take time for your eyes to fully heal. The steroid eye drops you take are to slow down the healing process. My doctor described it to me this way your eyes would heal too quickly and you would end up with a scar on your eye very similar to if you scrape your knee or elbow and end up with a scar. Things that have helped me are using plenty of eye drops and sunglasses are obviously a must. Your eyes will tell you when they have had enough of looking at the computer, driving, or watching tv, If anyone has any questions please feel free to post and I can tell you my experience. My one month post op is on the 15th I hope everything is normal!

  126. I just had my 3 month follow up this week. I am seeing 20/15 with a chance of improvement still! My tear ducts are not fully healed yet, which may be causing some of the slight ghosting i have. I have no pain, no irritation, and hardly any ghosting. I could not be happier with my decision to get PRK. To all the horror stories on here, it is possible to have success. just be patient. i personally think if you are having any troubles, to CALL CALL CALL! I wrote on this blog 1 month after my PRK and explained how days 2-4 were absolutely horrid. I learned it was due to the fact the lenses dried and started to suffocate my eyes. i should have called when i first started to feel the discomfort, but i tried waiting it out, bad idea. once the bandages were removed and new ones put on, it was practically smooth sailing.
    ***So 3 months from PRK = 20/15 CONSISTENT vision, a little ghosting, no irritation. I do still use resasitis, but only once in the morning, i use REFRESH drops whenever i feel it is necessary, although my dr. would like me to use it 3-4x a day.
    GOOD LUCK TO ALL! :D

  127. I have an appt for PRK; only left eye, which my doctor indicates is 20/40. Had RK about 20 years ago with great results, but now left eye has gotten worse. Right eye is still about 20/25. Would those of you who have ahd PRK go forward with, considering the current 20/40 vision, or would you recommend waiting to see if vision gets any worse? After having ready all of the comments, I am getting nervous about doing this, at this point.

  128. Carol, you don’t mention your age but you should discuss the reading issues one has as one ages. I was in similar circumstance – I had lasik about 12 yrs ago and my vision had become less than desirable. I should also point out that I had mono vision. I was having problems reading and my distance vision was regressing altho I was able to pass my driver test w/o problems. My right eye was 20/35 and I don’t know what the left was but probably less than 20/40. I had PRK on both eyes in Feb – keeping with the mono vision – we discussed going 20/20 in both eyes but then I would need reading glasses for everything. My recovery was slower than I would have liked compared to the lasik but in 3 months I was a bit better than when I started especially reading. Over the past 6 months my distance has gradually improved. So I am a happy camper.

    You need to base your decision on the difficulties you are now experiencing vs. the gain you would achieve. Keep in mind the reading thing. At age 40 or so this becomes more difficult – with 20/40 in one eye you would continue to be able to read w/o glasses although there is some diminishing effects to your distance vision. Its a compromise. I enjoy not having to pull glasses to read a menu to read my tiny watch – my distance is good enough for driving and in bad weather or at nite, I wear anti-glare night vision driving glasses – it removes the glare and gives me 20/20 in both eyes. The difference in distance distinction is noticeable but I am happy with my decision both for monovision and the PRK.

    Jaye.

    • Hi

      I should have posted, again, sooner than this; I did decide to go ahead with my PRK on Nov 7, and am very happy with the results – I would say they are exactly what I expected. I was able to drive myself to my followup appt the very next day.

      My doctor stressed the fact that it could take up to 6 months for my vision to stabilize and get to what he expected – 20/25 to 20/30. It has been a little more than a month; my vision still varies somewhat, more clear and less clear at times, but I can tell daily that it is getting better.

      After reading this blog, I almost cancelled; however, I called and talked to my eye doctor again – we had already discussed the benefits versus possible negatives, in length. After talking with him again, I felt much more comfortable. I believe he was very forthright in what I could expect.

      My advice to to be sure you have a very experienced eye doctor and be realistic with what you can expect for results.

  129. portuguêsinglêsespanhol
    Alpha
    hello everyone, I’m living the following situation: in my right eye got fanstasmas to adjacent letters, they are facing up and to the right side, and appear more clear letters on a dark background …. But the eye has esquero the problem of ghost much stronger toward the left side, and the letters closely, any other object I see a translucent image … I have two months after PRK …. lubricants do not solve these problems …. I am very trsite if I could ever operate! I hope you get it all in the distant past!

  130. hello everyone, I’m living the following situation: in my right eye got fanstasmas to adjacent letters, they are facing up and to the right side, and appear more clear letters on a dark background …. But the eye has esquero the problem of ghost much stronger toward the left side, and the letters closely, any other object I see a translucent image … I have two months after PRK …. lubricants do not solve these problems …. I am very trsite if I could ever operate! I hope you get it all in the distant past!

  131. I recently had my prk done on nov. 15. in vancouver bc., so it’s been 3 weeks now. My prescription was -4.75 and -4.25 on other eye. I’ve noticed I lost my nearsightedness so I can’t really read small print right now or read books and computer is still blurry and I had to change the font to a bigger size, I can use the computer but letters are a little blurry. I’m wondering how much nearsightedness will come back and how long until the computer issues will go away? Also, at night headlights are ultra bright or glowing which is difficult sometimes to drive but bearable, how long until this goes away? I would appreciate any comments from anyone here. God Bless you all

  132. I truly appreciate you taking the time to write this blog… I just had to PRK surgery a few weeks ago.. Thought I should be all healed by now… I was getting pretty frustrated And concerned.
    Your narrative eased my mind a little bit… I have very similar symptoms.
    THANK YOU!

  133. Has anyone had trouble with your eyes being Better in the morning… And getting worse throughout the day?

    • Yes, Brenda, I have noticed the same thing. I had prk in left eye 12 days go. I knew what to expect so I am not discouraged , but have noticed vision deteriorates as day progresses. Patiently waiting for full recovery.

  134. Brenda, yes it seems that as the eyes get tired or dried out from use during the day – vision does get worse as the day goes on. When I was recovering from PRK – I had ups and downs but mornings were usually good. 2 pm not so much, but about 4 or so it seemed to improve so that is when I left the office to drive home……it is definitely a roller coaster ride………..
    Jaye

  135. Jaye: Thank you for your reply…I feel ok saying “misery loves company” because it sounds like you are now in the CLEAR.. Do you know the rational to this irregualrity and how long did it take for you to have consistent vision throughout the day?

