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My PRK Recovery Timeline

prk-surgeryOne 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

1,344 replies on “My PRK Recovery Timeline”

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!

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.

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!!!!

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?

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

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. ;)

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!

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!

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…

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!

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?

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.

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.

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.

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!

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

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

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!

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

let us know how your recovery goes.

^^ 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…..

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.

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. :)

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.

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!

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.

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

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

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.

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. ;)

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.!!!

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.

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.

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 :)

@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. ;)

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.

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.

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

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!

“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!

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!

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!

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.

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.

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.

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. ;)

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.

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.

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. ;)

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!

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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!

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.

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!

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!!!!!!

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!

i had my surgery 3 weeks ago , very frustrated, blurry vision.
i can’t feel comfortable until this moment.
but i think it was a nice experience
.

hope god helps me and makes healing time faster :((

thank you for your time

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…

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!

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.

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!

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.

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!!

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.

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

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. :-)

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.

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.

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. ;)

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