My PRK Recovery Timeline

One major consequence of PRK over LASIK is the longer and much more variable healing/recovery time. It’s nerve-racking having blurry vision weeks and even months after surgery.

The amount of time required to heal can be frustrating.

Since I’ve found comfort reading other people’s recovery timelines, I offer mine in hopes that it will do the same for you. On the flip side, I’ve also read quick healing timelines that made me more stressed out. Hopefully my story doesn’t do that to you. ;)

Just remember healing time is extremely variable; six months being the most common “worst-case scenario,” but I’ve also read between 9 and 12 months.

Unless anything else comes up, I will no longer update this post cause I’m back to normal! w00t w00t! But if you have any questions about my recovery, feel free to leave a comment.

Also, be sure to read the comments for some other first-hand recovery experiences. Thanks everyone for commenting and sharing!

Overview

Day 1 – September 30th, 2010

Surgery happened around noon.

We’re looking to correct:

  • Nearsightedness (-3.25 in both eyes)
  • Slight astigmatism

I will say one thing about the surgery itself. The doctor sprayed some fluid in my eye right after the laser zapped my cornea. During this split second I could see crystal clear. The laser above me was in sharp focus; no haze, no blurriness, just perfect vision.

This short glimpse into my future vision is what I hold onto when I doubt the results of PRK. I keep telling myself: “You saw clearly then. You will see clearly again.”

Right after surgery I could see somewhere between with contacts/glasses and without. So between 0 and -3.25. I didn’t have any pain, but the doctor told me to take a Lortab when I got home.

Lortab makes me nauseous, so post-op went something like this: got home, took a Lortab, slept, woke up, took another Lortab, slept and into Day 2 we go! ;)

Day 2

Eyes feel fine. No pain or discomfort. Doctor says everything looks good.

Vision is still what it was yesterday. Blurry, but better than before surgery without contacts.

While the doctor says I can’t drive yet, my vision is good enough that I feel comfortable driving to the grocery store for some lubricating drops. Not sure if my eyes are in the legal limits though. ;)

Day 3

You know the feeling you get when you’re in a dark room and walk outside into the sun? Your eyes feel overwhelmed and you have to shut them for a bit?

That’s how my eyes felt for the first part of the day.

I tried watching college football but couldn’t keep my eyes open for too long. My eyes felt overwhelmed. I couldn’t keep them open for more than a few minutes before I wanted to close them.

Luckily that cleared up halfway through the day and I felt fine afterward.

Vision hasn’t changed though. Still blurry.

Day 4-5

I was standing in my living room looking across to the kitchen when I realized I could see better than the previous days. Still not better (or equal to) when I had contacts, but definitely better than before.

That’s good news right?

Day 6

That is until the doctor messes with you!

I go in for my second post-op appointment and the doctor takes out the bandage contact lenses.

Vision regresses to what it was on Day 1-3. Bummer! *shakes fist at doctor* “You’ll rue the day!”

Day 7

I drive for the first time at night.

This is my first post-PRK venture in the dark with my new eyes. I know night vision problems is a common side effect of PRK (e.g. halos, glare, starbursts), so I’m anxious to see what night vision problems I have.

To my surprise, it doesn’t appear that I have any.

Since I’m still somewhat sensitive to light, I don’t stare at any street lights for too long, but as far as I can tell my night vision is what it was before I had PRK. Not seeing any signs of halos, starbursts, etc.

I’m praying this trend continues throughout my PRK recovery.

Week 1

The common thread the past week has been vision that is between with contacts and without. Basically my nearsightedness has been reduced, but not eliminated.

Luckily it’s good enough that I feel safe driving because I go back to work for the first time tomorrow. I’m slightly worried about going back because I spend a vast majority of my time on a computer and I don’t want to strain my eyes while they’re healing.

But *shrug*. It is what it is. I gotta work to pay the bills.

There haven’t been any significant improvements or regression in vision (just a small improvement on Day 4 and 5). Overall my vision has been fairly consistent since the surgery.

I will say I am surprised at how non-existent pain and discomfort has been. I’ve experienced no pain or discomfort this past week. Also, I don’t have any problems with dry eyes (another common PRK side effect). I use the lubricating drops as directed, but never feel like I need them.

Score one for the home team!

Day 8

First day back to work.

As I mentioned earlier, I spend most of my day on a computer. Being back wasn’t nearly as straining as I had expected. I did have to bump my screen resolution down to 1024×768 to see anything, but I feel good about resuming normal computer activity (with frequent breaks).

Day 9

Today was the first day I felt good about the strength of my eyes. My eyes have needed 10 to 15 minutes in the morning to fully wake up and not feel like they’ve just woken up from a coma. Not so much today.

Aside from the still blurry vision, they feel strong.

The eyes no longer need to be babied and I feel comfortable resuming activities I’ve avoided the past week (e.g. reading my Kindle and using a computer).

Day 10-12

Same old, same old . . .

Day 13

While my vision hasn’t had any major fluctuations since the surgery, I can tell there are slight changes up/down. Every couple days or so I’ll sense my vision is better than it has been. Usually it’ll happen randomly during the day, but it doesn’t last to the next day.

Today, unfortunately, was the noticeably worse day I’ve had since the surgery. Not horrible by any means. I could still drive and function as normal, but I could just tell my vision was worse than in the past.

Day 14

If yesterday was the worse day, today’s the best my vision has been yet. How convenient since I had another appointment today. ;)

Surprisingly, my vision is somewhere between 20/40 and 20/25. Didn’t realize it would be that good. I could make out the letters on the Snellen chart, but the sharpness/focus wasn’t there. That’s the part I miss the most from my vision. Even reading things up close (like the text on this monitor) don’t have the crispness I did with contacts.

But according to my current progress, the doctor says it’ll take another three weeks before my eyes stabilize.

So until then I won’t worry too much.

Week 2

My vision through this past week has stayed fairly consistent. Consistently not stellar. The story of my life the past two weeks. ;)

I can detect minor ups and downs in quality of vision from day to day, but nothing significant. I’ve had both my best and worst seeing days in the same week. But overall, I don’t believe my vision is any better than it was a week ago. Or, maybe the progress is happening so subtly that I can’t tell?

Also, the doctor says to wait another three weeks for the eyes to stabilize.

In all of this, you’ll hear me say my eyes are blurry a lot. I think I should define that a little more. I was nearsighted (-3.25 in both eyes). After surgery I am still nearsighted (as of right now), only less so. I can read/see fine up close, but things in the distance are blurry.

Blurry applies to distance vision (which is expected being nearsighted) but it also applies to close-up vision. In this context, blurry means the vision isn’t crisp/sharp. It’s slightly out of focus. So while I can read a book just fine, I can detect a hint of the words being out of focus.

The clarity just isn’t there yet.

Week 3

This has been the best week by far. There’s been noticeable improvement in my vision. I believe I’ve hit 20/20 at various points. It’s been neat getting up in the morning and being able to see clearly.

My vision hasn’t fully stabilized yet, but I’m finally starting to feel better about the results of my surgery. If things progress as they have I’ll be a happy camper.

I also engaged in sports for the first time without any problems. Played a couple matches of tennis and a pick-up game of Ultimate Frisbee. At no point did I feel hindered because of my eyes.

There are still minor ups and downs from day to day (and within each day), but the average quality of my vision has improved. Let’s say last week was 75%, this week it’s been 85%.

The blurriness is slowly clearing up (both distance and close-up). I can now see objects in the distance with more focus. Books are also getting clearer, however, I am still having some blurriness when viewing computer screens.

Week 4

I’m pretty confident my vision is at or near 20/20. This makes me happy, but at the same time my vision is still not at the same quality it was with contacts.

I could see 20/20 with my contacts, but things were much more crisp.

Being able to see 20/20 is only one aspect of good vision. The part I’m missing is the sharpness and clarity. So that doesn’t make me happy and reminds me there’s still more healing/waiting that needs to be done.

Also, I think I am having some night vision issues. Still no halos, starburts, etc., but I feel like I’ve lost the ability to see detail in the shadows. It’s kind of hard to describe. As I’m drive at night there are portions of what I see that appear to be completely black; where I can’t see any detail. Instead of seeing an outline or shape in the shadows it all blends together into a blob of darkness.

Let’s hope this isn’t a permanent issue. While it wouldn’t be the end of the world if it were, it’s still a little weird. What if a burglar jumps out from the shadows and I can’t see him!? ;)

Week 5

Overall, not much has changed from last week. The vision has stayed consistent (near, if not at 20/20) and I think the lack of clarity/sharpness has gotten a bit better.

And also, I’m positive now I am having night vision side effects. I haven’t quite put my finger on exactly what it is. But it does have to do with not being able to see shadow detail. And whether it is related or not, there seems to be certain situations with lights (i.e. stop lights/car head lights) that make me sense something is different than it was prior to surgery.

I’m going to try and experiment with my night vision this upcoming week to see if I can explain what these “symptoms” are.

Week 6-7

Wow, has it already been seven weeks since the surgery? Over the past two weeks I’ve found myself not noticing any vision problems at all (at least during the day). So the slight issues I had looking at computer screens has gone away. It was such a gradual thing that I didn’t even realize it was getting better.

I just started waking up and going about my day like nothing was wrong. Only when I had to think about writing this update did it occur to me things had gotten better.

But as I hinted at before, I still have a detectable problem seeing details in shadows at night.

Even if that doesn’t clear up, I will still be satisfied with the results of my surgery. I have a follow-up appointment this upcoming week. We’ll see what the doctor has to say then.

Week 8

Had a follow-up appointment with the doctor this week. According to the Snellen chart, I’m seeing just better than 20/20. I could read the 20/20 line without any problems and some of the 20/15 line. Good news there.

As far as the night vision problems I’ve been describing, I explained it to the doctor and he wanted me to do a little test. He wanted me to compare my night vision with someone else. His main reason being sometimes people can over-analyze too much and he wanted a comparison.

Sounds like something I would do. Pretty ingenious “experiment” if you ask me. ;)

So I did the test and my roommate could not see shadow detail any better than I could. Perhaps I am seeing normally. I’ve only been able to compare with one other person. I’ll find a few more and see if the results are the same. If they are, that bodes well for me. That means my vision is normal and as good as it was with contacts/glasses!

From here on out I will only update this blog monthly.

3 Month

90 days! 3 months!

So here’s the deal. From my last update you know I was “complaining” about some night visions issues and the comparison my doctor wanted me to do. Aside from my roommate, I didn’t compare with anyone else cause I feel like I don’t have those night vision problems anymore.

Now you’re probably thinking to yourself it must have been psychosomatic (i.e. my brain was making me think I had issues when I really didn’t), but I swear I had problems! By coincidence it cleared up after my doctor had me do the test. Seriously! ;)

I would say I felt 100% healed and fully functional at the 2.5 month mark.

Other Recovery Timelines

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Comments

  1. Jim Long says

    I appreciate you taking the time to write about your recovery. I’m getting PRK on Thursday the 28th. I know recoveries are case by case, and every patient is different, but I hope my recovery is on par with yours. Best of luck the rest of the way.

    • Alex Tran says

      Thanks!

      I pray regularly for my recovery, so I will be sure to pray for yours alongside mine.

      It can be quite nerve racking for sure. ;)

  2. Ginny Lee says

    I find your blog helpful. I had my PRK October 14, 2010. My vision is better than it was without contact, however very blurry. I think if I would have read more on the recovery timeline I might not have gone throught with it. I’m very frustrated since it has been five weeks and no significant changes. Hoping I didn’t make a huge mistake. :-)

    • Alex Tran says

      I totally understanding the thought that you made a huge mistake. But give it some time!

      If it helps, I talked with some friends I know here in Jax. Their healing times ranged from two weeks to six months!

      So you’re still relatively early in the healing process.

  3. JoAnne says

    thanks for your blog. I am having PRK Dec. 15, 2010 & I am nervouse about the recovery time. I also was advised to do one eye by my Dr. so that in the long term, I will not need reading glasses. Well, i will come back and tell you how it went & thanks for your updates.

    • Alex Tran says

      yeah, do come back and let me know how it went! i’m sure others would appreciate another first-hand account.

  4. JoAnne says

    Hi, I had my PRK procedure on Friday Dec.10th & I am so far doing well. I have to say that first off I cannot believe how fast the procedure was & that there was no pain. the doctor put a contact in my eye to protect it until it heals. My eyes were very sensitive for 2 days after the procedure & I slept a lot because the sensitivity was quite strong. I had no pain whatsoever though. Aside from the blurriness from the contact that will hopefully be removed on Wednesday, I can actually read things from afar that I would never have been able to read before. So far, I am happy with the procedure, but will keep you posted when the lenses come out. Thank you for taking the time to read & allowing me to post my experience.

    • Alex Tran says

      So happy to hear you’re pain free!

      You can never go wrong with sleeping a lot. I say milk it for all it’s worth and sleep till your back gets sore. ;)

      Praying the rest of your healing goes well; both speed and quality of vision!

      Btw, aren’t you supposed to be resting your eyes? ;) That means no computers!!

  5. JoshDM says

    Found your post off a Google search.

    I was going to get PRK (I keep calling it PKR) last year, but held out to 2011 for tax reasons.

    I’m told I am a good candidate (I’m only extremely nearsighted and have been so for years), and really am investigating the experiences of others. Thank you for posting about it to your blog; I’ll bookmark and let you know how mine goes.

    • Alex Tran says

      hehe. random trivia. my mom needs cataracts surgery but is holding off so it gets worse and will be covered by insurance. ;)

      when you do have surgery, definitely leave a comment and let us know what you think!

  6. Allyne says

    Thank you for your blog. I’m having PRK done on Jan 8 (next Saturday). I’m terrified as I have not had surgery before. Your post give me a great deal of confidence since I’m not a Lasik candidate. My concern is the healing process. I know all cases are different, but your account gives me greater insight about what to expect. Thanks…

    • Alex Tran says

      hiya allyne!

      exciting and nerve-racking times for you coming up! i’m happy my post helped you.

      one of the things that really eased my worries is knowing the surgery has been around since the late 80’s. it’s had time to mature.

      i haven’t talked to anyone that wasn’t thrilled with their results. some had longer healing times (and sometimes painful), but the end result has always been positive and worth the healing process.

      let us know how it goes!

  7. Shelly mangold says

    I had the prk surgery on dec. 21 and am on week 3, very frustrated and am on restasis for dry eyes. vision is blurry and doesnt seem to improve. Lots of patience required!!!!!!

    • Alex Tran says

      i totally understand the feeling. based on what i’ve read and experienced, it seems like the sweet spot for recovery is between 2 and 3 months.

      my doctor said the best thing i could do during the healing process was stay on the drops. so be diligent with the restasis!

  8. Boomer says

    I had PRK in my left eye only Dec 17th. Vision is even blurrier than before the surgery. I am seeing double vision, Sometimes I can read up close (I am 50 years old and was using reading glasses). After my drops I can see clearly for like a second. Frustrated but tring to be patient. Doctor says I’ve improved from 20/100 to 20/40. Nothing is crisp so I am finding it hard to believe him.

    • Alex Tran says

      if you can see clearly immediately following the drops, i think that’s a good sign the surgery was successful. now it’s just a matter of waiting for the eye to heal.

      i experienced the lack of crispness as well in the middle of my recovery. but mine cleared up, so don’t worry! you’ve still got lots of time!

  9. Pamarama says

    I just had my surgery on Dec. 31,2010..What a great Christmas present. I intially was going to have Lasik but found that I had a Corneal Dystophy and PRK could correct that and I would not have any trouble with that. So PRK it was.. I will have to say it was more painful afterwards than I expected but with some help from my friend percocet I was good to go. right now my vison is quite blurry and I have my computer screen at 200 percent…lol I go for my follow up tomorrow and have the contacts removed. I am expecting a long slow recovery.. but anticipating clear vision that I have not experienced in 30 years!!!!!I was already amazed at the fact that I could see the alarm clock without crawling halfway across the bed… .lolol. Cheers to all of you and have a super New Year!!!!!!!!!!!!! Cant wait to see more clearly.

    • Alex Tran says

      good! sounds like you have signs of a successfully surgery even though you’re still healing.

      it’s a great feeling. i couldn’t sleep just now, so decided to write a blog post to pass the time. as i was firing up my laptop i thought how cool it was to see everything clearly without having to put in any contacts.

      you’ll be doing the same shortly!

  10. bill caudill says

    I had a re treatment on right eye before thanksgiving and I am still expericing starburts. Do they ever get better or go away?

    • Alex Tran says

      that i can’t really comment on as i never experienced problems with starbursts. the slight problems i did run into did eventually clear up though.

      based on my timeline (and others i’ve heard), it seems like healing averages about 3 months. so i’d give it another month and see where you’re at before you get too concerned.

  11. donna warner says

    Wow! So nice to see how many people have had PRK. Mine will be done this Tuesday, the 18th. I am nervous, nervous, nervous!! I had RK surgery done before and now I need to have them corrected again. I truly appreciate the posts about the healing time and will try to have patience, and lots of it.

  12. Boomer says

    One month since PRK in right eye. Double vision is severe. Doctor says it takes time. Be patient. Winter time in the northeast puts us indoors alot. Dry heat can cause eyes to heal slowly. He prescribed over the counter GenTeal Liquid Gel Drops.

    • Alex Tran says

      yeah, my doctor said to go buck wild with the eye drops. he said that was the best way i could help him.

      so definitely keep on those gel drops if that’s what your doctor prescribed.

  13. Ginny Lee says

    I just returned from my 3 month follow up. My left eye is awesome 20/15 my right eye however is not 20/50. The doctor said it’s most likely not going to get any better and that if I want 20/20 in my right eye I have to have PRK done again, but he wants to check the thickness of my cornea in 6 weeks to see if I’m even eligible to have the procedure done again. My recover was horrible, painful and slow. I’m not sure I will do it again.

    • Alex Tran says

      thanks for posting your follow-up.

      sorry to hear you’ve had such a bad experience. :( is 20/50 an improvement from before the surgery? does your doctor do enhancements for free?

      i had a friend who required one as well. afterward she was seeing great.

      • shari says

        I had PRK Feb 3, 2011, was off work longer than I expected. I’m wearing contacts again, just to be able to work and to drive. The doctor says I have to have my PRK repeated because I am 2 months post -op and I won’t improve much more. They say after 6 to 12 months I can have the surgery again. I can’t afford to be off work like that again, and I am worried about doing PRK twice. Is it safe? I was -4.00 in both eyes before surgery, and intended to have monovision with the PRK, now I am -1.00 in both eyes, so improvement, but not enough to get out of contacts for good. My work involves computers and good vision is a must. I hate to do this again, even one eye at a time, even if it is free, I had to travel out of state the first time. I’m just concerned about doing this twice and the recovery time. Opinions?

  14. donna warner says

    Alex,
    Thanks for your words of comfort. I will go ga-ga (and I ain’t talkin’ Lady, here! :D ) with the wetting drops. So nice of you to stay in touch with us “newbies” after having you PRK done late Sept. It is very helpful.

  15. Ginny Lee Deptula says

    Alex- It is an improvement, however coming from 20/20 vision in contacts it’s been a frustrating adjustment. He charges $500 for enhancement. That is a positive sign. Thanks very much for this blog!

  16. Craig says

    Hey there, I am looking at getting the PRK surgery done, but I have a question I hope someone can clear up. I am currently going to school and therefore I have to read powerpoints and chalkboards all day long, as well as textbooks. With reference to the bluriness that people are referring to, how difficult would it be to read the textbooks and powerpoints after the 1st week? I would like to know if its ok to get it now, or if I should wait till the summer break. Thanks.

    • Alex Tran says

      others can chime in as well, but i think it depends on a couple factors.

      1. how well you heal. as you can read from some of the comments, the healing is varied from person to person.
      2. how much correction PRK is doing.
      3. how big the presentations/writing on the chalkboard are.

      for me personally, my distance vision wasn’t too bad at -3.25 in both eyes. so i would say after the first week, i probably would have been okay in a classroom if i sat in the front row, as close to the text as possible.

      textbooks would have been no problem after the first week since i could get up close to the writing.

      but! i will say it is important to let your eyes heal and not over-stress them during recovery. any type of reading will strain your eyes.

      so i would probably recommend you do the surgery over the summer where you’ll have plenty of time to rest your eyes and not worry about grades. ;)

  17. Ginny Lee Deptula says

    Craig- I couldn’t read for about one week. Week two I enlarged the font on my computer and was able to read. It’s different for everyone, however it does take time. I’d said about one full month before blurriness subsided.

  18. Pamarama says

    3 weeks in and I am doing great. Text book recovery really. Looking forward to being completely healed, and not having little plastic vials of wetting drops all over my house…lol. Going for 3 week checkup tomorrow..hopefully they will say all is on track.

    • Alex Tran says

      Awesome! So glad things are progressing so well for you. Thanks for sharing!

      I totally feel ya on the wetting drops. I don’t use them anymore, but I still have two bottles sitting on my desk as I type this. ;)

  19. donna warner says

    Hi Alex, well today is day 3. So far , so good. I seem to be following in your recovery footsteps. My vision is still very blurry, but the light sensitivity is not there. Yeah!!! My level of pain has been at a discomfort level and not the excruciating level I thought I would have. Remarkable! I did increase the font size on my computer to read for a bit and it helped a lot. I actually could read a menu board at a local deli and, even though it was fuzzy, I could still read it with amazement.
    Saturday I am having the contact bandage removed and will keep my expectations down as I believe that I will have some regression. And that’s okay. Thanks again for posting your recovery, it is extremely helpful.

  20. donna warner says

    Went in to have the bandage contact removed and I needed more time. So, come Tuesday we will see once again if the time is right to remove the bandage. Once the DR exchanged out the original contacts my eyes felt immediately better. I actually drove home from the Dr’s.
    I will keep you posted.

  21. Tim Ross says

    Alex, I wish I had this before I did my PRK (1/25). I seem to be following your recovery almost to the letter. I can work and drive without issue but as you say (many, many times) things are a bit blurry. Looking forward to things crisping up a bit. If that happens I’ll be very, very happy!

    Thanks again for this, it is very helpful and reassuring. I was freaking out (to say the least!) after my first week!

    • Alex Tran says

      Surgery on the eyes is a pretty scary thing. I don’t blame you for freaking out. ;) But happy to hear you feel reassured after reading my experiences.

      Praying everything continues smoothly for you!

  22. Allyne says

    Alex,
    It’s been 1 month and 1 day since my surgery. I had it done in my left eye. The surgery…easy…really easy. I was terrified, but it wasn’t bad at all. The first few days were not bad too. I tried to preempt any pain with my meds and that worked just fine. Visual recovery has been slow. At this point, I a helluva lot better than I could before surgery, but I still have a ways to go before the blurriness clears up. I notice fuzziness around lights at night driving, which is my main concern now. But I’ll be patient, again thanks to your blog, and give my eyes time to continue to heal. I can’t thank you enough for sharing your experience. It give me hope that my vision will be fully restored soon!

    • Alex Tran says

      “A helluva lot better” is good news. ;) At least you’ve experienced improvements in vision even though things are still blurry. That’s a good sign!

      Give the night time fuzziness some time. Don’t do what I did and over analyze it. ;) If your recovery is like mine, you’re just reaching the halfway point. So plenty of time to get better!

  23. adler says

    I had my eyes done on Feb 4 and its feb 19 now…i’m having same issues as many people… ghosting….blurry.. and its frustrating. I am a photographer so i need my eyes :)
    I’ve been reading and i know it might take longer to heal..etc but that doesnt change the fact that i’m worried like many others, it is your eyes after all right. I hope at the end, it’ll be all good, just in the meantime it sucks.

    • Donna Warner says

      Hi Adler,
      Just try to be patient. I am at week 5 and it wasn’t until week 4 that I noticed a big improvement in my vision. Stay positive and keep looking ahead, your eyes will improve.
      Donna

  24. adler says

    thanks Donna!

    I am patient…but as you know..its still frustrating. I just want to be able to get back to my work.. :)

    • donna warner says

      Oh, I so know what you mean. It is totally frustrating not having the best use of your eyes. I, too, need my eyes to do my job, and it has been so frustrating not being able to see for such a long time. FINALLY, this week has been very good for me. My right eye is still under performing, but I do know that my vision is improving with time. I may be a candidate for a “touch up”, but that is another 5 months down the road.
      There is another blogger that had the same recovery that I am having and I found comfort in reading what she wrote> I am totally in the “normal” range, which made me feel so much better.
      Good luck to you.

  25. adler says

    finding this blog/post is helping.. i mean i knew it would take a while for the vision to kick in…and having other ppl have a similar experience is giving me a bit of comfort, that it will be okay.

    just gotta keep on keeping on :)

    • Alex Tran says

      @Donna: thanks for all the encouragement!

      @Adler: like you said, just gotta keep on keeping on. ;)

      i had to keep reminding myself daily that the recovery is a long process. PRK recovery is going to be inconsistent from day-to-day/week-to-week.. that’s just the nature of the beast.

      but it does improve and when it does things are going to be awesome for you. ;)

  26. JoAnne says

    Patience really is needed. I had prk Dec. 10, 2010. My left eye was blurry & I thought it would never clear up & thought Is this it? But now I am seeing great. Just had a Dr. appt last week & read from the 20/15 chart & am seeing great. Hang in there.

  27. JoAnne says

    It took just over a month and a half to see as I wanted to. like I said now I am seeing 20/15 on the chart & the sharpness has gotten better as well.

  28. Steve says

    Great journal!!! I was going to have lasik done last year along with a co-worker. But they said my cornea was to thin for Lasik, and that I needed PRK. Which is some what a good thing, because being in the Army, PRK is what they prefer. My co-worker did the Lasik and had great results. I chickened out and said I would wait. Now that summer is getting closer, I want to do it again but dont want to wait any longer because I have tons of yard work planned. So I just made my appointment for March 11… Hopefully I wont be “that guy” and come out with complications… Thanks for everyones comments on their recoveries.!!!

  29. Alex says

    Just got my PRK surgery 2 weeks ago. Things seem to be going well, a little blurry especially in my right eye but I’m able to drive and handle my full college schedule. I only missed two days of school after the surgery. Reading and using the computer was overwhelming the first week but now its just a bit of a blurry experience. I loved your description of waking up. I had to set my alarm 15 minutes ahead of normal to get my eyes ready in the morning, but that too has subsided. Now I wake up and start my day just like any other. I’m looking forward to the blur being lifted.

    • Alex Tran says

      pretty soon you’ll be waking up like i am and seeing perfectly clear!

      just had my six month check-up and all is well. no more check-ups needed (aside from my standard yearly eye exam). i need to have a contact solution burning party or something since i haven’t thrown away my contact stuff yet. ;)

  30. adler says

    i’m at the 3 week mark and vision is still blury, doesn’t seem like there has been any change. When i throw drops in it goes clear for a sec or so and after back to blurry. my 6 week apointment is coming up in mid March.

    When i slightly cross my eyes everything comes clear – just observation

  31. adler says

    feb 28 since my last post – vision goes in an out a bit, i hope its good news. I ran out of the drops that slow the healing down so i have to go get some. Few nights ago my right eye was stuck together, kinda like when you first get the procedure done, when you sleep and open your eyes it hurts cuz they are stuck. So thats weird that it happened now after all these weeks to my right eye.

    I”M keeping up with the Tears drops as well

    its been just 2 days over 3 weeks at this point

  32. Sammie says

    Hey! Thanks for blog. It’s been very helpful. You don’t mention, were you a candidate for LASIK? I ask because l’m a candidate for both LASIK and prk but don’t like the idea of creating a flap on my eyes for LASIK, so l’m leaning towards prk. Also, how’s the sharpness these days? Is it the same as it was with contact/glasses? Thank you much!

    • Alex Tran says

      PRK was my only option due to my thin corneas.

      from everything i’ve read about LASIK/PRK, the flap in LASIK rarely causes complications. that’s a decision worth researching more since i know LASIK is the newer procedure and recovery time is much quicker.

      sharpness is good. just had my six month and everything is good. seeing 20/15 with no issues with blurriness.

      the question about whether it’s the same with contacts/glasses is up for debate. part of me thinks my eyesight was a bit sharper with contacts, but it could be in my head.

      regardless, the surgery was a success. even if that were true, my eyesight would be 95% compared to 100% with contacts. but that’s only if it were true.

      one thing i recommend is documenting your vision before surgery. maybe print out a snellen chart and see where your vision is in terms of distance/sharpness.

      then after the surgery you can compare.

  33. Steve says

    My corneas was to thin (480). 500 was the level at which I was told they cant do Lasik. plus, I am in the Military, and they prefer PRK as there is less chance of the flap ever coming undone.

    One question. Is there a website to see a Dr’s reviews? The Dr. I am going to was 1/2 the cost as three others I tried. 2000 for Custom PRK. All the others were 4000 plus. His excuse is that he owns his own machines and he does not lead a lavish life style thus he passes the savings on. Regardless, he has the same amount of procedures under his belt as the other guys. He dosent have a big office and his advertisements are simple. I know 4 people who used him and no issues. Just worried about going with the lowest bidder… I searched his name and no one has complained about him.. yet. :)

    • Alex Tran says

      i never saw a review site for doctors.

      for me, it came down to which doctor did i trust the most with my eyes?

      so prior experience came into play, but also the vibe i got from meeting with them influenced my decision.

      i went to one doctor who was so impersonal that it didn’t matter his qualifications, there was no way i was trusting him with my eyes. i didn’t feel like a patient but a number to him.

      if you know four people who have used the doctor and have had no issues, i think that speaks volumes. i would feel more confident going to a doctor that has treated people i know than someone who hasn’t.

  34. adler says

    ^^ STEVE
    My understanding is that the machines get leased to these companies(at least here in CAnada) – thats what i was told by the place i did it at, anyway.

    i paid 2500 with a group rate where i had it done, i also looked at the places for 4 + grand, and i had a bad vibe – at one place they basically tried to sell me the equivalent of the Seinfeld episode where Jerry is trying to buy a car from PUtty and there is this fee for the so called “Undercoating”, if you know what i mean. This place said to me that i could have this procedure done, but for the extra $$ i coudl have this other one done and it’ll boost my eyesight even more, lol. Would you belive that, safe to say i didnt go with that place – what a scam.

    If you spoken with your friends and they have good things to say about this guy, why not? I didnt go with the first place i saw, i did a bit of research and finally settled on one, and it just happend that my friend had his done there and he was prasing it.

    So tomorrow is my one month since the procedure, my vision is still blury, but i think its slowly getting better or maybe its not and i’m just getting used to the blur, i dont know. MY 6 weeks is coming up in mid march so i hope by that time i’ll be dialed in. I would hate to have it re-done..but we’ll see. Everyone heals differently so i’m still hanging on…..

    • Steve says

      Thanks Adler,
      The first two Dr’s I went to had fancy offices, wore suits and had a BMW in the parking lot. and yes, he had to lease the machine t do the LASIK/PRK. And yes, he tried to talk me into all the “extra’s, but he was very personable. The next guy I went to is a family business (Mother and 2 brotheres work with him). His offices are usually in strip malls. Nothing fancy. Uses a “bix truck” with a banner on it for his advertisements, etc. My co-worker and I went in for a dual consult. He tried to give us the standard :this is what Lasik is, but we both stopped him as we had already been to 2 other Dr’s. We spadi point blank, “Why are you cheaper”. His response was simple, he said he lives a simple life, dosent have the expensive office, employs family, and that he owns his own machines. All of them! To which the other Dr’s lease from him when he is not using them. Although he dosent have to much of a personality, he was honest and upfront and had a bottom up routine. He pushed the basic cheaper type. He said “if you are basically blind, and I tell you that for 2000, you can retain 95% of your sight, people are happy. To some people, the added expense of the “Custom” or “intralase” is not worth it. But what I did like was when he said “if having a dr that wears suits, has a fish tank in his office, drive a fancy car, gives you a better feeling about the kind of Dr they are, then by all means go to him.” and I liked that.

  35. Diane says

    Thanks for everyone’s candor about recovery. I am scheduled for March 16th and am really nervous. I was told I was a lasik canidate 4 years ago, but they changed to prk last week, I was disappointed, but hopeful that prk will do the trick for me. Wish me luck!

    • Alex Tran says

      regardless of LASIK/PRK, i’m sure you won’t be disappointed in the results!

      let us know how your recovery goes.

