My LASIK Experience


1 month ago, I got LASIK. Not a lot of people seem to write about it, so here’s one to offset that a bit.

Keep in mind that none of this may happen for you, this is just my experience. I was apparently really lucky to get such good outcomes the whole process though. Most people have at least dry eyes for a while.

This is pretty abbreviated, so if you want a longer version, fill out the anonymous feedback form linked at the bottom.

Why

My vision was about -5 diopters in both eyes.

I hate glasses, and contacts are a nuisance when traveling.

But more than anything, I just wanted to be able to wake up and see something other than a blind haze.

Where

I did it at UC Berkeley’s LASIK center because they have a solid reputation, the latest tech, and give current Berkeley students $2000 off. My total cost was $3800.

Prelim

You have to get a prelim checkup, where the doctor complimented my thick corneas.

Gee, thanks doc.

If you’re approved, you have to wait at least one month till surgery. In that month, you have to take fish oil pills every day and not wear contact lenses for the 2 weeks before surgery. Glasses are fine.

You’re told that you have to have someone drive you home after surgery, but recovery is fast.

2 days before surgery, they do another checkup, and give you powerful eye drops. They last up to 24 hours.

Surgery

The whole surgery is like an assembly line. Personally, I find it reassuring, since it gives you the impression that LASIK is something they’ve got down to a tee. That, and the statistics on how successful LASIK is.

The morning of the surgery, they give you some Valium. I’ve never had Valium, but it didn’t feel like anything, so it may be placebo.

After that, they numb your eyes with eye drops.

A metal speculum goes around your eye, which squeezes it a bit, but it’s not painful.

You sit on the table and stare at a tube-sort of thing. You feel a bit of heat as the laser does its work.

Everything goes black for a second as they lift up the flap, but then it comes back down and it’s fine.

You’re told to stare at an orange dot. Your only job this whole procedure is going to be to stare at the dot, so do your best.

The surgery was not painful or difficult at all.

After

Your vision will be better, but still blurry, immediately after.

You should go to sleep for the next 8 hours. Many people see 20/20 by the next morning.

One more day, and you can usually return to computer work.

Your eyes are often bloodshot from the speculum bursting blood vessels, but it’s not painful and fades in a few weeks. I honestly liked the deranged madman aesthetic it lent, like something out of Fight Club.

You’ll have to use eye drops constantly, or else your vision can regress a little bit, which is annoying considering you went to all this trouble.

You’ll also be on the fish oil another month.

DON’T RUB YOUR EYES FOR A MONTH AFTER SURGERY.

Aftermath, 1 month later

My vision is 20/15 (better than 20/20) and I’m happy. LASIK was everything I hoped for. If you hate glasses or contacts, consider it.

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