Everything You Need to Know About My Lasik Eye Surgery

Written By: The Planet D

It was something I avoided for years. My optometrist always told me I was a candidate for Lasik eye surgery, but I was never quite sold on the idea.

What if I was that 1% statistic that lost my vision instead of having my eyes corrected? Why take the risk right?

My Lasik Eye Surgery Experience

It wasn’t until my dad had his vision corrected last year that I started to think about doing Lasik myself.

He had to have his cataracts removed, so while he was at it, they told him they could fix his vision.

He was going in for laser surgery anyway, so what’s one more simple procedure. He can now see clearly without glasses. I was convinced.

Deb with her glasses

The problem was, we were never home long enough to have a consultation. We travel a lot and having lasik eye surgery is a process that involves 3 months of your time.

But after Dave fractured two vertebrae in his back last November, we found ourselves in Canada for several months while he recovered from his injuries.

Dave had a few months of recovery, so I got my eyes fixed.

In February, I decided to get Lasik Eye Surgery Done.

We went to TLC Lasik Centres in London, Ontario where I met with the doctor to discuss my eyesight. They aren’t cheap, but I didn’t want to take any chances with my eyes.

I am willing to spend top dollar for the best, and apparently, this is the best! It cost $5000 to have laser surgery on both of my eyes.

My prescription was strong at -6.0 in each eye with a slight astigmatism. I was a good candidate, but since I am over the age of 40, I now have to worry about my reading vision.

With my glasses, I didn’t need bifocals or reading glasses yet, but in time I will need to wear them…everyone does!

They gave me the option to have one eye corrected for reading and one for distance. I opted for distance only.

Having clear vision at a distance suits my lifestyle better and having one eye adjusted for distance and the other for closeness seemed to complicated to me.

No more dealing with contact lenses in a situation like this.

I want to be able to go on a camping or kayaking trip for several days at a time and not have to worry about sticking my dirty fingers into my eyes each morning as I fumble in a tent putting contacts in.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found myself in a desert prying my eyes open as I try to stick contacts into my eyes with semi-clean fingers.

My glasses and contact lenses have been a burden with my lifestyle from worrying about having them pop out while snorkelling or whitewater kayaking to having to deal with them while camping or trekking for several days in the backcountry.

To be able to see without glasses while traveling was going to make my life much easier. My lifestyle

I Was Terrified

I don’t think anyone is comfortable when going into surgery so admitting I was afraid is nothing surprising.

But the doctors and nurses are so comfortable and kind, they put you at ease.

Every part of the procedure is explained to you and the risks are quite minimal.

From what I understood, you can’t really go blind. The complications more often happen after the fact from infection or rubbing of the eyes.

Initial Lasik Consultation

Once I made the decision to have Lasik done, they did a complete eye exam to find out my current prescription and to discuss any concerns or irritations.

I told them that I suffer from dry eyes, but I think it’s mostly due to wearing contacts for hours on end each day. They warned me that I will probably still suffer from dry eyes for a while, but eye drops would help immensely.

They then made a map of my eye.

map of eye
A sample of what eye mapping looks like

This map told where the problems were in my eyes and how they were going to fix them. The laser would follow this map when it came time for surgery.

The computer is so precise that there is only a very small chance of anything going wrong.hey know exactly where the cutting and shaving needs to be done.

They input the data into the chart and you are set. When you are in surgery, the laser follows the movement of your eye. Should you panic and move your head or eyes suddenly, the laser automatically shuts off. That’s a relief.

After they appointment, they sent me home with a prescription of eye drops and wipes for a preparation routine that I would have to start following 2 weeks before my surgery.

Note: You cannot fly 1-2 weeks before your surgery and you cannot do any activity for 1 week after your surgery. After that it’s not recommended to fly for another week.

The Day of Surgery

The morning of the surgery, I was quite nervous, but I was put at ease the moment the nurse came to get me.

There were quite a few patients in the waiting room and we were all taking back one-by-one to the pre-op area filled with large lounge “Lazy Boy” type chairs.

We all sat together talking about our procedures as the Dr’s assistant gave us a pill to relax our nerves and put in the recommended doses of eye drops.

Waiting for my lasic eye surgery

I was first up. I was led into the operating room filled with bright lights. I laid down on the bed, they gave me two rubber balls to squeeze for stress and I listened to them reading off a list of numbers which I deduced was the settings for the laser that was about to cut into my eye.