  36. Geo says

    First off, thanks for the blog, as I’ve enjoyed reading the responses of the before and after surgery. I had PRK this past Friday (3/4). I too was anxious, nervous, etc. but was amazed how fast and painless the entire procedure went. I was extremely nearsighted so I was 55 and 60 seconds under the laser. My right contact patch was removed yesterday and the left one was removed today and they said I was reading 20/30 in my right eye today. I was amazed at the clarity this morning , but the clarity comes and goes as does the irritation.
    As my Dr. reminded me, it’s 3 steps forward, 2 steps back. It’s difficult to read and type right now, but I wanted to encourage those that are getting ready to have the procedure soon to take heart and don’t get too anxious. Think what it will be like to wake up in the morning and SEE!

    • Alex Tran says

      wow, i really like the reminder “3 steps forward, 2 steps back.”

      that’s the best (and shortest) description i’ve heard yet!

  37. Steve says

    Hi everyone. 6 Days post surgery for me. Not going as well as I had hoped. My one eye is about what I expected, but thought I would be able to see up close a bit better. My other eye, not so good. My contact popped out at Day 3, and since then has been much blurrier that the other. Yesterday was my 2nd visit to the Dr. He said that since the contact popped out, it set that eye back a little bit. Still some scratches to fill in. Guess we all heal at different rates.
    One thing I was not ready for was sitting home with nothing to do. I am going CRAZY here. Yesterday was the first time I can say that I could watch TV. I tried to sleep for the first few days, but then I was wide awake at night. Makes you start to think what if. What if my vision dosent come back, what it… I guess I would call it post operative depression. You dont realize how sitting home basically helpless can mess with your mind. But now that I can atleast, I try and stay as active as possible.

  38. Allyne says

    Steve, it’ll work out. I had my left eye done on Jan 8 and I am scheduled to have the right one done next Wed. It’s going to take some time, but it’ll improve. The hardest thing for me was the emotional challenge of managing the fear that I VOLUNTEERED to have the surgery and that it might not work as hoped (or heck, might not work at all). I’m not sure that I was adequately prepared for and warned about the weeks that I’d carry this anxiety. It’ll improve. Just try to be patient and take it one day at a time.

  39. JP says

    This has been a great resource for information and I was wondering if anyone posting here had anywhere near as bad as my eyesight which is -5 with astigmatism?

    • Alex Tran says

      From what my doctor said, anything above -8.00 is where things become more questionable about achieving 20/20 vision.

      Since you’re at -5.00, I wouldn’t worry too much. As far as the astigmatism, mine was only minor so I can’t speak to my specific values.

  40. Geo says

    JP,
    I’m not sure what my astigmatism values were, but I had it particularly bad in my left eye. Today was my 3-week check-up and one of my struggles is seeing double, or, 2 shades of things out of that eye. My Dr. said that was related to the amount of astigmatism I had had and to just keep putting in the drops and allowing time to heal. On a positive note, I have had 3 mornings in a row to wake up with nearly perfect vision in both eyes. It lasts for only about 30 minutes, but that gives me hope. Also, in the fact that the doc does not need to see me back for over a month, so I must be progressing as he thinks I need to be…3 steps forward, 2 steps back!

  41. adler says

    hey guys!! its been a month and a half for me since prk… vision is still stuck at 90% it seems.. still blury a bit

    also one thing that i noticed, and i want to know if anyone else gets the saame thing. Sometimes when i move my eyeball to diff corrners or go cross eyed i get this discomfort for a while.. it feels like there is somethign stuck on the eyeball..like a hair ..but there is no hair there.. it just feels coarse and dry..eventho my eye is watering and i have drops in it… anyone else have the same feeling.

    I try to not look extremely to the sides or up and down for this reason..especially during hte morning…

  42. faimay says

    Hi, I had prk on both eyes on the 22nd of March and today is the tenth day. The first two days after surgery were terrible for me and I had to rely on vicoden for the pain and discomfort. The eyes were swollen and I could not open them even for drops:( Then from the third day onward it got better and finally the contacts came out on Monday and discomfort has gone considerably. Although the vision fluctuates a lot and sometimes its crystal clear but them it gets out of focus. I have a few questions for all prk people,
    1. When should I start washing my eyes with soap and water? Or can i just wash my face with tap water now after the 10th day? I tried it once on the 7th day but it stung a lot so I am frightened, pls help!
    2. It feels like something is in my right eye, like a particle or something which doesnt go away even with the artificial tears. Has this happened to anyone?
    Thanks, looking forward to the answers

    • Alex Tran says

      To answer your questions.

      1. My doctor said to avoid getting water into my eyes for the first month after surgery. I still washed my face, but I was very cautious to avoid getting any water in my eyes.

      But I would definitely ask your doctor and get his recommendation as it may be different for you.

      2. From what I understand, that is part of the healing process. The eye’s surface is typically smooth, but is now jagged/rough because of PRK.

      Imagine rubbing your hand over sand paper. This is basically what’s happening every time you blink/move your eye. I bet that’s why you feel like something’s always in your eye.

      Once it heals and smooths out I expect the discomfort to go away.

      But again, talk to your doctor. ;)

      • faimay says

        Thanks so much Alex for the quick and reassuring reply. Your answer to question 2 makes me feel much better. Hopefully it will be as you say.
        I did talk to my doctor before posting this and he incredibly said that it is ok to wash the eyes with water and soap at this point. But I still was uncomfortable doing it and kept researching on my own but couldnt find anything on it. I didnt wanna damage the cornea with a mistake like this. I personally feel that there is a big lack of info about the post op healing and care for PRK. My doctor sort of avoids the issue and doesnt explain in detail.
        Btw, your blog has been very helpful in preparing me for the surgery and post op. Thanks again!

        • Alex Tran says

          Yeah, even if your doctor says it’s okay, it won’t hurt to be more cautious!

          And I’m happy to hear this blog has helped.

          I appreciate you and everyone else commenting and sharing your experience. It helps everyone who reads!

  43. Celeste Barnett says

    I’m scheduled for surgery next week. They are still not sure if it will be PRK or Lasik, the only reason for PRK will be the steepness in my right eye. My main concern is I’m a photographer, and my busy season is getting close, how bad is the blurriness? I was originally going to wait til next January to do it if it had to be PRK but since they won’t decide until the day of I don’t want to wait. Having it done would your suggestion be to go ahead or hold off until after the summer photo season?
    Thanks!!!!

    • Alex Tran says

      I think the advice below from Allyne is great.

      If clear eyesight is mission critical to your photography, I would wait until you can allot 3 months for recovery. Or do one eye at a time.

      What I’m kind of wondering is how come they can’t determine if you’re a LASIK candidate _before_ actually getting you into surgery? I would think they should be able to determine that.

      Maybe you can go to another LASIK place and do one of their free evaluations and see what they say?

  44. Allyne says

    Celeste,
    I just had PRK done in my second eye 15 days ago (the first was January 8th). It has been a bit a bit slow going on recovery, which appears to be the norm. If my photography business depended on my vision I’d wait until I had adequate time for recovery (a MINIMUM of 3 months, although I’d expect m0re for things to sharpen). I can see 20/20 with both eyes, but it’s not a sharp 20/20, and I don’t anticipate it will sharpen for a few months. If they can do LASIK, go for it… PRK, wait until you have sufficient time for visual recovery…UNLESS.. .you only have one eye done at a time, and you don’t have any issue wearing a contact in the untreated eye. You should fare okay that way. My 2 cents.

  45. Celeste Barnett says

    That’s what I’m thinking too, but being all prepared I don’t want to wait. I am in Montana, there is no other Lasik place within an acceptable distance. The surgeon actually flies in on Thursday from Seattle & he has to make the call. There are no other indicators for prk & the steepness is in the grey area so it will be his call that day. I can still choose to wait if it has to be prk. Just don’t want to have to. Thanks for your input!

  46. Wendy says

    Hello

    I had PRK done on March 11,2011 and I am now on my 4th week of recovery, I am not seeing clearly, I need reading glasses to see computer and read documents. I can not see street signs and feeling very frustrated. The comments are helping.
    Thanks!! :)

    • Alex Tran says

      realistically a month is still relatively early in the healing process. as i mentioned before, i know people that have taken up to six months to heal.

      each person heals differently, so don’t be discouraged!

      • Mark says

        Alex – what options did you use in the short-term to help with you vision. At two weeks and I can barely read the words I’m typing. Clearly, I won’t be able to function for very long like this. Did you use temporary glasses or contacts ro help with your vision in the short-term until you saw positive results?

        • Alex Tran says

          hiya mark. honestly, i didn’t do anything outside of be patient and follow doctors orders about resting my eyes and keeping diligent with eye-drop usage. i never had to use temporary glasses or contacts.

          i’m sorry to hear you’re not having as great a time with the healing, but as you read through some of the comments, your current results are not that uncommon. don’t blame your doctor just yet! ;) PRK healing is extremely variable (as you’ll read from the various comments), but ultimately, a vast majority of us get past the “oh crap, did i make a mistake” phase and begin experiencing very positive results.

          from others who have shared their experiences, it seems it takes at least two months before vision starts improving noticeably. and sometimes more. to quote another comment, the recovery process is very much a two step forward, one step backwards roller coaster.

          hang in there! if you haven’t had a chance, read through some of the comments on this post for some other first-hand experiences (some not as smooth as mine, but still with great final results).

          • Mark says

            Thanks Alex. My primary frustration with my doctor was that he told me recovery would last 72 hours. I assumed that I would be able to do things like read or easily be on the computer. To me, that’s what “Recovery” meant. After reading through these comments (with a large screen), I see that my assumption of “recovery”at 72 hours and my doctors assumption of “recovery” at 72 hours were very dissimilar. I meet with my doctor on Thursday the 14th which is Day 13 for me.

            I’m currently using two types of drops – one is a steroid called FML (Fluormetholone opthomolgic suppression) and the other is an over the counter eyedrop lubricant. What eye drops were you taking? Also, do you have any questions/comments/concerns that I should bring to him at this time? Thanks!

          • Alex Tran says

            i can’t remember what types of drops i was using, but i was using three prescription drops for about a month (i think) after the surgery. after that it was OTC lubricating drops. your healing doesn’t sound abnormal at this stage, so i wouldn’t have any questions. as long as the doctor believes you’re progressing as he/she is expecting, i would be comfortable with that.

    • amy says

      I had prk about 10 days ago (only right eye) but I am seeing double inside and can not read computer screen with right eye. Luckily I can function with my left eye. I thought by now it would be better . I did start out with -7 so not sue if that requires more recovery time.

      • Alex Tran says

        10 days is still early in the healing process!

        it seems 2 to 3 months is the “average” healing time based on my own experience and from those commenting.

        and i don’t think being -7.00 affects the healing process/timeline. but i could be wrong…

    • Mark says

      I had my PRK done on 7/1 and it’s 7/11 now. It’s been ten days and I can barely see the letters that I’m typing in this post. My expectations were that I would see clearly at 72 hours, but clearly, those were unrealistic expectations. I feel that my doctor misled me by saying I would have great results at 72 hours – up until today, I felt that something went seriously wrong with my PRK. My reading is so bad that it’s almost nauseating to try. I’m curious to know how you’ve progressed and what you’ve done in the short-term to help your vision.

      • Fran McCreary says

        I also had PRK on 7/11. My experience also has not been great. At three weeks I am still not able to drive. My vision is clear for only about 20 minutes first thing in the morning and progressively gets worse. I am fearful that I will not see clearly for months to come. I also feel that I was not adequately prepared. Being able to function well enough for work has been extremely difficult. Not sure I would say that I am glad I had the surgery. Hopefully I will change my mind in time to come.

        • Alex Tran says

          if it’s any comfort, know that many of the people who have commented on this post (myself included) have felt the same way: perhaps the surgery was a mistake.

          most of us did not have the realistic expectation of how slow the recovery would be.

          but stay hopeful.

          it does get better and i can say i’m extremely pleased with my results when early in the recovery i was a little (lot) scared about my long-term prognosis.

        • Mark says

          Hi Fran – I’m the same guy that had PRK on 7/1 and posted on 7/11. Today is 7/21 and those 10 days have made huge difference. Met with my doctor on the 14th to voice my concerns about what “recovery” means – he uses the term to mean “pain-free” and I use the term to mean “I’m all better and can read and work”.

          The past 20 days have been like the stock market for my eyes. Steadily getting better with ups and downs along the way. The biggest difference between Day 13 and Day 20 has been in my distance vision. Things are getting crisper all the time. I still need for my reading (both up close and at distance) to improve – the ghosting has considerably decreased but there is still some mild ghosting present. I’m hoping by Day 28, that will have been eliminated. In the meantime, I’ve had some assistance at work and wish I had been better prepared for my first three weeks after surgery.

          Am I glad I did the PRK now? Yeah. Just wished that my doc and I were on the same page about the word “recovery” so I would have been better prepared for the weeks to follow the surgery.

  47. Celeste Barnett says

    Well I did it! Had prk yesterday am seeing very well, just a slight irritation like I slept with my contacts in and light sensitivity. Have my 1st checkup @ 1 so hopefully things are as good as I think they are. I know they’ll get worse before perfection but hoping for a speedy recovery. Am lucky to have an amazing husband to take care of things until he goes back to work on Tuesday I plan to sleep all I can.

  48. Celeste Barnett says

    Just wanted to say that I am on day 5 & my eyes are wonderful, had my bandage lenses out yesterday seeing 20/20 in both eyes and fairly clear. took my 1st shot at some photo editing today & it went great, but my eyes were tired after a couple hours. Am totally thrilled with my results, Dr said I was a poster child for fast healing if you take all the possible steps. humidifier in my room, dark & lots of sleep, consistent with the drops. I know a lot of people on here didn’t get as lucky as I did but just wanted to offer a very positive result too. thanks for all your advice!

    • Alex Tran says

      awesome! can’t believe you’re already back on a computer seeing 20/20!

      just be careful you don’t exert your eyes too much this early in the recovery. <– i sound like an old grandma saying that. ;)

      • Robert says

        Just found out over the weekend that I do not qualify for Lasik and that PRK is the procedure for me. I have to say that I am nervous about it. I have heard the good, bad and ugly stories regarding the procedure. Your story is encouraging though, thank you. I am scheduled to have it on Thursday, May 12th. Do think it’s to soon to go back to work the following Monday or should I take more time off? I’m in front of a computer 85% of the time.

        • Alex Tran says

          yeah, i’ll admit you do hear some bad stories. but from my research a _large_ majority of cases are very positive. so that gave me confidence things would turn out well for me.

          as for surgery thursday and going back to work monday . . . i’m personally more conservative in my approach to recovery.

          my thought is these are your eyes, so take care of them.

          so i would try and take a week off if possible. doing computer work is straining on the eyes, so i don’t like the idea of straining them too early in the process.

  49. mac says

    I had LASIK done at the first of the year and I’ve had a terrible time with vision instability, dry eyes, significant glare/flaring at night, and especially, multiple image ghosting in both eyes that’s far worse at night. That’s four months out, if you’re counting. It’s nearly debilitating from the perspective of no longer being able to drive at night and sometimes I cannot rely upon having sufficient vision to be able to grocery shop. I had to put night lights all over the house because I also no longer have functional vision in low light conditions. I am surviving without glasses but really miss my glasses-corrected vision a LOT.
    Yesterday I was told that I was a candidate for a PRK/LASEK “touch up” and so I wanted to find out more about that. The idea of subjecting myself to more months of visual and physical torture while “healing” from PRK is exremely intimidating, especially since I learned only after the fact that the LASIK “flap” never actually heals. I’m convinced that’s the reason for the so-common “dry eye” problem – an eye injury that never heals isn’t supposed to feel good. Restasis and constant Oasis Plus drops haven’t really brought me relief and I believe I understand that the PRK may make this problem even worse going forward.
    From the persepctive of PRK-only, is there a significant dry-eye problem?
    Any special insights into PRK as an “enhancement” technique?
    Looking for a miracle, maybe, but perhaps a little hope would get me by…

    • Alex Tran says

      I personally have not had any dry-eye problems. When I was researching both PRK/LASIK, it seemed like dry-eye was a common side effect for both. So one wasn’t necessarily more prone to dry eyes than the other.

      As far as the enhancement surgery, I’m afraid I’m not qualified to give advice on that. Particularly since you’re looking to “correct” your LASIK surgery with it.

      I would recommend talking with your doctor and asking a bazillion questions until you feel comfortable and have clear expectations of the results.

    • amy says

      I had lasik 10 years ago < I had -10 in the eye that was done, I had alot of problems at night and indoors(luckily oother eye was not done due to an incomlete flap so I have been able to wear a contact lens in that eye so I can drive at night. Last year after consulting with many doctors I found Dr. Jonathon Rosin who did prk to enhance the eye that was done. it took about 6 months to heal but not vision is about 20/35 and with glasses I can see perfectly at night. I just had the other eye done yesterday and it is very blurry but hopefully with progress as normal

      • Alex Tran says

        that’s awesome. thanks for posting your experience with PRK as an enhancement to your earlier LASIK surgery.

        hope your other eye heals up just as well (if not better)!

  50. Steve says

    Well, I am now 2 months post-op. Must say that things are pretty good. Things are crisp but I have a slight astigmatism in my eyes. Small letters seem to be doubled up, but big letters are crisp and clear. The Dr said that he could do a touch up and help, but he does not think it is worth the pain and suffering for the little difference I would notice. So over all, I am soo happy. But I noticed that I have very bad eye allergies now when I cut the grass. Might just be a bad allergy year, so i just need to make sure I take my meds.!!!

  51. Q says

    I went in today for my Screening, Dr. said average corneal thickness is 500 and i have 498 so she doesn’t recommend Lasik because they are too thin. She said PRK would be my best bet. I have it scheduled bright and early Friday morning. I am hoping to be back to work Monday. I am nervous by the slow healing process and the care it takes. But i am very excited to see…. well to see! Hopefully I can be a miracle healing story. From what it sounds like I should go invest in a nice pair of shades, because I will be waring them constantly for a few weeks huh?

    • Alex Tran says

      They’ll most likely give you some sunglasses after your surgery. But they’re not the most fashionable sunglasses on the face of the planet. ;)

      And yeah, your light sensitivity will be pretty high so a good pair of shades will be helpful.

  52. Ruth says

    I am at week 3 today from PRK and am frustrated! Not clear at all and if i try to wear my glasses it helps my left eye, but fuzzier on the right. Plus I get dizzy if i look left/right too fast. It’s the only way i can drive though, especially at night (cannot see the street signs). Has anyone worn their old glasses or asked for new contacts until everything stabilizes?? I am going to Yosemite in 3 weeks and may have to rely on pictures I take intstead of the real thing!! I don’t think I was fully prepared to be just as bad off with no relief for this long!!

  53. Ginny Lee says

    Ruth- My doctor gave me contacts to help my vision because I need to see clearly to work. I’m eight months post op and some nights I still have blurry vision in my right eye. My eyes ended up 15/15 in my left and 20/30 in my right. Recovery for me was extremely frustrating, however it was worth the end result. Just give it time and patience.

    • Ruth says

      How long did you wear the contacts and did they have to change the prescription as your eyes improved? Also, could you read with the contacts? Yes, time and patience are needed but it’s so hard when our lives are so busy and everything in life is so instantaneous!! except PRK…

  54. Ginny Lee says

    I wore a contact inmy right eye for two months. Yes- She did have to change to script every two weeks. I could read pretty well with my eyes without contacts, it was the distance and driving that was my biggest issue. PRK was most certainly NOT what I had expected at all. Just know your not alone . . . many, many others have had this experience!!!

    • Ruth says

      Thanks for the advice. I’ll report back after i go for the checkup a week from now. I wish the doc had told me i might need the glasses – i almost threw mine out and actually did toss the contacts i rarely wore anyway (i couldn’t see close up with them). He only mentioned that most likely i would need reading glasses (non prescription) ’cause of my age (50). :)

  55. Yen says

    hi.. can i ask what is the pre screening of PRK?what test did you take?
    I have a corneal transplant and sadly i have a very high astigmatism. I had to take 2nd opinion from other doctor and recommended to undergo PRK.

    • Alex Tran says

      i went to three different doctors and for the most part, they all looked at the same things. overall eye health and corneal thickness.

      i don’t know what specific tests they did, so that would be something you could ask the doctor. all the pre-screenings were free so it doesn’t hurt to visit a few doctors.

      i know i learned some useful things from visiting multiple doctors versus just one.

  56. Q says

    I am on the 3rd day after surgery it is pretty blurry still but better than it was without contacts before ssurgery. at the end of day two i had severe irritation and had to take some meds and go to sleep. Light sensitivity and it was very uncomfortable. i hope it is healing well and It will be 20/20 soon. IU am getting impatient. I know it has only been three days, but still theses are my eyes we are talking about. Has anyone else had that feeling of there being foreign matter in there and it irritaes it pretty bad and they water alot? I hope this is normal!

    • amy says

      It has been two weeks since my surgery and I still get the feeling something is in my eye but only once every couple days and I put a lot of bion tears in and that seems to help(maybe the cause is dry eyes?) I am also still very blurry but I have a lot of ghosting so I hope that clears up soon! I am trying to be patient too!

  57. Geno says

    I’m at 1 month 1 day from PRK, left eye only. I keep coming back and re-reading the posts here! It saves me from more fear and loathing! :-)

    I’m doing alright, though my vision is quite blurry and have ghosting / double vision in that eye. I had Lasik done in December on the right eye which went excellently, so well I said OK to doing the left the next day. They cut the flap on the left the next day but it was ‘off center’ so we stopped and let it heal for 4 month, and tried again on 4/23/11. There was a problem with the flap again, so while I was under two Xanax the doctor said we could wait again for some months or do PRK, which I knew little about. I didn’t want to wait again, as it was already a bit trying waiting the original 4 months, so we did the PRK.

    Wow! Never would have guessed the patience required for PRK healing. I don’t know how I could have possibly have done both eyes at once.

    So anyway, in 4th week. Hoping for the best (my left eye is closed I just noticed as I type this) the ghosting is quite disturbing, but is seems as though others have had it.

    I’m hanging in. Dr is positive, so is his colleague who’s looked at it too. They both were happy and said I have no hazing, and they didn’t seem concerned with the ghosting. I’m hoping I’ll get the instruction to stop the Durezol, or cut back from 4 times day. I hear the healing speeds up when you stop the steroids.

    One thing is really helpful, to post back again for an update, as we know the drawbacks at certain points, but it’s really helpful to read outcomes at 2 or 3+ months.

    Thanks everyone and especially Alex.

    Geno

    • Alex Tran says

      yup. PRK is an exercise in patience. ;)

      and not basing the final results on current progress. it’s so up and down. as one commenter put…it’s three steps forward, two steps back. so best not to even think/worry about it until 2 or 3 months into it. ;)

      i’ve also heard about the speedier healing once you stop the steroids, so hoping that’s the case for you!

  58. Geno says

    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… :-)

    • Alex Tran says

      Sounds like you’re got healthy expectations on the recovery time!

      Glad to hear you’ve had some good moments. Those are the times to remember when you take a step back. ;)

      And if it makes you feel any better, my night vision problems took the longest to heal…

  59. Nelda says

    Alex, Thank you so much for your blog. It is has been very helpful to me. I had PRK June 2, 2011 and there are times I’m regretting this, but I go back and read your blog and it helps to know that you and others have experienced the same as I have. I have the “ghosting” and the blurred vision. I am an instrumentalists at my church (reading my music hasn’t been too bad with readers) and when I move to my seat and look at the congregation I can’t begin to identify people. That is frustrating. I had no pain following my surgery and the doctor has been very pleased with my progress, but it is still frustrating to get outside of my house and not be able to focus on things at a distance like I could with my glasses. I go for my 4 week check-up next week and I hope by then things are sharper. He said it should be. Of course, this is a test of patience. I am a teacher so I hope and pray by the time school begins in Aug. that this is much better otherwise I won’t be able to see the children in the back of the room. :) I am hesitant to get the Restasis as I don’t won’t to have to be on it forever. At the present time I am using OTC drops. They help with the dry eye. It’s encouraging that you felt that you had 100% at 2.5 months. That’s what I’m hoping for. There are times when I feel good about it and at other times I feel I’ve made the biggest mistake of my life. My doctor says I won’t regret it.
    You are very encouraging. Thanks for being a Barnabas! You know who he is don’t you?

    • Alex Tran says

      Yup, I know about Barnabas the Encourager! Thanks for your kind words.

      It sounds like you’re going through a similar process as myself. I didn’t have any pain, but did have early problems with focusing at a distance.

      But they did clear up. So I’m sure you’ll be fine when classes start again.

  60. Elsa says

    My daughter had prk in both eyes 3 days ago. The doctor said he would remove the contact bandage this evening. Her eyes have been very uncomfortable, burning sensation plus light sensitivity. We had no idea that the recovery time could be so long. We know of many people who have had the surgery from the same doctor and didn’t hear any horror stories. Obviously it’s early days but I’m hoping she’ll be one of the luckier ones with a quick recovery time.

    • Alex Tran says

      Yup, PRK recovery is no fun like that. :(

      Just remember, the recovery process is two steps forward, one step back. One day you’ll be seeing great, the next it’ll be horrible.

      So tell your daughter not to worry/analyze her vision for at least the first month or two. ;)

  61. Elsa says

    Well she had the contact bandages removed this evening and she is in agony. Feels like glass or acid in the eyes. She is continuing with the drops and has been taking Cataflam for the pain. Currently in great distress. Hope tomorrow will be better!

  62. says

    Elsa- Have her try ice packs. I had about 36 hours of quite a bit of pain and ice packs directly on my eyes was by far the best remedy. Bags of peas are great or something moldable like that. Wishing her quick relief!

    • Alex Tran says

      w00t! it’s a great feeling, congrats!

      it’s been nine months for me, but i still have moments when i marvel at how awesome it is not to have glasses/contacts.

  63. Elsa says

    I took my daughter back to the Dr this morning as one eye was really bad. He put a contact back in that eye and she’s feeling better now. Said it was friction causing the pain. There’s still a lot of irritation but at least bearable. This is day 4 by the way.

  64. amy says

    It has been 7 weeks now and although they say I. Am 20/25 I still. Can’t read because of the severe ghosting. I can make out the letters on the chart but there r. Two of them and some are light and some are wavy. Driving when its. Sunny outside is fine but inside is blurry if I put on reading glasses it makes the double vision better and I can see farther! I wonder how long this can take to clear up?

    • Elsa says

      From all the posts I have read here it seems you need to give it about 3 months and in some cases up to 6 months to get the final result. Hope it clears up sooner rather than later for you.

    • Geno says

      Hang in there Amy, I think 7 weeks was (after the initial freak-out) a very difficult time (two weeks ago for me) in particular as the ghosting was still as intense as ever, but the general blurriness had improved. I think my ghosting is improving now, I’m feeling a bit more positive on that. This in the last 10 days or so…

    • Alex Tran says

      As others have said, hang in there!

      I saw my vision my improve on the Snellen chart (20/25, 20/20, etc.) but stuff like sharpness and clarity still wasn’t there until later in the healing process. So know what you’re experiencing is normal. There’s a good chance a lot of your ghosting will clear up!

  65. Elsa says

    Forgot to thank you Alex for the blog! Day 5 now and apart from the gritty feeling in her eyes, she seems a lot better. She says both eyes feel about the same even though only one has the contact bandage.

  66. Janelle says

    Thank you for writing this blog! I am 4 days into the healing process from my PRK surgery and its great having your comments on here to compare too. I am already seeing better than before but distances are still blurry. It seems I just need to stay patient since it’s still very soon after surgery. But, thanks again for this blog!

    • Elsa says

      Good to hear you’re doing well. Just wondering whether you had a really bad day out of the first four?!

      • Janelle says

        The day of and the day after were tough. After that, I had very little problem with tearing and no major issues to light sensitivity. My right eye is still a little blurry. I haven’t driven yet, but have alot of you experience issues with night vision?

        • Alex Tran says

          I hope others share their night vision results with you, but as for me, mine were minimal (if nonexistent).

          From reading some of the other comments, it seems to vary; some have issues which clear up and others (like myself) don’t have any.

    • Alex Tran says

      Thanks for dropping by! As you’ve probably read, the PRK recovery game is ultimately a game in patience. ;)

  67. Geno says

    Hi Alex, et al.

    This ended up a bit long, so if you want to cut it, no problem. :-)

    Thought I would update my status, today is Saturday, (6/25) 63 days out, 9 weeks exactly since the surgery.

    Quick Recap: I had PRK 4/23/11 on just my left eye, after two Lasik attempts with flap issues (including a flap issue the day of PRK) I last reported at 5 weeks out, and I had a bad eye day. I had a seriously dry eye problem the first few weeks, and at the 1 month visit, the surgeon gave me a bottle of preservative free steroid from his own backroom stash! :-) So, I have been using this 4 times a day since.

    I had a visit with the surgeon again two weeks ago and he said I could go off the steroid cold turkey. I came off gradually though over a week’s time, 2 drops a day for 4 days, then 1 drop a day for the same finishing last Sunday. That steroid was much easier on the eye than the normal one.

    I had a visit with his Optometrist Wednesday and the good news is the dry eye is going away. He said he didn’t see anything, and my eyes have been feeling better too, so I think that is going away. I’m still doing Restasis twice a day (since my first Lasik eye – six months now), and use only preservative free drops. Refresh Plus, Systane Ultra and Theratears Liquid gel quite regularly during the day, but not as much as I was. (Probably once an hour maybe less now down from every 15minutes!!). He also said I had no hazing or scar tissue, and if he didn’t know my history, he couldn’t see anything at all with this eye. My prescription is still off a bit, but I did read the 20/25 chart.

    I’m tentative to say this, as it still seems I’m at about 75% in that eye, but I am seeing better now, but not great or where I want to be-. I still have the ghosting, and this is the biggest concern. 3 weeks ago I was down and certain I was going to need a touch-up and was dreading doing the PRK healing again, but now I’m not as sure. The Opt. tells me I have some astigmatism now… that is most disturbing, as I didn’t have any before, and he thinks it’s what’s causing the ghosting, and he said ‘let’s hope’ it goes away! So, that has been my bummer. But I will say it is less now, in the last 10 days.

    One thing is for sure… my eyes are changing now, and… dare I say, changing for the better… OK, ok, I go to breakfast every morning, and there is a clinic across the street with a bunch of writing on the windows, and I could actually see that writing today better with my left than my right!! But it comes and goes it seems. (+3steps / -2steps). When you are farsighted (and older – 58) like me, Lasik/PRK treatment involves a sort of over-correction, so you can actually see near at first not so good in the distance, and then after some weeks/months, that fades, and the far vision comes in. So, it’s sort of a double-whammy: the PRK plus the correction is not what you are looking for right away (IE: perfect far vision, probably will need glasses for reading). Thus the across the street test on the building… I did the same for my Lasik eye, and that took about a month to come in…

    So I’m hoping the astigmatism goes away now that my eye is healing. There is less significant ghosting now, and I can almost read the menu on my large-screen from the couch, and that is almost the most obvious deficiency right now… it’s still at about 70% – but making improvements.

    So, actually Alex has helped me tremendously. I had written last time, that I was giving it three months of main healing and three months of secondary healing, and Alex responded with: “Sounds like you’re got healthy expectations on the recovery time!” DRAT! Because he said the positive, I kept thinking back on that, and had to live up to it and my own words, so thanks Alex.

    I may be on the right track here… let’s give it another month, and see where we are at.

    • Alex Tran says

      Hiya Geno! Thank’s so much for posting an update! I know your experiences will encourage others and help them have a “healthy expectation” as well.

      Glad to hear there’s some progress!

  68. Quynh says

    Thank you Alex and all for sharing your experience. I’ll have my PRK in 3 days. I think I am prepared but I won’t know yet until then.

  69. Dave S says

    This blog and all the comments have been very helpful for me. I thought I would describe my experience since my nearsightedness was very extreme. I had a prescription of nearly -13 in both eyes when I decided to have PRK. I had two consults: one doctor wouldn’t recommend either LASIK or PRK, and one doctor said he would do PRK but would slightly undercorrect my vision due to my extreme prescription. I was wearing hard contacts so I had to leave them out for 6 weeks before the PRK procedure. The procedure went well. The postop discomfort and pain were not too bad and I managed it with the various drops/painkillers that were provided. I was able to go back to work after five days (I do a lot of work on the computer but it wasn’t too bad) and I felt comfortable enough to drive seven days postop. I felt comfortable enough to drive at night 10 days postop. Two weeks postop, I was seeing 20/30 in both eyes. However, as Alex notes in his experience, I had a lot of blurriness so things were not clear or sharp. I am now exactly one month postop. Things are sharper than the two week mark but there is still blurriness/fuzziness. Also, my right eye (dominant) vision is currently better than my left. Things are slowly improving so I am optimistic about the future. Considering I was -13 before surgery, this has been an amazing experience. I have gone swimming and played basketball without any problems. Thanks, Alex, for posting your experience and encouraging comments from others!