    • Yes, I have arrived. I would say maybe 3 months BUT 2 to 3 months the variations and ups and downs were not as severe. I knew when the worst was over by how I drove. I drive the interstate to work – normally I pass slow cars and drive to the left. After surgery I stayed in the right lane and did not change lanes to pass slow moving yahoos. I wanted to be near the shoulder in case I needed to stop (never did) and I was really uncertain about depth perception and how well I was seeing. One day w/o even thinking I moved over to pass the cell phone user messing up my lane – I then knew I was out of the woods.

      As to why – I was told that the variation had to do with the healing. as the cells repopulate the cornea, the coverage is not consistent. This causes the double vision and distortion depending on where the cells are – this is why it is good one day and bad the next – the healing is an ever changing process. I think also that we are straining to see well and it just tires us out. I found resting my eyes – adding drops – and closing them for 5 minutes or so every couple of hours helped. Better if I took a nap at lunch but rarely possible at work. The computer screen is really tough and many of us stare at the screen for many hours. I did lots of my work hard copy and if on the computer I really bumped up the font size.

      Use those drops – alot – it really helped me esp in the p.m.

      Good luck -

  136. Thanks for this, I was starting to get nervous about my surgery on Saturday and this reassured me, glad it worked out for you

  137. Yes, I have had slightly the same; I had PRK on my left eye, on Nov 6, so it has been about 2 months. Day by day, the variation is less & less. I had a check up about 2 weeks ago and my vision was 20/20. At this point, I am very satisfied with the results as my eye doctor told me exactly what to expect and said it could take 6 months (or more) for my vision to stabilize. Currently, my vision in the left eye (PRK eye) seems clearer than my right eye, which as always been the better one and is currently at about 20/25 or 20/30.

  138. Thank you to Deb and Carol. I appreciate your shared experience of vision getting worse throughout the day. Since I posted the question my vision has increased and isn’t quite so bad as the day draws to a close. But keep your eye drops close by… Both eyes feel extremely dry and a bit itchy!

  139. I am very happy to find out this site. I did mine on 1/3/2013. My doctoer never mentioned to me about all details.

    • Hang in there Kiana, we have all been there. Altho my dr explained there would be vision issues as I healed, I was totally unprepared. Everyone is a little bit different but it is a roller coaster ride – some days good – some days bad and each day can have a little of both. Use your drops a lot, rest your eyes during the day, and try not to stress out. Driving is scary and especially at nite for a while.

      Good luck – there is good vision at the end of the ride altho it may take some time…..

      Jaye

  140. Hello everyone,

    The last time I posted was just before my one month mark. I am currently at 3 months and one week. I had my 3 month post op a week ago and I was able to read all of the 20/15 line with my right eye and most of it with my left. I am still using one steroid drop a day and my doctor put me on a eye pressure drop (the steroid drops can cause your eye pressure to go up) I also use refresh drops at least 4 times a day. My vision is still not completely sharp but it’s significantly better than it used to be as I’m easing off the steroid drops it seems to help a lot with the sharpness. I had very bad ghosting and halos through month one and it slowly got better going through month 2. My 3 month mark I would say all the ghosting and halos are gone and the sharpness keeps getting better. PRK takes a while to heal and patients is a virtue. All of the vision fluctuations, halos, ghosting, “fuzzy” vision, eye strains/headaches all get better with time as long as you keep up with your medications. Anyways feel free to ask any questions.

    Brandon

  141. Ok, sooo I’m scheduled for PRK on Feb 14. After reading these comments it’s safe to say that I’ll be calling them first thing Tues morning (tomorrow is a holiday) & cancelling. This is just too much of a risk with way to much uncertainty. If I can’t find a doctor who can do regular Lasik it just won’t get done.

    • Lacy,

      Just curious what risk and uncertainty do you speak of? Its surgery there are going to be risks with both.

    • Lacy, I agree with Brandon – even Lasik has risks. I have had both. The major difference is the healing time with Lasik being much quicker. The biggest issue for me with PRK was driving. Yes, talk with your doctor about your concerns. Remember too that problems people have are based on how well they follow protocol or their existing eye problems or overall health. I was 60 when I had my PRK and other than the vision disturbances during the healing process – I had no issues. Was I impatient? Yes, Am I happy with the results? Yes. Would I do it knowing what I know now? Yes.

      Good luck no matter what you decide to do.

      • Well, I have pretty bad Myopia. -8.50 in both eyes. My appt is with The Lasik Institute’s Birmingham, Al office. The doctor told me about a week recovery. But after reading these comments, a lot of other people were told the same thing and their 3-6 months out & still having problems. I’m 34 with a job & 2 kids. I’m PETRIFIED that I’ll be one of those people that still can’t see good enough to drive after a few months. The doc told me that I might have more problems than someone with say a -4 eyesight and I was prepared for that. But not for months & months of recovery time.

  142. I understand your concern now Lacy. I had -4 and -3.5 in my left and right eye. I was cleared to drive a 5 days after my surgery. Your vision recovers over a period of up to 6 months as you know. At my one month mark I was seeing 20/20 on the eye chart (not crisp and clear but still able to read it) and my vision would be better during the morning than at night. I know what some people do is they get one eye done at a time if choosing PRK. I was lucky enough to get that week off work for my recovery, so I did both eyes at one time. I think the thing that people are drawn to with PRK is the fact that its less invasive with the same long term results. Lasik is most definitely a shorter recovery time and that sounds like what you want. Let me know if you have any questions. I’m on month 3 and I’m with Jaye I was Impatient with the recovery but am very happy with the results. I would defiantly do it the same way knowing what I know now.

    Cheers!

  143. I just had PRK done on my right eye on Feb. 6, 2013. Here is my timeline:
    Day One: excruciating pain – laid in bed all day and couldn’t even open my right eye, the left eye could hardly open – due to the pain in my right.

    Day Two: Excruciating pain, but at least I could open my right eye a little – thank God! I thought I was going to be unable to open that eye ever again.

    Day Three: Feeling better, at least the drops didn’t feel like the fires of hell anymore.

    Day Four: Feeling so good that I cleaned up around the house. Both eyes open now, but the right eye was very blurry.

