Sunday 9 August 2015

So it's pretty much been a week since I experienced the most uncomfortable 10 minutes of my life. Yes that is a slight exaggeration considering I got jaw surgery like 4 years ago. Ever since I was 15 I'd said to my mum about wanting Laser Eye Surgery for my 21st Birthday (or a boob job, but that kinda faded) and I was lucky enough to get it done this month. Anyway, I thought I'd try and write this post for any of you who are interested in getting it done and just answer a few general questions!

*excuse the typos as i'm practically writing this with my eyes half closed*

Before LASIK..... 

Lasik is the name given for the laser eye surgery procedure, whereas there are other methods of eye surgery depending if you have cataracts etc. I had my consultation with Dr Carratala a week prior to my surgery, and in that time I just had to make sure I wore my glasses as opposed to my contact lenses as they actually change the shape of your cornea. The day of the consultation I just had a couple of eye exams done through those uncomfortable chin machines and reading the letters off the board (this is hard enough for me in English, somehow it took me a while to translate certain letters in Spanish) 

This took about 20 minutes and then I met with the doctor who told me I was all good to go and we could do the operation whenever, which ended up being 3 days later! I was not mentally prepared for this. 

In that time you're just expected not to wear any make-up, and have to use certain antibacterial drops the two days leading up to the surgery. 

Day of LASIK.... 

The day of I rested in bed until I had to get ready to head off to the clinic in Algeciras, Spain. By this point the nerves had kicked in, I had stupidly googled the procedure and contemplated watching a YouTube video but then had to shut it off after 10 seconds. Again they put some drops and "general anaesthetic" drops to numb your eyes and dress you in some funky scrubs. 

When it came to the surgery, it was probably all done in 20 minutes, but not going to lie it felt like forever. It wasn't painful, it was more the fact I didn't know if I was going to throw up, faint or both. They lay you down and you're greeted with about 5 different bright lights above you, and well you can't exactly blink when they've held your eyes open. 


The procedure is pretty simple, they do one eye at a time holding it open with a metal spectrum thing and this is when you're probably going to want to blink but can't. They make you focus on a green light during the operation whilst they get on with it. You're awake, so you can still see all these weird things coming towards your eyes but you go in and out of focus. They place a suction ring over your eye which basically vacuums it so you can't move your eyeball around. The pressure does feel uncomfortable, but tolerable. They then slice a thin layer and create a flap in order to reshape your cornea using the laser. During this your vision is blurred and don't worry you won't have a lightsaber looking thing coming towards your eye. You just hear pulses and smell burning hair (eye). They then close the flap and proceed to brushing, smoothing and putting more drops in your eyes. 

After this you will find that you can't keep your eyes open for long as they will probably sting like f. So it's best if you have someone who can drive you home as you won't be able to yourself obviously. BRING SUNGLASSES! Or it will feel like you're a vampire in broad daylight. 

After Lasik....

When I got home, you're instructed to sleep for about 3 or 4 hours and when you wake you should already be able to see pretty clearly. You will also be given 3 sets of drops that you'll have to apply for around 10 days every hour or two. 

The morning after, I could already see pretty clearly but still had certain "cloudy spots" in my eyes that have gradually disappeared. You'll find your eyes will be quite dry which is what the artificial tear drops are for. 

Having been a week since my operation, I'm still having to wear sunglasses outdoors and find it more comfortable to watch TV through my sunglasses as your eyes will be sensitive to light for a while, (Which is why I'm writing this post through my 50c sunglasses from Walmart. 


When can I get it done?

The general rule is that you should wait until you are 21 as before then your vision is changing with your hormones and shiz. I've got it done at age 20 but i'm turning 21 in 3 weeks (woo!) so it didn't make a great difference considering i've had the same eye gradient for a while.

Did it hurt? 

As mentioned, it was more an uncomfortable experience than actually painful, and it might have been more of a psychological pain for me because I was so aware of what was happening after searching the procedure that I found it hard to concentrate on anything else. (I tried singing a song in my head then found it going to the rhythm of the laser clicks which made it worse) 

What was your vision like before?

Pretty bad, I'd been using glasses since I was 5 and then started using daily lenses when I was 15. Hence why a lot of people didn't know there was anything wrong with my vision in the first place. I suffered from short-sightedness (myopia) and had a -5.5 graduation. 

How long did it take?

Maximum of 10 minutes per eye depending on how much of your cornea you need reshaping, if you need a lens inserted etc. 

How much did it cost?

2000 euros (currently around £1500) including the free consultation. This is the same cost for any type of LASIK even if you suffer from astigmatism etc. 

Where did you get it done?

I had my LES done with the Carratala clinic in Algeciras, but they also have a clinic in La Linea where they can meet for consultations. My dad and gran both had it done here and have had no problem with it after 15 years. 

What should you avoid after surgery?

EYE MAKE-UP! This i'm finding pretty annoying considering I like doing my make-up when I go out, but it has to be done, for about one to two weeks. You're meant to avoid using your phone, laptop, TV etc. as you're more likely to strain your vision but i've found myself fine using my phone after 5 days although for short periods of time. I was also able to go to the cinema last night (Fantastic Four was great and you should all go watch it) but found it more comfortable to watch it through my sunglasses. So basically just see what you're comfortable with. 

How long does it last?

It should last a lifetime, unless your vision drastically changes. If you were to need a second operation they won't charge you anything else as it pretty much falls under the guarantee. The only thing you may need is reading glasses in like 30/40 years! 

Are you pleased with the results?

YES! I definitely recommend it to anyone who's sick of wearing glasses or contacts daily as it just makes life so much easier. It's amazing how such a short and common procedure can give you something so important back as your eyesight. The recovery is pretty quick and hey, I could now be a pilot if I had the brains and skills for it. 

I hope this post has been somewhat insightful for some of you, and if you have any other questions you know how to contact me! (Or just leave it in the comments below)


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