    • Alex Tran says

      Wow, -13 in both eyes! I think this is the largest correction I’ve heard about, so it’s great for others to read your post-op progress. Would definitely appreciate follow-up comments as you heal! Thanks!

      • Dave S says

        I am now six weeks post-op. My right eye has gotten better to the point where I am pretty sure it is close to 20/20 (I’ve hung up a couple of eyecharts in my office to monitor my progress). My left eye is still lagging quite a bit where I believe it is still around 20/30 or maybe 20/25. My vision is still fuzzy, with my left eye being quite a bit worse. Last week I had headaches for several days in a row, which I attribute to my changing vision. I go in for a follow-up in one week. I will post again at that time.

        • Dave S says

          I had a follow-up on July 13, which was just about seven weeks post-op. With both eyes, I could see the 20/25 line pretty well and also a couple of letters from the 20/20 line. Things are still not sharp though. I didn’t get each eye tested separately but while I was waiting alone in the exam room after the vision test, I checked my eyes myself (they left the chart up) and confirmed that my right eye is really the reason I can see that well. My left eye is still lagging but slowly getting better. The doctor was very pleased with my progress and said I am doing much better than he expected (which kind of makes me wonder what exactly he was expecting at this point!). I guess considering I was -13 to begin with, I am doing well. He noticed my eyes are a little dry so he might put in some dissolvable punctal plugs at my next visit in three weeks. Thanks again to Alex for this blog. This seems to have become a sort of gathering and commiserating place for PRK “recoverers”!

          • Dave S says

            Just adding another update. I am now 11 weeks post-op starting with an original prescription of -13. I had a check-up last week and I was 20/25 in each eye. Everything is still fuzzy though. If you look at my previous comments, you’ll notice that my right eye was getting better. About three weeks ago, however, my right eye actually started getting worse. Not really sure what that was all about, but my right eye is now slowly improving again. The doctor put in some collagen dissolvable punctal plugs and they seemed to help so I’m thinking at my next visit he will put in some permanent ones. Still looking forward to better vision. I see a sharp 20/20 for a few seconds after putting in drops so that’s what I’m hoping for eventually. A possible reason for my persistent fuzziness is that I am still on steroid drops. The doc says that because of my severe correction, I’ll need to be on steroid drops for a longer time.

  70. Karissa says

    I had PRK in my right eye (-7.5, dominant eye) 2 weeks ago today. I found this blog a few days after the surgery, and I’ve revisited it a few times since after thinking “Did I make a mistake in doing this? WHY did I mess with an eye that was perfectly fine (with contacts or glasses) before this surgery? I can never go back!” Once again, thank you for bringing me back from the brink of helplessness, both in reading Alex’s original timeline and the comments. At this point I have little to no discomfort, aside from occasional dryness in the eye, and the intense light sensitivity of the first week is much better. I am frustrated, and frankly a little anxious, about how blurry and unclear my eye still is. I also have quite a bit of ghosting. My vision is definitely WAY better than the -7.5 it was pre-surgery, but it is far from as clear as my left eye (-8.25) is with a contact lens in. From reading these posts, I know that I have to be patient, patient, patient, but that is easier said than done, especially when I start psyching myself out and wondering if I made a horrible mistake in doing this elective surgery. I was also really hoping that my right eye would be in good shape by about 6 weeks out from the surgery so that I could get my left eye done and give it a good month of healing time before I’m back to work again (off for the summer, as I’m a teacher) and now I’m feeling like that might not happen.

    I guess I’m just looking for some reassurance from those who have been there! I’m also wondering, does it seem to anyone that the worse your original prescription (mine was “getting up there,” as the optometrist said) the longer the healing and the worse the side effects in the first month?

    • Alex Tran says

      Hehe, welcome to the “oh man, did I make a mistake club.” ;)

      I’m pretty sure most of us have the same thought after you realize how slowly the healing process actually is.

      You are still very early in the healing process. I would even consider six weeks early. With you doing one eye at a time, do you think you could still function as a teacher with the way things are right now?

      As for how bad your initial prescription is as it relates to healing/side effects, I’m not sure. I know David S just posted a comment and had a -13 prescription. He’s a month post-op and sounds like his healing has gone very well.

    • Dave S says

      Hi Karissa, I certainly understand your frustrations but like Alex said, you are VERY early in the recovery process. At two weeks post-op, I was seeing 20/30 but it was not a “good” 20/30. My vision was still very blurry and I had ghosting. I am now one month post-op and things are sharper but not as sharp as the vision I had with hard contacts. The improvement is slow and steady. I also teach and I start a summer class in two days. I anticipate no problems. I feel confident that you will be ok for the fall session, especially since you had one eye done early.

      As far as the relationship between original prescription and post-op recovery, I actually asked that question to my PRK surgeon and he told me my recovery would not be significantly different (although he wanted to see me post-op more often than other patients with lower prescriptions). My post-op experience seems to fall in the range of what I am reading online so I guess what he said was right. Remember my original prescription was -13.

    • amy says

      I also had a -7.5 and I am 8 weeks out. I saw the doctor yesterday and he said I am overcorrectted + 1.75 I also have alot of ghosting and double vision. He took me off the pred forte (from 3x a day) to hopefully correct the farsightedness and he says the ghosting is from my cornea still healing and very dry eyes but he thinks that will eventually go away. It is VERY frustrating and slow. I would wait to do the other eye until the first one heals enough so you can function with it. I went for 10 years with one eye -8 and the other 20/30 (from a lasik procedure) until I found a doctor I felt comfortable with.

      • Geno says

        I’m with Amy, I would wait till I was 100% comfortable with the one eye before I scheduled the 2nd. I only did one eye PRK (other Lasik) and I would have been out of commission for a month if both eyes were like the one.

        I’m at 66 days, and my eyes have been changing big time in the last 10 days to 2 weeks. I’ll post more after my next Dr visit on the 8th, but the ghosting, (and I can’t hardly believe it), seems almost gone! :-). Two weeks ago I was down, convinced and loathing I would need some other procedures or a touch-up to fix this…

        • Karissa says

          Thank you for all of the comments. They are all helpful and encouraging. After ruminating and fretting about this last night, which culminated in my post here, I am fully of the decision, reinforced by Amy’s comment, that I will wait until my right eye is clear and able to fully take over before I get my left eye done. If that means waiting until December or March or next summer when I have a break from school to do it, then that’s fine. There is no way that I could drive or teach with the vision that I have right now in my right eye in both eyes. Right now with my blurry/ghosted right eye (which measured 20/30 at my 5-day post op visit, but seems worse to me the last few days) and a contact in my left eye, I’m fine in terms of daily activities, including driving since the day after the surgery 2 weeks ago. My left eye with a contact has just taken over. Reading is definitely tiring, and I find myself closing my right eye a lot and just reading with my left.

          Amy, your comment about having a -8 eye and a 20/30 eye for 10 years is amazing to me since that’s basically where I am right now. Did you just wear a contact in the one eye or have glasses made with very low prescription in the one eye and huge thick lens in the other? I popped the right lens out of one of my pairs of glasses for when I take my contact out at night, and it is enough to drive me insane. My left eye focusing with the glasses and my right eye somewhat out of focus/blurry/ghosting is a recipe for headaches. I feel like I’m in a house of mirrors or something! No reading with those glasses on, for sure! It’s much better with the contact in, but I need a break from my contact, and the crazy one-lens glasses do not give me a good break!

          Anyway, thanks to everyone for your responses. I will definitely check back in again!

          • amy says

            Karissa,
            I also tried the one lens glasses and it never worked. I just wore my contact lens until ready for bed and I couldnt read after I took it out either but didnt want to take a chance on the surgery until I was sure it would work. The eye with the contact lens was a perfect 20/20 so I could drive at night. Also before the next surgery you will need to keep your contact lense out for at least a week and because of not being able to wear glasses because of the difference of prescription you are totally dependent on the other eye! I waited a year before I did the second eye!

          • Geno says

            Since we are giving our one eye stories! :-)

            I had Lasik in December succefully on the right eye (as I was too scared to do both at once) but since that evening I could see so well, I went for the second eye on the next day. That’s when we had the first flap problem. Thus I had to wait 4 months before we could do the Lasik again. (Which had the 2nd flap problem, and thus the PRK that day).

            But for those 4 months I had no problem with my poked out glasses. I only wore CVS glasses anyway, and I just poked out the right eye, and used the left. After about six weeks the DR gave me two pairs of prescription glasses, one for reading / the computer, the other for distance and I wore those for the remaining months.

            My left eye was basically normal, good with my normal glasses I had been wearing all during those 4 months, so I had a good chance to compare my healing Lasik right-eye to a known entitiy (since I didn’t have the correction applied to the left). And then after 4 months, and the right-eye was good and a known entitiy, I had the PRK and now I can compare that eye to the Lasik eye, which was as good as the corrected left eye before… so I’ve actually enjoyed having these comparisons.

  71. Nelda says

    Well, reading all of your comments has really helped me this afternoon. I went for my four week check-up today and my numbers had decreased. Will possibly have to have a touch up when I go back for the three month check-up. Yes, I said many times today, “Why did I do this!!!” I’m so glad many of you have felt the same way. I’m praying that it kicks in before the three month period. I can’t imagine trying to teach with the vision that I had following the first surgery. UGH!!! Your comments have all been very encouraging to know that you have been where I am. Thank you!

    • Geno says

      Hi Nelda,

      I think 4 weeks is a bit too soon to be thinking of ‘tcouch-ups’ and I haven’t heard of them happening at the 3 month point either. Everything I’ve heard is minimum 6 months for the touch ups.

      With that said, I think you still have a good shot… most everyone is still struggling at the 1 month point. I’m at 67 days, and I’m just starting to believe it is (and I have to throw in some disclaimers) essentially all good. My eye (only did the left PRK) is really getting good right now, and it’s all happened in two weeks. On the 8th I was certain I would need a touch-up, at the 15th I was noticing things were changing, and since Saturday it’s been pretty good…!!

      So hang in there for at least another month (or two) and you’ll probably have quite a bit of change going on… ;-)

  72. Nelda says

    Hi Geno!
    Thank you so much for the encouraging words. I was really down yesterday. You have helped a lot. I’m praying that this will change by the 3 month mark.
    Thank you! Thank you!
    Nelda

  73. Wendy says

    I am now at 3 month recovery time and they finally took the contact lens out of my eyes. I wore them for 3 months. The doctor says that I am recovering very slowly. It feels like forever to me. The lens has been out for 2 weeks now and I need reading glasses to use the computer and to read all things can not see at all up close. When I look in the mirror everything is still blurred. My distance vision is also very blurred can not read street signs or see any highway signs as I am driving. I visit the doctor every 4 weeks and he insists that I am improving although I am not confident since I expected this to be a quick process. Don’t get me wrong my eye sight has improved it is just very, very slow.

  74. Leslie says

    I had PRK last April. My eyes were -8.5 and the healing process was long. I went in for a check up in December and they still were not where I thought they would be. My doctor had me come back in June of this year. Just had a PRK enhancement. It’s one week later and I can see so much better already. Before the “touch-up” I wore reading glasses for reading and distance. I haven’t worn any glasses at all since. I know from experience it will take a while to heal. Things are a little blurry today and eyes feel a little sore or like the have something in them. Still, no glasses! I know it will get even better. When I had the contacts removed, I was at 20/25. It’s all up hill from here!!

  75. Wendy says

    Leslie,

    Thank for you comment. My Doctor continues to see me every month since I had the PRK in March 2011 and he tells me all the time that it will get better and that I would be needing an enhancement. I am so happy to know that someone else has gone through this. Did you wear your reading glasses all the time? I am only trying to use them for reading, although I would see so much better with them on for distance too. I have another follow up this July 9th but I don’t think he will do an enhancement until after six months. Thanks for your comment, I do feel so much better to know there is hope.

    • Leslie says

      Wendy,
      After a year, I was wearing reading glasses almost all of the time. My husband asked if it was just a habit or if I needed them. Very low strength ones helped with distance, but I stopped wearing them. I needed them for reading and my computer but a little stronger. It has only been a week since I had the enhancement, and I haven’t worn any since. I can’t believe how well I can see now. hang in there, it will get better!

  76. Wendy says

    Leslie,

    Thank you!! I am hanging in there. I am so happy to have found this site because I would have thought I was the only person going through this especially since I know people that have had both Lasik and PRK and they are fine and have not had any of my experiences. I am really trying to only use the reading glasses for just that reading and the computer. I can’t see the computer without them. I don’t want to get into the habit of using them all the time (although I see so much better with them on for distance too). July 11th will be my 4th month so I will continue to think positively and put it all in God’s hands.
    Thanks to EVERYONE who posts comments at this site, it has truly been an answer to pray.

  77. Steve in Scottsdale says

    I had PRK after RK (RK from 1983) on Jan 24, 2011 and now (July 4, 2011) have 20/15 and no astigmatism. I started with 20/40 vision and +3.00 astigmatism which made night driving very difficult.

    I am so glad that I had a Wavefront Custom PRK!! I now see in with HD vision…thank God for modern technology!

  78. Steve in Scottsdale says

    Hi Nelda and Wendy,

    Be patient and hang in there…it takes about 5 months before your vision gets crystal clear. I just had my right eye done a week ago and I am 20/40 or so right now. You vision will fluctate significantly for the first 3 months and then settle down in month 4 and month 5 is the break through month. Be sure to put the natural tears in your eyes each hour and take at least 2000mg of Vitamin C each day to enhance the healing process.

    • Nelda says

      Steve,
      Thanks so much for your encouraging words as I am still a little discouraged. After my doctor said a touch up I keep thinking, “oh no this is going to take even longer,” but it sounds like that might not be the case. I hope he will wait past the 3 month period just to see if they do clear before we do a touch up. I have been taking the Vitamin C but not as much as you have suggested. I have just filled the Restasis today so I’m hoping that will help with the dry eye better than the otc drops. They help but I hope the Restasis will be even better.

      Alex, thank you, thank you for creating this site. You have no idea what a help this has been. You are a true disciple!
      Nelda

      • Steve in Scottsdale says

        Hi Nelda,

        Anything I can do to help…my thoughts and prayers are with you! If you have any questions or concerns you can contact me directly at ramsthel@yahoo.com

        Have a great day!

        Steve

      • Alex Tran says

        Thanks Nelda.

        And a big thanks to all who have been commenting and responding to questions. You guys and gals are all super stars in my book! ;)

  79. John Hoyne says

    I had my PRK surgery June 14th, 2011. I am currently in week 3 of the recovery phase and my right eye is probably 20/20 while my left eye is taking a bit longer to catch up. I noticed when I look at objects or my television at certain angles from my left eye, it’s 20/20 but when I look head-on it’s noticeably blurry. Of course my eyes are still healing, but I watched the fireworks last night for the first time in a decade without having any glasses on and they were absolutely wonderful. The first week of recovery was a bit scary, not knowing whether or not your eyes were healing correctly. I am still a bit nervous that my left eye will never catch up with the right eye. I always thought; “Well, if my eyes both had PRK the same day, shouldn’t they both be seeing relatively the same as the weeks went on?” I guess it’s not the case. Like I said, 20/20 in right eye, and noticeably blurry in left eye. Anyways, I still have much healing to do. But I had the PRK done with the brand new refractive surgery machine, only took 15 seconds per eye. If anyone has any questions pls let me know. You will never find me complaining either as my surgery was free, paid in full by good ol’ uncle Sam!

    Oh, I’ve noticed some people talking about dryness, my eyes were EXTREMELY dry after the contact bandages were taken out, especially while looking at a computer screen. I went through SO many eyedrops it’s rediculous.

    -J

    • Alex Tran says

      Can’t beat free PRK!

      And don’t worry if both eyes don’t heal at the same rate. Just as each eye is independent of the other, so is the healing. And it’s fine if one ultimately isn’t as “good” as the other cause combined they will be better than individually. For example, my left eye is 20/15 now while my right is only 20/20. But together I’m seeing 20/15.

  80. Geno says

    I’ve been waiting to write this, as I don’t know 100% where I’m at – at the moment. However, I have made a lot of progress since the last post, so I thought I would update.

    Today is 80 days, 11.5 weeks since PRK on my left eye only. I had successful Lasik in December on the right eye. After two flap complications on successive attempts on my left / dominant eye one in December (day after right-eye lasik) and one on second attempt 04/23/11 – we ended up doing PRK that day.

    A month ago, on 06/10/11 I had a routine visit with the surgeon, and he was positive. He said ‘enjoy your near vision while you can’ That’s the nature of what I had, correction for distance vision, and there is a planned slight over correction which gives you good near vision at first which fades to good far vision and the near vision goes (and you are back to needing reading glasses). However, I was still having strong ghosting at that point (7 weeks out) on my distance vision, basically as strong as it was on day 1, with almost no change. So, I was skeptical that this was going to work out. The optometrist said I had an astigmatism (surgically induced obviously – as I had little to none before) and that was what was causing it. He had said ‘let’s hope’ when I asked if it was going to go away!

    So I had another appointment with just the optometrist on the June 22nd. Just before that visit I noticed something changing in my eye, but it was still very ghosted. However, in the ten days after that visit, basically to July 1, my distance vision improved greatly and – and I still don’t trust this – but the ghosting is gone! So, right now, I have a solid 20/20 in the PRK eye (distance) and can even read some of the 20/15!

    So, very pleased with this part of it, and still confused / amazed that the ghosting double-vision just vanished as it did. So everyone, hang in there!

    My concern at the moment, is that as the distance vision came in the near vision really took a hit. Way bigger than I was expecting. So my near vision in that eye is not very good. I sort of feel the astigmatism just swapped from distance to near vision. My right / lasik eye can still see well in the distance and has pretty good near vision too… while my PRK eye has slightly better distance vision and not very good near vision. So I would say the PRK eye gets a 9/3 for distance and near vision, while the Lasik eye gets a 8/7. So Lasik = 15 points, PRK = 12

    I’m told the machine they use to measure your prescription, with the little hot air balloon inside doesn’t work as well once you have laser surgery. So, it may be reading all over the scale, but it still says I have astigmatism. But the optometrist applied those settings from that machine to my eyes, and I couldn’t see a thing! So, he did the 1, 2, 1, 3, 3, 4 eye test and I came out with zero prescription being the best! So, that was pretty cool. But the near vision is definitely odd.

    They said I have a touch of dry-eye again (was really a problem first month) and perhaps that is affecting the near vision. I can feel that eye being dry, and it’s a bit irritated at the moment. If this is as good as it gets it will probably be OK. I’m a go-karter, and I can now race w/out glasses, and that was the main goal. But I was expecting pretty even eyes, just as I had before, and right now my PRK eye is not very good up close. I’ll report back again with any changes… – Gene

    • Alex Tran says

      thanks for the update. if it’s any consolation, it still sounds like your eyes are healing (based on the drastic vanishing of the ghosting). i definitely experienced swings in my vision which indicate healing hasn’t finalized yet. hopefully that means there’s still some healing that will leave the distance vision intact while making the near vision better!

  81. amy says

    This is an update ..I am about 10 weeks out, I went to doctor yesterday and I still have double vision and am farsighted (+2) so I can see pretty good very far away but things five feet away are blurry! Luckily I did one eye at a time otherwise I wouldnt be able to function!The doctor put a contact lens in and I have to put acular drops in four times a day. he said this should help speed up the process of taking away the farsightedness. The contact lens has actually helped with the ghosting but still cant read with that eye(there is only a tiny presciption (+.o5) so I think the contact lens has helped smooth out the cornea. He said I should do this for a month. Has anyone else done this? He also said I should give it till November before the healing is done.

    • Alex Tran says

      has anyone else worn the contact lens for a month? if that’s the question, not me. mine were out (and stayed out) as scheduled.

      • Ruth says

        Yes, I insisted on a contact for my left eye to wear occasionally because it’s still difficult to see to drive even after 10 weeks. The right eye, according to the doc still has “scarring” and neither a contact or even my old glasses makes a difference. That eye is blurry both near and far. The left eye is still fine for reading/up close, but blurry far. I wear the contact when I’m not at work because i can’t see the computer or read with it in. I go back next week and I suspect I will have to schedule the right eye redone, because there has been absolutely no change since day one and because i can’t see close either, i say it’s even worse. I would never do both eyes again at the same time. The whole experience has been frustrating because I am one of the 5% I’m told that it just didn’t work – lucky me!!

  82. Wendy says

    Hello Amy,

    I had my PRK done in March 11, 2011 and I had the contact lens in my eyes for 3 months. He just took them off about 6 weeks ago and my vision is 20/40. I can not read or see the computer without reading glasses, i was seeing perfect with the contact lens. My distance is not that great either but it;s gotten better than the first month or so. He is now going to do an ajustment. He was waiting for the 6month recovery time to see if my vision came in on it;s own but it has totally not. I can’t wait for this to happen. I too have been very frustrated but everyone is saying to be patient so I have to put in God’s hands and continue to pray for a complete recovery. I hope this puts you at ease as for me reading everyone’s stoies has totally help me and I don’t feel so alone. Take Care and God Bless!

  83. Fran says

    Thanks Alex and everyone for your comments and experiences. While I am discouraged at how long a process this will likely be, I am thankful that the situation seems to be similar for many.

  84. Roseanne says

    Hi I just had PRK a week ago and I am experiencing ghosting and blurriness especially for objects up close. Its very frustrating but I’m hanging in there. My doctor said that my recovery is normal and from reading these posts, I see that many people experience this. Does everyone see better outside than inside like me? My prescription was -9 in both eyes so my recovery will take time. I hope my vision gets a little better cause now I’m using the steroid drops 2 times a day instead of 4.

    • Alex Tran says

      Interesting. I can’t remember being able to tell a difference between my indoor/outdoor vision.

  85. Celeste Barnett says

    It seems like this post has become a place for lots of people who have had some pretty horrible recoveries. I just wanted to post again about my amazing recovery so that people who are considering PRK and reading this know that it’s not all bad. While it seems like I was one of the very lucky ones, know that it can go very smoothly! I just had my 3 month post-op and my doc was amazed that I could make out 3 of the 4 letters on the 20/10 line, my vision is very sharp. I do sometimes have trouble with bright lights (fireworks were hard this year) and eye fatigue but over all it is the best money I’ve ever spent on myself!!! My prayers are with all of you still recovering, but have hope it can be perfect :)

  86. Steve from Scottsdale says

    I concur with Celeste!

    My custom PRK recovery after RK was a little rough but my vision is now a solid 20/15 with no astigmatism.  Best money I have ever spent….5 months post operative on my left eye and 4 weeks post op on my right.

    Life is good and God is great!

    Steve from Scottsdale

    • Dave S says

      I have a general question for those of you who are fully recovered. It seems that for many people (and me) during the recovery phase, when you put in artificial tears your vision is very sharp and clear for a few seconds. For those of you who are fully recovered, would you say that your current vision is pretty much what you saw for those few seconds back when you were recovering?

        • Roberto says

          That is very encouraging to hear. I went out shopping today and every time I wanted to see something across the store I would just put in a drop in each eye and presto. For a few seconds I could read the signs on the other side of Best Buy. It was in my opinion better vision then i had when I wore my glasses. Then when I blinked it would get blurry again. If that is the vision I have to look forward to on a permanent basis I will be extremely happy.

  87. Roberto says

    Thank you Alex for documenting your experience it has really helped me keep perspective of my progress after having PRK. Here is my story so far:
    Day 1. Just as you, when the doc put the drops in right after the laser I was able to see clearly. Even for the rest of that day when I put in the eye drops things became crisp and sharp, better then with my glasses.
    Days 2-4 things were just a little blurry.
    Day 5 was the worst day. It was very blurry. It looked as if I had opened my eyes under water in a pool! This was by far the worst vision I have ever had in my life. This was when I got nervous, but I remembered this blog and others like this and relaxed. It was so bad I had to jack up the screen resolution on my laptop and have my face about 6-8 inches away from the screen just to read Facebook posts!
    Day 6-7 got better similar vision to days 2-4 just blurry, but not as extreme as day 5.
    Day 8 the contacts came out. The Doc says my vision is about 20/30. I had been noticing a kind of haze the preceding week. When the contacts came out the haze went away. I guess having the contacts in for a week while putting in all of those drops created that effect. I teach a martial art called Capoeira where we do a lot of spinning and acrobatics. This was the first day I was able to exercise and I was thrilled. I did not notice any negative effects while training.
    It is now day 9. I can honestly say that my vision is better then it was before the surgery, and when I put in the eye drops everything becomes crystal clear. For the few seconds right after the drops go in I have perfect vision! Everything is sharp and clear, and then things just get a little blurry. I know it has only been 9 days since the surgery but those glimpses of clarity and sharpness give me hope that this was a great decision.

    Thanks again

  88. John Hoyne says

    It’s been a month and a half since my surgery at Ft. Riley. My left eye has improved, albeit not dramatically. I am still looking forward to the next few months. FYI for all recent patients. Keep those drops coming! My doc said the only thing she noticed when she checked my eye 1 month post op was dryness, which was causing mild irritation and visual blurriness. I’ve been doing 4 drops a day and I can tell the difference immediately as the weeks go by. Next appt is my 3 month post op.

  89. Wendy says

    Hello everyone,

    I am 5 month post op and yes I can say that my eyes have improved since the surgery in March 2011. But my upclose vision is not good and I am not able to see the computer without my reading glasses. I have an appointment scheduled for August 27, 2011 and my doctor suggested for me to get an adjustment since my distance vision is not as good as I would like I am at 20/40 now in both eyes. If I wear my reading glasses all the time I would see 20/20 they help with reading and distance (this is strange to me) but this would defeat the purpose of wearing glasses which why I had the surgery to not wear glasses or contact lenses…..anyway my doctor is suggesting me to get mono vision. I am not sure if I want this and so I am asking is there anyone who has had an adjustment and have they had a mono vision (which is one eye for distance and one eye for reading). Please write back and let me know. Thanks!!

    • amy says

      I now have monovision and I love it . I dont need reading glasses and I dont need glasses for driving except for night. I am undergoing a treatment for one eye because of overcorrecting. I t is called clapics, I wear a soft contact lens continuously 24 hours a day and put acular in four times a day. I have been doing this for about 6 weeks now and the doctor says I ave improved 33 percent. the lens has a prescription of +.5 but when I have it in i feel as though my vision is perfect. It seems to take away the ghosting that I still have but doctor wants to try another month and see if I keep improving. If I were you I would try simulating monovision with a contact lens to see if you can tolerate this. I think you might be farsighted now if you can see far with reading glasses. Ask your doctor about clapics as this is a nonsurgical way to treat it. If it doesnt work you can always have the surgery!

  90. Kimberly says

    I am on my 4th week after PRK in both eyes. I am so discouraged. My right eye is ok, but my left eye is blurry. I now have Blepharitis in my eyes as well. Does anyone have this? My eyes sting and burn and the light hurts terribly. I feel I have to wear my sunglasses in and out of the house. The florescent lights at school hurt the worse and I start back to teach next week. I have really been uplifted by your comments, everyone, and it is nice to know I am not the only one going through all this with PRK. Ugh!

    • Alex Tran says

      Hang in there Kimberly! While it does sound like you’ve had a rougher recovery than is typical, there’s still plenty of recovery time left!

      As you’ve probably read here, a lot of times it goes from bad to good over the course of a few days.

      So don’t give up hope yet!

  91. John A says

    I’m at 16 days after PRK. About 10 days in, I was seeing pretty well. Then both eyes were blurry and have stayed that way for the last 6 days. The Dr. thinks it dry eye related, so I’ve been steadily feeding them drops per his instruction. I have a follow up visit next week.

    Has anyone else experienced a set back 10 days after the procedure as I did? Any ideas as to what may be going on? It’s driving me crazy!!!

    • Alex Tran says

      heya john! thanks for commenting!

      as for the set back, that’s pretty common! i experienced one about that time period.

      one of the commenters here described the healing process as three steps forward, two steps back. that pretty much sums it up.

      so don’t worry too much when it happens. it’s completely normal.

      i tell people to wait about three months before you start thinking too much about how your eyes are doing. your eyes go on such a roller coaster ride during that period that it’s not worth stressing out so early in the healing process.

      • John A says

        Had my next check up this week. 20/25 in right eye, 20/40 in left, but I could only get there if they freshly re-wet my eyes. When they looked at my eyes, they saw no sign of dry-eye, though. Is it weird that my vision improved with re-wetting, but I don’t have dry eye symptoms?

        They also mentioned I was behind the normal recovery time frame they’ve seen (I’m at 3 weeks since PRK). And it may be several more weeks of very slow improvement until I get closer to 20/20 (hopefully I’ll get to 20/20!! Who knows.) But from reading this blog, 3 weeks is still early in the recovery process. I wonder why there’s such a difference in recovery time-frame expectations (??).

        Very slow…….very frustrating……

        • Alex Tran says

          The varied healing times is probably related to how unique each human body is.

          Each person reacts to the procedure and heals differently because of it. At least that’s what seems to make sense in my head. ;)

  92. Wendy says

    I feel your pain. I am at 5 1/2 months and my vision six weeks ago was at 20/40 perfect if I wear my reading glasses all the time. I too am very frustrated and I have an appointment on Saturday, August 27th and the Doctor mentioned do Mono vision (one eye for reading and one for distance) but in speaking to others, I am not going to do this. I will let you all know what he tells me on Saturday. My vision as improved a lot, since I first did the PRK on March11,2011; but I was expecting 20/20 by now. I need reading glasses all time when I am at the computer and for reading. I even need them at the supermarket because I can’t see the labels or anything from a distance. The doctor did mention that I may need an adjustment but I am now afraid to do so. I will post another comment after my eye appointment.

  93. Wendy says

    The doctor did not see any changes in my eyes, I am still at 20/40 on both eyes. He has scheduled me for an adjustment on October 21st. He said that this adjustment will not be mano it is called hyper PRK for farsightedness. I am a little scared because it is not guaranteed that I will be 20/20, but he said that I will be able to see better from distance and be able to read labels at the supermarket. I am going to continue to pray for a complete recovery. I asked him would I be going through the same process as when I originally did PRK and he said yes, that I will be experiencing some pain and it may be a few days before I can see clearly. Will keep you posted.
    Thanks for asking!!

  94. Chris says

    Hey Alex and everybody! I love this blog about PRK. It had a big influence on my decision to undergo this procedure. Thanks to the success stories I’ve read here, I decided to push through with it. And thanks also to the setbacks that a lot have shared, I also had pretty realistic expectations.

    However, thanks to God, the results have so far exceeded my expectations! I’m really happy with the results this early in the recovery stage and I know it will just get better. I’d like to share my experience as encouragement for others out there:

    I originally had the following prescription:
    Left Eye: -2.5 with 5 Astigmatism
    Right Eye: -2.0 with 3 Astigmatism

    I decided to get one eye done at a time because I work on a computer and with documents all day and I was worried that the procedure wouldn’t allow me do my daily duties at work (I was only allowed 2 days off from work) and somewhat an insurance feature for myself incase: In case the outcome of the left eye was far from what I was expecting, I wouldn’t have the other one done.

    I had my left eye done on 12 Aug 2011. I did not feel any pain during and after the procedure; and after just 8 days, vision has been pretty sharp! I could see well both up close and at a distance. But the difference in grade of my 2 eyes gave me somewhat a hard time. I felt dizzy by the end of my 9-hr shift at work. These 2 factors led me to having the right eye (my dominant eye) done last Friday, 26 Aug 2011.

    Saturday, about 1:00 a.m., the bandage contact lens folded in my eye and the pain was excruciating. I was so worried since it was still in my eye and I was advised never to take it off. I just kept blinking and eventually the lens came out. The pain was still there though manageable when the eye was kept closed. I had to wait 8 hrs till the clinic opened to have a new one inserted. (has this happened to any of you…?)

    This happened a 2nd time Monday at about 3:00 a.m. This time, I went ahead and reinserted the lens because I was afraid of feeling the pain I had felt the last time. I was also worried that the 2 instances would have a negative effect in my long term vision improvement. I prayed to God so hard that I believe he has answered them.

    It’s been 5 days since I had the right eye done and my vision in this eye is not yet that clear. I was mostly relying on my left eye for seeing and the right eye has just been for 3D rendering. Today, it is much better than the previous days. Up close is fairly good, but distance is not quite there yet. I know that this will get better and better and I’m hoping it would be sooner rather than later.