    Day Five: 1st post op appointment. Doctor says everything looks good and removes the bandage contact. I say, “it feels like theres something on the top of my eye.” He takes a look and says there’s a small abrasion and tells me everything will be fine, just keep using the eye drops. By the end of the day I’m in the ER because the spot is hurting so badly that it feels as though my eyelid is gliding over glass. I ask that a bandage contact be reinserted, but the ER doctor consults with the oncall opthamalogist that presribes Neomycinand Polyxin B Sulfates and Dexanethasone Opthalmic Ointment. I put the stuff in my eye hoping that it’ll be the cure, but on

    Day Six: I’m in bed all day, putting in ointment and taking Vicodin because the pain is unbearable. I go back to the doctor who did surgery and he tells me that we are back at square 1. He tells me that I have a huge scratch, where there had been a small scratch yesterday, and says that I must be rubbing it. I protest, the only thing going into my eye are the drops and ointment that’s been prescribed to me. He puts in a contact bandage and places me on the original drop schedule without the ointment.

    Day Seven: I have moved from my bed to the couch, but I’m still in pain and taking the Vicodin. I can at least hear the tv, although I can’t see it.

    Day Eight: I’m up and moving around. My right eye opens, but it hurts to keep it open so, it’s shut and I see through my left eye. I think I’m getting better, but I fear the next followup appointment because I know the contact bandage will come out and if the scratch isn’t heal, I’ll be back at square one again.

  144. Your on track don’t worry, I know that sounds hard to hear right now don’t be in a rush to get your contacts out the longer there on there more it shields your eyes and provides moisture. My doc kept them on me for 10 days had to replace the first pair halfway through for my comfort though.
    . The pain will subside moisturizing drops are so import use them as often as you can. Not sure where you live but I found that Advil works better then tylenol reduces the swelling better. I understand you must be in so much pain but I would NOT to be on narcotics your body just wont heal the same with them.
    The more your eyes are closed the better it is to heal as your not moving them and you will provide moisture. When you do get your contacts taken off I would invest in clear cool looking safety glasses if you have to work in office or walk about anywhere I found this help me by providing protection from the air which kept the moisture to the eyes.
    Just a few Helpful hints hang in there it will get better I am still healing 6 months after, My happy I don’t have to wear my glasses anymore
    One of the best feelings is every time I go get in the shower I reach for my glasses to take off my face I realize i can see! great feeling hang in there this pain is worth it in the end.

  145. Thanks for sharing your experiences as I am at week two of my first PRK procedure. It has been a long ordeal but should accomplish my retirement goal of seeing the little white ball hit the green. PRK on both eyes follow OCL for cataracts, and CXL for keracones with multiple follow ups adds up to over 40 doctor visits. Having worn contacts for over 30 years with deterioring eyesight, this effort has been worth it now I feel the PRK procedure takes time. Thanks

    • Wow, Chuck, you are surely ambitious and obviously love golf! I wish you the best – you seem to have the first commandment for success – positive attitude – Happy Retirement!

  146. Great info, everyone; thanks for sharing your stories! I have PRK scheduled in two days (3/1/13) and am nervous as heck (the idea of shooting lasers into my eyes still has me in knots). But I’ve done a ton of research, had consultations w/my regular optometrist and multiple surgeons and all feel confident in my expected results. Mostly scared of the healing process as I know it will be difficult. I know several people who have had PRK in the past few years so I can call and complain to them if necessary. :) I’ll post updates here as we go!

    OD -4.25, -1.25 cyl
    OS -5.00, -1.25 cyl

  147. Great info, everyone; thanks for sharing your stories! I have PRK scheduled in two days (3/1/13) and am nervous as heck (the idea of shooting lasers into my eyes still has me in knots). But I’ve done a ton of research, had consultations w/my regular optometrist and multiple surgeons and all feel confident in my expected results. Mostly scared of the healing process as I know it will be difficult. I know several people who have had PRK in the past few years so I can call and complain to them if necessary. :) I’ll post updates here as we go!

    OD -4.25, -1.25 cyl
    OS -5.00, -1.25 cyl

  148. Hello! I scheduled my PRK (not a candidate for LASIC) in 2 month and have some concerns. I am almost 47 and have glasses -3.5 both eyes (not fully corrected). But I do not wear them all the time – my eyes get tired after several hours, so I adjusted to blurry vision. I only put my glasses on for driving, shopping, watching TV, vacooming and so on. I can read perfectly without glasses ( but have to basically “stick” my nose into computer screen). Dr. recommended to get monovision, one eye for distance, one – also do PRK, but not fully corrected, so I will not need glasses for about 10-12 more years. After reading all the posts I started thinking to cancel the surgery. Does anybody have any suggestions? Does it worth the pain, money and all this time? I am getting PRK at downtown Phoenix, AZ (got discount on LivingSocial), so I will need to drive 1 hour one way to see the Dr. But it is a good place, though.

  149. It will be my 2 week anniversary for my prk procedure Friday march 8 2013. I was so depressed because I thought my Vision went down after the contacts were removed by the end of week1. I was really worried if I had made a mistake in getting the surgery. After reading this blog it really put back at ease. Thankyou all for your shared insight on this procedure.

  150. how old was u when you had the surgery?
    I am short sided and after having the surgery 5 weeks ago, I defiantly can realize improvement in my vision 20/20 but not sharp 100% , things still look blurry but I can drive without my glasses !
    What I realized that I can’t read a book or see clearly from the same distance as I used to before surgery and one of my concerns is that mean I will need reading glasses now?
    can you tell me how long does it take to get right of the blurry vision ? Thank you so much

    • I was 61 when I had my PRK. I opted for mono vision. That meant that my left eye was NOT corrected to 20/20 it is about 20/30 or 20/35. Doing this means that I do not wear reading glasses but my distance vision is compromised a little bit, but I can drive without glasses. At night I do use night driving glasses that give me 20/20 vision and reduces the glare. It took about 3 months for my vision to stabilize, but it continued to improve for a year.

      Good luck to you – you just have to be patient………..

