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Home > eyes > PRK – 4 Weeks Later

PRK – 4 Weeks Later

December 18, 2007 Leave a comment Go to comments

Four weeks have passed since having my eyes dissolved and zapped. There was significant improvement over that first week following the surgery, but the past three weeks have shown improvements so slight that it is next to impossible to know whether my vision is better one day or the next. The cumulative affect is greater and I do say that my eyesight has definitely increased in the three past weeks, but nowhere near the acuity I had with glasses or contacts… yet.

If I had to put a percentage on it, I would rate my current vision at about sixty percent of optimal. For two and a half weeks, I have slowly clambered my way up to being a contributing member of society within the realm of operating independently. I’ve regained the ability to drive safely and work staring at a computer screen for a full day’s time, albeit with a major increase in font size. I wasn’t very comfortable driving at night until about a week ago when either I got used to the smudgy lights, or my vision got good enough to drive safely in a starbursted world.

Ghosting is still the biggest problem. This goes away with time, and from some reports I’ve read, mine is still healing faster than others. Halos around lights at night have lessened in thickness and brightness and have turned more into starbursts. Such oddities are limited more towards distant, smaller lights rather than the brake lights ahead of me. They still exist on bigger lights, but are absorbed by the size of them.

I have gotten used to reading in a big font size, although last week I was able to move up one resolution setting. It feels like I may be operating at this capacity for a few more weeks as my eyes continue to heal and the ghosting dissipates.

My left eye is definitely healing faster than the right, which seems to be drier on average. I’ve been told that dryness can play a significant role in a speedy recovery, so I have been dousing my eyes with the preservative-free drops quite often. My pamphlet said that after three weeks I can switch to regular eyedrops (with preservatives). Call it paranoia, but I’m still using the preservative-free kind even though they cost an arm and a leg.

Today was the last day of taking steroid drops, so it’s just rewetting drops from here on out. Next week I go in for the one month checkup, and I should report back by then. Strangely enough, with all the ghosting going on, I think my left eye may be nearing the 20/20 vision mark when I focus just right. I can still see duplicate images, but I can tell the center image is much crisper. I can do something similar with the right eye, but can tell it’s worse and farther behind than the right.

I’ll give another update next week after my eye appointment. Happy holidays!

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Categories: eyes Tags: , ,
  1. Robert
    May 12, 2012 at 2:46 am

    I’m at the 3.5 week mark. I only had my right eye done because my left eye didn’t need correction.

    When people say they have “ghosting”, I’d like to know how bad it is. Mine is very bad, especially at distances. If I look at a stop sign from half a block away, I see two stop signs. There is the primary stop sign and then a second image of the stop sign, at half the intensity, just up and to the left of the primary image. The brighter it is, the worse it appears. In bright sunshine, I basically am seeing double of everything. Last week my eye doctor said, “It’s about 1 diapoter of astigmatism. We see this. It can often get better over the next few months. It will be interesting to see where you are at at week 6.”

    “Can often get better”?! “Interesting”?!

    This is freaking me out. This ghost to the upper left of everything I see has been consistently there for the last 2 weeks. It isn’t changing, diminishing, or going away. I feel sick when I look at things. Blurriness is way more tolerable than double vision. I feel that something went wrong and I am left with this astigmatism and will need glasses/contacts more than I did before just to function.

    Did anyone else have it this bad? And did it get better??

    • Erika
      August 5, 2012 at 2:38 am

      I’m 3 weeks out and I have the same problem. I look at the moon and I see two. One image is slightly below the first image so that it looks more like a figure 8. I haven’t seen the doctor since my 3 day appt but am scheduled to go back next week. I was about a -10 with 1 D of astigmatism in each eye and I’m told the stronger the prescription, the longer the recovery. I’m trying to stay positive but this double vision is nauseating. I’m so grateful for this blog because I know it will get better and I appreciate the support.

      • Robert
        August 5, 2012 at 12:52 pm

        I’m back… Now it has been 3.5 months, and I STILL have this bad ghosting. It’s seriousness depends on the distance to which I’m focusing and the amount of light. Before the surgery my astigmatism was 0.50-0.75 diopters. Now it is 1.0 diopters in the opposite direction!

        It’s most noticeable at infinity on a bright, sunny day when driving. I use glasses for driving. It’s not as bad when I focus at, say, 12 feet or less.