A suction was placed over my eyes to keep them open (they don’t take them anymore) and the procedure was over in 12 minutes.

They talked to me during the entire operation telling me what they were doing and asking me how I was doing.

They did both eyes and the minute they were done, I was led out of the room and I could see!

I put on my dark sunglasses and that was that. The entire experience took about an hour.

Out within minutes!

I met Dave at the reception and we promptly donated my prescription glasses to their collection.

Doctors pick up glasses to be donated to needy people overseas and at home.

Donating my old  prescription Glasses

As soon as we left the building, my eyes began to sting. I couldn’t stand the light. I had dark glasses on but I had to put a coat over my head for the drive home.

Needless to say, you cannot drive yourself. It is required to have someone be able to drive you home.

They told me the best thing I could do was to go home and sleep as much as possible. The pill helped with that a lot and I promptly went to bed.

Dave woke me up hourly all day long to put eye drops in my eyes and I could barely open them wide enough to put them in. But by about 6pm, I was out of bed and eating dinner and feeling much better.

I still had to wear my sunglasses, and I couldn’t read or watch TV, but I could open my eyes without excruciating pain.

lasic eye surgery
Sleeping with my eyes protected

I went back to bed for the night and by the next morning, the pain was gone.

It is required that you go back to the doctors the next day for an eye exam to make sure that there are no problems with the lens.

You see, when you get lasik eye surgery, they cut a flap in the lens of your eye, open it up and then the laser reshapes your eye. It’s the shape of the eye that affects vision. Afterwards, they put the lens back and you go home while it heals.

No Rubbing of eyes allowed! 

For the next week, I had to wear dark glasses for two reasons. One because I was sensitive to the light.

But two, the dark glasses protect your eyes from inadvertently rubbing your eyes, or poking them with anything. Even if you feel ok with light, you should wear those glasses until your next eye appointment which takes place 7 days later.

I also had to put in prescription eye drops at different intervals. The first 4 days required a lot of drops. I had two different kinds that needed to go in my eyes every hour. After a few days it was every hour for moisture drops and then every couple of hours for the prescription until it went down to once when I woke up and once before bed.

After 7 days, I went back to the optometrist for an exam and they told me that my eyes were still swollen and very dry, but looking good. That explains why my vision still wasn’t 20/20.

They told me that since my prescription was quite strong and because of my age, my eyes would take a bit of time to adjust.

I never needed reading glasses before, but my doctor told me to buy a pair of light prescription reading glasses for when working at the computer and that would help a lot. It did!

wearing my reading glasses

You need to be home for an extended length of time when getting lasik surgery.

I had to go back for another consultation 1 month later. Sadly, my eyesight wasn’t 20/20 yet, but the doctor said it can take some people 3 to 6 months to gain stable vision.

My eyes were still having a bit of trouble focusing on the smaller letters fo the chart. She wasn’t worried though, the eyes were looking good and my prescription was getting better.

My final appointment was last week before leaving for Spain. I was 1 month shy of the required 3 month meeting, but I had to go in early because we’re in Europe for the summer.

They checked out my eyes and I am happy to say that my left eye is 20/20, my right is still a work in progress but it’s close.

My eyes are still very dry, but I’ve been told by people that the dryness goes away in about 6 months to a year. I just keep using my moisture drops (the individual tubes that don’t have any preservatives) and I keep my computer work to a minimum.

My eyes get tired quickly, and I still need to occasionally wear reading glasses when working, but not as often and I can see perfectly for distance.

I do love the fact that I can get up in the middle of the night and I don’t have to fumble for glasses. When I wore glasses my biggest fear was always what would happen if there was an emergency.

If I had to act fast and I couldnt’ find my glasses, I would be useless. I couldn’t see a thing. Now I feel secure knowing that I will be useful should I need to act fast in the middle of the night.

But most importantly, I am comfortable traveling and doing adventure sports. I no longer have to carry extra contacts should something happen, I don’t have to worry about water knocking my contact out or deciding if I should wear prescription sunglasses or go with contacts.

It’s always been a burden carrying so many sets of glasses, changing from sunglasses to glasses when going indoors and having my glasses fog up in cold weather.

Now I can truly enjoy our adventures.

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About The Planet D

Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil are the owners and founders of The Planet D. After traveling to 115 countries, on all 7 continents over the past 13 years they have become one of the foremost experts in travel. Being recognized as top travel bloggers and influencers by the likes of Forbes Magazine, the Society of American Travel Writers and USA Today has allowed them to become leaders in their field.