  151. I don’t know what to think any more. I have a PRK done back in early November 2012 and till to day March 2013, and I can’t see well at all. Doctor said I still have haze over one eye, need more time…(more time) .. I can’t see well when I’m driving. Only go place that I know the road well other wise I can’t see the street name, I’m 52yr old and start to think that I may have made the biggest mistake to have this done, and curiously question is it doctor or is it me …

    • Zasna, sorry about your vision. Some people do take longer so it just may be you need to be as patient as you can. Trust me I know that is hard to do. If you are nervous about it, I would suggest you get a second opinion. Good luck.

  152. thanks for putting this out there. I had custom prk done 4 days ago. up to date my experience mirrors your posts. the doctor can tell me I’m doing fine and all this is to be expected, but reading such a detailed log with a positive outcome beats that ten-fold.

  153. Thank you very much for doing this blog! I have my surgery in a few days. I’ve learned quite a bit from reading everything you posted. Thanks again!

  154. I don’t feel so alone now! I’m at 8 days and it has been emotional with the unknown! This has helped me!

  155. I don’t feel so alone now! I’m at 8 days and it has been emotional with the unknown! This has helped me! I was at -10 & -12
    Anyone post prk near those readings at first?

  156. I had my PRK on Feb.1st . I am not happy with the result . I can see from distant
    ( still blurry but i can drive ) but i lost my near side vision. That mean , instead of wearing glasses to drive . I will need glasses to do my dishes , cook , see my face for make up and read book !! . prior to the surgery , I was in stage that my near side started to change and i guess if u r experience such changes , u should not do vision correction, but my Dr. I believe he did not care about telling me this fact more than he care about doing the surgery and take the money !

    • Don’t give up yet. My eyes improved over a period of 8 months. When I did my PRK, I opted for mono vision. One eye was not made to be 20/20 but about 20/30. This allows me to read most things without glasses or magnifiers. It does cheat on your distance so that it is not 20/20. For nite driving or at the theater I wear glasses to make my distance 20/20 – I don’t use them often mostly to drive – cuts down on glare etc.

      Best of luck.

  157. Hey everyone who is considering PRK. BEST DECISION EVER!!! A little background: 29, male, healthy. I was totally nervous when I decided to do PRK. I read up on the recovery time because I do a lot of work on a compute. After reading, I got freaked out by how many people who comment have poor experiences. I couldn’t sleep knowing this…I really don’t mind wearing contacts. Anyway, I went and took the sedative, the procedure is easy and painless. After, they took me to an eye chart to see a preview. I did better than all the LASIK patients. When the numbing drops wore off, there was some mild discomfort: It felt like my eyes were full of soap with a few eyelashes. Nothing that keeping them closed couldn’t fix. They watered a bunch, an Advil later and I was great. I kept the sunglasses on even in the darkened house, kept to the schedule for eye drops. It is now the morning after, I see and feel great! If you’re curious for more, I can post after I have my first appointment with the optometrist and following. This post is more of an encouragement to people who are nervous and need to hear a positive experience.

    • Thanks for the encouraging post! I am also 29 and have booked my prk surgery for June. Needless to say i’m nervous because it seems like the healing process can be so long and frustrating. Please keep the updates coming!

  158. It’s day 3 after the surgery. Pretty sensitive to light, but I just wear the awesome sunglasses they gave me and it’s no big deal. There’s some points in the day where my eyes water quite a bit, but I just keep them closed for 2-5 mins and it stops. Today it is slightly blurrier with points of extreme clarity. I’m going to have the contacts removed tomorrow. Basically, things have been what I expected. The optometrist said that things will get blurry but as the cells polish themselves it will get clear. If you go into it knowing that the recovery is about a week, you have nothing to worry about. The vision fluctuations are perfectly normal, so just sit back and stick to the eye drop schedule. I was warned that days 2 and 3 are the worst in terms of discomfort and vision.

  159. Hi I have found this website lsat year. and the information here is useful. I have schedule my surgery in July. I am very nervous about the surgery, especially I only have 2 weeks to heal and get back to work.

    The staff from London Laser eyes center (vancouver BC) said many patients get back to work in 1 week after PRK surgery, include many of them drive professionally. I am a reporter and part-time graduate school study, my job and daily routine involve a lot of driving,writing and reading (on computer), I also live alone currently since my family is in another country. I am only able to take 2.5 weeks off from work and 1 month away from school.

    So i would like to ask people who have done the surgery, how long does it take for you guys to get back to work/ drive normally? I am 23 fyi.

    Thanks. for the input

    • First, everyone’s experience is different. For me at 60, I went back to work in the first week. BUT I had difficulties from time to time. Driving at nite or facing the sun was especially difficult. Lots and lots of drops helped. My eyes were better in the mid afternoon so that is when I drove home. Truthfully, I probably should not have driven some times but fortunately I made it w/o disaster. I avoided left turns because my depth perception seemed off a bit.

      As for reading and computer I was fine for the first week but then reading became impossible and I took a few days off the second week. After month 1, I could do my office work, but driving at nite was still a problem. Day time driving was improving. Good sunglasses helped.By 3 months, I was not experiencing any issues at all. When my eyes stabilized at 3-4 months, I purchased nite driving glasses that reduced the glare. I love them. I should tell you that becuz of my age, I opted for monovision. That means that my left eye was not improved to 20-20 but 20-30 or 35. This was done so that I could read w/o glasses. My driving glasses improve my left eye to 20-20 as well as reducing glare, but you could get them w/o correction if needed.

      It was more of a struggle than I had anticipated. I did not have any complications, but the vision changed daily and during the day as well from good to bad and back again. I would blink and everything would blur – scary if driving. I stayed in the right lane so I could pull off if needed but never had to. Then, I would blink and I could see clearly. Unfortunately none of it was under my control.

      Good luck – I don’t regret my surgery.

  160. been 24 days since my procedure and I havent seen much progress
    Im starting to think this is the best it will get
    basically comparable to when I would wear an old pair of eye glasses that had an old prescription in them.

    Im definately not 20/20, stigmatism remains

  161. It’s now two weeks since PRK on my right eye to adjust for the less than optimal result of cataract surgery and I am so far pleased with the progress.

    History: very nearsighted (-9) successfully corrected by LASIK in 1999 (age 49). Developed cataracts that were operated on in December 2012. I chose to pay extra for toric lenses to correct astigmatism that had developed since the LASIK so that I could use just over-the-counter readers. I was told going in that the calculations were dicey for post-LASIK, particularly with the amount of correction that had been done in my case, nor was a multi-focal implant recommended. The right eye, done first, came out farsighted & still astigmatic. Calculations were adjusted for the left eye and it came out 20-20.