    I will have a check-up tomorrow and I’m hoping for good news from my doctor. I have been worried about getting an infection from reinserting the contact lens but since I don’t feel any pain and the vision has been improving, I am very hopeful that this would not be an issue. In the meantime, I just keep praying to God that He bless my eyes and heals them quickly.

    I pray that all of you who have experienced setbacks are feeling better and that you heal quickly and without complications.

    * P.S. – This is my first time ever to post a comment on a blog site so please forgive me if it is too long or anything. And thank you for taking the time out to read this ☺

    • Alex Tran says

      I feel honored to have your first comment be on this blog. ;)

      And yikes for all the scares with the bandage lens folding over/coming out! That never happened to me.

      Appreciate your comment. Definitely let us know how the rest of your healing goes!

      • Chris says

        Hi Alex and everybody! So I finished my check-up awhile ago. When I told my doctor that I reinserted the contact lens when it came out the 2nd time, I got some mild scolding from him hehe ☺

        I told him I was worried about an infection from my DIY attempt with the contact lens but he told me if it was infected, it would hurt a lot and be very bloodshot. He took a closer look using the slit lamp and confirmed that there was no infection. He also took out the contact lens.

        My vision in the left eye is the same as yesterday, up close is fairly good, but distance is not quite there yet. I hope it catches up with my left eye soon. That would be awesome!

        I’ll keep you guys posted on the progress in 2 weeks after my next check-up. Till then I will keep praying for quick healing for all of us who have undergone this procedure. God bless you. ☺

        • Chris says

          Hi Everybody!

          I had my checkup last Friday and I got good news. I’m now seeing 20/20 in both eyes! Whooohoooo!! ☺

          The doctor did say that my eyes were slightly dry and that I should continue using Systane Ultra to lubricate them. I was guilty as charged cause I was trying to only use them when needed. So I am back to using the drops 3 – 4 times a day.

          I continue to thank God for my recovery and pray for full healing for all of us who have experienced PRK .

          Thank you guys for listening!

  95. Geno says

    So I last wrote on 07/12/2011 when I was 80 days out, now I’m 129 days – 18.4 weeks out – just over 4 months. It’s my left / dominant PRK eye under discussion as I had successful Lasik on the right eye in December 2010. (Flap complications forced the PRK on the second eye)

    My PRK eye was having bad ghosting at the 2 month point, then in a 10 day period the ghosting went away and my vision improved dramatically. So much so that I was and remain skeptical of it! So my eye is not bad but not great either. We were going from farsighted and as I’m an older chap, (58) my reading vision had gone to!  So we were going for perfect distance vision and will still need (light) readers for the computer and medium readers for say the newspaper, but perfect distance vision.

    Unfortunately when my vision came in so dramatically, it hit the sweet spot and just kept going! So, I had great distance vision for about 3 days… better than my Lasik eye, and then it slowly went off to where it is now. The problem… “Surgically induced astigmatism”. I had essentially no astigmatism to begin with. So whereas I reported July 12 as my Lasik eye being on a points scale 8/7 for distance and near vision and my PRK eye as being 9/3. I must now say my PRK eye is 7/3 down 2 points and a total of 10 compared to the Lasik eye which gets a 15, with the Lasik eye now surpassing my dominant eye in distance vision also.

    It appears I have this astigmatism now in the PRK eye, and it has made my near and medium vision quite blurry or odd (not the same blurriness like in the (dreadful) first 6 weeks after PRK) and the distance vision has also taken a hit so it is slightly less now than the Lasik eye.

    So, the optometrist has been saying I need an LRI – Limbal Relaxing Incision – a procedure where they can put an incision in the side of the eye, out of the visual area, which lets the steep side of the astigmatism relax and become more round… at the last visit a couple of weeks ago he was telling me to wait till the 6 months point… but I spoke to the surgeon a couple of days later, and he said we could do it at any time, ‘can you come in tomorrow’!

    This seems like a less invasive type of procedure, and I was told they can still do a PRK enhancement if I need that. It doesn’t seem like I need a prescription change, If I got the numbers right I had a .25 correction only but a 1.0 astigmatism. I don’t know exactly how those numbers work.

    Bottom line is, my PRK eye is very limit in seeing anything close, gets tired rather quickly and is compromised in mid and far distance. Supposedly this LRI would help and then I’ll be good to go.

    So, I’ve delayed in scheduling the LRI as the optometrist had suggested the waiting. I have an appointment with him in 2 weeks so I’ll see if the astigmatism is stable for the 3rd month in a row, and if so, I’ll probably get it done then.

    I’ll let everyone know the outcome of course… I have been following the board.

    • Alex Tran says

      Thanks for keeping us up-to-date Geno!

      Do you have to pay for the enhancement/LRI by chance?

      I also wonder if your rougher than normal recovery timeline is due to your age? I know my doctor said the ideal age was mid to late twenties (I was 29 when I had my surgery).

      • Geno says

        No doubt my age doesn’t help! :-)

        I don’t think there will be a charge. And despite the fact that the two Lasik attempts at creating a flap both were problematic, I think the doctor was trying, and being honest. I’m disappointed in the surgically induced astigmatism, as I have a feeling it may have come from the failed flap attempt, though the idea was that most of that flap part was melted away in the preperation for PRK. (An hour after the second failed flap)

        So, they’ve treated me well all in all. I’ve been a kind patient also.

        So, we’ll see now. I’ve found only limited info on LRI, but it seems to take care of a good proportion of the astigmatism, and it doesnt exclude a PRK enhancement if I need it. This will be the fourth time I’m on the table for this one eye…

        1) Lasik flap created – slightly off center
        2) lasik flap ‘cut’ but not lifted as it looked to be in same place as previous one
        3) PRK
        4) LRI (assumed)

        5) Man I hope 4 is all we need!!

        • Geno says

          Speaking of age… I got married for the first (only) time when I was 48… so I may be a bit late to the table for a few things… but I look at it as the right time.. :-)

  96. Roseanne says

    The last time I checked in here I was at the one week mark now almost seven weeks have gone by and I have definitely seen an improvement! I went back to the doctor and he told me to increase my steroid drops from 2 times a day to 3 times a day and it helped a lot! I was taking omnipred drops and now I’m on FML drops which are less strong. The only time my eyes hurt was the other day when I couldn’t sleep the whole night but that’s understandable. I would recommend this surgery to anyone. Once you get through the first month, you’ll love it!

  97. adler says

    Hey guys, i’m back to post a follow up. If you read the previous posts from me, i had concerns. Well…its September an my vision is amazing.

    I had the PRK in FEburary. In June it started to get clear…and now Sept, its awesome.

    I was worried but i just waited it out like everyone kept saying. The only issue i’m still having is dry eyes in the morning, not all the time but still often. So what i do is before i open them, i just move my eyes around and slowly open. Its fine 99% time. The 1% i feel discomfort for a min or so. Best is to put drops when you get up, just put them with your eyes closed, that’ll lube them up.

    Anyway, thats it!

    • Alex Tran says

      that’s so great to hear adler! congrats!

      it’s been almost a year for me now and it’s still such a cool feeling seeing everything clearly knowing i’m not wearing glasses or contacts!

  98. John says

    I’m 5 weeks since PRK. I’ve been SLOWLY recovering, but I do think it is progressing.

    A couple of issues I’d like feedback from others regarding:

    1. I’ve noticed that if I’m trying to read, my vision changes blink-to-blink. If I make myself wait to blink for a few seconds, sometimes it clears to be pretty clear. Then the next blink it’s blurrier again. I am 45 and have been told I’ll need reading glasses, so I’m not sure how clear reading distance will ever be, but it’s weird how it’ll be clear sometimes (but not after every blink). Has anyone else experienced this? What’s happening with my eye when it’s clear one blink and then it’s gone??

    2. Sometimes I wear reading glasses to help me with my computer work. When I take them off, everything seems extra blurry. Is that what happens to others? Or does it just “seem” blurrier because I was seeing clear with the glasses and then I’m back to my regular vision? Maybe I get so used to the blur that I don’t notice it as much until I put on and then take off my reading glasses. Is using reading glasses slowing down or affecting my recovery?

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    John

    • Roseanne says

      John, i had the same problem you had at 5 weeks. The good news is the clearness you see when you blink is exactly how your going to see when your eye fully heals in a few weeks! I know this because this is what happened to me. Just give it a few more weeks & try not to use your reading glasses.

      • John says

        Thanks for the words of encouragement, Rosanne. It’s hard to be patient, but with five weeks under my belt, I suppose a few more aren’t that big of a deal!! I hope my eyes do end up where it’s pretty clear!

        Thanks again! It means a lot.

        • Roseanne says

          Oh your welcome! I went to the eye doctor today and he was happy that I was doing well but he reminded me to never forget to put in the drops because he doesn’t want any regression to happen. He also said that my vision will get even better. Just remember to follow the doctor’s orders and to put in your drops until they tell you to stop.

    • Alex Tran says

      Everyone commenting and encouraging each other is so awesome to see!

      I appreciate every one of you continuing to follow-up here and helping others out with your experiences!

      Big hug to everyone!

  99. Wendy says

    Hello John,

    I am now at my 6 months after PRK and I need to get an adjustment. I do see a lot clearer than I did in the beginning and I wore a contact lens for 2 months. I need to wear reading glasses for reading and to be able to see the computer. I am scheduled to have an adjustment on both eyes on October 21, 2011. I can not wait since I still cannot see street signs or signs on the highway until I am right underneath it. I use to be able to see perfect when I wore contacts prior to the PRK. I am hoping that the adjustment would put me at that point. I am really scared to go through the surgery again but I can not see myself having to wear reading glasses all the time. I did understand that I would need to wear them but I was not aware that I would need them all the time. If I wear them all day I would see perfect near and far. It is unbelievable to me. I am not complaining, I am pleased… just wish it did not take this long for me to recover or to have to have adjustment and risk going thru the same process.

    Alex, thanks for provide this site, it has been very comforting to know others have gone through the same situation.

    Wendy

  100. John says

    Another thing I’ve noticed 5 weeks into recovery is that I can see much better outside in the sun. I can even read without reading glasses.

    Has anyone else experienced that? Is that clearer vision similar to what I’ll see when I’m fully recovered? Or is there no relationship between the two (“sun” vision vs. inside vision)?

    Thanks to all who post on this website. It’s a real benefit for those of us going through the LONG recovery process.

    • Mark says

      For the first 8 weeks, I noticed that I could see better under certain conditions. It was an indication of better things to come as I can now see that good under all conditions.

      Last time I was at the doctor, my left eye checked in at 20/15 and my right eye checked in at 20/20. Good luck with the recovery!

  101. Nelda says

    Hey Guys!
    It’s been awhile since I’ve been to the site. My late summer activities of keeping the grandchildren then getting ready to start school kept me quite busy. The last time I posted was early July and my doctor felt that I was going to need an enhancement. Needless to say I was very disappointed. I returned for my 3 month check up Aug. 31st and my vision had improved dramatically. I knew that it was getting was so much better and I had prayed and prayed that I wouldn’t need a touch up. I was dismissed for 9 months. I have to use readers for computer and reading and that is much worse than before surgery but it is so nice not to have to put on glasses each day and to be able to wear regular sunglasses. No more indentions in the nose, either.
    Alex, thank you for this site. It has really been an encouragement to a lot of people. I bet you never thought you would have this kind of response.
    Geno, I sure hope for a great improvement for you and maybe the 4th time will be the charm.
    Nelda

    • Alex Tran says

      thanks nelda! yeah, the response has been incredible. i almost want to consolidate all these comments into another post for others to read . . .

      but alas, i just don’t think i have the time to. :(

  102. John says

    It’s me again. Still struggling thru days and (now) weeks of recovery.

    One unique (I think) experience I had a week or so into my recovery was the surgeon had me stop taking the steriods (I had taken them for a week – 4 times a day) instead of slowing lowering my use over 4 weeks. I was having a lot of cloudy/blurry vision at the time.

    Now 6 weeks later, I’m making progress, but it’s slow and I’m behind the “average” recovery time – but not beyond the realm of possible recovery periods.

    My question is this: what were the implications of stopping the steriods “cold turkey” one week in vs. the normal decreasing usage? Did anyone else do the same thing? If so, what happened in your case? I’m meeting the the surgeon next week to discuss my progress, but I was hoping to learn from others experiences so I would know more going into my appointment.

    Thanks as always!

  103. John A says

    Met with the surgeon today (7 weeks from the procedure). My blurriness is caused by OVER correction. He wants to see me again in 4 weeks, and in the meantime cut out the Vitamin C supplements.

    Has anyone else had this experience? How did it turn out? Did your overcorrection regress to clarity without having to have an enhancement procedure?

    Thanks!

    • Fran says

      John –

      I can identify. I just met with my surgeon for my 2.5 month visit. At one month post op I was seeing 20/70 in one eye and 20/100 in the other. This most recent visit shows me at 20/40 in the first eye and still 20/100 in the other — not exactly the recovery I was hoping for and very difficult to function with. My surgeon too has suggested that he may have over corrected and that I might need to have the entire procedure done again. Obviously, I am less than thrilled, but trying to remain optomistic. This blog has been very helpful in realizing that everyone seems to have different rates of recovery and that timing varies widely as well. Patience seems to be the key word.

      • amy says

        John and Fran,
        I was overcorrected in one eye, my surgery was on may 6 and about 10 to 11 eleven weeks after my doctor told me he was going to try” clapicks” to correct it . I wear a soft contact lens 24 hours a day and put acular in four times aday. after 6 weeks he said my vision had improved 33%. i will go back in ather two weeks to check my progress. I think as long as my vision keeps changing I will wear the contact. Hopefully this will work and I wont have to have another surgery. You should ask your doctor about it!

  104. Nick says

    OMG!!! I hate PRK!!!!

    after taking the bandage out, i can see 20/15 the next day….everything was so great for 2 days….until yesterday(10/10/2011)…i can not see 20/15 anymore but 20/40!!!! WTF?!!!!!! i was so happy at 20/15, it suddenly change to 20/40?!!! good thing i only did PRK on one eye. Anyone experienced this problem like myself? i’m 11 days post-op right now.

    • Alex Tran says

      lol. i couldn’t help but smile when i read your comment.

      what you’re experiencing with the good then bad vision is a normal (and to be expected) part of the recovery process. it is the one downside of PRK to LASIK.

      LASIK patients see better instantly whereas us PRK patients have to wait months.

      the motto for PRK surgery is your healing/eyesight will be three steps forward, two steps back. expect it to be up and down for at least the first two to three months.

  105. Geno says

    Hi Nick,

    Understood!

    Yes I had something similar. I could see really well the next day after PRK, then things went a bit fuzzy, then for like 3 days after the bandages were out I could only see colors, I would say not even shapes.

    My PRK eye is still presenting a problem. Check my other posts above. Had the 4th procedure on this eye, which is the first followup after the PRK (had two failed lasik flaps before)

    We did an “LRI” (2 weeks ago yesterday) which was suppose to reduce the steep side of the surgically induced astigmatism. So far it is very marginal. We are not sure it is going to heal right, Dr said “50/50″ as the incision to let the cornea relax (off the visual axis) is not closing up now as it should.

    We are waiting a month (though he said ‘it is better to do something sooner rather than later’) to see what happens with it (50/50). If it does not close up we may have to put two small sutures to pull the incision closed…

    Still waiting and hoping to give a more positive outcome. My Lasik eye is still excellent and getting me thru all these other things.

    Geno

    • Nick says

      i just don’t know what happen!! it was perfect for 2 days then suddenly it just went away!! now i’m starting to have double version. check up this morning,the doctor did eye pressure test, now my eye is still hurting!

  106. Rob says

    I had PRK on Sept. 23rd, 2011. The day after surgery I had 20/40 in one eye and 20/25 in the other. Obviously my vision got worse as the days went on, but my question is, does the day after surgery vision mean that is what my vision will be when I am all healed up in a few months? Dont get me wrong that is still better than what I had without contacts ( I was a -5.50 in each eye before PRK), but I would love to have 20/20 of course.

    • Alex Tran says

      Honestly, not necessarily. The healing is a unique process for each person.

      With the healing often taking a few months (if not longer), there’s no way to say confidently your vision on day 2 is what it will be once you’re done healing.

      The good news is that the vast majority of users are extremely pleased with their results. I was definitely worried during the first month of my recovery, thinking I made a mistake, but I am extremely happy with my results now.

      If you read through the comments you’ll find similar stories.

      Thanks for commenting!

  107. Rob says

    Thanks Alex! Your PRK blog has been EXTREMELY helpful during my recovery. Each week (Okay almost every day) I find myself coming back to this blog to calm my nerves. Next week I have my 4 week checkup. I will post my results. Hopefully they are good!

    Rob

    • Rob says

      Just an update to my post last week. I went to my 4 week post op appointment today and I am 20\20 in both eyes! I wouldnt have guessed that because things still dont seem crisp, but my Dr. said that will come with time.

      • Nick says

        that’s great to hear! i’m only one week behind you, but i only did prk on my right eye, will schedule to do my left eye after my 4th week post-op check up.

  108. Celeste Barnett says

    Well I had my 6 month appointment this week. After an amazing summer of back country horseback trips, camping, swimming, getting firewood, 4wheeling and in general having fun without any worry of getting dust in my contacts, or where in the world to find some place appropriate to take my contacts out for the night, I can say I LOVE PRK! My right eye does still have a slight bit of astigmatism but it’s still 20/20 and my left eye is 20/10!! Together I see 20/15 very clearly. I do still have a bit of light sensitivity but always have so it’s not an adjustment for me. Can’t wait for the snow, I’m so excited about snowmobiling without my contacts freezing to my eye balls or getting dried out because of lack of air flow behind my goggles!!! I know for some it can be a struggle, but for me it was so worth it :)

      • Celeste Barnett says

        I may not be the best person to answer this question, other than something unhelpful like “It’s different for everyone” I had very little problems with my recovery. After about 2 weeks my eyes were great, except of course some dryness and light sensitivity. They have been consistently between 20/25 & 20/15 since my 1 month appointment. Put your OC drops in EVERY hour! I set a reminder to go off every hour on my cell phone, plus reminders for my prescription drops and anytime I woke up in the night I put them in. My Doc. said that it’s one of the things that helped my recovery, also eat healthy & get as much rest as you can, no matter what the case your body needs that to heal. Good luck, it’s worth it!

        • Nick says

          I got 20/15 after taking out the bandage. But it only lasts for two days. Now its 20/20 in the morning but about 20/30 at the end of the day. Today marked my 2 week post op.

          • Celeste Barnett says

            All you can do is go with the flow :) You’ve had the surgery, no matter how frustrating the recovery may be you have no choice but to go through it. Try resting them in the middle of the day some that may help with your evening vision. Don’t worry so much it won’t help your body heal…lol

      • Alex Tran says

        I would say a month recovery is rare. From what I’ve read (and experienced), I would say somewhere between 2-3 months is average with 4-6 months not being uncommon either.

  109. Frank M says

    Thank you for this web Blog Alex! My eye site is horrible and I thought I was going to have to retire because I can’t see my computer or read. I have my screen set at 150% and still can barely read it. I’m only 10 days post PRK. Now I know to just wait and stop whining. Things will get better. Thanks for relieving my anxiety.

    • Fran says

      That’s exactly it, Frank. You just have to be patient (which I know really isn’t easy). I’m almost at the 4th month mark and I am just now beginning to notice changes in my vision that give me hope that this may all work out in the end (and my vision was very poor). Whining gets us no where.

      • John says

        Fran, I was curious about your comment. I’m at nearly 3 months and not where I hoped I’d be. What changes have you noticed recently? What are you able to do now that you couldn’t before?

        Your comment about improvement nearly 4 months in is an encouragement for me that perhaps I’ll improve over the next month, too. I had a pretty large adjustment as well.

        Thanks for your feedback.

  110. Fran says

    John –

    1st mo. after surgery I was 20/70 in one eye, 20/100 in the other. At 2.5 mos I was 20/40 in eye one, but still 20/100 in the other (which before PRK could not be tested on the eye chart). Just over the past 2 weeks I have realized that I can identify street signs while driving and can see the leaves on the trees (vs just a green blob). I have been fit for 2 different sets of glasses over the recovery period to wear when driving at night — the newest lenses no longer work (my own eyes see more clearly than with any added glasses). Up to this point, I had not been to identify any change in my vision, so this is a major improvement and gives me hope that I might not need to have additional surgery (which is currently being discussed). So hang in there!

    • John says

      Great news on your improvement, Fran. I’m going next week for a checkup so I’ll find out my new vision numbers. While I’m sorry your recovery has taken so long, it is encouraging that others have taken some time, but are still improving MONTHS into the recovery. It’s great to read about those who are blessed with a quick recovery, but it can get a bit discouraging when you can’t count yourself among those lucky ones! Keep sharing your progress.

      Thanks again.

  111. Fran says

    Couldn’t have said it better myself, John! Right now, I’d give anything to see 20/40 — in both eyes. But like I said before, whining doesn’t get us anywhere. Good luck with your next appointment!

  112. Nick says

    i don’t know if anybody want to know my update or not….tell me if i need to stop doing update every few days lol….. this thursday will be my 3rd week post-op check up….i was able to see 20/20 for the last 3 straight days, will update my check up on friday. if you guys don’t care about my check up and other information, let me know so i can stop posting here lol….

  113. Nick says

    update 10/20/2011:
    Just got back from the doctor. My right eye is doing good, a little dry, which is normal. My eye chart wasn’t good like yesterday, i knew it before i came in, but it wasn’t bad. it was 20/25, still good but i was 20/20 the previous 3 days. I knew it wasn’t good b/c my eye was dry this morning since it’s cold here. will update next week after my 4th week post-op. during my 4th week checkup, i will schedule for prk on my left eye. will update in 10 days later.

  114. Frank M says

    One week from my last post and no improvement. Cloudy, shadows and can’t see distance or close up. Not happy. Wish I only did one eye. I can only read with a magnifing glass with one eye closed. My computer monitor is at 200% to help me do my job. Hope things improve like everyone says.

    • John says

      Frank, I’m not sure how longs it’s been since your procedure, but it sounds like you’re having my experience. I’m at the 3 month mark next week and I’ve seen a lot of improvement since my first several weeks after the procedure. I’m still a little blurry up close, but a lot of that could be my age/need for reading glasses.

      How big of an adjustment did you have?

      • Frank M says

        I had the procedure October 6th. As for the correction the doctor said it was in the moderate range. I was like 250 in both eyes.My age is 55. So I guess I’m on the old side.I had an appointment 10.13 and the doctor said I would see a large improvement in the next 4 or 5 days. Well it hasn’t happened and my eye sight seems to be worse. If I could just see a little bit better in any range would make me feel better. I can’t see far, close or midrange. It seems like my eyes are dirty and need a film removed.

  115. Dave S says

    I’m a little overdue for an update so here it is. I just had my five month checkup. For a little background, I was severely myopic with a prescription of -13 with a moderate degree of astigmatism. I won’t go into too much detail about my recovery because it is described in my earlier postings. I am now seeing 20/20 in both eyes, which to me is pretty amazing. At my last checkup around six weeks ago, I was seeing 20/25. The sharpness and definition are not totally there yet, but I am seeing slow improvement. Night vision is good. My left eye is now slightly sharper than my right, which is reversed to what it was during the first few months. I am still on a low dose of steroid drops due to the magnitude of my correction, and it looks like I’ll be on them for a while longer. I put in artificial tears around five times a day to keep things on the moist side (when I put the drops in, things get really sharp!). It’s been an interesting five months. I am not totally healed, but things are looking good. Thanks again to Alex for providing a forum for people to share their experiences!

  116. John says

    3 month check up yesterday. 20/25 each eye and 20/20 “minus” when using both eyes. I was told the “minus” means I couldn’t read all of the letters on the 20/20 line, but I could read some.

    So I’m close to 20/20 but my vision is not sharp/crisp. I can read most things nears to me, but it’s still a bit blurry. My distance and outdoor vision is clearer for sure.

    My correction was large, so a slower recovery was to be expected.

    For those with a similar situation – did you experience improvement in the clarity/sharpness/crispness in the 4th, 5th, 6th month? My vision has improved since my 2 month visit, but I’m still hoping for a continued increase in the crispness of my vision.

    Thanks to all.

    • Alex Tran says

      Early on, I experienced 20/20 vision without the crispness as well.

      It seams like my healing took place quicker than yours (the crispness came by the third month), but I wouldn’t be surprised if you followed a similar path that just takes a bit longer.

      From the other comments, some have taken upwards of six months to be fully healed.

  117. Allyne says

    John,
    I had my right eye done in January, left eye in March, enhancement done to right eye in July. Started in both around -6. My concern for the first half of the year was that I’d be able to see (20/20 didn’t take very long), but that I’d have to live with a decrease in visual acuity. What good is it to see if it’s not sharp or clear?

    At this point, I’m still healing, and get mild ghosting at night from time to time. I anticipate that it’ll pass because during the day, I like to say I can see in HD now. Very crisp…very clear…very sharp. It happens at night with lights with more frequency. I anticipate that once everything heals up and stabilizes, my new HD vision will be with me all day, and EVERY night…especially when driving. Be encouraged. It’ll improve. Just give it time.

    • Walt says

      Hi Folks
      I just found this site and thought I would add my thoughts.
      I had both my eyes done 10/05. I was farsighted and vision was 20/100 w/out glasses and used readers for up close.
      The day I had it done I could read the smallest print and see things great at 3 feet but nothing else.
      The next day I went for follow-up and was told by the doctor he was concerned they may have over corrected, because I could see so well up close, before I couldn’t see anything with out readers. I asked why it went that way and he said my eyes must have over reacted to the laser and there was no way he could have known this would happen.
      Well anyways I’m 3 weeks out and still see great up close but nothing far and the other doctors I’m see at the office keep telling me it will get better and I shouldn’t worry about it yet.
      I tell them what the surgeon said and they say he should not have said what he said.
      Has anyone else had it go this way for them?

      • Alex Tran says

        Howdy Walt, thanks for stopping by and commenting!

        Without being a doctor in the field, it’s hard to tell how much of it could be doctor error in judging how much to correct or how much of it is truly your eyes reaction to the surgery.

        If you’ve read through any of the comments, you’ll find the common thread of healing is that it takes much longer than three weeks to ultimately know how the surgery turns out.

        So I would recommend you continue waiting until your doctor is more comfortable making a final judgment on the results of your healing.

        I’d say this typically won’t be for at least 2-3 months.

        • Mark says

          I agree with Alex. I find that the medical community is erring in judgement by telling PRK patients that they are healed in 21 days. While the cornea is physically healed in that timeframe, full vision benefits take 90 days.

          I had a talk with my doctor about this “err in judgement”. While I certainly am pleased with the final outcome, it took at least 2 1/2 months to get here. I felt that by telling me the healing process was 21 days, I was misled into thinking that I would have full vision at 21 days. It seems from reading this blog as well as others, the medical community has taken on some “salesman qualities” . I realize that Lasik recovery is quite short and if I had a thicker corneal layer, I would have gone that route. But I didn’t. I just wish I knew *upfront* that my vision would take 90 days to be perfect as opposed to finding this out after the surgery.

  118. Walt says

    Thanks for the reply but I still have that question about why I can see so close now.
    The correction was for far sightedness and my near sight was bad just because of my age (51) which I had been wearing readers for 10 year or more and only started having problems with far sight 2 years and just started wearing glasses in november.
    I have read all the other comments here but did not read any that said they had great vision up close after laser treatment and then it fades in great vision at a far.
    Another thing that concerns me is that I have RA which I told the doctor. I have read a lot about this now and every thing I read says if you have RA you should not have this surgery, what do you think about this?
    By the way, where do U have your treatment, I had it done in Amherst NY
    Thanks

    • Frank M says

      Update, Had both my eyes done 10.06. So I’m 27 days post surgery and my vision still isn’t good. Everything has shadows and looks like my eyes are dirty. Can’t see far, midrange or close up. Still have my computer monitor at 150% and use a magnifying glass to read. Going for a follow up appointment today. Hope he’s going to give me something to help me see. I know everyone says it takes time to heal…But I’m going on a month now and my eyes aren’t very good. I’m starting to get concerned about keeping my driver license and job if my vision doesn’t start to improve. I post what the doctor says.

      • SavageFour says

        I had PRK late April. Not a great experience and still trying to get everything straightened out. I finally have plans in November for a “redo” on both eyes, starting with the right eye. I requested a contact for my left eye to be able to drive. If I wear it though, I need reading glasses. Ask about contacts, and don’t take no for an answer!

  119. Frank M says

    Left off that my concern about my drivers license and job is if my vision can’t be corrected by some means. Glasses again or prk again.

    • Walt says

      My doctors are getting me glasses this week, I should not even be driving with 20/100 vision. What your having now, I only had a couple of days like that but now every day my close vision keeps getting even better but far nothing.
      I hope things start to get better for you.

      • Frank M says

        Walt, I’m preety sure I shoilldn’t be driving. I almost ran into the back Of a tractor trailer this morning. Scared the crap out of me. How could I of missed something as big as that. I just wish I had some kind of clear vision in any range. At least before PRK I could read. I just keep hoping everyone is right. That I just have to wait. But I haven’t read where anybody didn’t have good vision in all areas close, midrange or far like I have. Shadow vision makes reading real tough even with one eye closed and a magnifying glass. Hoping the doc has some kind of resolution.

        • SavageFour says

          My right eye is what you described – not clear close, mid or far. The docs at first said it was some kind of scarring. Then they said it had something to do with a stigmatism. Even with glasses or contacts, it was not clear. My left eye is helped with the lone contact and I can see well enough to drive and see the computer up close. If it were both eyes, I would be in the same boat. It’s frustrating!!!

  120. SavageFour says

    PRK was done the end of April. They kept telling to wait, wait, wait, that your eyes are continually healing. Even went to a retina specialist and thankfully everything is ok. My next appt is in 2 weeks and I won’t leave that office unless another PRK is scheduled for the right eye. I won’t chance both eyes as I would be dealing with what you are! I feel for ya, it really does s***

  121. Nick says

    going for my one month post-op check up tomorrow. unable to see 20/20 for the last week, but around 20/25ish….i’m getting a lil bit of double version. hopefully everything is going accord to “plan” of a 3 months recovery.

  122. Geno says

    Hi Guys, Frank, Walt, Savage. I hear you man!

    Yes, it’s amazing the wait involved in this. I had Lasik in one eye, and which was excellent the next day, so I did it to the left eye the next day, and that’s where the problems started. Two failed flaps, and so just after the second flap issue we did PRK that day.

    So I’ve gone thru the same deals as you guys are talking about. My PRK was April 2 – still not the greatest. But it’s livable if this is all there is. I ended up with astigmatism due to the PRK/Laser and (probably 2 flap attempts.) So, whereas my Lasik Eye is quite good, my PRK eye is still having some difficulties.

    I was farsighted like Walt, and I’m 58 so near his age. Walt, the good news is exactly as you said: “they had great vision up close after laser treatment and then it fades in great vision at a far.” This is exactly what is supposed to happen. Man, if your surgeon doesn’t tell you this basic thing you may have picked the wrong guy. I went for two opinions before I did Lasik and both said that would happen. With Nearsighted people, they basically shave down/flatten the eye so it’s pretty straight forward. With Farsightedness, they have to make they steeper, so they put a shape in to do that, and then it needs to settle in after, and thus flattens out a bit, so you should be OK with that. It took a solid month before I started losing my very good near vision and it faded to good far vision. (Both in the Lasik and PRK eyes.) So hang in there Walt, I don’t think all is lost on that front. Though your surgeon may know something we don’t, but you will definitely get some faded near vision and better far vision soon.

    So for my PRK eye with the astigmatism, I’m still struggling with it a bit. It’s always really fuzzy in the morning, especially up close. Now I’m not supposed to have near vision but my Lasik eye has good far vision and pretty cool near vision. By my PRK eye is fuzzy in distance too, especially in the morning. However, as they day goes by, the PRK eye gets better usually, especially in the distance. So, I’m not sure what to think about this. I had a procedure called an LRI about a month ago, which was supposed to relax the astigmatism a bit, I’m not sure it worked, though my eye is about like it was before the procedure now.

    I’m really hesitant on another PRK because they are just misery… as attested to by this board, and the doctors do a disservice by making it out to be so easy. 3 months I think is a more typical healing / suffering zone. :-) I’m also hesitant because it seems like the prescription applied to my eye was good, but the astigmatism it caused is my issue. Finally, I’ve read there is greater chance of scaring / hazing with a second PRK.

    So, I’m still not done with this… but it’s pretty good, all in all, but not as good as I think it should / could be.

