Tag Archives: 6/6 vision

Eyesight Chronicles Part 3: LASIK

I had thought about getting LASIK many times throughout my life, but never followed through. By 2016, when I couldn’t wear my contact lenses anymore, I decided to finally take the plunge.

I went to my favourite hospital and consulted an Ophthalmologist. She explained to me the process in detail. I had a Pentacam test which showed that my corneal thickness was in the risky zone. However, the Ophthalmology director gave the go ahead for waveform guided LASIK. I also needed a retina test which involved dilating my pupils and shining a very bright light into my eyes. The most difficult part was not wearing my contact lenses for 3 weeks. This was so that my eyes would go back to their original shape and provide the most accurate correction readings for LASIK.

During this waiting time I also contracted Blepharitis which delayed the surgery further. However, on 13 Dec 2016, the day finally came to get operated on.

I went to the hospital excited like mad, armed with money donated by my mother. They took one final set of measurements and started putting anaesthesia drops in my eyes every few minutes. Soon my eyes were numb and they took me to the procedure room.

The process itself was uncomfortable but not painful. They use speculums to keep your eyes propped open and ask you to look straight. Then they use a suction ring to keep your eye straight. This step feels like enormous pressure on the eye but is not painful. Your vision goes all wonky. Then a Femtosecond laser creates a flap on your cornea. The eyesight at this point becomes blurry. When they lift the flap, you can see only a bright light.

At this stage, another excimer laser re-models and corrects your cornea as per the requirements. You can smell something burning (your cornea). Then the surgeon restores the flap, flattens it and wets the eye. The entire process is repeated for the other eye.

LASIK, PC: Wikipedia

The entire process only takes 15/20 minutes and after that you can get up straight away. Your vision is still blurry and you cannot look at lights. My wife helped me go home where I immediately went into a dark room. Even a small sliver of light from the corner of the curtains was excruciatingly painful. I spent the entire day moping in darkness, not being able to do much except listen to music.

The next morning was beautiful. When I opened my eyes, I could immediately notice that I could see clearly without any aids. I took a cab to the doctor and had my first post-op check up. She inspected the flap, gave me medicines and sent me home. At this point, my vision was not perfect, but it kept on improving over the next few weeks and months. I would still see Halos and blurriness around light sources at night for many months.

Eyesight before and after LASIK
Vision Log before and after LASIK

Reading and using the computer for the first few weeks put a lot of strain on my eyes but temporary reading glasses helped with that. I developed a habit to check my vision regularly by closing one eye at a time while driving and trying to read the license number of a car ahead of me.

Slowly but surely, my vision improved and thankfully, now I have 6/6 vision in both eyes without any visual aids. Now waiting for Presbyopia to strike me in the next few years and add a fourth installment to this series.

Eyesight Chronicles Part 2: Contact Lenses

One fine day, me and my roommate Whoreko decided that we had had enough of eyeglasses and we would wear contact lenses from then on. We were in second year of college then and funds were short, so we went to an optometrist at Dharampeth and asked for the cheapest contact lenses they had. He gave us 1-year hard lenses and taught us how to put them on and take them out. Happily, we were on our way, with tears streaming down our faces from discomfort.

To say that these contact lenses were uncomfortable would be an understatement. They were uncomfortable all the time & dried up after a few hours. While riding motorcycles, they would shift from the wind and the eyes would turn red. Eventually, me and Whoreko both stopped wearing them altogether and went back to our shitty glasses.

contact lenses
Not my eye, PC: Signature Eye Care

Try as I may, I couldn’t adjust to life with glasses again & was miserable all the time. Eventually, when I was visiting my parents in Kolkata, my mother took pity on me and took me to GKB Opticals at Gariahat. The optometrist was very kind and patient with me and explained to me that the cheap contacts were not meant for extended use. She also explained to me that I have Astigmatism and the cheap contacts don’t address that. She prescribed me with monthly disposable toric soft contact lenses. They were very comfortable and provided me with perfect 6/6 vision. I could wear them for extended periods of time with no discomfort.

These lenses changed my life and were probably the most significant upgrade to my lifestyle ever. For the first time ever, I had perfect vision with incredible comfort. I was incredibly happy and looked forward to waking up in the mornings to put on my lenses. The only times I had issues were when dust got into my eye(s) while riding my motorcycle. I occasionally wore them for upwards of 36 hours straight & slept in them with only minor dryness.

However, like all good things, it didn’t last long. After 13/14 years of using them, I started to experience more and more frequent spells of dryness & discomfort in my eyes. I went to my optometrist but he was of little help, just stating the obvious. Eventually, it became so bad that I couldn’t wear contact lenses at all.

I decided that I couldn’t go back to wearing glasses again and would need a permanent surgical resolution yo my Myopia.