    Having one eye somewhat nearsighted is actually quite practical (monovision), but one eye farsighted is useless, so I chose to have the right eye corrected via laser. A second LASIK was not recommended. Having experienced LASIK, painless and quick to recover, I didn’t quite realize how different is PRK. Pain the first couple of days was bearable with double dose ibuprofen; the light sensitivity was quite uncomfortable for about five days.

    Two weeks afterwards the eye is still nearsighted & adjusting slowly, if at all, but no ghosting or halos (which I did have for a while after LASIK). I’ve been told it will be 1-6 months after the procedure to know where it settles. I can live with monovision if that’s where it winds up, having chosen that for LASIK years ago. As before, I knocked the right lens out of a reader for comfort with longer sessions of reading and can get a contact lens and/or glasses to correct the right eye for distance.

    Has anyone looked into having a lens replacement (i.e. cataract surgery) instead of laser correction? Does someone have to have cataracts before replacing his/her lenses with a mutlifocal implants? If those had been available in 1999 I would have skipped LASIK altogether.

    Note: Just my right eye needed PRK. But even when I did LASIK the eyes were done separately. I cannot imagine doing both at once. While my results have been OK, there is too much risk, especially as one reads about people with poor results. These are the only EYES you have. Make sure at least one is working properly at all times.

  162. Paul, I’m 56 years old and have worn glasses/contacts since I was ten. I planned on having LASIK last summer, but found out I was not a candidate because my corneas were too thin. My eye doctor had just had clear lens replacement and sent me to his doctor to see if I could have that surgery. I was told that clear lens replacement was a better alternative for me than LASIK would have been. I had cataracts forming that would need to be taken care of in 10-12 years, and this surgery would not only give me perfect vision I wanted but would also take care of my future cataracts. I, too, have astigmatism very badly and opted for toric lenses and monovision. I had my right eye corrected for far away in November and three weeks later in December, I had my left eye done for closeness. The surgery and recovery were so easy and vision was instant for me. This was the best thing I have ever done! I am free of glasses and contacts for the first time in 46 years. I have never felt so free. I have a whole new life. I would tell anyone 40 and over to consider clear lens replacement. Google it and check it out. I read everything on the internet before I did this. I am just thankful that I didn’t let fear keep me from having this miracle.

  163. I am on day 3 of my recovery. I was fortunate to have a very good, reputable surgeon whose staff spent 3 hours with me, determining my candidacy for ABA and explaining the whole, lengthy, complicated recovery process. I am 54 years old. I had some dry eyes and started taking fish oil and tear enhancement drops as prescribed by the doctor weeks before surgery. I was -6 in both eyes, and without glasses I was legally blind. My “up-close” vision has deteriorated a lot since turning 50, and I was quite uncomfortable with not being able to see where I put my glasses when I put them down. I worried about what might happen if I were in an accident and my glasses got bent or lost–I would be SOL for quite some time. I had a head injury a few years ago that drastically affected my vision, and the several years of visual correction I went through already exposed me to cloudiness, haziness, headaches, lack of visual acuity, eye exhaustion and more, so I was pretty sure I could handle the recovery process & related side effects of ABA without too much problem. My goal was not for perfect vision, but just to have some vision without correction.
    I am having lots of blurriness and light sensitivity, pain, and halo effects, just like everyone else, but I am mostly SO EXCITED that I can see something without my glasses on! I can see people’s faces! I can read large letters! If there were an emergency, I would be able to take care of myself some without glasses! I was fortunate to be realistically prepared, and so I am doing better than I thought I might. I can’t read or do much that requires visual acuity, but I can see something, whereas before, without my glasses, I could see only blobs of color.

    My doctor said I really wouldn’t be able to see anything much for up to the first week. He said the different layers of eye cells that were lazered away heal at different rates, and so the just the safe healing of my cornea, or whatever, would take about a month. He told me that then my eyes, body, and brain would have to learn to adjust to what my new visual acuity would be, and that would take 3 to 6 months–especially the part where the brain has to learn to interpret visual nerve signals differently, and then, more accurately. So there is a lot more neurological adjustment to this process that takes time. If you know anything about nerve endings and phantom signals, etc., you’ll know what I am talking about. When the doctor removes part of your eye tissue with the lazer, there are nerve endings being cut off–almost like a microscopic amputation. The eye has to heal first, and then the nerves can start to learn to send accurate signals to the brain, and then the brain has to learn how to interpret the new signals. My doctor said it would take up to 6 months for that to happen. I just wanted to give that info to people who expected a less complicated recovery, so they would understand what is going on with the eyes during the healing process. (I’m not a doctor, so I just gave you my best understanding of what he said.) I hope this info helps someone. I think it helped ease my anxiety and will help me be patient. I will need reading glasses, but my doctor thinks I will have 20/20 or 20/30 vision when all parts of the eye and brain have adjusted to this change.

  164. @Connie – that sounds like just the thing I need!! I have been so stressed out since learning that I’m not a candidate for lasik and I didn’t even know that there are other options out there until I came across this post!

    • @Researching PRK-I’m so glad you saw my post! I know the stress you are feeling. Clear lens exchange is the BEST thing I have ever done and I’m thankful every day for it. GO FOR IT! You will not regret it.

  165. Thank you all for your comments. I had Lasik 10 years ago. I have enjoyed the mono-vision for many years. Recently, I experienced difficulty reading. I was hoping for an adjustment with lasik but I was told I could only benefit from PRK. I have decided against it and purchased reading glasses thanks to this blog. I was spoiled with the quick recovery time of Lasix and PRK’s recovery time is too long. Thank you everyone who took the time to comment on this blog.