    Geno

    • Walt says

      Thanks Geno
      I’m going today to get my so-called temporary glasses so I should be able to see at a distance.
      I’ll tell all you this, had the doctor been up front about this surgery there would have been no way I would have done it.
      The only thing they told me is it will be the best thing I have ever done to improve my vision. These doctors are nothing but salesmen selling their product.
      I asked what the risk were and at no time did they say it could go wrong, I even asked why they had me sign a form saying this could make my vision worse and they are not liable if it does. I was then told that never really happens, its just a standard form everyone uses.
      I will not have this done again because I now know what they say has no truth to it because they said to me after questioning them now that they did the surgery, they said, well you signed the consent form so you knew the risks.
      Like the old sayings go, buyer beware, if it sounds to good to be true it probably is.
      I wish the best of luck to all of you.
      I will let you all know if anything changes.

  123. FrankM says

    had my a follow up visit to the doc. She said the reason for my bad vision is due to my eyes reacting to the steroid drops “Lotemax” It is raising my eye pressure. So now I’ve stopped the steroids and just do my regular dry eye drops every hour.
    Does anybody know how stopping the steroids will effect the future progress of my vision?

    • John says

      I was directed to stop the steroids after only one week of usage. I had cloudy vision.

      Now, 13 weeks out, I’m 20/25 in each eye, but they continue to SLOWLY improve. I had a very large correction, so I was warned going in that it could take up to 26 weeks for my eyes to finish adjusting. So I’m half way there……

      I’m not sure how stopping the steroids early impacted my recovery (making it faster….or slower…..or no impact). But my eyes have seemed to still slowly recover. No dry eye issues, no hazing on my corneas.

          • Frank M says

            Shadow vision to me is like seeing 3-D without the glasses. I see am imagine and then I seeing another one that overlaps it slightly. I guess some people would say double vision. But its not like crossing your eyes double.

        • amy says

          I too had double vision, not so much in bright sunlight but inside and at night. It does seem to get better with time!

          • Nick says

            i too have the same problem just recently! it stops if i close my left eye, since i only got prk on the right eye.

          • Frank M says

            Just got off the phone with the doc. He said the double vision is cause by where the line of healing meets in the eye. For me its righ in my line of vision. Also stated I am healing slower then most.

    • Nick says

      Frank M,

      any improvement after you stop using the steroid drops? did they gave you any thing to lower your eye high pressure?

      • Frank M says

        It does seem like there is some kind of stabilization and minor improvement. But nothing drastic. I went to the Dr. yesterday and they put contacts in and prescribed Zymaxid twice daily and Ketrolac drops 4 times daily. They also put in tear duct plugs. My next appointment is Saturday the 19th. I can see a lot better now too. I guess the doctors do know what they’re doing.

          • Frank M says

            PRK procedure 10.06.2011

            update: Had an appointment last Saturday 11.19. R. eye is 20/30, left is 20/40 and I still have some mild double vision. “livable” Doc. said my my eyes are getting back on track. It’s GREAT to be able to see things again. I’m not afraid to drive anymore. I may still need to have my eye adjusted but it’s a wait and see issue. I have another appointment Dec. 17th. update then

  124. Nick says

    just got back from my one month post-op.
    still seeing 20/25ish, my eye is healing well. however, the steroid i’m using caused my eye pressure to be a lil high, so they are giving me combigan to lower my eye pressure. told me to come back this thursday to check if Combigan helps lowing my eye pressure. will update this coming thursday.

  125. amy says

    I just want to say that not all doctors are salesmen. My doctor fully explained the risks and length of recovery. I had lasik about ten years ago that didnt turn out so well(luckily only one eye was done so I was able to function with a contact lens in the eye they didnt do . It took me ten years to find a doctor that could correct the one eye and then do prk on the other. He would only do one at a time because of the long healing times. I waited a year to do the other one. The healing time is very frustrating even when you are prepared. The first eye took about eight months to stabilize and I am five months out on second eye. The second eye was over corrected and the doctor is doing clapicks on me. The eye has greatlly improved and hopefully I will not need an enhancement. Even tho my vision is not perfect I am glad I did the procedure, before I was legally blind without my contacts and now I can drive without any glasses or contacts(although at night I do feel more comfortable driving with glasses) My advice to anyone considering prk is to ask alot of questions and if you dont feel comfortable go to some one else! Anyone in the chicago area might want to consult with Jonathon Rosin before doing it.

  126. John says

    Frank, I didn’t experience anything like double vision or shadow vision. Mine was more cloudy and blurry. I was pretty clear while I had the bandage contact in (for the first week), but when they took it out, my vision was terrible. It took another week for it to BEGIN to clear – and I’m not sure if the clearing was due to stopping the steroid or simply the passing of time. Each week (13 weeks as of today!) my vision has SLOWLY improved……and I do mean SLOW. But the cumulative effect of the slow improvement is that I’m much better today then I was in the first month of recovery. Hopefully the improving will continue into months 4, 5 and 6.

  127. Nick says

    update 11/4/11:

    Got back from my eye exam after using Combigan to lower my eye pressure. My eye pressure was 25, now it’s only 10, which is a good thing. I can see better than 20/15 after using Combigan to lower my eye pressure. i guess the reason my eye see 20/25ish b/c my eye pressure was high.

  128. Robert Hall says

    When I went to the the Dr. for my 4wk post op I had 20/20 and he said things look great. He decided that it was time to wean me off the Steroid drops a little a head of schedule, so he cut back how many times a day and shorten the amount of weeks. I am now 6wks post PRK and have completely stop taking the Steroid drops, as of 3 days ago. I feel like my vision in my left eye is regressing… Is that normal right after you stop the drops?

    • Alex Tran says

      Howdy Robert!

      From my experience (and I believe from others as well), it is normal to see some regression after weaning off the steroids.

      It would make sense because your eyes are now having to adjust to not having steroids “help” them out. So give your eyes some time to flex/build their own muscles and I’m sure you’ll be good to go in no time!

        • Robert Hall says

          I went back to the Dr. today because I haven’t seen any improvement in my left eye after the regression. My vision in left eye went from 20\20 to now 20\25. That probably doesnt sound like too big of a jump, but the crispness really took a hit. He thinks that I may have to go in for a touch up, but he wants to wait another 6weeks to see if it clears up. If it doesnt then we will make plans for me to get my left eye zapped again.. Oh well.

          • Robert Hall says

            Almost a month since I last posted and my left I seems to be back to 20/20. I dont go back to the Dr. for a few more weeks, but I definitely feel like I will not need an enhancement. :)

  129. Susi says

    Hi all!

    I just wanted to thank everyone for their posts! I had PRK on 10/27 and come back to read once in a while for encouragement!

    I’m excited for my vision to stabilize :)

    Susi

      • Susi says

        Yes, both eyes! Left eye is the slowest healing (20/45) and my right has been stable at 20/25. My vision starts out pretty good in the morning but by the end of the day I feel super tired and just want to close my eyes. Even though the healing is slow it still feels great not having to wear glasses. :)

        • Alex Tran says

          It is an awesome feeling not wearing glasses!

          It’s so cool in the mornings to be able to look across the room and actually see what time my alarm clock says! ;)

          Hoping for a speedy recovery for you!

  130. Nick says

    update 11/16/11:

    Did prk on my left eye last Saturday. the result wasn’t the same as my right side. i was unable to see clearly but still 20/30. now it has been 4 years and i can’t see even see clearly on the chart test, but since it’s only 4 days old. nothing to worry right? as for my right eye, i’m seeing 20/20. hopefully both eyes will see 20/20.

    • Alex Tran says

      yeah, four days is nothing.

      talk to anyone who has done PRK before and they’ll chuckle if you ask them if their results were final on the fourth day. ;)

      give it at least 2-3 months.

  131. Walt says

    Had my 8 week check up. They say I’m at 20/30 in both eyes. I asked if they would do another treatment to make it better and I was told no because I was better then 20/40 and that’s all they promised. I still have double vision and cant read traffic signs until there 30ft in front of me. 4 weeks ago they said I was at 20/75.
    My close vision is starting to fade away but I really don’t notice any improvement in the far vision, no clarity , fuzzy and double vision.
    I still have vary dry eyes so they put plugs in both eyes.
    I’m what they call a successful operation.
    I said you have to be kidding me ( double vision, no clarity and fuzzy vision is successful)
    Well I’ll be going back in 4 weeks to see what they say then and I’ll let you know.
    Sorry about the rambling, I’m just vary unsatisfied at this point.

    • Alex Tran says

      Sorry to hear you’re not having the greatest recovery experience.

      The only words of encouragement I can offer is that there’s still hope. One of my friends had a horrible experience the first few months, but after six months it became great.

  132. Wendy says

    Hello Walt,

    You sound like me, I am experiencing the same thing. If you get a chance read my other postings. I had may first PRK surgery on March 11, 2011 and I just had an adjustment on October 28th. My last appointment was November 12, 2011 and I had 20/30 vision in both eyes. I can not read the computer without reading glasses but it is a little fuzzy and also reading magazines/books is getting fuzzy. I too am very frustrated, I thought I would be seeing 20/20 by now. I am still praying for God to heal me. Your last posting is my same story the only comfort I have is that you are in my same boat. Thanks for posting……from someone who knows and feels your frustration. Take care……….Wendy

  133. John Hoyne says

    It’s been about 4 months since my last post. At my 6 month post-op at this point, and my eyes are 20/15 in both eyes. They still get dry in the mornings, and a little scratchy when I’ve been starting at the computer for a while, and night-time driving still has it’s issues, i.e. oncoming lights from cars are very bright to me, and stop lights and car-tail lights ghost a bit. Hopefully this clears up in the next few months. I had PRK back in June at the Army’s expense at Ft. Riley if anyone has any questions :)

  134. amy says

    I am now about seven months out on having prk on an eye that was about -9 . I was overcorrected and have worn a contact lens for the last two months and putting in acular 4 times a day…they call this clapicks. When I was wearing the +.05 contact lens my vision seemed perfect! I have been out of the contact lens for two weeks now and vision seems to be getting worse but doctor says to give it another month and we will see if I need an enhancement. Since I am farsighted now with astigmatism I am wondering what the recovery time will be on the second prk. Does anyone one know if it is shorter because they are not doing as much correction? Is it harder to correct farsightedness?

  135. John A says

    It’s been 4.5 months since my PRK (pretty substantial correction: -8 pre-surgery). Near 20/20, but no real “crisp-ness” to what I read – things are still blurry. I’m told it takes 6 months (so another 6 weeks) for full recovery.

    My question is this: has anyone experienced “substantial” improvement in their vision in the last 6 weeks of the 6 month recovery period? Or was it only a minor improvement?

    I know everyone is different, but I’m curious whether it’s realistic to expect much more improvement in the last 6 weeks of recovery. Thanks.

    • amy says

      Hi John,
      I also started out with a substantial correction: -11 in left eye and -9 in right. I did lasik about 10 yrs aago in left eye and the prk to correct in that eye about a year and a half ago. It did take about 8 months to stabilize and that eye is about 20/25 with a little astigmatism(need glasses to drive at night) The right eye was done about 7 months ago and was overcorrected so they did “clapicks” on me. This is where you where a contact lens 24/7 and put acular in 4 times a day. this seemed to work but since I took contact lens out about three wks ago the eye seems to be regressing with a lot of double vision…Im not sure if astigmatism causes the double vision or what but even tho they say I can read the chart at 20/20 I am totally guessing and letter are fuzzy and double! I can not read with that eye but amazingly I can see better with this eye at night to drive! I am also hoping for a substantial improvement but if the ghosting would go away I would be happy! ok I m not sure if theat answered your question but I think the blurriness might take a year to clear up!

  136. Nick says

    update!

    I’m currently see 20/15 on my right eye, did prk about 3 months ago(end of september 2011). did prk on my left eye about 5 weeks ago(middle of November 2011), not seeing great, maybe at 20/25ish or 20/30ish. it felt great not having to wear glass when u drive or do anything fun….

  137. Jessica says

    I am on day 4 of my PRK surgery. Tomorrow I go in to have the contacts taken out. I chose to have my procedure done in Mexico as it only costs $800 there compared to $5,000 in the U.S w/out eye insurance. I should have done more research on the PRK procedure. I had dry eye issues prior to the surgery and the one concern I told the doctor was about that. Of course he said i shouldn’t have a problem with dry eyes. We’ll see, so far it just seems normal for me to have a dry eye issue. For the first 2 days I was literally in the dark. It was painful to open my eyes. The 3rd day was not too bad, I was starting to open my eyes from time to time but for the most part I kept them closed. The 4th day (today) much better. I could open them up and keep them open by the end of the day. Now I am looking forward to having my contacts removed tomorrow. I see better with my right eye than my left eye. My left eye is completly blurry. Hope that all changes and by the sound of it, it looks like it will. Tanks for putting up this blog. I was concerned about the healing process and now I feel assured that things will get better.

    • Alex Tran says

      heya jessica! thanks for dropping by!

      wow, i can’t believe it’s so cheap in mexico!

      if you read through the experiences from people, i think the best advice you’ll hear is the entire recovery process feels like it’s three steps forward, two steps back. you’ll progress, but then regressive in a day.

      so be patient. everyone heals differently. it’ll probably be natural to worry the first few weeks when your eyesight is horrible, but it will get better!

  138. Walt says

    Well I had my 3 month check-up.
    They said my right eye is 20/20 now, last month they said it was 20/30 now you would think I would be happy to hear that but I’m not really.
    Let me tell you why, I see no better then I did a month ago and the way they test me seems like a joke, I tell them I’m guessing and they say that’s great you got it right even if it was only 1 letter out of the 4.
    OK now for the left eye, now they say its 20/40 it went backwards, they said it was 20/30 last month, now I’m getting close to where the might offer some correction in the left eye.

    I told the doctor my vision was the same as it was last month, still unable to read traffic signs until they are within 30ft, fuzzy, no clarity/sharpness and double vision.

    So to sum it up they now say my total vision is 20/25, I don’t know how the come up with that 20/20 in 1 and 20/40 in the other, I would think that equals 20/30.

    Well now you can guess what the final words from the doc was, Your still healing, this take time, it will get better, and your looking good so hang in there, like as if I have other options right!

    I go back to see the doctor in 3 months, I’ll let you know how it goes.

    O yes I should also mention they said the 200.00 eye plugs(which I didn’t pay for because they made a mistake on my insurance) they put in are really helping me with the healing and dry eye problem they said I have. I told them I feel no change in the way my eyes felt before and it was like the doc didn’t hear me.

    OK sorry for the rambling again.

    • Alex Tran says

      hey walt. thanks again for the update. hope the next three months are better than the first in terms of recovery.

      what exactly are eye plugs? sounds kinda scary. ;)

      • Walt says

        Hi Alex
        What they do is plug the channel in the corner of your eye where the tears drain. They say it helps to keep the eyes lubricated longer.
        People with really dry eyes should never have prk done because most people will have dry eye’s caused by prk and if you already have dry eyes it will become almost unbearable.

  139. Jonathan says

    Alex
    I had PRK done on January 6th. The first few nights after they took the contact off I was waking up and my eye/eyes would be burning. They said they thought my eyes were drying out and when I opened my eyes I was tearing the new skin off. So for about a week and a half now I have been waking up every hour or so to put drops in. Did you or anyone else have problems with something like this? I have yet to see really any improvement in my vision.

    • Alex Tran says

      Heya Jonathan, thanks for sharing your experience with the rest of us!

      I, personally, did not experience any dry eyes or major discomfort at any point in my recovery. But, if you read through some of the comments here, others have experienced varying levels of discomfort and symptoms.

      If I’ve learned anything from others who have had PRK, the healing process can be very different for each person. Dry eyes is probably one of the most common symptoms.

      But being only three weeks out, you are still pretty early in the recovery process. Keep your hopes high! You’ve still get plenty of opportunity for your eyes to heal and for your vision to improve!

  140. Ruth says

    I have been keeping up with the comments, but haven’t posted in many months. I had PRK April last year and went back yesterday to finally get an enhancement on my right eye and guess what? The machine broke down! Not only did myself and other patients wait for over an hour wondering what was going on, they had already given me Valium, so I left yesterday looped and no surgery!! I will eventually have both eyes redone, but will never do both at once ever again. At least with my left eye now, if I wear a contact I can read street signs to drive (but then it’s difficult to read and can’t get the right reading glasses for that). My right eye is blurry near and far and so far they have found nothing wrong and keep saying it’s scar tissue and wanted to wait month after month to see if it would correct itself. PRK is overrated and I am beyond patience, but unfortunately have no recourse but to wait. I’m rescheduled for next week, so let’s hope they have the machine up and running!

  141. Homer says

    Hi guys and guylets. I am 74 and am going in for PRK on Feb 13.
    Try to keep this simple…had LASIK 20 years ago. They did Monovision. 1 eye for reading and 1 eye for distance. Very successful 20/15 and recovery was in two or three days……No discomfort.
    Last year had Cataract surgery. They honored the Monvision. Left eye is spectacular. I read the bottom paragraph and the copywrite 1987 off the reading chart at about 18″!…….right eye not so good. Maybe 20/80. They waited many months for stabilization and then said they could fix it and how was I going to pay for that? I am not going to pay anybody to correct what they did wrong.
    New guy. Highly Recommended..(but so was the cataract guy)……he says PRK. Safest. Good outcome almost assured. He says the first guy (Who was first interocular guy in Florida) missed badly and needs to retire. Well, I knew that.
    He showed me what he believes he can get for me..20/20. The days of 20/15 are gone I guess…..
    I’ll be happy if it works. I am NOT looking forward to a recovery of Months.
    Am I the oldest here?

    • Ruth says

      I thought the only reason for PRK is that the flap wasn’t thick enough? Can you have Lasik instead? Recovery is much longer for PRK and I would never do both eyes at the same time again. Just got the right eye redone (the machine worked this week) and it’s fuzzy and I expect it to be for a long while. But, i can wear a contact in my left eye (until that one gets enhanced at a later date ) which enables me to drive and watch tv. Otherwise I know I wouldn’t be able to function at work, let alone safely drive.

      • Homer says

        Don’t what to say that I haven’t.
        Dr Gorovoy said:
        Could remove new lens and replace with better prescription. (Major operation)
        Could add a lens in front of new lens to correct. (Major Operation)
        Could do Lasik.
        Could do PRK.

        Recommended PRK because.
        1- it is safest. (Not said, but maybe a part of that evaluation is my age)
        2- can more accurately predict outcome. (I never would have guessed this. But then my experience with Lasik was great….20 years ago…and who knows…maybe only 90% of Lasik and 95% of PRK is fully successful. Again, maybe my age enters into it.)

        Yeah. I did both eyes with lasik 20 years ago.Knowing whatI know now,I would never do it again.
        But to wake up the next day and see the world…….was an amazing experience.
        But then again, I had zero problems. Many are not that “lucky”.
        But then again, used the same Dr that had just done many of the Dallas Cowboys. I am convinced that although the machines may be the same…..there is a bit of an art to it and the Doctor you choose IS important.

  142. Alex Tran says

    heya homer. thanks for posting! i’m not sure how old everyone is, but at least you’ll only be doing PRK in one eye. so the recovery won’t be as severe since you’ll have your left eye to support your right while it heals.

  143. Homer says

    Had the operation on Monday.
    Pain? well, I’ve had pain. Shrapnel to the kneew. Kidney stones. Sciatic nerve crushed.
    This wasn’t pain. It was discomfort.

    However…for some reason every bone in my body hurt. Doc says he didn’t do it……OK/ hell of a coincidence tho.

    Can’t see squat/ Worse that when I went in.
    Protective contact to be removed tomorrow.
    Maybe better then?
    He says 6 weeks.

    So far, so good.

  144. Nick says

    HELLO EVERYBODY!

    It has been 5 months since my PRK for right eye and 3 months since my left eye. I’m seeing 20/15 on my right and 20/20 on my left. It took me about a months on right eye to be 20/15, but took about 2 months on my left eye to be 20/20. overall, i’m very very happy with the result but still seeing starbust and halo on tail light but it’s very small and goes away within few min.

    • Alex Tran says

      That’s great to hear Nick! Happy your recovery is going well. Probably the last thing to “go away” for me were the minor night vision issues. Hopefully that’s the same with you.

      • Nick says

        btw, thanks for this site Alex Tran, nguoi viet ha? lol…. w/o this site, i don’t know what to expect after having PRK. all of my friends got Lasik, so they don’t know what i’m going through.

  145. Homer says

    Hope mine moves that fast Nick.
    They took out the protective Contact.
    Vision got worse.
    Doesn’t want to see me for 3 weeks. No more of anti iNflam drops but keep up the Steroids.Worst news of the day? Says he may have to go back in for a “touch up”. I would imagine that would reset counter to zero……..
    I have been screwing around with my vision for 1 full year.
    That’s when I had cataract surgery that didn’t do well on the right eye.
    Seems like I am a Perpetual patient. My Favorite song has become
    Gypsies,Tramps and Thieves.

    • Alex Tran says

      I’m no doctor, but it seems weird to already say you may have to have a touch up so soon in the recovery. Maybe they know more than we think that early? Let’s hope he’s wrong in your case though…

      • Homer says

        Yeah I thought so too Alex.
        But apparently he is looking for a “smoothness”.?
        And something like a “corner” is not smooth? And he has seen it before.
        Most times it “smooths out”. Sometimes it doesn’t.
        I think he is trying to manage expectations so that if he has to go
        backin for a “tweak”, it won’t terribly upset me…….

        One thing that is concerning me……..I still have worse vision than when I went in…….
        Not even a couple of minutes of “better”……….seems to me that everybody
        “normally” starts seeing at least a little better after maybe a day….or 5 days……?
        But, no panic et. Following a couple of other links that you supplied shows that no two recoveries are the same…….

        • Homer says

          Progress. As of today. my ye is a little better. Still not as good as my left eye (Which is setup as my reader in the Monvision technique), but still….a little progress, finally.

    • Nick says

      3 weeks to see you after taking out the contact? wow! i visited my doctor every week after they took out the contact. they want to see how’s i’m doing, see if my eyes are good or not. i used steriod drops for 6 weeks on each eyes…i don’t know if it helped me in my fast recovery or not.

  146. John says

    I’m at 6.5 months and 20/25. Has anyone here experienced continued vision improvement AFTER 6 months? I really don’t want to go through an enhancement procedure and am hoping there is still a (slight) chance for more improvement.

    Thanks.

    • amy says

      Hi John,
      20/25 sounds pretty good, but what is your quality of vision? Can you see well at night? Do you have double vision or residual astigmatism?Probably your prescription wont improve but the clarity might get better.

      • John says

        Hi, Amy. Yes, 20/25 (compared to where I was) is not too bad. I see OK at night, no double vision and the doctor hasn’t mentioned any astigmatism. He also said there is no hazing on my cornea’s.

        I’m not happy with the lack of “sharpness” of my vision. I can read most writing, but it’s blurry. Part of the problem is my age (45) and I probably would need reading glasses/bifocals anyway. He suggested doing an enhancement procedure, but I don’t know if I want to go through it all again, especially if I’ll still need reading glass most of the day (I have a desk job).

        If I’m watching TV for example, and no words are on the screen, I don’t notice the blurriness. But if words are on the screen, they’re not very sharp (but they are readable). Before PRK, I would have been lucky to even see the TV (really bad eyes), so it’s much better than that. But I was expecting a higher level of sharpness. Maybe it will get sharper with more time (?????).

        The doctor gave me prescriptions for some glasses – (1) Distance only correction: OD +2.25 -0.75 x170; OS +2.00 -0.75 x005, and (2) Bifocals: OD +1.00 -0.75 x170; OS +0.75 -0.75 x005 +1.25. I’m not sure what all of those number mean, but he said it was a very low prescription.

        John

        • Homer says

          It certainly is possible that it will continue to get better,,,,,but…..lack of sharpness, in my mind, indicates that you have some astigmatism.
          Ask him if the “enhancement procedure” will set the clock to zero again.
          I can see where you might not want another 6.5 months.
          But perhaps the Enhance Procedure can done in just a couple of weeks?
          Worth asking.

          Nick I am also using Steroid drops. 4times a day. Definite improvement that last couple of days.
          I can now see as well with the PRK eye as I can with the other eye! It just keeps getting better.

  147. Vic says

    I am 64 years old. I went through cataract surgery in March (left) and April (right) of last year (2011). Typical monovision setup with right eye being for near vision. As is turned out there was just too much disparity between the two eyes for me to accommodate. I asked the doc to “enhance” the vision on the right eye to bring the two of them a little closer together. He did PRK on it 9 days ago. The BCL has been removed. Vision is not good at all. Very frustrating….especially if you have ever had LASIK and gotten immediate results. I feel like I’m looking through a piece of thin white tissue paper…..very difused light coming through……no crispness at all…..I can only see the second line on the chart…..really only guessing at that. I can tell this is going to be another 6 month ordeal. At my age I’m asking myself why did you do this to yourself…..again. Night vision is really, really bad with many halos and flares due to previous RK procedures a lifetime ago. My wife will have to do the night driving in the future. It’s a funny thing…..I don’t think of myself as being this old, but I guess I am. Could take a very long time for me to heal. Oh well, as in golf, never up, never in. Keep the faith and just keep blinking.

    • Alex Tran says

      Hi Vic, thanks for sharing your experience. I think you summed it up well. There’s really not much else you can do when recovering from PRK other than keeping the faith (that things will get better). It is an up and down ride indeed.

      Especially if you’re recovering from PRK after multiple other eye procedures/surgeries.

  148. Homer says

    2 weeks today.
    We talk a lot about the recovery being different for each of us,
    And that is true to a certain extent. But there are some similarities for many…….I am tracking Alex pretty close.
    So go back ad look at where Alex was at 2 weeks.
    Still not good sight, but better…….and def still blurry…but better.

    And then I took a peek at week 3 for Alex. Whoop! I sure hope so!

    • Nick says

      everybody is different. also, i think the reason ur eyes arent better faster b/c of hte steriod drops, which cause your eye pressure to increase. i didn’t see good enough for first 3 weeks b/c my eye pressure was high, then dr gave me drops to lower it. i was able to see 20/20 within few days, and 20/15 few more days after that…..

  149. Scott says

    I just had PRK on both eyes on Friday (2/24/12). I was 20/15 corrected with contacts but -5.50 in right and -4.75 in left to get there. I chose the PRK over the LASIK due to my activity level and risk of dis-lodging the flap, but the concept of seeing the world like this for another 4+ weeks is not making me feel all “warm and fuzzy”. I was 20/40 the day after the surgery, and about 20/30 yesterday before the BCL’s came out. Now that they are out, I’m about 20/80. I have things to go do today, and this weekend, and I’m feeling pretty useless right now, especially having to rely on my wife for transportation…Really hoping tomorrow is a big improvement.

    • Walt says

      Hi Scott
      I’m sure your going through a lot of doubt about if you did the right thing now because I sure did at that stage.
      I’m 5 months out now and my sight is still changing, some days better then others.
      I still cant read traffic signs until I’m 30 feet from them which I don’t understand why there is no clarity in my sight yet.
      I see really good with in 20ft, with really good clarity.
      So just hang in there, it will take time.

    • Alex Tran says

      Hey Scott,

      Anyone who has had PRK understands what you’re going through. It’s a pretty wild ride, one that isn’t all that fun to ride. But as Walt/Fran mentioned, the recovery requires a lot of patience and time.

      It sucks, but for the vast majority of people it’ll be worth the wait at the end.

  150. Fran says

    Scott –
    If you have read these posts, all I can say is that utmost patience is required (I know, easier said than done). It does get better — though possibly not for a long time (I am at month 8 post op and still experiencing some changes). Suprisingly, the brain is very agile and helps us cope with poor vision filling in what we truly can’t see — though that too will take a bit of time. One thing that did help me was insisting that the surgeon provide me with a prescription for glasses. Even though my eyes were constantly changing and I needed updated prescriptions constantly, it made driving, especially at night, possible. Check out Target — while they take 10 working days to get your initial lenses, they will replace lenses at no additional cost for 90 days. I kept 2 pairs of glasses in rotation at all times this way. (I was 20/100 and 20/80 post surgery coming from very severe correction). So PATIENCE. And hang in there.

  151. JAM says

    Has anyone here had an enhancement procedure? It looks like I’ll need to have both eyes “tweaked.”

    How was the “enhancement” procedure vs. the first time? How was the recovery time, etc.? Any differences?

    Thanks.

    • Geo says

      JAM,
      I had an enhancement done Jan 27 (due to residual astigmatism). My initial surg. was March ’11. It was no different than the first time, just alot less time under the laser this time. But the drops before and after, contacts, doctor visits, etc, is all the same. Also, I ‘ve not seen any difference in the recovery time~when your eyes are “cut” on, they have to have time to heal. I’ve been less patient this time, but as all PRK people understand, you MUST be patient. As I have said before, PRK is 3 steps forward, 2 steps back. Hope this helps.

      • John says

        Geo – Thanks for the reply.

        Are you seeing better now (6 weeks after the enhancement) than you did before? Was it worth going through the process again?

        Thanks again.

  152. tyson says

    will anyone share an approx cost per eye for this prk procedure, or a basic price range. Im interested, but not fully commited yet… thanks!

    • Walt says

      Hi Tyson
      I paid around 3k for both eyes to be done at the same time.
      I live in WNY area.
      Just be ready for a long recovery time.

    • Alex Tran says

      Mine was 5k (on the expensive side) for both eyes, but I had two other quotes that were 3k and 3.5k.

      Ended up going the more expensive route cause I felt much more comfortable with the doctor.

    • Homer says

      $2200 to do one eye.

      I also have a guarantee that if it needs “enhancement”, it will be done for $200.

      • Mike says

        I live in Vancouver Canada and paid $800 for one eye. I believe both eyes would have been $1400. My experience is posted below.

  153. Celeste Barnett says

    Mine was just under $4k, I financed it on a no interest Chase Care Card, did a lot of figuring and in approx. 5 years with no contacts/glasses it pays for itself! Almost at the 1 year mark and it is the most amazing thing I ever did for myself!!!

  154. Al says

    Here’s my message of hope. I had PRK in my left eye Jan 2011, right eye March 2011. I was frustrated with my left eye. I could see 20/25, but with NO visual acuity. Nothing was clear and night vision had consistent ghosting.

    I could see 20/20 with both eyes, but my right eye was much better than the first one that I had surgery on… Clear vision at 20/20 and less dryness. Hoping for an improvement, I went back under the laser for my right eye in July 2011. By November, I could see 20/20 in the eye, WITH NO visual distortion. Was it guaranteed? No. Was it worth it? Absolutely…even though I had to go through the healing process all over again. The process was easier because I could see very well out of the second eye I had corrected without the aid of a contact lens.

    I had slight ghosting most noticeable with Red lights at night through late Dec / early Jan. Not anymore. I often joke that I can now see in HD and am still amazed that I don’t require glasses at all. You really, really have to be patient. For me, it was worth it…enhancement and all.

    This blog made the entire process much easier for me in setting my expectations.

    • amy says

      Did they correct the astigmatism with the enhancement? What was your vision like the first month after enhancement?

  155. Fran says

    I paid about $4500 for both eyes, which includes enhancements. My surgery was performed by a surgeon in a university setting who is an expert in dealing with former radial keratatomy patients.

  156. Morginn says

    I had Lasik eye surgery August ’06, when I was 21, I feel now at this time at that age I wasnt a good candidate for it considering, Im done developing as I would put it. After my first procedure my vision was 20/15 for about a year, and then I noticed my vision wasnt as clear as it has been. Every year I have gone back for my follow up and my vision has gotten worse but not to the point where I started. Since my surgery 5 years ago my vision has changed alot, I have an enhancement schedule in two weeks but I have choosen the PRK procedure rather than Lasik again, a little nervous about the recovery time. Any helpful suggestions. Thank you

    • Alex Tran says

      How come you decided to go the PRK route versus LASIK again?

      My suggestions/advice to you . . . have realistic expectations about the recovery process (read through some of the comments to get an idea).

      And be patient. Especially since you’ve done LASIK before and you’ve experienced how quickly you’re able to see clearly after surgery. That’s not the case with PRK.

      You’ll think you made a mistake during the recovery process because of how slow it is. It’ll feel like three steps forward, two steps back. But be patient and trust you are making progress even in the minor setbacks.

      Trust your body’s ability to heal itself and let us know how the recovery goes for you!

  157. Homer says

    Was getting depressed.
    My vision was definitely worse after 4 weeks than it was….after two weeks. Or 3 weeks.
    What’s going on?

