I finally got Laser Eye Surgery! Three appointments, six months wait, several scars and a new pair of glasses later, I am, for the first time in 21 years glasses free. In actual fact I have 20/20 vision.
Why Laser Eye Surgery?
I have always worn glasses. Granted at the beginning, when I was 7, I lied to my mam saying I couldn’t see the board at school because one my friends recently got glasses and I wanted to be like her, but when I got my eyes tested I found I was short sighted. Short sighted means I couldn’t see things far away but could see things up close.
As the years went on my eye sight began to get progressively worse resulting in me having to wear glasses all the time. As a teenager with acne and braces this is just what I needed to write me off as ever being a desired creature to the opposite sex, so from the age of 15/16 I started to wear contact lenses.
I wore contact lenses 24/7, up until last year a lot of people never knew I was a full time spectacles wearer. BUT tragedy stuck in October 2017 and I began to have issues with my lenses. Long story short and a couple of infections later I found out that I had dry eyes and due to this I would not be able to wear contact lenses anymore.
I cried a ridiculous amount over this, even wrote a mellow dramatic blog which you can read here.
This spurred me on to take the plunge and get laser eye surgery.
I chose to get my laser eye surgery with Optilase, who came highly recommended and have a refer a friend scheme that deducts €100 off your total cost.
I got the LASIK Wavefront IDesign with Intralase procedure done which cost me €3,490. €200 of which was paid at my initial consultation.
However you can claim money back at the end of the year on the MED1 Health Expenses form.
If you are thinking of getting laser eye surgery with Optilase feel free to use my name ‘Aoife Heffron’ as your refer a friend. I will happily call them to confirm, just contact me through any of my social media channels, all linked below, or through the contact section on the blog. You get €100 off and I get €100 for the referral.
LASIK (description taken from Optilase form)
LASIK involves the creation of a flap of corneal tissue, which is then lifted up and the excimer laser is then used to reshape the corneal bed. Creating the flap requires gentle suction to keep the eye from moving during this step of the surgery.
Intralase (description taken from Optilase form)
Intralase utilizes advanced ‘blade-free’ Femtosecond laser technology to create a separation layer within the cornea. Once opened, this layer then creates the flap.
Do’s & Don’ts
- Do Eat before surgery
- Don’t wear make up, ensure eyes are clean from make up
- No Tan
- No Contact Lenses for 10 days prior to surgery
They advise that you have something to eat as you are offered Valium before surgery. This is something I availed of and would recommend to anyone going for laser eye surgery to take advantage of.
I was nervous and the Valium got rid of those nerves. I even felt relaxed to the point of falling asleep during the final stages of the surgery. (if it wasn’t for the clamps holding my eyes open of course.)
The surgery itself takes between 12-17 minutes and is completely pain-free. The surgery team are incredible, they make you feel at ease, keeping you calm and up to date on the stages of your surgery throughout the process.
Anesthetic eye drops are used to numb the eye and surrounding area before the procedure.
You are lying down for the entire surgery and are moved between two machines.
The first is to make the initial incision in the flap of your corneal. This is where I experienced some discomfort as the machine applies pressure to your eye to flatten out your cornea.
You are given a stress ball and told to squeeze it and not your eye, so during this process that is what I did.
Once the incision is made in both eyes you are move to the second machine. The Laser.
It sounds scary but I found this process free of any discomfort and extremely interesting.
Your lids are taped down and a clamp is applied. I wasn’t aware there was a clamp on my eye until it was removed! You are told to focus on the blinking light and the surgeon works his magic in resurfacing and reshaping your eye and cornea.
The light began to move on me so I was trying to follow it with my eye, but I then realised that this was the surgeon moving my cornea and reattaching it.
A lot of drops are applied throughout this process and you will see a small wire, is the only way I can described it, that is moved along your eye from top to bottom. This was actually soothing. Then its time for the laser which is more a noise then anything else. The process is then repeated for the next eye.
My left eye required two blasts of the laser, which did result in a brief waft of burning up to my partially numb nose. (the numbing drops can also numb your nostrils)
After surgery the surgeon took me back into the examination room to check my eyes, particularly my right one which still had two faint scars. Should the scarring remain after surgery it presented the danger that gas may escape through said scars and dislodge the work on the cornea the surgeon had just completed.
Thankfully Dr Heinz is a master at his work and the scars were completely eliminated first time round so I was good to be sent on my merry blurry way.
I could see, albeit a tad blurry, directly after surgery. I walked back to reception where I took my painkillers (solpadeine is thee best!), put on my sunglasses, thanked the wonderful staff in Optilase and left with my bag of drops and goggles.
It was a sunny day in Dublin so it didn’t take long for the pain and stinging to kick in, however once the solpadeine began to work and I got to the toll bridge near an overcast County Louth the pain had subsided and I could read the car registrations in front of me.
As I’ve cats in the house I kept my goggles on for the duration of the evening.
Healing & After Care
- Two sets of drops for one week
- Blink drops for at least two weeks – 8 times a day
- No eye make-up for two weeks
- Sleep in Goggles provided for two weeks
- Sunglasses on once you are outdoors
- No touching your eyes
- Do not allow water into your eyes when showering
- Clean your face with a damp face cloth avoiding the eye area
- Avoid dusty environments
For one week after surgery you must use two sets of drops, one four times a day, one six times a day. You must also use Blink artificial moisture drops as many Laser Eye Surgery patients experience dry eyes. Stay vigilant throughout this part of the process it is extremely important!
Light sensitivity is another side effect throughout the healing process, however I got away with no light sensitivity whatsoever. Despite this I continued to wear my sunglasses whenever I was outdoors, to protect my eyes from dust etc.
I slept in my goggles at night for two weeks. They are annoying, but its to stop any rubbing of your eye lids.
I was back at work on my computer two days after surgery.
For those who spend their full 8hour working day on computers, I took regular breaks (which we are all supposed to do) every hour in the beginning. Just a trip to get water, the bathroom or to make a coffee. A couple of minutes away from the screen made all the difference.
Was it worth it? Would I recommend it? 100 times yes!!
For such a short surgery with little recovery time and life-changing results I would highly recommend getting Laser Eye Surgery.
I couldn’t recommend Optilase any higher for your Laser Eye Surgery. From my initial consultation, throughout all the issues with my right eye, to the surgery and the follow up after care, they were nothing short of incredible.