  166. Hi Guy,

    I found this website around one year ago . when I decided to do my PRK surgery.
    It took me a week to ask for 2 weeks off from work and from school. But according to people experience I know its important to take sufficient time to rest and heal.
    Knowing What i’m getting myself into. I went to did my PRK surgery on last wednesday . (31/7/2013)

    Sp the first day i went into the clinic at 1pm with my friend. As everyone has described, they put in 4 different kinds of drops to numb my eyes. and proceed with surgery.. the surgery was pain free. I was sent home after an hour, i was given anti-bacteria, anti anti-inflammatory,, and a lubrication drops. I was told that on the first day, i won’t feel so bad. and day 2 on Friday (day 3) i will feel discomfort. and Day 3 will probably be the worse. I have post-op check up on day 2 day4 and day 6 . If i am lucky my contact bandage will be taken off on day 4, if i am typical. then my bandage will be taken off on day 5.
    ill feel and on my way back as the numb drops wore off. I started to fee light sensitivities and pains on my eyes. Also, there is one thing people didnt mention which bothers me a lot is the sore nose. Its kinda sore nose when you catch a flu or been constantly crying. Somehow i can’t figure out is it my eyes or my nose is more painful.

    But even on day 1 afternoon, as I rested at my friend’s place and she went to buy me some meds at drugs store with the prescription that the optometrist gave me. (pain killer and the pain in my eyes had becoming sharper the first few hours was painful. The little light seems to be too bright. I went home and took tons of pain kill pills and sleep off.

    Day 2, I got up at 5am. eyes was painful and watery. I went to my day 2 check up. my epithelium seems to be healing. But the doc said I need to come back on day 4 and put a fresh pair of contacts bandage in in case of infection, i was also told that the pain drops will slow down recovery, but I shall use it if my pain in 4/10. .the remain of day 2 was painful. eyes constantly watery, as many ppl describe like sands in my eyes, can’t barely open them. light sensitive. nose in pain. I told pain killer and sleeping pills to knock myself off.’

    Day 3 – the morning I got up. PAIN ARE GONE.! I can see a blur but much better than Day2. Still light sensitive. But hey pain is gone. no watery eyes either. Didn’t take pain killer.

    Day4 – went back to the clinic post check up. My epthelium

  167. Day4 (today) – went back to the clinic post check up. My epithelium seems to be healed. Contacts off. Doc said i healed a bit after than typical. and given me a pair of contacts, said if im in pain i will need put them on and come back in day 6. if not , im off for 6 weeks. And he confirmed i can drive tomorrow after eyes test.

    today i notice there’s haze. and def not perfect vision. some light sensitivity but I can bare in room light/sunset for awhile w/o sunglasses. It doesn’t hurt too much as i typed on my computer. but i can’t see the words exactly. Its still a blur. but its only day 4. Although i was told I can start driving tmr, but since its only day 5 and i have taken 2 weeks off. I decided to take it easy.

    So afterall, its not too bad. I know there are some people will terrible experiences. But I am so grateful with everyone sharing their experiences, and knowing what i will be walking into def helps to adjust the mentality.

    I am here to hope my experience can provide some assurance with people thinking about PRK. . I can’t perfect yet but my vision has been dramatically improvs since these 4 days.

  168. Adding yet another experience: I’m 52 and have glaucoma, so PRK was my only option. My surgery was Sept 19th (4 days ago). I opted to get the tear duct stints ($75 each) and it seems that they were well worth the price as I haven’t had any problem with dry-eye.

    My biggest problem was that the Dr office didn’t prepare me nearly enough for the recovery time. I expected to be at 90% at the end of my first week, no one mentioned a 3 month recovery time.

    That being said, I’m actually in very good shape. But I won’t get head of myself. So far, here is my experience:

    Day 0: Op was at 10:45. Afterwards, I pretty much came home and went to bed. The clinic gave me a prescription for Vicodin (my favorite pain reliever).
    Day 1: I slept almost all day. My eyes were VERY light sensitive (which they normally are anyway.) My follow-up appointment shows that my sight has gone from 20/100 to 20/30. As of now, technically, I can drive without glasses (ya, like THAT is going to happen! lol)
    Day 2: Sight is still very blurry. I tried to go outside today, but can’t take the light of the sun. Can’t watch TV or work on the computer because I can’t take the light emissions. But at least I can stay awake and listen to audio, and see with the awesomely cool sunglasses the Dr. gave me. :)
    Day 3: Ventured outside for lunch. I can stand the sun light for short periods. I can watch a little TV but my eyes get tired very quickly.
    Day 4: I’ve been working on the computer most of the day. I’m not nearly as light sensitive today, so no sun glasses. I’m planning on going back to work tomorrow (Tuesday) (I’m also a programmer) and will probably work at the office for 1/2 day, come home for a nap and work at home the rest of the day for the rest of the week. I would guess that if I had my sight checked today, I would probably test 20/25 or so.

    I was freaking out quite a bit because I wasn’t healing nearly as fast as I originally thought I would, but after reading this blog, I am actually extremely happy with my progress. I have my “1 week” checkup Wednesday (I’ll get my contacts removed), so I’ll report back then.

    • Day 7: Went to the Dr to get my contacts removed yesterday. It didn’t effect my vision much, although apparently my body was stressed because I went home and within about 1/2 hour, I was so tired, I went to bed and took a nap for almost 2 hours and then went to bed an hour early last night.

      One suggestion I would give people: starting the day before the procedure, start taking Airborne or whatever immune system booster you prefer and continue for a couple of days. Your system is going to be stressed because of this, so better safe than can’t see PLUS sick.

      I’m still at somewhere between 20/30 and 20/25. I suspect over the next month my sight will clear up and settle and I am able to work on the computer most of the day, so all in all, I’m pretty happy with the results so far.

  169. First of all a big thank you to all of you who took the time to wrote about your experience. I had lasik 10 years ago and needed an adjustment. I was told instead of lasik I would need PRK. I was told surgery would be done on a thursday and I would be back to work on Monday. After reading all the comments, I had my doubts and I cancelled my surgery. I don’t have the time for the longer recovery time than I had with LASIK. It was one day :) I truly appreciate your honesty.

    • Debbie – this was exactly my situation. I had the surgery (prior to finding the site ^_^) and the recovery was longer than lasik by a long shot. I was told that they didn’t like to do lasik more than 2 times and this chemical application didn’t not involve cutting. (I only had lasik once……….but). Anyway driving reading and computer work were troublesome for some time on and off. If it had not been for a “touchup” I probably would have been happier with the whole experience because the difference in vision would have been dramatic. Was it worth it for a tweak? Not sure. After 18 months I am noticing some regression in distance however, my reading is much better (I have mono vision). I use anti-glare glasses to drive at nite – I might have been happy with that solution in lieu of the surgery.