    Well, todays appointment came out well.
    The cornea is progressing, but I am still not seeing well.
    When he talked about an “enhancement” a couple of weeks ago, he was talking about
    Yag Laser Posterior Capsulotomy which is a procedure to cleanup Cataract surgery.

    Easy stuff. No fasting. No pain. No extra drops. Drive in and drive out!
    Should positively affect my vision within an hour or so.
    No resetting the cornea healing to zero.
    And no charge, even tho it is associated with my earlier cataract surgery done by a different
    outfit and has nothing to do with the PRK…. except it is preventing the PRK from giving me good vision.
    That will be done Friday. Can’t hardly wait.

    He has started weaning me off the steroid drops. Been doing 4 a day.
    He wants 3 day for a week, 2 a day…..etc…..

    • Alex Tran says

      That’s awesome to hear Homer! You can’t beat free!

      I really hope it does improve your PRK vision. Give us an update on Friday!

  158. keith says

    curious, I had lasik no problems about 4 weeks ago. a recommended a friend and she was told after wearing no contacts for two weeks that the cornea still hadnt changed and prk was neccessary. she is in day 3 and is still feeling alot of dicomfort. is this normal? she had the procedure done saturday afternoon today is monday pm. very sensative to light still and her eyes are still hurting? she using the drops given and taking advil, but again just curious if this is normal for some people? thanks

    • Alex Tran says

      From reading through the comments here, it is normal for some to experience pain three days (and longer) into the recovery process.

      But if she is worried, I would strongly advise she check in with her doctor. There is no harm in asking. And in the off chance it is something more serious, they can address the issue earlier rather than later.

      • keith says

        thanks Alex, she is reaching out to the doctor today. She was told that Lasik wasnt an option on the day of surgery, stated she was going to need the PRK surgery. She;s frustrated because going in was expecting Lasik, but told the day of wanst going to be an option. Opted to go ahead anyway with prk but wasnt expecting this long of a recovery. feels a little better today, but on day 3 (last night) was in more pain than day 1? Funny you mention 3 steps forward 2 steps back, thats what she experienced yesterday for sure. She is hoping to get back to work tomorrow, was not expecting to have to be out for a couple of days.

  159. Ruby says

    Hello all,
    Wondered if anyone has ever asked for a refund because their vision was not corrected to what the surgeons predicted? I had PRK last April 2011. The left eye was under corrected, so I need to wear a contact or glasses to drive. The right eye was left with a bumpy epithelium (sp?) which never cleared up. A recent enhancement on that eye resulted with NO change and the surgeon is stumped. I cannot read or see far away and their suggestion is a hard contact that will help “even out” the epithelium. I know I am in a small minority that this just did not work, but I am frustrated (and a lot poorer!)

    • Nick says

      i doubt they would refund you. don’t you signed some kind of documents before you went in for lasik? i signed two times, one for each eye.

      • Ruby says

        I’ll have to dig out the original folder with copies of everything and check. I kinda recall the old “satisfaction guaranteed” and since this is very unusual, I might have a case. I guess I never thought my eye would be worse than what I started with!

  160. Homer says

    Underwhelmed.
    But necessary.
    What had happened…..apparently some “debris” from my Cataract surgery was behind the lens and the back of the lens was getting cloudy. My vision was actually getting worse after PRK.
    It had nothing to do with the PRK, and maybe as many as 20% (or even more) of the people who have had cataract surgery will need a YAG Laser procedure sometime later. Look up YAG OD if you want the details.

    So, the YAG Laser was done yesterday and I am back to where I was about two weeks after PRK.

    That is to say……..not very good…….. and am on the PRK recovery schedule again. Rats.

    • Alex Tran says

      Good news is that there’s still a chance your PRK could be considered a success when it’s all said and done!

      • Homer says

        Yes, that is still possible, but I don’t think so.
        I think it has been a complete failure.

        In any event the session of Post Op on the YAG was without incident until we started
        to talk about the PRK………

        The Dr, Dr Gorovoy of Ft myers, one of only two Drs on the gulf coast of florida that is recommended by Castle Connolly (Ostensibly an independent rating service) has now indicated that it is not working.
        But he wont do any more enhancement until this operation has healed.
        We setup an appointment for September when he will re evaluate it and he gave me
        a prescription for glasses.
        I picked up the glasses today and they are”OK” on my good eye (Left eye -That was set up at 20/70 for Reading), and while they help the right eye some…the astigmatism is still very bad.
        I am going to get a second eye exam from an optomitris and see if it agrees with Gorovoy.

        Well, we shall see. Pun not intended.

        But I am not optimistic at his point. It has been 6 weeks and even the Dr is pessimistic.

  161. mike says

    hello i have some questions about prk i plan on getting it soon im farsighted with -3.5 in both eyes its fine for me to slowly progress to seeing 20/20 but how bad is the blurry vision up close? I can see 20/20 upclose now, will that become blurry and if so, how bad? will i be able to see the hair on my arms during the healing period? i dont work on the computer much but reading and seeing up close is very important for my job. i can take off 2 wks vacation is that enough ?

    • Alex Tran says

      Hi Mike, for me the blurry vision up close was tolerable during the first week of the recovery. I could definitely see the hair on my arms.

      But that doesn’t guarantee your experience will be the same because it can be so varied.

      My doctor recommended I take a week off from work to give my eyes time to rest and heal before going back to work. I’m not sure taking the entire two weeks of your vacation will be necessary, but a week wouldn’t hurt.

  162. Mike says

    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

    • Alex Tran says

      Heya Mike, thanks for the timeline! I’m sure it will help encourage others to tough it out. As you experienced, there are times when you feel like you made a mistake, but inevitable it does get better!

    • Nick says

      Wow, it took them 14 days to take out the contact? It took them 4 days for me. I feel discomfort, so they took it out but my eyes was healing well enough for them to take it out.

      • Mike says

        I know, 14 days scared the crap out of me. It just goes to show that everyone heals at different speeds…. what’s great is that after it came out my eye sight seems to be getting better at a very fast rate. I would say my eye is around -1 now, it has been 9 days since the contact came out, 23 days since the surgery. I go for another checkup next week, I’ll let you know how it goes.

          • Mike says

            Update, I went for my 4 week checkup yesterday. The doc said I was progressing much faster than I did in the first 2 weeks. She said the surface was 90% ‘smooth’ and over the next little while things should clear up even more once the remaining 10% smooths out. My eye sight was 20/25 and she expects it will get to 20/20 once the last bit heals.

            Good luck to everyone else out there!

  163. keith says

    So my frined has been back to doctor 4 times since here surgery 4 weeks ago. Not a noticable difference in vision, there is improvmenet but nothing to write home about. For some reason yesterday she got her haircut, the lighting in their was like putting a needle in her eye. She was in pain for hours, up all night. She has another appointment next Saturday. Obviously getting very frustrated in the slow recovery and also the lack of vision, especially since she cant even wear anything corrective to get her through until her eyes are completly healed. She is having trouble reading and driving.

  164. Nick says

    i don’t know it’s true but i think there are two methods of PRK. The way they removed my outer layer was by using something like a toothbrush and brush it away. however, when i went to youtube and saw few PRK videos. the procdure was different from mine. the video on youtube look more painful. the video show they using a circle hold and pull down to on your eye to remove the outer layer. So i guess it all depend on the way ur doctor performed PRK. can anyone chip in to see if i’m correct about the two methods. thank.

  165. Daburn says

    Thanks for this. It was really helpful.
    I had my surgery 18 days ago and I have blurriness as the day wears on and also night vision issues. I drove a friend home tonight and I couldn’t make out people in dark clothing, they blended into the background. Luckily I was only driving 2miles an hour.

    I like reading your timeline, gives me something to look forward to because I was starting to think, “Is this it?!”

    • Daburn says

      Also, I can’t focus on the computer or reading for more than 10mins at a time before it’s painful and blurry. How long does that take to fix?

    • Alex Tran says

      Thanks for stopping by! 18 days out definitely does NOT qualify as “is this it?” territory. ;)

      You’ve still got plenty more time to heal up.

      According to my timeline, it took me just over a week to start feeling better reading on a computer/Kindle. But that’s not to say your healing wouldn’t still be considered “normal” considering how wide-ranging the healing process can be from person to person.

      If you have to look at a computer, try to lower the resolution so that text displays larger. And take frequent breaks. You don’t want to strain your eyes if you’re feeling pain after 10 minutes of reading.

      • keith says

        My friend took almost 5 weeks before she could actually look at a computer for longer than 10 minutes without discomfort. It’s been I think 6 or 7 weeks now and she is still experiencing halo effects at night, and has trouble seeing distance. Her reading ability has improved, but distance still no good. Doctor told her still too early to make and judgment calls. Need to give it 3 months or so for a good measurement of “this is it”

  166. Cindy says

    Thank you everyone for your comments. I am a little more hopeful that my vision will return to normal. It’s been 2 weeks since my PRK lasik surgery. Prior to PRK, I was nearsightedness. I could see fine close up, seeing distance was blurry for me. After surgery, it is the total opposite. Which stinks, since I work on the computer 5 days a week. It is hard for me to see the words, as a matter of fact, what I’m typing now, is extremely blurry so forgive my typo’s. lol. Day 5, 6, and 7, were my best days ever. I could read e-mail, etc. After I got my protective lenses removed, everything got blurry again. There are times my vision is a little better, but to see close up, is a challenge for me. I am not use to this. Tomorrow, Monday, will be the start of my 3 week journey. Hoping things clear up.

    • Alex Tran says

      Glad to have you stumble in as a fellow PRK-er!

      I feel like it’s been a common thing for vision to get worse after taking out the bandage contacts.

      You’ve got a high statistical probability that you will clear up just fine. ;) In general, it seems 3 months is a good time frame to wait before you get overly concerned.

    • Nick says

      i’m on the same boat before…but it should clear up 2-3 more weeks…if not, then ask if your eye pressure is high or not, if it’s, then they should lower it down and you’ll be fine. 20/15 in both eyes after lowing my eye pressure.

  167. Walt says

    I Folks
    Up-Date
    Well I just had my 7 month check-up. I have 20/30 in both eyes and its about as good as its going to get I guess. They did say it might still get better but as far as they were concerned they would not do any more for me to get it better.
    I still have some double vision at a distance which would account for the poor clarity. (note I did not have double vision before PRK)
    To sum it up, Before PRK vision was 20/100 and I had to use reading glasses at +2.5 and corrective lenses for distance.
    Now I only need reading glasses for fine print or low light and not at all for computer use which is great because I had to use my readers before to see it.
    I could get corrective lenses for the distance/double vision
    I can live with the distance part because some days its great and your mind is a wonderful thing because you get used to it.
    Next check-up 1 year from now.
    Best wishes to everyone, its been one he11 of a ride so far and its not over yet “I guess”

  168. Walt says

    PS. This site has been great, it really helped to understand I was not alone or out of the norm for recovery.
    I just wish I would have known all this before I had PRK.
    Thank You Alex for this site, and I hope you know you have helped a lot of people get over some ruff times with this site.
    KARMA

    • Alex Tran says

      Your welcome! Thanks to all you and the other comments for posting periodic updates for others to read!

  169. Misa says

    Greetings, all:

    I am taking the “plunge” (PRK) , so to speak, on June 1, 2012. I go for “mapping” on May 29, 2012.

    I plan on taking two weeks off from work for the PRK. Fortunately, only my left eye needs PRK, so I will be functional.

    I must admit, after reading everyone else’s experience, has me apprehensive. However, many people do report good outcomes.

    • Alex Tran says

      Hiya Misa!

      Reading the long recovery times with the ups and downs can definitely make a person apprehensive, but know for a large majority of people, the final outcome becomes worth the roller coaster ride.

      The key is to be patient. Give yourself 2-3 months for your eyes to stabilize and for your vision to clear up.

  170. Cindy says

    So, it’s been over 3 weeks now since my PRK Lasik surgery. My vision is still quite blurry close up. I am on the computer all day for work. I am not sure even after 3 weeks of PRK lasik surgery, one should be driving. The street lights are very blurry. From a distance, when I look at the green light, the best I can describe it, the light looks like a Mickey Mouse shaped light. Frustrating…. I have never had any type of eye pain associated with this surgery, as I have read others have. I did use my eye drops exactly as indicated by the Doctors and will continue to do so. Currently, I am only using my steroid eye drops 2x’s/day and the wetting eye drops as often as needed. About every hour. Next week, week 5, I will use the steroid drops 1x a day, and then I will be done with those as well. Looking forward to clearer days soon!

    • John Matthews says

      Cindy I too work on a computer on a daily basis. I was getting frustrated myself. I just finished week 5 and stopped the drops the past couple of days and I have to say my vision has shown vast improvement in the past week. I thought I was not getting where I should be but… It seems things get better after stopping the drops. Dont really know why. I have my resolution set at 125% right now. two weeks ago it was at 200% just so I could read it.. The night vision was also awful for the first three weeks but since the improvement I would say it is bearable now and getting better as my vision gets better… Good luck with your recovery..

      • Nick says

        i work on computer 8 hrs a day too…but the good thing is i only did PRK on one eye, wait for it to heal up before doing the 2nd eye….i don’t want to do one eye at a time but after getting the result, i suggest getting one eye and the 2nd one later.

  171. John Matthews says

    Hi,
    I had PRK surgery April 6th 2012 I work in information technology and it was a tough month after the surgery. I too was getting very nervous I did the wrong thing a couple weeks in. Now that I am at the 5 week mark it seems my vision is getting better everyday. I had astigmatism in both eyes and had worn glasses since I was 12 yrs old. I am 40 now and I am happy so far with the results. The doctors however were not very helpful with telling me that the first few days would be really hard to see. I asked directly if I would be able to drive the following Monday following the procedure and he assured me that I would be able to. Thanks to my wife I was able to be driven to work rather than drive and get into an accident. My vision was pretty bad after the first few days. I had the contact bandages removed the thursday after the procedure. As I said above I am seeing much better but have noticed my right eye healing quicker than the left. I can see pretty well with the exception of some ghosting in the left eye. I go back for a check up May 19th and I would say I am seeing 20 25 maybe a bit better when I get the glimpses of the clarity when the left eye is not ghosting I will post after my check up with the results. I am confident my vision will be at least 20/20 if not better once my eyes are finished healing. It does take a long time to get to that point and patience is the key. I was told by a friend this was not normal but he had lasik and was able to see within days of the surgery 20/20 but he did not understand I had PRK done this site was extremely helpful in my recovery. Knowing what I was going through was pretty normal helped a lot.. Thanks John matthews

    • Alex Tran says

      Good to hear you’re progressing well in your healing! Let us know how your followup on the 19th goes.

      And yeah, for PRK, what you’re experiencing is completely normal. LASIK patients basically ride a first class jet to recovery. PRK is more like being shoved in the bathroom for an overseas flight. ;)

    • John Matthews says

      Went to my follow up appointment yesterday and found out I am reading the chart at 20/20 with both eyes but the left eye alone I coud read the 20/20 line except for one letter. My assumption about my left eye being behind my right was correct. It is only a little bit though. Docs said I should continue to improve over the next few weeks. I woke up today to find my left eye has gained a bit of sharpness today. I do feel I have seen vast improvement over the past week or so since I posted. So have to go to another appointment in July Hopefully by then I will be completely back to normal.. Thanks John Matthews

      • John Matthews says

        Hello all I wanted to post up tomorrow will be the end of week 9
        I was having a little trouble reading smaller print for the past coupkle of weeks and was staring to wonder if I would need to wear reading glasses to help. I was going to go out tonight to get a pair. Well I guess my body said no you dont need that because today I am reading the small print at 100% on the computer screen. I noticed that things seemed a bit sharper this morning. I am happy to report that it seems as if my left eye just needed that extra week to catch up. I am very hopeful this continues. I am seeing very well now I would have to say at least 20/20 if not better things are really starting to sharpen up.
        Thanks again for your site excellent info in here..

        John Matthews

        • John Matthews says

          Hello everyone I went back for my three month checkup and they said I am reading the chart at 20/15 in both eyes. My distance sight is excellent. I have been able to make out signs sooner than my 14 yr old son. I do have some instances when the very small print is hard to make out but I think that is just my age. I am extremely happy with the results of my PRK I have a couple more visists to the doctor but I am seeing very well. To all those who are still in the beginning stages. Be patient your vision will improve as your eyes heal. Good luck to all
          John Matthews

  172. Melissa M. says

    When did you all feel comfortable enough to drive? I had PRK on Friday and still do not feel comfortable driving at all (today is Thursday). I know that it hasn’t even been a week since my procedure, but I’m getting a little frustrated since I have to ask coworkers to bring me to and from work. I had my follow up appointment on Tuesday and had the protective lenses taken out. The doctor will be checking the pressure of my eyes next Tuesday.

    • Alex Tran says

      I was comfortable driving within a week after surgery (including at night). I know you’ve hit the week mark, but don’t worry if your healing isn’t following my path.

      If you’ve read through the comments, you know the healing process is very different for people. No two eyes heal the same. So nothing to worry about this early in the process!

  173. keith says

    I didnt have the surgery but a friend did. She said it was really two solid week before she felt comfotable enough to drive, eyesight wasnt better where she was really conforatble until 3-4 weeks later!

  174. mike says

    how important are the lotemax drops are they really that significant? and restalsis did you guys use it? also does it really matter to use preservative free eyedrops or the ones with preservatives, thanks

    • Nick says

      at lotemax…yes, you need to use it.

      any kinds of eye drop should work, doesn’t need preservative or not….i just used the big bottle, rather than individual package.

  175. John B. says

    Alex-just wanted to thank you for this site. I had Prk on 18 May and am currently on day 9. I would have been greatly disappointed in the surgery had it not been for your timeline. I am pretty much tracking with you so far. In fact, once my expectations were realistic the change has been fun to experience. I just turned 50 and have worn glasses since I was 9. I was -8 in left and -7 in rt with little to no astigmatism. The fact that I’m sitting looking out the window and can actually see some details of trees across my yard is almost miraculous-and knowing that you say 2 to 3 months should even be much better–well it brings great hope.

    I choose Prk because I did not want the flap created by lasik–call it a personally thing. My corneal thickness was Ok for LASIK but a friend had a lot of dryness with the procedure-even now my dryness seems under control-makes me happier with the Prk decision.

    Because of my age I know I will need reading glasses but I’m good with that. I was just tired of skiing or playing hockey with glasses or contacts (contacts made my eyes tired real quick).

    As a spiritual person I know I needed to learn more patience and Prk is helping-rather than be frustrated after the BCLs came out, I laugh a little at the 2 steps back as you would say. I also learned reading your blog is that expectations, if not reasonable, can ruin a great experience-hard work comes before results and shortcuts aren’t usually better.

    Well Alex–thanks again. Right now I’ m going to pour another cup of coffee sit back and enjoy this slightly blurry view on this beautiful Saturday morning in northern New England.

    • Alex Tran says

      Heya John! Happy to hear this post has helped you set realistic expectations.

      Here’s to the future and enjoying beautiful mornings, coffee and clear vision!

  176. Cindy says

    It’s been almost 5 weeks since my PRK procedure on 4/23. My first post, I could barely see to type anything and had difficulties reading my post and others. No problems today! I had my 4 week appointment today. Doctor said my eyes are healing good. My vision is pretty clear. I still have difficulty reading small print that I could read prior to PRK and have periods of noticeable blurriness. I was told that over the next several weeks, my vision will get better. Next check up in 2 months. I can use any type of eye drops now for the dryness, they do not need to be preservative free. All n all, so thankful for your site Alex and the posts from everyone. It kept me from worrying and gave me faith. Cheers to brighter days!

  177. Stacey says

    Thanks Alex! Your story has been most helpful. I am 3 weeks out from PRK and your timeline makes me feel better. I was discouraged because the healing process seems so long. I am seeing pretty good – 20/20 in one eye and 20/50 as of my last appointment one week out – but my eyes fatigue very quickly from computer work and get blurry with the lotemax drops. My main complaint is how dry my eyes are – especially at night. I am using systane ultra during the day every hour and have tried some of the nighttime formulations – but I swear it’s like putting vasoline in your eyes! Did you experience severe dryness? Did it improve over time? Any thoughts on what works best? Thanks again for sharing your story!

    • Alex Tran says

      I had read dry eyes was one common side effect of PRK, but I was fortunate enough to never experience any problems with it.

      From what I’ve read, most people will experience some degree of dry eyes during recovery, but it clears up.

      Have you talked with your doctor about the dry eyes? I would follow his suggestions and continue to be patient.

      And remember, you still have plenty of time to heal. With as quickly as your eyes fluctuate during recovery, you could wake up one day and no longer have dry eyes.

  178. Jennifer says

    Hi!
    First of all, thank you for making this blog! It really helps to read about other people’s experiences. I had PRK in both eyes a week an a half ago (on May 25th). Over the past few days I’ve noticed that my left eye sometimes goes more out of focus than my right eye to the point where if I close my right eye, I have trouble reading the words on my computer screen (such as right now as I’m typing). As expected, the clarity of my vision in both eyes waxes and wanes, so the blurriness in my left eye isn’t consistent, but it’s making me a bit concerned. Has anyone else experienced the decreased clarity in one eye when compared to the other during the recovery process?

    Thanks!
    ~Jennifer

    • Alex Tran says

      Yup, that’s totally normal and expected. I experienced a slightly different healing process for each eye. And from reading through previous comments, others have experienced that as well.

      It’s not uncommon to have one eye be 20/25 and the other 20/20. But combined you’re 20/20. So I wouldn’t worry too much about the individual recovery process for each eye.

      Be patient and be diligent with the eye drop regimen your doctor has you on!

      • Jennifer says

        Thanks Alex! I really appreciate you keeping up with this site for so long after you’ve had your procedure! You’re helping a lot of people! :)

  179. Jillian says

    I had PRK done almost 2 weeks ago on -2.00 nearsightedness and I can see fine in my left eye but my right eye is blurry, were u experiences different vision in each eye?

  180. mike says

    yes the blurriness and ghosting/double vision issues is all normal and it gets better as you heal. each eye heals different its totally normal. i had prk a month ago and my left eye is healing slightly slower i still have blurry/ghosting with words and signs its extremely annoying and i’ve felt the same, dont worry after u slowly decrease the dosage of your steroids ( im on lotemax) you start to clear up. it also as to do with dryness make sure your using the rewetting drops every 2 hrs and 1 hr if your on the computer.

  181. William says

    I had PRK done May 23rd, 2012. Was -5.25 in the right eye and -4.75 in the left eye. I am 29 (going on 30). I am an Air Force guy (not a pilot, but a weather guy). Had my surgery done at Lackland AFB, San Antonio, TX.

    I found this website when googling for “how long does PRK recovery take?” glad to hear others are/were in the same boat.

    Day 1: surgery was unnerving to me….felt like I was under the laser for a LONG time, even though it was 45 seconds. glad they gave me stress balls to squeeze. no pain, though.
    Day 2: slept. percocet and phenagran (sp?) all day. wake up? take another.
    Day 3-Day 5: PAIN. About a 5 on a 1-10 scale. felt like every blink my eyelids were scraping my eyeballs. more percocet. didn’t use numb-drops.
    Day 6: overnight, I felt almost instantly better. felt it getting much better on 6.
    Day 7: contact bandage removed. Vision was barely street legal (20/40 and 20/40.2).

    I was put on the “4 month recovery program”. For the first month I am taking steroid drops 4x a day. at the second month, I will take them 3x a day, 3rd month: 2x, and last month 1x a day. I am taking Flarex (flurorometholone acetate opthalmic suspension).

    I am also using single-use lubricant eye drops (Refresh Plus). They recommended I use them every 15 minutes while I’m awake.

    My vision is pretty awesome now (day 16)…but definitely not quite there yet. Left eye is better than right eye.

    When I put in the artificial tears, my vision gets immensly better. everything is crystal clear and exceptionally sharp. the full contrast of colors just blows me out of the water — I feel like I’ve never seen this good in my life.

    then I blink a few times and it goes back to kind of blurry and a little dull. Still good, no doubt — not as perfect as it was though with the drops in.

    I didn’t sleep well for the first two weeks. Constantly waking up with VERY Dry eyes – running to the bathroom to put in more artificial tears. But now I am sleeping better. still waking up with dry eyes…and it almost stings a little when I put in the drops —but at least I can see my way to the bathroom!

    Nightvision: it’s not so much the aura/starburst for me, but rather lack of contrast. Cars blend in with the color of the road at far distances. Twilight is actually the worst, versus dark night. I still feel well enough to drive at night though.

    Reading through all these posts, I didn’t see anything (no pun intended) about artificial tears and/or lubricant eye drops. what have people been using on a daily/hourly basis? does anyone else have the nighttime/overnight dryness? (waking up with dry eyes).

    And how do you avoid all the crap in the eye lashes/under the eyes from all the drops? I hate wiping the tears away, because it’s starting to make the skin raw….but leaving the liquid on there it dries out and leaves residue/nastiness.

    I really wanted LASIK, but doc said my epithelium was too loose – so the flap could be an issue late on in life.

  182. mike says

    william yes your in our boat, Blink preservative free eye drops are amazing it feels like an amazing lubricant i try to use it every 2hrs or less and it just makes it feel much more moist. Waking up and opening my eyes for the first 3 weeks would feel like im pealing away a scab when i open but once i started restasis its going away pretty fast.

    • william says

      Mike – did you start restasis on your own? or did your doc recommend it?

      I’m now going on day 23 after surgery and it’s still dry and painfull when I first wake up. I’ve tried turning off the ceiling fan but it still occurs anyway. once an eye drop of the Refresh Plus is in, I’m fine. and a morning shower with all the heat and steam helps a lot too. But those first couple of minutes after waking up….ugh

      • mike says

        the surgeon told me about restasis so i tried it they also told me about omega 3 pills which i didnt bother with. restasis will give you some great results after 2 wks of usage and you use it for 3 months. After using it you wont have that pain when you wake up and you also start to feel like you dont need the drops every two hours so ask them to give you the script.

  183. william says

    So I went to the eye doc for a one-month check up. my left eye is awesome, but on my right eye everything has a little smear to it. lights are really bad, and text has it too…. he said he could see the “smear” on the eye; and that it was just healing different in that particular spot….said it *should* go away as the months go on….anyone ever have this “smearing” thing? or that your eye healed weirdly? this is just my right eye. been taking steroid drops for 4 weeks with 4x daily dosage and artificial tears every 15-20 minutes.

    • Alex Tran says

      Hmm. Interested. I’ve never heard of a recovery having a “smear” before. Let us know as you heal if it does indeed go away.

      • William says

        Well coming up here on my 2 month appt next week. had another visit last week – the eye doc said the dots that were causing the smearing are going away. still present, but eventually getting smoother and more of a nice even epithelium….instead of being crunchy or something. will drop the steroid use down to two drops per day beginning next week.

        this past weekend I noticed I don’t need the eye drops as often anymore. sure, they get a little dry, but I don’t feel a constant nagging feeling every 10-20 minutes to do one. feels good. vision is pretty awesome.

        my prescription is now a 0.00 and 0.25. 20/20 in both eyes. Sweet.

  184. Jill says

    Ohmigosh, this makes me feel so much better! I’m on day 10 with my left eye and day 8 with my right eye. My right eye is clear as clear can be and my left eye is very blurry. I was panicking thinking the surgery didn’t work, but after reading I need to give my eyes 1-3 months before I’ll be 100% again. Thank you so much for sharing your story!!

    • Alex Tran says

      Hehe. Yeah, it takes some time. ;)

      Be patient and don’t fret! Even if your vision regresses (cause that’s also normal during healing).

  185. mike says

    yup your going to be fine, i’ve noticed significant results once i stopped use of the steroid eye drops. within 2 days i noticed improvement just make sure your using the rewetting drops every 2hrs and you’ll get there.

  186. Cindy says

    Hi Everyone…
    Just wanted to post a quick update.. It has been 10 weeks since my PRK eye surgery. My eyes get a bit dry from time to time and sometimes when I awake, it feels like my eyelids are sticking to my eyes. Pretty uncomfortable opening them up. It’s not every night, just on occasion. I still have times when things get blurry for a minute or two, but then resume to normal. No worries though, as from what I’ve read and am experiencing, things are going to work out fine. All in all, I am seeing pretty good! It has been so nice to be able to swim and not worry about my contacts!

  187. Julie says

    Hi Everyone! I am 44 years old and have been thinking of doing this for a long, long time…but haven’t jumped in yet! I wear my glasses all the time and work on a computer all day. My glasses prescription is O.D. -.50 -.275 and O.S. -1.25 -3.75 so you see my nearsightedness is very slight but my astigmatism is the big factor here. I haven’t really talked to many people who have had it done that have a high astigmatism like me. I am nervous about it. I don’t mind if I need reading glasses after the surgery but I am just worried that since my vision is not that bad (except for the astigmatism) that it might be worse after PRK! I know that sounds crazy but I think about that. I never wore my glasses when I was younger and could get by. Things were blurry around the edges but I could get around well enough. Anyway, I went for a consult at TLC and they said they would recommend PRK. My cornea is medium thickness so they thought that would be a better option for me. ALso I guess it works better on astigmatism? I considered doing one eye at a time… how crazy will that drive me? As it is now I HATE smudges on my glasses which I seem to have ALL the time! I soooo hate my glasses but yet I want the result of PRK to be able to see as good as I do with my glasses. Is that unrealistic? I do have issues with Floaters too… and I am worried about that. Can anyone give me any words of wisdom or encouragement or say something that can help me in making my decision. I am so torn!
    I read a lot of good things here and that helps, but I am still so scared!
    Thanks!

    • Alex Tran says

      To be honest, I don’t know how high astigmatism affects the final result.

      I know there is a point at which laser surgery is not recommended, just not sure what that point is and where you fall in the range.

      Since most PRK surgeons provide a free evaluation, I would highly recommend you visit a few different doctors and get their opinion. If all three say similar thing then you’ll have that extra bit of confident either way.

      I visited three different doctors; two of which I felt comfortable with.

      Ask a bunch of questions. How the doctor responds will help gauge how knowledgeable he is, how capable he is and if you can trust him/her with your eyes.

  188. Yan chen says

    Hey alex! Reading this post has significantly raised up my hopes in fully recovering after my prk surgery. I’m currently on day 3 and my vision is still quite blurry although better than before I had the surgery. I had myopia (-6.5 in before one eye and -8.0 in the other) I sincerely hope that I can heal before school starts in 6 weeks :) thanks for posting your time line up!

    • Alex Tran says

      You might be close to 100% in six weeks, but if not, don’t worry!

      As you read through the comments, full recovery generally takes 2-3 months.

  189. Q says

    PRK is it like one step forward and three steps back for the first 5 weeks. If I know the results and the recovery this long I would advise my surgeon to shut-up and do the Lasik for me. I am what you call a second dipper hoping for a 20/15 visions both eyes. I wore glasses and contact lenses for about 15 years in HS and colleges. My vision was -6.75 and -7.25 and I had Lasik about 11 years ago and result was L 20/20 and R 20/30 after Lasik – not bad because my vision was somewhere around 20/25. Two months ago my eyes was L20/25 and R20/35 overall my vision was slightly better than 20/30. I was talked into getting “an enhancement” to improve my vision because I want to see farther during my bike rides. I decided to get Lasik because I have experience it before and the clinic eye doctor recommended Lasik due to that my cornea is 3 times as thick compare to other patients even through I have done Lasik – it should be a breeze. Well, ten second before my surgery my surgeon advice me that she want to change from Lasik to PRK – I did not do any research on PRK and had no clue. Therefore, told her that “you are the surgeon and you should know what is best for your patient” – so I signed the waiver and got PRK. I follow all the post-op directions to the teeth and extremely cautious with my eyes. My visit was on day 7 when they took the contact lens off. My vision was L20/25 and R20/15 and overall I can see 20/15 – wow!. NO, two days after it got weaker and worst and worst. Now weeks 5 and it is burry and I have to be about 4 -5 inches from my computer screen to read. I hope that they are right about the long healing process because cuts on my body heal in 3 days why not my eyes. I am afraid that the scab is causing my blurriness – bump out now. Do not got PRK if you have another option – Lasik is way better.

    • Cindy says

      Hang in there. I felt the same way.. It was so frustrating. I had lasik 12 years ago and then an enhancement on my right eye again, and my eyes continued to get worse over time and then I had the PRK about 12 weeks ago. My vision seems really good now, a bit dry when I wake up at night, but overall, it was so worth it. I would recommend it to others, but would have them read all of the comments on this site first so they know what to expect. Week 6, if I recall, was when I saw the most improvement.

    • William says

      PRK’s recovery is sooo much longer than LASIK. I am 2 months post op and it wasn’t until about 4-6 weeks that things got better, and 6-8 when they got even better. My eyes are still getting better as time goes on, and as the steroid drops reduce in frequency.