Leave a Comment

33 thoughts on “Everything You Need to Know About My Lasik Eye Surgery”

  1. Such A Helpful Blog !! One Should Really Keep these things In Mind During Lasik Surgery. An Awesome Blog For those who were looking to undergo for an lasik surgery . Thank You And Keep Sharing!

    Reply
  2. Thank you for sharing your lasik story. Thanks for sharing every minute detail of LASIK. This will help a lot of people all around the world who are actively looking for Lasik treatment. Really Impressed with the way you wrote this article.
    Thank you once again!!! Keep Posting!!!!

    Reply
  3. My eyes got injury yesterday and feel like stinging now. How I can manage this pain and stinging? thank you. Kindly hear your respond soon. Please floaterlaser.com

    Reply
  4. I will be on surgery in a few months cause problem on my right eyes. Thank you doctor for helping me. Excellent work. The article you have shared is very informative.

    Reply
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    Reply
  6. Everything you need to know about lasik eye surgery are really great article. I’ll be on surgery in a few months cause problem on my right eyes and make more nervous than before. Thank you for making these tittle and little bit decrease my nervous. Keep it up a good works. laatjeogenlaseren.nl/prijs-en-kosten-ooglaseren

    Reply
  7. Everything you need to know about lasik eye surgery are totally great. I will planning shedule to do lasik surgery for a month and I want to know what I should do after surgery. Thank you for sharing this with us. Thank you so much. floaterlaser.com/tarieven/tarieven-onverzekerde-zorg

    Reply
  8. My grandmother said the lasik surgery was too pain after surgery. Its not problem because her get recovery so well. I’m glad to hear about your experience. This article so inspiring me. Thank you for sharing. floaterlaser.com/tarieven/tarieven-onverzekerde-zorg

    Reply
  9. Thank you for sharing your Lasik journey with us, Deb! Everyone’s Lasik experience varies, but every patient has told me that they would do it all over again if they had to! I’m glad you’re able to adventure freely with your fresh set of eyes!

    Reply
  10. Honest and entertaining write up. Glad you shared such a personal experience like this. Hopefully this will help others get over the fear of LASIK.

    Reply
  11. Amazing! Thank you for sharing your experience! Lasik is not very complex surgery but it has some ?nconveniences. My husband had Lasik surgery on both eyes last year. I can`t forget how much he complains next two days that his vision is blurry 🙂 But this effect was temporary, thankfully. As soon as the blurriness vanished, he stopped complaining. Wish you a sunny day!

    Reply
  12. Great article Deb! I still remember the eye mapping process when I had my first lasik consultation at a lasik surgery centre in Stoney Creek called See by Intravision. Sad to hear about the dry eyes though, hope it’s cleared out by now. I had dry eyes for over a month, and then it just sort of went away by itself.

    Reply
    • Thanks Cosper. My right eye is still dry 6 months later. They tell me my tear ducts are blocked, so I’m working on steaming them. I still don’t have 20/20 in my right eye either. I think I’m 25/20 in that eye. In a year if it’s not fixed, I think I’ll have to have a consult because since I paid $5000, I don’t want to have to go back to glasses.

      Reply
  13. Thank you for sharing your Lasik story. I’ve been on the fence for years for the same reasons as you and I’ve been wearing glasses for 30 years. Maybe this is the year I take the plunge.

    Reply
  14. I had my Lasik operation two years ago and I am very happy with the result as well! I took forever to decide whether to do it or not, but I am so glad I finally did. Wearing glasses or contacts mainly bothered me when travelling and when doing sports! I didn’t worry about the price, I did a lot of research and had it done at a clinic where the pilots from the national airline and air force have their eyes done. I guess I spent an extra penny there compared to other clinics 😉

    My only complaint is as well that my eyes get dry a bit faster than before when working on the computer or when travelling on a plan. But I can definitely life with that!

    Happy travels!

    Reply
  15. Congrats Deb! I think, Lasik surgery is the best thing if you are taking enough precautions before the surgery. I had my corrective laser eye surgery in Evergreen eye center, an eye care clinic in Washington 3 years ago without any risk. My surgeon advised me to stop using lotions and perfumes in order to reduce the possibility of infection. I was so scared about the surgery, but that was the best thing that I have ever done. Immediately after the surgery my eye itches and feel some discomfort and I had a blurry vision, but the condition improved considerably within a few days. Doctor prescribed me an eye drops for a few months. Now I have better vision, and I am satisfied with the surgery.