      Jaye

  170. I also would like to thank everyone in the comments – I’ve opted to have lasik done again instead of PRK….all my work is done at a computer so I can’t really afford to be out of commission for 5 days (or more!!)

  171. Had PRK done on both eyes on 10/3/13 early in am, took the offered Valium to calm my nervousness. I’ve worn glasses since I was 12 and am now 40. Corrected -5.0 and -5.25 with mild astigmatism in both eyes. So far, the after surgery experience has not been nearly as bad as I was expecting after reading many sites like this one. Right after surgery, I slept the rest of the day waking up to do the required drops. Today, the pain and discomfort has been very manageable with OTC pain meds along with the prescribed drops and gabapentin. The Vicodin is on hand if needed. My vision is still blurry (tested 20/25 and 20/40 at today’s checkup) with some halos at night, but overall I am quite functional as my vision is far better than it was before surgery without my glasses and I was used to being able to get around without glasses before that. I find the artificial tear drops (Refresh Optive) to be the key for overall comfort and use them a LOT! I spend 90% of my day in front of the computer for work and feel right now that if I absolutely had to work I definitely could with the font size increased. I did take 1 wk vacation to have this done and will still take that full week off.

    The absolute worst part of the whole experience so far has been the eye lid spreaders. I did NOT like that sensation!

    So overall I was expecting the absolute worst case scenario… excruciating pain, near blindness and being laid up in bed for 4 to 5 days.. The actual experience has been far better than expected.

  172. Dear, I am today on my day 4 after the PRK and to tell you the truth , I am still super frustrated!! I I can remember anything about the past 2 days or the very first day of it I would tell you I was deeply sedated!!
    seriously I took by the advice and i had my operation on Thursday, due to the fact that on sunday we will start a whole week off, and i don’t like the idea of my paycheck being cut, the problem was i am still at day 4 and I expected more improvement than what I feel right now, I am even doubting if I am actually doing the right steps, I only used my computer today, I had 2 long days of sleep , I used the drops that was prescribed but I am still not sure what to expect anymore any advice to be given?

  173. Keep up with the drops. Make sure you use lots of artificial tears. After a week I was able to drive. I work in IT and my close up vision took a bit to come back. Give your eyes rest and wear sunglasses even inside. It only gets better! I’m one year on the 15th and am 100% happy to this day. I still have dry eyes but that’s ok. Any questions feel free to ask.

    • I need the name of a good eye doctor in Virginia please I’m candidate only for PRK. I don’t want to take any decision before the recommendation of the surgeon.

    • I am on day 10 today and I am abusing my Lubricant eye drops (faketears!) but i have this problem , super dry eyes in the morning! Waking up is like actually ripping my eyes apart just to open them, with the pain and the itchiness and all the desire to rub my eyes till they stop that ugly feeling! on my day 4 after my comments I paid a visit to my doc and he took the lens that was in my eyes and everything was perfect on the days 5 – 6 – 7 but at day 7 this painful waking up dryness started! I am not ruse what to do anymore ! days 8 & 9 I thought something was wrong with me not using the drops ot sleeping late but even as it happened only in the day10 morning while I made sure to take enough sleep and use drops generously same result happened Super Dry eyes! so any more advice, before breaking in my doc’s office tomorrow morning!

  174. Hanan,

    I know exactly what your talking about. The only thing I can recommend is making sure you use your drops before bed and anytime you wake up during the night. Follow the instructions aka pull down your eyelid and close your eyes to let the drops really soak in. There is a “thicker” lubricant drop that the doc may be able to give you. If you have any fans on in your bedroom turn them off as they dry out your eyes. Keep in mind the steroid eye drop is drying your eyes out. I think I was using my eye drops every 30 mins – 1 hour at the time your at now. Just so you know I still get dry eyes to this day and i still see halos. I also think my left eye is less than 20/20 now it has its good and bad days. I don’t regret getting the surgery at all. Let me know how it goes! and good luck!

    • Brandon and Hanan, I used those drops every time I felt discomfort – the gel type did seem to help esp at nite. I also kept the drops bedside for in the middle of the nite as well as first thing up. It was painful. A couple years later my eyes are drier than before but not painful – usually. I use drops sometimes.

      As for halos – Brandon – I had them moderately, but I got a pair of glasses for nite time driving – anti glare – they are remarkable. There is some minor correction in my lenses because I had monovision – one eye is deliberately not 20/20 for reading purposes. For driving – this is corrected. I use the glasses seldom – for nite driving, at the theater, heavy rain,or if I am driving in unfamiliar territory. I wish I had used them years ago.

    • I know I am little late! I called the doc and yeah dry eyes are normal! I was prescribed the Gel type also at nights, and also he decreased the number of times i have to use the steroid drops from 6 times to 4 times and by early December I am changing it to another type of drops according to my doctor.
      I also had to minimize my computer hours use, also made my mobile screen brightness less, which helped in many ways!
      I have also made sure to use my sunshades even at work, because the neon lights kept giving me headaches for the first couple of days back to work, and somehow my students thing I am a funky teacher!
      I still didn’t get my eyes checked to see how near I am to 2020 but I am sure I am not there yet, I am pretty sure it is way better than before (I had -4.75 in both eyes) so yeah it is a huge step into world without glasses.
      One remarkable thing happened to me last week is that I have tried to go out at night! that was CRAZY! I mean street lights gave me headaches and I had to put on my submarine glasses i was given and wore them at night on my way home! i am some how making adventures with this new sight I am having so i know I need to take it easy on them, I am also having problem in reading books, I still haven’t managed to read a proper page, and when I use computer I have to enlarge the pagefont to make sure I am not over concentrating on reading.
      other than that I had wasted half an hour the other day looking for my glasses before remembering i am not wearing them at the moment! it was funny because my family kept watching me freaking out looking for them and they didn’t help!
      btw this blog has really been helpful for me so far in those 17 days of my life after PRK. i am so thankful ^^

  175. Maybe it was every 15 mins – 30 mins i was putting the lubricant eye drops in now that I think about it. How often are you putting them in?