      The steroids prevent healing, which is what they’re designed to do. if your eye heals too fast, you get a haze/film. the steroids purposefully slow the healing down so that it becomes a more nicely even shield.

      I know everyone says “hang in there”….but that’s just what you gotta do.

      • Alex Tran says

        Hmm, that’s really insightful about the steroid drops!

        From the comments and my own experience, I definitely noticed the eyes improved much quicker after stopping the steroid drops.

        But good to know the drops are there for a reason; to prevent the haze/film from appearing.

        So everyone keep with the drops until the doctor says otherwise!

        • William says

          Yeah, I thought that was really interesting too–but think of it this way: when your skin heals fast, you get a scar….imagine that scar going across your eye (creepy, i know)….so the steroids prevent the healing process to happen so quickly, thus reducing the chance for scar tissue (haze) to form.

  190. Q says

    Thank you very much William, Cindy and Alex – it gives me hope that my vision should improve in the near future. Week 6 today and my vision is worst than couple days ago. I am down to 3″ away from my computer monitor to see and type this comment.

    • William says

      Q – Have you talked to your eye doctor about this? I know mine said that if anything went wrong or if my vision started fading (even if there was no pain or whatever), he said to stop on by any time.

      What I’ve been told as well is that as long as you aren’t seeing a “curtain” come down across your eyes (i.e. like a black line), then you’re doing all right and nothing horrible happened. sucks about the bluriness….have you been taking the steroid drops as directed? by week six, you should have had 1 month of 4x a day, and now 1-2 weeks of 3x a day.

  191. Q says

    Willian – yes I have been taking the steroid drops as directed and still using it (Ped Forte). Three drops per day for the first 4 weeks and 2 drops per day after weeks 5 to 6. The doctor checked my eyes twice after my surgery and told me that he recommend Lasik not PRK and this is what he said “I have many patients gone through PRK at this center and your case is unique…your vision should be close to 80% better but I don’t know why – let us cross our fingers and hope for the best” – OMG. He even plug up my tear ducts to prevent dryness and bluriness have not stop – I use Optive Fresh Sensitive drops every 10-15 minutes without preservative in disposible vial. In addition, Before going to bed – I am using Acuvail (Ketorolac tromethamine) – is a nonstreroidal anti-inflammatory drug -it strings my eyes when I put a drop in.

  192. Tommy says

    Let me start by saying that I’m so happy that I came across this blog. I had my PRK on July 19th, 2012 and had my doubts about the results. Basically, my corneas were just at the recommended thickness for LASIK, but my doc decided to go with PRK day of just to be safe. So I went into the surgery with minimal knowledge about the healing process. One thing that I can relate to Alex’s experience was as the laser did its thing across my eye I got a brief glimpse of perfect vision and the hope of what the end result would be. I still have the image of seeing those tiny dots on the ceiling tile from that moment in my head.

    Of course, reading up on the subject when I got home was out of the question as I couldn’t see and was doped up on Xanax. My first few days were like most of the contributors here: Very light sensitive, constant watery eyes, and blurry vision. My follow up the next day the doc said I was doing great and both eyes tested at 20-25. I wasn’t that impressed. I started at -2 in both eyes and slight astigmatism in my right.

    Day six was when my BCLs were to come out. The right one did, but the left one needed a little more time. That change over to put in a fresh contact on my left eye was one of the most traumatic experiences in my recent memory. The doc accidentaly put the contact in upside down. Wow. Before taking out the contacts I tested 20/15 in both eyes. Now I was very excited. After the BCL came out of my right eye, I couldn’t see the chart. It was another four days before the left BCL was removed. Same deal. All blur…then – My right eye rebounded like a champ.

    Day 12 after the surgery, I watched (lol) the vision in my right eye not only clear up, but sharpen throughout the day. It was wild. My left eye wasn’t impressed and remained blurry.

    Fast forward to day 18. My right eye is still a champ, and thank goodness for that because I’m not sure what I would have done otherwise for work, play, etc. My left eye is still being obstinant, but I think it’s slowly starting to sharpen.

    Days 19 – 20 I think I’m seeing improvement in my left eye, so I start testing by looking at the same object from the same distance throughout the day to see if its getting clearer. What do you know? It certainly is, but infinitessimal in progress. So slow that sometimes I doubt its changing.

    Day 21 First day reducing FML drops (steroid). Down to three a day. My left has definitely taken notice and I’m seeing it improve hourly. I’m only now realizing how much my right eye was bearing the load as my vision is shifting to balance again.

    Day 22 (today) My right eye has regressed every so slightly, but my left has almost caught up. I tested today at 20/10 in my right and 20/15 in my left. My doc thinks that I might settle at 20/12 overall. Freaky. This is just the beginning of week 4 for me and I’m truly excited. However, had it not been for all of the stories related here, I might have truly lost it in the beginning. My doc didn’t adequately explain the recovery time or the process that I’d go through in my healing. I know now that if I regress some over the next few weeks and months, that its nothing to freak over. I’m not the most patient person, but at least its comforting somewhat to know that I’m pretty much on the right healing track. Thanks again Alex and everyone else for sharing. You’ve saved me some from some needless worry.

    • Alex Tran says

      Heya Tommy! Thanks for stopping by and paying it forward with your own personal timeline!

      Sounds like you’re now in a healthy place with expectations. And also doing great with your recovery! 20/12 would be an amazing final result!

  193. Christina says

    Hi!

    I am so happy to have found this page!

    I have high prescription; -7.50 in both eyes. Doctor advised TansPRK because I have thinner cornea (486)

    Anyone who had high prescription and had PRK or TransPRK? Compared to lower prescriptions does it take longer time to heal, see better? Is it more painful?

    Please share your experiences, I am so desperate! I have had contacts for 10 years, glasses before that. My eyes are not accepting contacts any more and glasses are so uncomfortable with high prescription.

    I am so scared of the pain and the time it would take to heal with PRK/TransPRK and risks for night vision, at the same time getting rid of glasses/lenses would be such a great feeling…

    Thanks! Christina

    • Alex Tran says

      If you read through the other comments, you’ll find a handful of others who have had high prescriptions as well.

      From my understanding of the surgery, your prescription doesn’t affect healing time. Someone with a -1.00 prescription will still take as long as someone with -8.00.

      In PRK, the outer layer of the cornea is removed so that the laser can re-shape the deeper layers of the cornea. The lengthy healing time is for the outer layer of your cornea to grow back and smooth out.

      I’d recommend talking with your doctor about all these concerns. His job is to help walk you through the process and ease your concerns.

      • Christina says

        Hi!

        Thanks Alex, yes i will talk to my doctor. Hope it will be fine. I think i just need to relax and have some trust that everything will be fine rather than focusing on what might go wrong or the moment when you lie there and laser machine on top…iyyy..

        Christina

        • Dave S says

          Thought I’d chime in here. I was extremely nearsighted with a prescription of -13. You can read my experience by looking through my older posts. I had PRK 15 months ago. I would say my eyes are pretty stable now. My right eye is 20/20 and my left is 20/30 but both eyes fluctuate slightly from day to day. Overall though, I couldn’t be happier. The only problem I’m experiencing is slight dry/red eye but it’s really not that bad. Night vision is good and much better than when I wore hard contacts. The healing process took a while but I would say that I leveled out around the 6-month mark. I’m not really sure if the longer time was due to my prescription being so severe. Let me add that two other eye surgeons said they wouldn’t recommend any type of laser surgery for me because of my prescription. It just worked out well for me. My corneas were not that thin (~550) so that worked in my favor.

          • Alex Tran says

            Thanks for the follow-up!

            Good to read about the recovery process for someone with a high prescription like yourself. I know many others have asked about the recovery process for people in similar situations.

            Happy I can report I know of at least one successful PRK surgery!

        • Lori says

          I had PRK 8 days ago on my left eye. My prescription was -8.50. Pretty blurry but less double vision and halos. Can’t drive yet. No pain from the surgery. More scared about having the second eye done this week, because of such poor vision in my left eye. I am so glad to see these postings as the anxiety about not getting better is the worst part. I am typing with my left eye closed, because I have a clear lens in my glasses on the left and my -7.00 lens in the right. Getting ready for the next eye so no contact in the right. Talk about screwing up your depth perception. Left eye seems to be a lttle better everyday, but it is hard to see it right now. Going to work with both eyes done is scaring me right now. Luckily my husband or son take me to the bus and I can see good enough for that. We’ll see next week.

    • Steph says

      Hi Christina,
      I wanted to chime in because it sounds like my situation might interest you.

      I have am (was) nearsighted with a prescription and a fairly high astigmatism. I have been 100% dependent on contacts since I was 14 years old (I am now 44). I have recently become intolerant of my contacts, developing inflammatory keratitis. Due to this, I have been forced to wear my glasses (a very foreign concept to me) for weeks and weeks, which has caused almost daily migraine headaches. Not a fun summer.

      The keratitis finally cleared up and I went in for PRK a little over a week ago, on September 14, 2012.

      I was not a candidate for Lasik due to thin corneas, I believe they were around 490-500. One place turned me down and recommended contact implants, which I didn’t even consider. Two other places recommended the PRK.

      The surgery itself was not painful but the recovery was pretty painful and intense. I am at day 9 now and my vision is not where it should be. My right eye is my weak eye and I see double vision. I still have a lot of discomfort (burning and stinging) in my left eye – maybe because it is compensating for my right eye.

      I do feel that I am still recovering and I am not panicking. I am thankful to Alex for this blog and others who have commented because it has helped me in knowing that the w/ PRK is definitely a process and one must be patient.

      I do have to say that PRK is not for everybody and the patient has to be dedicated and know what they are getting themselves into. For me, it was pretty painful. But I was out of options and I really wanted the surgery and I was dedicated.

      I hope this help and I’ll keep you updated if you want.

      • Christina says

        Hi,

        I wAnted to give an update on my stiation. I had the PRK surgery on August 29. After the initial pain and close up vision problems during the first 2 weekS mostly, i mainly have problems with my far vision, meaning that i can see close up or computer screen fine as before the surgery, however my far vision is not clear. ..

        Right eye is sligtly better, but still not same as i saw with contacts/glasses. Left eye is more blury maybe even double vision problems,but it is kind of foggier.

        I see best when i get up in the mornings. Then it gets worse. I work with computers, so maybe that doesnot help either. You look at a distance of some 40 cm or so for a long time…

        When i move my head and look at some far point, not necessaryly meters away but even at 2-3 m distance things are blury…
        When i use lubricating drops i see better for a few seconds then it gets worse again.

        Doctor says that it is healing fine, and since i had high prescription it can take longer time. However it feels like he says this just to calm me down… I dont know…

        On my left eye, it feels like i see some transparent line. Difficut to explain but as if some kind of distortion on the cornea or something like that.

        I am extremely worried that my vision will stay like this and not get better. I know that many of you on this blog mentioned patience. I try my best, but i get so depressed when i do not see clear…

        I hope to get back with good news!

        Steph, how is it going for you?

        Dave, till which month did you have blurry vision?

        Thanks for sharing!
        Christina

        • Dave S says

          Christina,

          I don’t remember exactly when my vision cleared up, but to be honest with you, even today my vision is not razor sharp. I wasn’t expecting it to be razor sharp, but I am very happy with my current vision considering my original prescription. It is definitely better than wearing hard contact lenses, because then my eyes would get dry and red and my vision wouldn’t be so great. Your recovery seems pretty typical to me, and I think you’re doing fine. I would say my eyes kept changing for around 8 months. Again, that could be due to my original prescription. You’re only at around 6 weeks, and I can say for sure that my eyes were going through a lot of changes at that point in my recovery! Hang in there and feel free to keep posting (I hope Alex doesn’t mind!).

          • Christina says

            Hi Dave an Alex,

            Thanks for your support!

            I hope there will be positive changes and that i get back with better news!

        • Alex Tran says

          Yeah, what you’re describing sounds normal.

          I remember typically having better vision in the mornings as well. And also better vision with the eye drops.

          Don’t fret.

          If your doctor says you’re healing fine, I’d trust him. Especially since your recovery sounds pretty typical from what others have experienced.

        • Wendy says

          Christina,

          I had PRK in April of 2012. I too have great up close vision but my distance is a problem. At times I will see great, but at times the distance is not clear. Once the doctor said my eyes had settled I got a pair of prescription glasses that allow my “reading eye” to see distance. I use these at night to enhance my vision and used them when I went to the grand canyon this summer.

          I have had issues with dryness and have plugs in my tear ducts now which helps. The dryness is mostly at night while I sleep.

          I am certainly not done healing yet. My eye doctor had PRK and she really understands what I am going through and told me to expect changes up to a year from surgery.

          Hang in there.

          Wendy

        • Wendy says

          Christina,

          I had monovision PRK in April of 2012. I too have great up close vision but my distance is a problem. At times I will see great, but at times the distance is not clear. Once the doctor said my eyes had settled I got a pair of prescription glasses that allow my “reading eye” to see distance. I use these at night to enhance my vision and used them when I went to the grand canyon this summer.

          I have had issues with dryness and have plugs in my tear ducts now which helps. The dryness is mostly at night while I sleep.

          I am certainly not done healing yet. My eye doctor had PRK and she really understands what I am going through and told me to expect changes up to a year from surgery.

          Hang in there.

          Wendy

        • Steph says

          Hi Christina,
          Wow, I don’t know how I missed this 2 months ago. How are you doing now?

          My eyes are still fluctuating but getting better. Probably since I last wrote about my recovery, I’ve had a major breakthrough and then a setback.

          One evening, out of the blue, my eyes cleared up and I had the best vision I had ever had in my life. It was amazing. At this point, my left eye was strong eye and my right eye was behind in the healing process.

          A few days later, I woke up and I had trouble reading my laptop, the online guide on our big screen TV etc. Something had drastically changed. When I tested it myself, it seemed to be my left eye that was causing the problems. Luckily I had an appointment scheduled that day.

          At the appointment they said I had a ‘have’ on my left eye. They said this typically happened in PRK. They prescribed FML anti-inflammatory drops, which I am still taking.

          This happened a few months ago and my eyesight is not as good now as it was then, so I have had a setback in my vision. I have noticed that my night vision is not as good and lights ‘bleed’ a bit more than the did. It’s frustrating bc my strong eye is now the weaker eye. I’m hoping it’s going to go back to it’s previous condition.

  194. Joe3rd says

    I had lasik 13 years ago with satisfactory results. Not perfect but OK. I’m now 71 and required cataract surgery in April if this year. I had a package deal with the cataract procedure followed by PRK last week. PRK has a much longer and difficult recovery but just after one week, my vision at times is better than it was after the lasik 13 years ago. I opted for multiview cataract lenses and can now read without reading glasses. Assuming my vision continues to improve, I think that PRK can give a better result than lasik,

  195. william says

    I thought cataract surgery gave you a new lense on the inside of the eye, which would basically give you “brand new eyes”…at least that’s how it was always described to me….why would you have PRK done on top of cataract surgeyr?

    • Pat says

      Wlliam,
      I had the multifocal lens implanted because of cataracts in the center of my eye. I was warned ahead of time that because of the shape of my eye I might need additional work. And I did. I’ve just had PRK – 5 days ago – and the bandage came off today. Except for the on and off blurriness,which after reading the comments and Alex’s blog I know will go away, all is great. I couldn’t read well in normal light and the off the shelf reading glasses didn’t work at all. I can read the newspaper now (although my eyes get tired quickly) and expect the vision to keep improving. I’m 59 and would not have had the cataract surgery if the cataracts were “normal” and started at the edge of my vision instead of dead center!

  196. Evelyn says

    Today has been one month for me. Before the surgery I did zero research. I was afraid to do so. But let me tell you I am experiencing exactly the same you are. But sometimes I see like a flashing that last like three seconds when I wake up and open my eyes. I don’t know if its anxiety from my part but it’s very weird to see in only one eye that flashing. Again it has happend like twice and lasting 2-3 seconds. The feeling of not seeing nothing in the dark just started happening to me about 4 days ago. It is a weird scary feeling. I got scared and turn on the light so fast it hurt my eyes. LOL! I trully hope this is all common side effects. Thank you for your blog. It was very helpful to me. I do feel my vision is getting better…but way to slow. It is hard when sometimes in the day I can see better then by late afternoon….weird. Today, 9/1/12 I see the television much brighter and crisper….it’s a great feeling. So one month for me….I do hope it gets 100% SOON!!!! Great Day!

  197. Cindy says

    Update… It has been about 5 months since my prk procedure. My vision is 20/20! Some nights my eyes are very dry still, while others are fine. The Dr. said that they still have a little healing to do, and once completely healed, the drying should cease. I am still using blink eye drops. I have been reading more than normal over the weekends and have noticed my vision is a bit blurry when done. It clears up though after a short time. I can also see fine print again, which was a big concern of mine. Because I am 41 the doctor suggested only doing one eye, instead of both, which he said would help in the long run from needing to wear readers. After I spoke to my Doctor, he suggested getting both eyes done, so did. I told my LASIK eye Doctor about this blog and he asked that I share it with him, so I did in hopes that this blog is helpful to others.

  198. Jalinda says

    I am having PRK done Oct 18th. As of right now, I am planning on going back to work (at a hospital) the following Tuesday (4 full days off after). Is this realistic or should I plan on longer? How long should I expect it to take to be able to drive?
    And when they say it is uncomfortable is it painful or just feel like you have something in your eye?

    • John says

      Jalinda,
      Four days you will probably be ok to drive but.. Your sight may still be a bit “off” It takes some time to really start seeing well. the first two days were the worse for me. Right after the procedure I was really in aww of how much better I could see without glassses however it does fluctuate quite a bit. One day you will see pretty well out of the right eye then the next not so much. The healing process is different for all. I was able to drive on the third day but I certainly would not advise any long trips or anything like that. If you use the computer a lot it will be tough at first you will need to change the screen resolution to larger font sizes and such it gets better as time progresses. The main thing is to keep positive and realize that the healing process takes a long time. I had my PRK done in April 2012 I am seeing 20/15 on the snelling charts. I am in my 40’s so the reading very fine print is tough for me but… I also refuse to by reading glasses just yet. I can read the computer screen just fine and that is what I do for work is computers so it is all good.

      Best wishes to you on your procedure and always remember with PRK patience is teh Key.

      John

    • John says

      Jalinda I forgot to mention about the pain. I had absolutley no pain at all. It at times felt like kind of like there was soemthing in my eye and soem slight burning but for the most part no pain at all. This is only my expierence though. I would say pain wise you will probably have some burning and discomfort not really any pain. Again this is only my opinion but I have not seen to may folks have actual pain.

      John

    • William says

      Give yourself a week. You will need down-time after the surgery and the best thing for your eyes is to just be dormant, and let the healing process start. you will be on steriod drops 4x a day, antibiotic drops 1x a day, and re-wetting drops every 15 minutes while you’re awake. Give yourself the down-time you will need that first week to just adjust, and let the healing process really start. It’s so slow….and you’ll want to go out and do stuff….but it’s best to just sit at home, relaxing, and taking care of yourself.

    • William says

      Also, as mentioned above, everyone’s pain is different. I was in pain (6-7 on a 1-10 scale) on days 3 thru 5. day six it got better, and day 7 was gone. it felt like my eye lashes were scraping my eye lids every time i blinked. i can’t imagine trying to work under those conditions. glad i took the time off.

    • Alex Tran says

      Both John and William gave you great advice. I echo what they said.

      It’s hard to say where you’ll be at 4 days later since each person’s recovery is so unique. John and I didn’t have pain. William did.

      If your work allows you the flexibility, I’d see how you feel at four days and take more time off if you needed. But do your best to let your eyes recovery. Don’t try to go back to work prematurely if you feel like your eyes can’t handle it.

      • Jana says

        Hope your surgery went well yesterday, Jalinda. My surgery is scheduled 3 hours from now, but I still may end up with Lasik as the doc says he won’t know until he gets in there – I’m scheduled back in the office on Monday. Oh my!

        I wish I had more time to read the responses to your blog, Alex, but I just found your site. I wanted to say thanks tons for providing a place for people to share our experiences with one another and hopefully be able to help an anxious person, such as myself.

        *Cheers to a bright future*

  199. SP says

    I got PRK done June 2012 and I had really positives results. After the initial 2 week healing period, I was great (and even during the healing period I was fine after getting the contacts removed. I had none of at the symptom including no dry eyes which I was really surprised considering I had dry previous to the surgery when wearing contacts.

    However, at just a little under the 3 month mark I was awoken around 2-3am from the excruciating pain from extreme dry eyes. and it took about 5mins after putting tones of drop for it stop stinging. I figured it was because I was moving/packing and it was dusty environment and I was also started reading a lot. However, its been over a month now and I have this problem every single night and I usually wake up a couple of times a night to put drops otherwise it’s going to hurt like hell.

    I have spoken to my optometrist and he doesn’t seem to concerned. He told me to use Systane, a really thick lubricating drop but doesn’t make that much of difference.

    I’m really concerned about this and I haven’t read this happening to others. I’m more concerned because this problem started at almost the 3 month mark . I wakeup with crusty eyes now when I never had a problem before. Just want to know if this is normal and if it will go away.

    Overall I WAS happy with my results because I USED to be symptom free and have 20/20 in right eye and still 15/20 in the other eye. My reading vision has been severely impacted, will definitely need reading glasses shortly.

    Thanks for any insight you can provide.

    • William says

      SP,

      I had something, somewhat similar to what you are describing, but it was during the first month and a half or so….that horrible pain in the middle of the night and/or whenever I first woke up….it felt like I couldn’t get to the drops fast enough.

      The systane drops were what they gave me to use on the first week – they are definitely more “gel-like” and provide a little more comfort during the nighttime….but a side effect is the crustiness you get afterwards (or sliminess too before they dry out).

      I don’t know why this happened to you later on – but everyone heals differently. most people don’t have pain after the 3rd day….and that’s when mine STARTED.

      all the doc’s I’ve seen (both at the surgery center and my own eye doc) said that healing can truly take up to 6 months or so with PRK, which is why your doc is probably not too concerned.

      hate to say, “hang in there….” but when it comes to healing, that’s all your eyes can really do :/

      • SP says

        Thanks – that does make me feel better that I’m not the only one but I’m so frustrated because I can’t sleep properly :s

    • Alex Tran says

      I had a friend who experienced pretty bad pain (similar to what you’re feeling from the dry eyes) during her recovery. I can’t remember if it came out of the blue like yours, but I do know she said it eventually cleared up after about six months.

      All that to say, I wouldn’t be too worried. Especially if your doctor isn’t.

      Keep your outlook positive. Your first three months were great, so there’s nothing that should keep you from believing your final results will be as well.

  200. Iwona says

    Hi Alex,
    I am going for my surgery on this Friday, Sept 21….I am little freaked out but I have to say your log shade some lights :)….thanks,
    My vision right know is -7/-6.25 and my corneas are very thin just 500….so fingers crossed :)

    • Alex Tran says

      You’ll be fine!

      Just keep reminding yourself not to freak out when your eyesight fluctuates on a daily basis and the recovery process is dreadfully slow.

      You did not make a terrible decision. ;)

  201. Christa says

    I had a unique situation. I had really bad vision, about -10/-11 with thin corneas and a severe astigmatism. I was not a candidate for Lasik or PRK alone. I actually had ICL’s(implanted lenses) put into my eyes with LRI on both and PRK in the left . I would have to say the PRK was the most difficult recovery of all. The first week was rough and I don’t know how I could have functioned if both eyes had had PRK done. I do think it depends on each person, but I would definitely advise at least 4-5 days off after the surgery. I had my 7 week follow up last week and was doing well at about 20/40 but have regressed a little in my left eye this week. My right eye has been consistently 20/15 after the ICL/LRI. I just have to keep reminding myself that it is a longer process and to be patient. But I am very grateful for this blog. I was in tears on day 2-3 with not knowing what to expect and this blog was very comforting. So thank you for that Alex!

  202. Jordan says

    Hi everyone,

    So I am scheduled to have a PRK (due to thin corneas) at the end of October (the week of Halloween I believe) and then I am scheduled to go back to work around Nov 11. Thats about 2 weeks (maybe a little less) of healing time. Is it realistic for me to be able to function normally at work? I work in a medical lab I have to deal with pretty heavy computer usage and things that have small lettering (think the size of print from older books)… I’m concerned that i am not going to be able to see our labels and that my work will suffer… Could you guys see well enough to read after two weeks? and if not, are reading glasses an option? How blurry is “blurry”?I’m starting to get really nervous about this procedure and the effects it will have on my life.

    Thanks so much!

    • Alex Tran says

      Are you able to increase the screen resolution of your work computers so that words are bigger? And how often are you required to be at a computer?

      In general I think you’ll be fine going back to a computer after two weeks. It’ll help a lot if you’re able to increase the resolution on your work computers so text is bigger. And if you’re able to rest your eyes frequently.

      Also, the suggestion Allyne shared about doing one eye at a time is also a viable option…

    • william says

      Two weeks should be fine – remember, everyone heals differently. on AVERAGE, though, you can function at two weeks. driving at night may be difficult. but the big thing to remember is DROPS! Every 15 minutes while you’re awake, keep putting them in.

      at my two week mark, I was using them and whenever I put one in, my vision got amazing…then I would blink and about 5-10 mins later it would be back to the normal “fuzz”. but another drop in and it get clear again.

      sitting at a computer, though, you should be able to read the screen pretty well. if anything, you can close one eye if you need to. good luck!

  203. Allyne says

    Jordan,
    Blurry is blurry. It’s going to take a lot of time. I had PRK done last January, March and an enhancement to January’s surgery in June. I would very STRONGLY recommend that you only do one eye at a time. You’re going to need a great deal of patience as your eyes heal. I now see 20/15 with both eyes and I am very happy with the result. I often joke that my vision is now in HD…but it took some time to get there. One eye at a time will allow you to at least function with vision correction (a contact), in they eye that you didn’t have surgery on while the other heals. My job requires heavy computer use too. You can do the other in a few months after your comfortable with the progress of your corrected eye. I hope this helps… Good luck.

  204. william says

    Well – I just hit my 4 month mark. I am no longer on the steroids (flarex/FML). Only needing the re-wetting drops (refresh plus) every 2-4 hours on average. My eye sight is now 20/15 in my left eye and somewhere between 20/15 and 20/20 in the right. By far, this is the best I’ve seen in a LONG, LONG time! 19 years of glasses….goodbye!

    Some “side-effects” per-say, that I’ve noticed…..since I have to wear sunglasses all the time outdoors, I have a racoon tan on my face now (the sunglasses they gave me block out ALL UV radiation…pretty sweet).

    My eyes are a little dry in the morning, but nothing like they used to be. and one drop does it and I’m good for an hour or so.

    overall, I’m very happy with the decision. I was really wanting LASIK so I didn’t have to go thru these months of recovery, but long-term I know this was a better decision to have PRK.

    One thing I have noticed is that as time goes on, my very-near vision has blurred. whenever I put eye drops in, now, the vial is blurry; where as it didn’t use to be. no big deal – and if I need reading glasses in 10 years, well, I guess that’s just life. but I’m enjoying it for now!

  205. Jordan says

    Thanks for your response guys. I’m still super nervous lol. I’m not exactly sure what my prescription is off the top of my head but I can tell you that I cannot see the giant “E”. I’m concerned that after I have the PRK surgery I’m still going to be THAT blind for the 3-6 months (or what not) of healing time. I definitely know I will not be able to do my job if that is the case.

    Can you guys give me a rough estimate on how much of an improvement it makes immediately following the surgery? Will I be even in the range of 20/40 (you know, street legal lol)? Or am i doomed to be completely blind until weeks and weeks post op?

    Just getting more and more nervous as the days go by… looking for something to soothe my anxiety lol.

    Thanks again!

    • Alex Tran says

      You are not doomed at all to being blind during recovery. ;)

      In my recovery, I felt comfortable driving a few blocks on my second day. Granted, I wasn’t in the legal limits of vision and I was on non-major roads.

      The main think about PRK is that your vision doesn’t stabilize for 3-6 months. It’ll feel like 3 steps forward, 2 steps back a lot of the time.

      But it doesn’t mean your vision will be terrible for 3-6 months.

      During most of your recovery you will be between what you were with glasses/contacts and without. I’d say closer to your contacts vision with blurriness and fluctuations backward/forward in progress.

      But still good enough to allow you to function day-to-day.

    • John says

      Jordan,
      The day after I had my PRK I read the chart at 20/25 now that was not crisp sharp 20/25 but it was not like when I did not have my glasses on prior to the procedure. I can tell you I could not see the huge “E” without my glasses either prior to The PRK procedure. Honestly the day you get it done you will see a huge improvement. But follow the docs orders and do what they tell you. The second day for me was pretty bad a lot of hazing and blurriness I had mine done on Easter weekend good friday. By sunday It was liek i described above the day after is when I went in and had myu eyes checked Sat. 20/25 i went to work teh following Monday had my wife drive me that first day. It was a challenging week and I set my fonts on my computer to as huge as possible to help out. You will be able to see pretty well but it will be up and down for teh first 3-6 months Good Luck!!!
      John

    • Steph says

      I agree w/ the others. I had my PRK on September 14 (2 weeks tomorrow) so I’m still recovering and it’s still fresh in my mind.
      Like you, I was bascially blind and helpless w/o glasses or contacts. I couldn’t see the big E, I couldn’t find a restroom in an airport or bathroom. After PRK, I could function fine. I didn’t feel comfortable driving until a few days ago, but maybe that’s just me. My vision is still a bit doubled in my right eye and I can’t spend too much time on the laptop (my eyes get tired and burn and sting). But, I am VERY happy with the results so far. Compared to my terrible vision before, it’s a miracle.

  206. Meg. B says

    I had my PRK on Saturday and was really starting to worry until reading this blog. I am nearsighted and wanted to be able to read street signs without the use of glasses. However, being in the ‘thin cornea’ club, I was told that lasik was not an option for me. Now, I think I would have not worried if my long distance vision had been blurry for a time because I am used to that. However, I have never had any issue with seeing up close until now. I can hardly see my computer or read or even see numbers on my cell phone. I had started to panic until I stumbled across this blog. Thanks so much Alex for helping us all get through this and helping us to see we are not alone. You are great! :-)

  207. Meg. B says

    It is me again, I figured I would give another update. It has now been 12 days since my surgery, I am having no pain but am still unable to see my computer or phone or distances. On Monday, it was the point to where I could get inches away from my computer and still barely make out my work. I called the doctor and made an appointment and they prescribed me Restasis because my eyes were dry. However, I have been using my drops every 30 minutes to an hour (!!!) since I had my surgery! I am really trying to remain patient but if I am going to pay this bill for the PRK, I need to be able to do my job! Since the Restasis and gel eyedrops I still have not noticed any difference. Please advise if anyone has had an experience like this or even just to give some support. I am struggling over here. Thank you all.

    • Alex Tran says

      Early on you do use a lot of drops. But that’s normal.

      12 days is _so_ early in the recovery. While it is unfortunate you’re not able to go back to using a computer, it’s not abnormal.

      Each person heals so differently. Give yourself another two months before you start being overly concerned with where your vision is.

    • Steph says

      Hi Meg,
      I wouldn’t freak out if I were you. I had PRK September 14, exactly 3 weeks ago, and today is the first day that I don’t have any discomfort and can look at my computer screen for longer than an hour at a time. Also, my vision is not perfect yet but it is improving by the day. I had what I call a big burst of improvement on Wednesday night – all of a sudden I just could see really, really well. But my vision is still sometimes a little off at times.

      I have had to use the drops A LOT. Today is the first day that I have not been dependent on the drops, but I don’t know if it’s permanent or a respite. over the past week or so I would have a few good days where the discomfort was not so bad and then several days of discomfort. Also, my eyes are very sensitive to light, this includes computer screens, movie screens and our TV screen.

      The recovery process is defintely a long road.

  208. Jalinda says

    Had my surgery on Thursday and all went well. I actually ended up having lasik instead. I was just having too many reserves about the PRK. SO glad I changed my mind! All went well and as of yesterday I was 20/25 in my right eye and 20/40 in my left. How amazing to wake up and be able to see!