    Reply
  16. I admire this brave decision! I hope you’re well and waiting for new stories from your travels.

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  17. Josh got his lasik done in Malaysia for $2000, which was $5000 less then what they wanted in Australia. His vision has been awesome ever since, best thing he could of done. So happy for you!

    Reply
    • Wow! That’s a huge savings. I like that you shared that because a lot of people say, ooh, don’t get surgery in foreign places. But spots like Thailand and Malaysia are so far ahead of us. I would feel comfortable getting my eyes done in Malaysia too. Glad he has had awesome vision. I’m looking forward to see how mine goes in the coming months.

      Reply
  18. Congrats Deb! Like the other ladies said Lasik is life changing. I got it done 6 years ago now, and I still say it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Now my eyes are better than 20/20 when they were originally around 20/800 according to my eye doctor. It’s a wonderful feeling waking up and not having to grab for glasses or worse feel dried out contacts in your eyes. Were you able to get them certified? I paid an extra $500 to certify them for life. Now if they change even 1 degree the laser eye center will fix them at no charge to me.

    Reply
  19. My admiration to you for your bravery. I have considered this myself, but I am both nearsighted and farsighted, so I could only have the operation done for one or the other; whereas, I would still need glasses for the the other. It did not seem like the right thing for me. I envy you with your ability to travel around without the need of glasses. Congratulation!

    Reply
  20. Congrats on taking the plunge, Deb! I got LASIK surgery four years ago and, like Laura said, it was also the best thing I’ve done for myself. The only regret is not having it done sooner. The freedom that you get from not having to worry about glasses and contact lenses is priceless specially when traveling to remote places and doing active stuff. Well done!

    Reply
    • Thanks Bianca, I have heard that a lot from people that they wish they had it done sooner. I wonder if I did it sooner if my eyes wouldn’t have been so dry. I think that maybe all the years of contacts dried out my eyes and now I am paying the price. Hopefully my tears ducts start flowing naturally again.

      Reply
  21. Deb
    I thought I too was a candidate and at the last minute they had to switch me to PRK which is a much more invasive procedure with longer healing time. I did the two eyes different to get readin as well and I am happy with the marginal impact on long distance sight to give up reading glasses on every surface 🙂 My biggest problem is dry eyes which continues after 5 years. I hope your LASIK doesn’t have the same long term issue. But it is still worth it – especially when traveling and owing more active stuff. Good luck on recovery. Linda

    Reply
    • Hey Linda, I actually had the option for PRK. They said that it is actually quite good and possibly better in the long run. There was a young girl there that was having PRK done and she (and the doctor) told us it was because she is in police academy and PRK was better for her job. Interesting eh? Bummer to hear about the dry eyes, I have quite dry eyes now. Especially my right one, But then again, my right eye was quite dry before surgery and that was a big reason I wanted to have it done, I couldn’t wear my contacts for an extended period of time anymore. I’m a bit bummed that I have to wear reading glasses now, but we’ll see if that goes away. They said it might. (even though I will have to wear them again down the line) I’ll keep you posted.

      Reply
  22. Getting lasik was the best thing I ever did for myself. It was life-changing and everything is so much better without the hassle of glasses and contacts, especially while traveling. I had it done 7 years ago now and I’ve never had a single problem with my eye sight since. It’s amazing. I’m so happy for you! You won’t regret it.

    Reply
    • That is great to hear Laura! I do always wonder about the long term effects. So far so good except for the dry eyes and one eye isn’t quite 20/20 yet so it’s still trying to find it’s focus. the doctors told me that it can take time, so we’ll see how it goes at my 6 month check up.

      Reply
  23. I’ve been using glasses for almost 10 years now and it’s a pain! I’m near-sighted and it’s so hard for me to use my glasses even if I can barely see. I only used them while going to classes and I know surgery is the best option, but it scares me so much! I can’t handle the idea. Thanks for the post though, coincidently I have an appointment to check my formula next week, maybe I’ll come around and ask about getting surgery.

    Reply
    • Glad we could help a little Laura. I was scared too. I don’t want tell anyone to get it done as it’s a personal choice, but I am glad of it now. I wasn’t able to wear makeup because the mascara bothered my contacts, I had to always look for my glasses in the middle of the night and now I have freedom. My eyes are dry though and I’m not happy about that, but people have told me to give it six months to a year. I’m nearly three months in, so we’ll see how it goes.

      Reply