  176. Let me start by saying that I would never imagine that anyone who intentionally got in to a ring to pummel and be pummeled would ever be able to write like you do. (You’re a great writer) And a programmer at that ! I’ve only ever met two other ‘tough’ programmers – they were Israeli guys. Funny enough, one of them went on to write and direct ‘Paranormal Activity’, so strayed from programming, but not in to the Octagon ! Anyway, my apologies for that…

    That said, your PRK blog has basically made me decide not to go forward with the procedure, although I will do some additional research. One question for you – do you know if there have been any ‘changes’ since you’ve had yours done that make the recovery any better ? One eye doctor told me that the drops and eye medications have improved, but that doesn’t sound like it would make the rest of the negatives go away.

    • Joseph, I had my surgery in 2012 and it was pretty much the same as the blog. I found the blog after tho………would it have changed my mind? I don’t know but I would have asked better questions and been better prepared. Lasik was such a breeze – I thought this was the same or better. Not so for recovery obviously……but maybe for my eye health – I don’t know. In the end, my vision improved, but my left eye is drier now – which can be annoying sometimes.

    • I haven’t kept up to date on any recent developments in the PRK world. I doubt the procedure itself has changed – it actually predates LASIK. The recovery is probably going to be pretty much the same. Your outer eye just needs time to grow back. Some people report a much quicker recovery time, but it seems like most experiences take several months. Good luck!

  177. 18 months on and my vision is different every day – I never know what I’m going to wake up with, multiple halos are constant and I really regret ever having had the surgery :(

  178. Hello! I had PRK four days ago on 1-29-14 and I must say that your account of the recovery experience has been very informative and calming. It’s definitely been rough these last few days but it seems that it can only improve from here on out. The patience and helplessness is the difficult part! I can see close up well enough for limited times, but everything else is a big suffocating blur. Im hoping tomorrow will bring more clarity! Thanks for sharing your experience, and I’m very glad you are pleased with your outcome.

  179. Hi Like to Thank you for your blog, i had my PRK done at LasikMd in Jan 2014, for first 3 days i was regretting my decision as my eyes were hurting(surgery was only few minutes process with no pain) and my vision was blurry(also eyes were too light sensitive) my vision was better on day 4-5 but it was again messed after contacts removal on day 6th, i was using non preservative drops every 1/2 hr since my eyes were painfully dry, i increased my Vit C intake plus 2 servings of carrot juice,now after 1 month i am 20/20 thats grainy feeling was gone in 2 weeks, my eyes are not dry anymore even tho i still use drops 3 times a day, i am now so happy with my decision, still hard to sink in “i can see” without glasses or contacts,My prescription was -6.
    Your blog really helped me.
    Thank You & Good Luck All
    Mary

  180. It’s been one week since I had my PRK and the shit takes for F***** EVER!! ITS SO FRUSTRATING. but it’s not like I could do anything else I wasn’t able to get Lasik. Its such BS how difficult it is to be a candidate for that!! >:(
    I keep being reassured by every single doctor that if I just wait I’ll get to the acuity that I want.. But JESUS THE TIME JUST DRAGS ON UGH

  181. I had my ptk / prk done 7 years ago I wish someone would have told me how terrible it is for your eye sight I had the procedure done 3 times on my left eye and still struggling. In my left eye I have a visual field of looking through a dirty glass and in right eye see one color then in the left eye. Sorry to here that so
    many others have to struggle like I am with visual difficulties. I had lasik done in the left eye and can see good out of that eye. I went to see a mayo clinic specialist about 3 months ago to see if there could be anything done and he told me that this is common after having the ptk/prk done he said the eye surface become rough not smooth. please think twice about this procedure.

  182. i did PRK in May 2013….unfortunately i only enjoyed clear vision for a couple of months after PRK…then my eyes started to blurry and dry…..what should i?…..now getting worse.

  183. I had PRK on my right eye a couple of weeks ago, and the pain and irritation was so awful, I opted for regular lasik on my left eye. Now I see great from left eye and the right eye is still blurry. I wasn’t aware the recovery would take THIS long, but I should have read your blog first.

  184. I am going to have PRK this afternoon; I am not a candidate for LASIK. Thank you very much for all of these informative bits of information. From this I have learned not to get my hopes up regarding recovery time, etc. I know it will likely be painful and I expect a recovery time that involves up to a few months before I can expect the best vision to kick in. I work from home on the computer all day so I am anticipating a good long-term outcome, not having to wear glasses or contacts anymore. So far, I think it helps to ask any and all questions in advance with your doctor and talk with people who have had the surgery. I have done both and I ask people who have had it what was the biggest surprise or unexpected thing about PRK? That way, they can remember what it was like for them just like me going in for the first time.

  185. Thanks for sharing Chad! I had PRK done 2 weeks ago and I have begun to get really frustrated with the blurry vision and halos around my eyes. Your blog gives me hope. My only concern is that I sometimes accidentally rub my eyes while sleeping. Does anyone know if this will set back the recovery process? Thanks again!

  186. Hey, thanx for ur post of ur PRK experience.. that really helped me so much.
    Anyways i’m 1 month and 2 days post my PRK surgery .. i had pure astigmatism of -4.00 on my left eye and pure astigmatism of -4.75 on my right eye before surgery .. the doctor told me that he would told aspheric optimized profile to my cornea to correct this astigmatism

    1-3 days : I had almosy no cornea pain since my eyes were watering all the time . so these water made my eyes wet enough not to get touched or scratched so i felt no pain ..but all the time i couldn’t even able to open my eyes .. and i had very high light sensitivity

    4 days later i could open my eyes finally .. but i had so bad vision then and barely can read my laptop font .. still kinda sensitive to light .. this day i had my protecting contacts removed .. and after this my vision was a little bit worse

    2 weeks later i had my check up and my vision was quite better than the first week .. but my left eye were much worse .. it had a bad ghosting vision and my right eye was clear vision .. i asked the doctor and he told me that there is a cornea haze in my left eye and this thing is normal .. so he told me not to worry about

    4 weeks and 4 days later (Right now) : i have stopped my steroid drops after 4 weeks .. 2 days later and my right eye has perfect vision .. but my left eye still has the same problem of vision ghosting and it still like 2 monthes before i don’t notice upgrades with it .. since the ghosting doesn’t make clear vision so i can’t really notice any upgrades in my left eye ,,, i’m just waiting to my next check up after 1 month .. i hope through this time i can get zero ghosting in my left eye

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