  209. Rick says

    Meg..My wife had her prk on sept 27 and her one month check up on oct 24..several visits the first week . She was having what she would call days that were “pity parties” as the vision wasn’t what she expected…she that it would return quicker..however on her one month checkup the dr told her that now that she had taken all the antibiotics and anti-inflamatories..that she would probably heal faster …because of the preservatives in the meds….i might add that prior to the prk she was 20/400 and astigmatism and in her mid fifties…she is driving some now and i think doing quite well…dr said when she returns in dec she will probably be 20/20…hang in there as it is a process and the vision just gets better..however slowly…age, enviroment, and previous eyesight are some considerations for healing…take care

  210. Megan B says

    I am here to give a follow up. I was the one who was having a really hard time with not being able to see up close. Well, last Friday was like a dream come true! It was all of a sudden I went from everything being blurry to seeing more clear that I had ever in my life, even with glasses! That was exactly 3 weeks and 6 days after my surgery! I am still very upset that the doctors never told me that PRK was different from Lasik in so many ways but I am happy I am better. Again, thank you all for your support and good luck to everyone!

  211. Jim M says

    Alex,

    Thank you SO much for this blog. I am thinking hard about PRK and I’ve had 2 appointments, the 2nd was yesterday. There was a slight glaucoma scare due to pressure but it seems I just have large nerve heads in my eyes. The Dr put me on lotemax for 2 weeks before my 2nd visit and restasis drops. He had to check my left eye several times to get a number down ( dont know what it was ) but he said he could see something on my left eye, but it wasnt all the way through the layers. he thinks it might be an artifact in the machine but after many tries, he got what he was looking for and he had to hold me eye open and I had to put in thick drops to keep it from drying out while getting the image.

    Right now with glasses i am 20/25 +2 and 20/25 -1 and combined 20/20 -1 with my glasses on. I am very nearsighted and I am not sure the exact numbers but from what my contacts say is -6.5 and -5.0. I can’t really wear these contacts due to dry eyes ( feels like sand) and it doesnt seem that my prescription has changed any in the past 3.5 yrs.

    My close up vision with my glasses on was really good, the nurse said that since I am almost 40, I could go several years without needing reading glasses after the surgery.

    I am really nervous about having this done, and I am going to go in january, after i get funds put in a flexible medical spending account.

    I am worried about the haze, starburts and not being able to drive. I am an I.T. professional and I have to stare at a PC all day, but my employer will be flexible as he knows what’s going on.

    What kind of pain should I expect? What medications will I be prescribed? If prescribed a steroid, is it systemic or topical? I can’t have systemic steroids..

    Alot of what-ifs, and doubts running through my mind.. Maybe I am over analyzing it. I just want to loose these glasses I have had for over 30 yrs. I want the freedom of wearing normal sunglasses.

    Thanks everyone for their stories..

    • Alex Tran says

      Hi Jim! Thanks for stopping by!

      I’m sure it’s not the answer you’re looking for, but it’s hard to say how much pain you will (or will not) experience. The surgery itself has zero pain.

      It’s the recovery process that may or may not have pain. I had zero pain, but from the comments, there’s definitely people who range from zero to moderate pain/discomfort.

      I was prescribed pain meds for post-op and steroid eye drops. I don’t think you’ll be prescribed any systemic steroids, but that’s definitely something to talk with your doctor.

      There’s definitely a lot of uncertainty that goes with the surgery, but know this type of surgery has been done a gagillion and a half times. It would not be that popular if the end results were not worth it.

    • John says

      Jim
      I had the PRK surgery April 2012. I can see 20/15 but my reading very fine print I need the help of reading glasses but for the majority I do not need any assitance from th reading glasses. I am 40 yrs old. I work in IT as well I am on a computer all day. I had my PRK done on a Friday went back to work on Monday. I struggled a bit that first week but I made it through. Change your screen resolution to a bigger font and it will make it much easier. As for sunglasses they become your best friend. I have gon through two pair already. You will need them when outside. It will get better as time goes on but at first you will be ery sensitive to the sunlight. I am doing pretty well now and dont need tham all the time in the sun but I prefer them. Good luck and you will not regret doing it but be paitient teh healing proccess is very long and has its good and bad days..

      John

    • Lori says

      I am at 2.5 weeks and I am seeing better each day. Still blurry, but I am able to see faces and I don’t seem to notice that I am looking out of two eyes. Like looking through a bad piece of saran wrap. I still can’t drive at night. Blurry and gare, but it seems to be getting better. I pushed out my doing second eye for two more week as I use the computer a lot too. By the end of the day after looking at the computer I really can’t read it at all. No pain, although I wake up with a dry eye. I keep blink next to the bed and that takes care of it. I am so lucky I have family to drive me to the bus and pick me up. I could drive during the day, but not at night. The one thing that is weird is that in the dark, I can see very well out of that eye. Must be the glare and light that interfere. Just an update

  212. Lori says

    A little over three weeks. Still pretty blurry. It is getting better, because I spent the day without the contact in my right eye in preparation for my surgery on Thursday. -7.50 in that eye. I can’t drive, but I was able to go grocery shopping (with my husband helping) made Christmas cookies, cleaned house, and made dinner without glasses or contact in. Kind of strange, because far away it is pretty blurry, but it was better than wearing clear glass for the left lens and presciption for right eye in glasses. I have never gone without glasses or contacts since I was 7 years old. So pretty cool. It is slowly getting better. Better not be faint at heart with this procedure though! They don’t prepare you very well upfront for how long it takes..

  213. william says

    Its been six months!!! Best vision of my life continues. Just need an occasional eye drop of refresh plus and that’s it!

  214. Shelly says

    I have had both lasik with intro lace and PRK 5 years later for a touch up. I am on day 12 of my PRK. Let me tell you, lasik was a cakewalk!!!!!!! You go in get your flap cut get laser get the flap put back and bam! Perfect 20/10 vision. A little scratchy for maybe 4 hers after and your fine.

    PRK….. Other than the comfort of my same surgeon that did my lasik and a very informative team at the Mount Ogden Eye Center letting me know about the pain and the slow visual recovery time what stress!

    For the post op pain I was given Lortab, (which make me nauseous), and Ambien to sleep. I was a good girl and took the Lortab even though I really didn’t want to… and was OK until I decided at 10 pm that was so OK I didn’t need to take another dose of Lortab. Ugh! I woke up around 4 am with such burning and stinging in my eyes that I could hardly walk! Banging around walls and clinging to countertops I finally found the Lortab took it and waited an hour for the burning/stinging to reside. When it did I learned my lesson.

    Day 2 was ok, I was fine if I took the pain meds, but I was so sensitive to light I had to close all the blinds and wear sunglasses on top of it.

    Day 3, still on meds and sunglasses. The worst part about the light sensitivity and constant background pain was that opening you eye to put eye drops in was torture! It just didn’t was to open that wide and day three was definitely the worst as far and the burning stinging pain goes. It was to me like having onion juice in your eyes constantly.
    Day 4 the previous night I didn’t have to wake up to take a Lortab from pain (I learned my lesson from the first night and set my alarm to get me up so I could take the pain meds before they wore off, and I also absolutely refused to take the Ambien.) I decided to test the waters and not take any pain Lortab, wow! Pain not to bad! FINALLY!!!!!! Still way sensitive to light.

    Day 5 first time I am not on any pain meds, not even a tylenol! And I don’t have to wear my sunglasses in the house! I even got to the point later that day that I didn’t even need to keep the blinds closed. But my
    contact in my right eye totally felt like it was sliding around.

    Day 6 my post op appointment. They tested my vision with my contact band aids still in, 20/40…. same vision I had prior to the touch up….. but the medical assistant said it was from the contacts. Dr. Wilcox came in and took a look at my eyes and said my tissues looked great and that they had grown back! Yay! He took my lenses off and it felt like sand was in my eyes, very scratchy every time I blinked. I went off to work for the first time that day and struggled to read due to blurry and double vision, but the vision dramatically improved once those lenses were off.

    Day 7 best vision so far! This is great! Its starting to feel like its working, although several times through out the work day, ever since I have gone back to work I can tell the powers in my eyes change, sometimes even every hour. The left its more blurry/double vision, then the right… back and forth, back and forth.

    Day 8 my right eye seems a little more scratchy and hazy/blurry than the left. Hmmmm…… is this normal? Did I smash it in my sleep with my pillow? Other than that it was a worse vision day all around. Computer screen was thought to read that day. And my eyes were still shifting powers.

    Day 9-12 pretty much the same story. And I won’t have another post op until December 26th.

    So… its less stressful than lasik because I don’t have panic attacks everyday for a month about displacing my flap. But I stress about the visual fluctuations! You win some you lose some I guess. But thank you for all your comments! It does make you feel better. I also suffer from dry eye from the first lasik procedure, so I’m not sure if that’s why my vision is so up and down through out the day. I would love to know if anyone else suffered from dry eye too. I can get through the day with out using like 8 tear packets.

    • Alex Tran says

      Thanks for sharing your recovery timeline! I know dry eyes are a common side effect. I don’t personally deal with it, but I know other comments have had a minor case of dry eyes. But nothing that adversely affects their day-to-day life.

  215. Lori says

    I am on 4 weeks for the left eye and I had my right eye done three days ago. I could see really well the first day and then started getting fuzzy today. Not bad though. The surgeon looked at my left eye and said there is a ridge of cells right on my line of vision. He started me on res
    tasis and scraped the eye. I have double vision and bad glare at night. He said it will clear up in time. Pretty nervous about that, but it is what it is. Right eye is more sensitive, but not really painful. Slept a lot this weekend. Main problem was the pain pills didn’t agree with me. Ibuprophen works as well for me.

    • Alex Tran says

      Yeah, the pain pills didn’t agree with me either. They make me extremely nauseous. Luckily I only need them the first day.

      Thanks for posting. Hope you heal up nicely!

    • William says

      I had the double vision thing for a little while too and was nervous of the “it’ll go away eventually” speech my eye doc said too – but honestly, it did! i think around the 3 month mark any/all side effects (super dry eyes, random double vision, night glares) were all gone.

  216. Jamie says

    I am 8 months out and STILL in pain! I feel like I have rocks in my eyes just about every day! Anyone else have this happen? The DR switched me from Lasik to PRK the day OF surgery as I was already looped up on drugs to make the decision on changing. I was very upsest that the recovery time was not explained one bit!

    • Alex Tran says

      One of my friends had pain for about six months and then it gradually got better. She said about a year out was when she felt 100% recovered and pleased with her results. I hope that brings some comfort knowing there have been others who have experienced longer-term pain.

      What has your doctor said about the pain lasting for eight months?

  217. Ralph says

    I am scheduled to have PRK surgery in bth eyes tomorrow. I am far sighted and 56 years old. I am definitely anxious about the surgery. I have been wearing classes for most of my life, but can drive without them although that is getting more difficult the older I get. I can still pass DMV’s eye test- barely. Reading is all but impossible without glasses now. I was told this surgery will correct my farsightness to 20/20 or better and I may still need reading glasses. Is it worth all the pain and time. I am doing this because my doctor said I was an excellent candidate for PRK and I am terrible at taking carevofnglasses. Thank you all for your posts. I now know what to expect, but still scared of coming out worst than before.

    • Steph says

      Hi Ralph,
      Since you’re having PRK tomorrow I thought it was important to comment ASAP.

      My situation was very different than your situation. I am 44 yrs old and had PRK Sept. 14. I have been 100% dependent on contacts for 30 years. I was very nearsighted w/ a v. high astigmatism. Over the past couple of years I have grown intolerant to contacts. In July I was diagnosed w/ inflammatory keratitis in both eyes, especially my right eye. I was told to discontinue my contacts and wear my glasses and put anti-inflammatory drops in my eyes. When the infection cleared, I could have Lasik (if I was a candidate).

      It took a few months for the infection to clear. During that time, I had difficulty adapting to the glasses. I had daily headaches that often morphed into migraines. Going w/o glasses was not an option as I cannot function w/o corrective lenses.

      Once the infection was cleared I made an appointment for Lasik. The first clinic told me I was not a candidate due to thin corneas. They recommended contact lens implants at approximately $10,000. I was surprised by this news bc I had been told I was a candidate 3 years ago when I first started developing intolerance.

      The clinic I had gone to previously was no longer open so I went to another clinic. They did the work up and told me I was a candidate for PRK, not Lasik due to thin corneas. They explained the procedure in detail, and left nothing to chance. I was well prepared for the pain and the long recovery of PRK.

      PRK will take patience. You may not see well at first. There is no pain during the procedure. But, for me, there was quite a bit of pain afterwards. I was also extremely uncomfortable for approximately 5 days following the procedure. It varies for everybody, but for me the first 3 days were quite uncomfortable and the pain was present. I definitely needed the painkillers prescribed.

      Having said that, it was also definitely worth it. It is a very personal thing, and I was out of options. Glasses were not an option for me as I was experiencing daily headaches and not functioning well.

      I am still healing. My sight flucutates still. I have some problems w/ night vision, like ‘bleeding’ lights. I have a ‘haze’ over my eyes that is supposed to clear up, and I am taking FML anti-inflammatory drops for this. But, patience is the name of the game.

      I hope this helped.

  218. Fran says

    Ralph –

    I had PRK about 18 months ago, at about your same age. I was very near-sighted, had worn contacts for about 40 years and had had radial kerototomy about 25 years ago. As I aged I could no longer see well at all. Had varying diagnoses from 3 different opthomologists (including a corneal transplant), but went with the one I trusted the most. The process was very long for me as I had to be out of contacts for over 4 months. That said, the surgery was fairly easy with pain only that first day. Recovery was a very long process (8+ months) but today I can both see distances and read without contacts or glasses. Will have some enhancements next year with cataract surgery, but today I am relatively satisfied with the outcome. The one thing you will learn from these posts is there is no one standard for recovery except that extreme PATIENCE is required. Good luck – hang in there and it will get better.

  219. Kelley says

    Reading all of the these comments have helped and made me jealous.. Lol my trip with LASIK and PRK has not been good. I had LASIK back in June and not great results. The dr said sometimes they have to go back in and retreat. But, I could not have LASIK again and said I had to have PRK. I just had surgery on Tuesday,. Tat afternoon, pain was unbearable. I went in the following day, and could not see the chart at all. Tomorrow , day 4 , he wants to take the contact bandage out… I still have very poor vision, and still painful. Right now, if I had to do it over , I wouldn’t …. Dr keeps saying be patient… I ave not been able to see since June.. Ive been very patient..
    Does your vision improve when the contacts come out??

    • Alex Tran says

      yup, your vision will improve with the contacts out. but keep in mind it will also fluctuate during the healing process. so don’t be worried if it is seems good when they remove the contacts and then gets a little worse.

    • Lori says

      I am at week 8 with the left eye and week 3 with the right eye. I can see very well with the left eye. This makes me pretty happy since a few weeks ago I had bad double vision and glare. I couldn’t recognize people next to me in the elevator, The right eye seems to be moving along a little faster, but it has stalled the last week.Just kind of fuzzy. I am not worried this time, because that is what the left eye did too. I haven’t had pain, but my eyes are pretty dry. By the way, for people who are preparing to have PRK, I don’t think they explain how long some people take to heal, and how difficult it can be to drive or work. I work with a doctor who was in the military, and he said pilots couldn’t even get close to flying a plane for three months. Also, I have to be on restassis for a year. We are lucky enough to have insurance that pays for it, but I think the prescription costs about $250.00 a month out of pocket for it. Just be prepared for extra expenses. The blink is close to $9.00 a bottle, and I go through about three bottles a week. So, there are hidden costs you need to be aware of. Anyways, I am happy that I did it, but I wish they had prepared me a little more than watching a video. I am not exaggerating when I say that is about it. I was lucky to have very little pain, but I have heard people say it is very painful. I think as long as you know what to expect, you can deal with it. While I was waiting to see the eye doctor, I could hear the technician telling a patient it might be a little uncomfortable. Just tell the truth. It can be painful, but they give you meds to help it.

      • Alex Tran says

        Interesting, did the doctor explain why you had to be on Restasis for a year? I haven’t heard anybody else having to be on eye drops for that long.

  220. Vince says

    Thanks Alex for your blog and I also read your post about discipleship which is very inspiring. 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

    • Alex Tran says

      Hi Vince! Unfortunately there’s no accurate way to say when your computer vision and night vision will improve.

      Fran, one of the previous comments, says pretty much the only accurate thing when it comes to recover.

      The one thing you will learn from these posts is there is no one standard for recovery except that extreme PATIENCE is required.

      I know that’s probably not what you wanted to hear. But realistically, from my experience and from other commenters, I’d give yourself until the three month mark before you get too concerned.

      As long as the doctors in your follow-up appointments are pleased with the way your eyes are healing, I wouldn’t worry too much.

  221. Paul Halucha says

    Hi Everyone: Have enjoyed reading such varied experiences following PRK surgery and wanted to share my experience to date. Tomorrow is day 14 since I had PRK at the Focus Eye Centre in Ottawa, Canada. My eyes were both around minus 8 and it was the dificulty which I was beginning to have reading which pushed me into the surgery. As a result, I had a monovision procedure and am so far finding that the adaptation to monovision is probably more difficult then life after PRK.

    A number of people wonder about going back to work: how soon? how blurry? This was a worry of mine, but transition back was fast and not too difficult. I had the surgery on a Wednesday and was back at work, more or less productive, by the following Tuesday. Reading was a bit difficult and the computer screen was somewhat blurry, but not to bad. I did not need to adjust fonts, but it did help to look away frequently. I also found that while attending meetings, the people near me – say within 5 seats – were clear, but people at the other end of the table, while recognizable, were definitely blurry.

    I won’t say much about the surgery, other then that it does hurt a lot for 36 hours and then the pain went away entirely (for me anway). I really only had light sensitivity for days 2 and 3, and on day 4 I watched TV without any pain. There is alot of great information – including Alex’s excellent day by day chrono here – so I felt well prepared and honestly experienced nothing out of the ordinary.

    I was tested lasted Friday by my eye-doctor who confirmed: first, the surgery went well from medical perspective, all healing well and not concerns; and second, have 20-25 in both eyes. She told me to keep taking FML drops 4 times a day until I see here again in middle of January.

    So how is my vision? Better than I hoped, but still improving. I have some blurriness, but am typing this on my ipad without difficulty. Blurriness is worse after the FML drops and i have good and bad parts of the day. But in general, am thinking less and less about my eyes and just going about things. Am reading my first post-PRK novel (Drood by Dan Simmons) and read chapter 2 this morning with much ease. Watched a few movies so far, again without problems: no light artifacts, halos,ghosting, etc.. I also tried 3D at the local Best Buy on Saturday and was very happy to find that it still worked (was a worry of mine with mono-vision).

    Am off to see The Hobbit this afternoon with my wife. First time I’ve been to theatre without glasses probably since the 1970s when I was little. All the best to all of you who are also recovering. For those considering the surgery, I would say do your homowork before committing. I am so far thrilled with the outcome.

    Merry Christmas. Paul

  222. Q says

    I had my 6 months PRK post visit five days ago and went in for another surgery because my vision got worst. No big deal, I hope that it will heal better this time. The surgeon evens call me “professional Lasik patient” this is the third time on my eyes. First time (11-12 years ago) Lasik. Second times 6 months ago PRK. Five days ago PRK again. The long healing starts again – what a bummer.

    • Alex Tran says

      Man, sorry to hear that Q. How much worse did your vision get post PRK? Was it worse than your vision prior to PRK?

  223. amy says

    Hi Q,
    I have the same history as you …lasik 11-12 years ago. At that time I was legally blind in both eyes (-11) but was correctable to 20/20 with contact lenses. One eye was corrected to about 20/30in bright light but night vision was terrible. Other eye never was completed but had a incomplete flap so wore a contact lens in one eye for ten years until someone suggested prk. Did prk on laser corrected eye about two years ago, seemed to take over a year to heal and and settled about 20/30. Did other eye about a year ago. It was over corrected and seems to have double vision but at night I can drive without glasses! Doctor said he can try to correct the over correction but might result in loss of night vision. I am not ready o take this chance as I am now living pretty much glasses free except for reading small print (because of my age but seem to need them less than my husband who is same age! I always wondered if second prk woould have a shorter healing time…let me know how yours goes. Good Luck with the recovery. Also to all those who are wondering if they should do prk: I think it was worth it even tho my vision is not perfect now before the ssurgery I couldnt find my glasses on the night stand and now I dont wear any correction at all except for reading!

  224. Vinh Vo says

    Hello I recently had my PRK surgery done on January 2, 2013 and its been 6 days since my surgery. The first 3 days following the surgery were the worse for me I couldn’t open my eyes well in the mornings and I had a bit of pain but on the 4th day I woke up and opened my eyes and all was good no pain at all. I can see the computer text pretty clear up since the bandage contacts came off. I’m seeing 20/25 on my left eye and 20/30 on my right eye and the Dr. says I’m doing pretty fine on my healing process. Thanks to this blog it really help keep me stay motivated and focused about the long and healing process! I will read back from time to time to update how things are going for me. Before my PRK surgery my prescription was -4.75 on both eyes and I wore contacts for a long time. So far so good I’m pretty happy with what I’m able to see now without prescription glasses/contacts, just a bit blurry still but I would say I am 85/100 healed.

  225. Wendy says

    I had my PRK 9 months ago. I was a -7 in both eyes. I am a redhead and therefore require more anesthesia and am also kind of a slow healer. The initial process was easy. No pain during surgery and the recovery was great with the medications provided. The blurry vision was very difficult when I returned to work a few days later and for a few weeks I had my computer screen a few inches from my face and used drops constantly. One thing I did wrong was I used the night drops that are like petroleum (Vasaline). I later found out there is another night drop that is expensive – it starts with an M, sorry don’t have it with me, but that is the one I should have been using. I didin’t know the difference. I recovered early on with my up close vision, but my distance was good at 3 month and then about 5 months got very blurry. My doctor put me on steroid drops, Vasisite at night and I am using the eye wash in the shower. My distance vision has cleared up once again. I’m not sure about the spelling of the medications I have listed here. My reason for posting is to let you know that patience is key. I thought my distance vision was never going to be right, but I am seeing great now. Don’t get discouraged it keeps getting better. I have heard from many people that the dryness doesn’t stop until past the one year mark. I still put tears in a couple times during the night. It is so worth it – to finally be able to see for the first time in my whole life.

  226. Julie says

    It’s very reassuring to read everyones’ comments! I had PRK in one eye (left) on Jan 2, and am both pleased and concerned about my progress. The physical healing was very fast – the first 12-24 hours were pretty bad, but it was quite bearable after that. I found that aspirin was sufficient for the pain, and I was never really light sensitive, nor did I experience dry eyes. However, my vision was quite bad for those first few days – really hazy and cloudy. If I had had the surgery in both eyes, I would have been freaking out. My vision in my left eye was so cloudy – if both eyes had been like that, I’m not sure that I would have even been able to get around my own house very well. It was like living in a fog (in my left eye). By Day 4, the cloudiness was gone and my vision was much better than without contacts, but not nearly as good as with contacts. Much to my surprise, I tested 20/20 on the my Day 5 visit (before the protective contact came out), but that was after a lot of blinking, squinting, etc, so I’m skeptical that my eye is actually 20/20. Things are very, very blurry, I’d guess around 20/60 in my left eye? The thing that concerns me is that it’s blurry at every distance – far away, close up, midway, etc. If I try putting on reading glasses, it’s still just as blurry. So it feels like an uncorrectable blurriness, if that makes sense. Since I can wear my regular contact in my right eye, it’s easy for me to compare eyes, and the eyesight is clearly better in my right eye (crisp, clear, at least 20/20). However, that being said, there is much improvement in my left eye (even at 20/60) compared to before the surgery (20/900). For the first time since the age of 7, I can see when I get out of bed in the morning, recognize people, etc. I’ve worn contacts for 40 years, so the relief of not putting them in (or at least one of them) each morning is tremendous.

    I have the surgery for the right eye scheduled for Feb 2, but am thinking I should postpone it. I’m a single mom with 2 active kids, 2 jobs, and no accessibility to public transportation. Not driving isn’t remotely feasible for me, which is why I opted for one eye at a time. If both eyes were like my left eye for several months, I’m not sure that I could drive at night (or even during the day, possibly), use a computer, or read (all of which are essential for my job), etc. I don’t understand how others are able to do both eyes at once, and then live their lives in a normal fashion after that. I can’t go around with 2 blurry eyes for 6 months. How have others coped with this?

    Did anyone have vision as bad as 20/60 at 9 days after surgery that ended up being 20/20 weeks later? And how about the close-up vision – I knew I’d possibly need reading glasses, but that’s not the problem here. Reading glasses don’t seem to make a bit of difference. I can’t imagine never being able to read again. I’m optimistic that I’ll make a full recovery, but there’s a part (big part) of me that’s pretty nervous that it won’t happen.

    • William says

      It sounds like your recovery is very similar to a lot of folks — you’ll have a lot of ups and down with the vision the first couple of weeks. in fact, even after a month or so, you’ll still have some issues. (generally, speaking). just keep in contact with your primary eye care physician.

    • Alex Tran says

      i’m not sure what my vision was 9 days out, but you’re still so early in the healing process that i wouldn’t worry too much. pretty much everyone who has posted here didn’t reach their full recovery until at least two months into it.

      like william said, it’s a roller coaster ride. my best advice is don’t worry about your vision at all right now. whether that be distance, reading or up-close vision. follow your doctors and trust what he says about your progress.

      good luck and let us know how it continues!

  227. alice says

    I had PRK on both eyes two weeks ago and am pleased with the results so far. I’m 32 and prior to surgery was -8.0 in both eyes. The day after surgery I could see great and then of course thing deteriorated rapidly after that. I never had significant amounts of pain, only some stinging and a lot of watering. I was told to stop my medicated drops after day 5 and felt that my vision started to improve after that, although not back to my day 1 levels yet. However, I can get around easily without any corrective lenses and have been back at work with computer fonts blown up. The improvements day to day are so incremental that it’s hard to tell I’m improving at all. It’s only when I stop to think what my vision was like one week ago that I realize how much I’ve improved.

    It’s really fun to read everyone’s comments here and know that we’re all recovering together. Literally, no one else in my life understands what I’m going through. You really have to go through it yourself to understand how scary it is not to see well and how hard it is sometimes to trust that it will get better. Right now I have ghosting when I read on the computer and my general vision is somehow clear and blurred at the same time – if I thought this is how it would be for the rest of my life I would be seriously freaked out, but reading everyone’s experiences gives me hope! Thanks!

      • Julie says

        I’m 2 weeks out today, and I can’t say that I see any improvement from about 10 days ago. Some mention incremental improvement, but in my case, it looks the same every day. I’m thinking the improvement will start any day now – maybe in big bursts?

        What is so amazing to me is that so many people have the same experience as I do in terms of their doctor not telling them what to expect with PRK. If not for the comments of others (primarily on this website), I would be freaking out! But, I see from reading all your comments that my progress is normal, or at least within the normal range. Thank everyone so much for sharing!

  228. Anna says

    Thank you so much for this! I had PRK done just over a week ago. Recently a bunch of my friends have had lasik which, as we all know has much different healing and vision results. My prescription was -8.50 in each eye and my corneas were a little steep so the doctor opted for PRK. Before my procedure I was an avid cross stitcher. It keeps me sane. I’m only a little over a week out of surgery, as I said. Watching all my friends have LASIk and immediately have amazing vision is making me very impatient and anxious. I tried to cross stitch today but I could absolutely not see sharply enough to do it. I got very frustrated and was nervous it would always be like that. This page gave me the hope that it will get better!!!

    • Alex Tran says

      Welcome to our PRK recovery support group. ;)

      Yeah, having your friends do LASIK and you PRK is not very fair. But you’ll get there eventually.

      And be sure you give your eyes regular rest while you’re cross-stiching! Don’t try to overwork them too early in the recovery process.

      • Thomas says

        I am scheduled for PRK on Feb 12, 2013. I was not nervous at all but now, after reading the experience of others, I am concerned. One concern is my age which is 68 years. My main concern though is how PRK may effect my exercise. I ride a bicycle quite a lot. In 2012 I rode over 6,000 miles including several week long bike tours. Some write about having vision problems for months. I wonder if those vision problems would prevent them from seeing road obstructions like potholes or rocks on the road while riding a bicycle? Also, if any of you are older like me (68 years), do you believe age significantly affects the healing process?

      • Yuliya says

        Hi everybody – I had PRK on both eyes about 5 weeks ago and am not very pleased with the results so far.
        I can see much better but now my vision is slowly getting worse. My eyes over heal after surgery and now I have to do another (no laser) surgery (reshaping my corneas).
        My doctor sad it happens sometimes. And what upsets me most that there is no guaranty my eyes will heal normally this time. I’m 35 and prior to surgery was -8.0 in both eyes.
        I wonder if anybody had the same problem? I am worry that I will never get a good vision.

        Thanks everyone for sharing your experience.

  229. Q says

    @ Thomas – I am also an avid cyclist like you. I had PRK done about 7 months ago. I would recommend that you stay off your bike for at least 6 weeks because your eyes need to heal. However, people tend to heal different so only you would know – at your age you are much wiser to know what to do than I am. I recommend that you buy an anti-fog goggles to ride for the couple first months because it will keep your eye from drying due to the wind and prevent dirt. I got mine at http://www.safetyglassesusa.com/goggles1.html for under $20. Mine PRK was slight different because at 6 month check up they did a touch up on my left eye even though I was seeing clearly 20/15 with both eyes – most from my right eye. It has been four weeks after the touch up and my vision slightly better than before the touch up – I can see almost 20/10 with both eyes open but I think I will see more clear on the left eyes in a couple of months. Now Left Eye – 20/25 Right Eye 20/15 to 10. Seven months before the surgery my Left Eye – 20/30; Right Eye 20/40. I have Lasik done 13 years ago and got it down to 20/20 and my vision was -7.75 to -8.25. I went in for Lasik but the surgeon change it to PRK in the last minute because she think it would be better. I had this done mainly because I want to see the road clearer while riding. At 25-35 MPH gives me very little time to react to obstacles on the road – so it is great for me to see far and clear. Good luck to you Thomas!

  230. Paul Haluucha says

    Hi everyone:

    I wanted to post an update on progress since my last (Christmas Day). Am still reading peoples’ comments experiences with semi-reilgious regularity. As a reminder I was minus 8 in both eyes pre-surgery and selected mono-vision so I would avoid reading glasses and glasses at work.

    Overall vision I would say is continuing to improve, not having any problems with seeing close up and reading/computer work is I would say totally fine. Nice and clear, no soreness, no ghosting, etc. Distance viewing is perfect up to about 12-15 feet, after that I am still having trouble adjusting to mono-vision. Best way I can describe, is my brain is still not filtering out blurry left eye (my reading eye) and so I’m getting a combination of clear/blurry. Bit like losing a contact. But I am getting more use to it and more and more frequently I’m not conscious of vision – just go about my day.

    One strange thing I would highlight is my eyes tend to adjust to viewing at a distance and then when I switch to a different viewing distance I get blurrinesss for a bit. This happens when I’m reading for a lengthy period or watching TV. Is weird and I expect it will go away with time and healing.

    One other strange thing: I can’t remember how well I could see before surgery anymore, so I keep trying to read things way off in distance or small type on books on my bookcase across the room)and being frustrated I can’t. Probably never could! I think there is a tendency to imagine we are getting new bionic eyes with PRK.

    Would highlight dryness of eyes still a problem, but also getting better. Probably Canadian winter (freezing cold and very dry) not ideal for recovery! I moved to preservative free drops a few weeks ago and one package lasts a week easily.

    I see the eye doctor Friday and will post short update. They switched me last week to a 1 percent corticosteroid (from .1 percent FML). Reason given was to prevent reformation of astigmatism on left eye, which means they must be seeing something they want to catch. Was difficult to adjust at first to these drops and it felt like my eyes were swollen a bit as a result, but have adjusted. I noticed there is not a lot of information online about use of steroids, but what I did find suggests they are used quite differently by various clinics. If anyone knows of an informative site, please pass on.

    All for now.

    Paul

    • William says

      Paul,

      I had the same dryness after surgery as well — living in wind-blowing Oklahoma too. Constantly wearing sunglasses not only to keep out the UV radiation, but also to brace against the wind. I’m a little over 7 months out from my surgery and I still get random dryness. I just put in a drop and then I’m good to go. It’s become a “norm” in life.

  231. Yuliya says

    Hi everybody – I had PRK on both eyes about 5 weeks ago and am not very pleased with the results so far.
    I can see much better but now my vision is slowly getting worse. My eyes over heal after surgery and now I have to do another (no laser) surgery (reshaping my corneas).
    My doctor sad it happens sometimes. And what upsets me most that there is no guaranty my eyes will heal normally this time. I’m 35 and prior to surgery was -8.0 in both eyes.
    I wonder if anybody had the same problem? I am worry that I will never get a good vision.

    Thanks everyone for sharing your experience.

    <