        My doctor recently said that it might take 6 months to settle down. But, at the same time, he suggested, “If you need a touch up you’ll have to wait a year, anyway.” He seemed surprised by the results and said, “Nobody ends up with WORSE vision…”

        Well, I did. I’m very disappointed. I’ve very doubtful that this condition will improve. Do I even bother going through this surgery again in a year? Will I end up with even worse results?

  2. JT
    June 20, 2012 at 1:00 am

    wow, I don’t have that at all… so sorry to not be able to give you input in a good way. I see a tiny bit of ghosting when I read type on white screen or page and that’s it. I am week 3 today… I have blurriness off and on but no double to speak of… let us know if it got any better?

  3. MRC
    August 29, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    I did PRK 4 weeks ago and just now it started to get better. It’s still a little blurry but I think its getting better. I was -5 in both eyes. In my 3 weeks app I was seeing 20/35 and 20/40. I’ll be seeing the Dr again next week. I think I’m seeing a little better now.

    • September 4, 2012 at 12:46 pm

      I have heard that it can take up to six months to fully recover, but often there is a full recovery in three months. I am three weeks into my recovery on my right eye. I had another doctor do two lasik procedures on it and on the last procedure it looks like he tore the flap when replacing it into position after the procedure (so I only got 20/25 and my astigmatism was still there). It was frustrating as I did not want to revisit having my eyes done again. The problem the first doctor created was that the torn flap created a lot od scar tissue so that lasik is no longer an option. So now I am having a different doctor (who comes recommended by other doctors and people I’ve talked to) do the prk. I still am not 20/25 in that eye (probably 20/40 right now) but I have not had any ghosting. I cannot read print with my other eye shut as there is still a lot of blurriness. Though I have been told by my doctor that I should get 20/20 or better and the astigmatism should be resolved by three months if not earlier. I would recommend researching different doctors and getting the best one you think is available to you. There are good doctors and others that probably shouldn’t be practicing. An RN former colleague of mine had once said a lot of them are just butchers. That said, there has been improvement in the procedure and I haven’t heard of anyone not getting at least 20/40 vision after a follow up correction.

  4. Kiana
    January 28, 2013 at 11:15 am

    I am 3 weeks and 1/2 and I am not happy yet. I still miss my vision witn contact lens at this point. Ghosting is killing me. But once again thank you for this blog and i will stay positive.

  5. Robert.
    January 29, 2013 at 12:26 am

    I’m back… It is 9 months since my PRK on my right eye. As described above, I had bad ghosting after my procedure. It never did go away and my astigmatism ended up being slightly worse than before the surgery. My doctors discussed the situation a couple months ago and concluded that I probably need to be re-lasered. But before proceeding, my surgeon wanted to first perform a surgical procedure where my epethelium is removed but no lasering is performed. He speculated that the epethelium may have healed funny, with some scar tissue, after my original procedure. By removing it and letting it re-heal, we could rule that out as the cause of the ghosting.

    It’s now 3 weeks since the epethelium has been removed in my 2nd procedure. The ghosting is still there. I can tell the astigmatism has not improved. If anything, it is worse and I’m actually seeing 3 ghost images. Great.

    So, in a couple months, I may have to go back in for another PRK. But this time I’m going to get a 2nd opinion.

    This is not fun! I’m bummed out that I had to be one of the few who had terrible results.

    • Robert.
      March 29, 2013 at 2:36 pm

      I’m back… It’s been 2.5 months since my epethelium was removed in my 2nd procedure. Amazinging, the astigmatism has decreased significantly! It was 1.75 and now it is 0.50. This means that ghosting has been dramatically reduced. It’s not perfect, but I can live with this. It will be interesting to see how my eye will be in a few months.

  6. Crystal
    March 20, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    Thanks for your blog, I am 2.5 weeks post PRK and continue to check in here to confirm that my issues are ‘normal’. I’m healing pretty well, but missing the clarity contacts gave me and really annoyed with the halos-ghosting-smudginess (not sure what to call it) of lights at night. Thanks again!

    • Crystal
      March 29, 2013 at 3:28 pm

      Ugh! Well I WAS healing well and then at the 3+ week mark, I got the haze and ghosting at night has gotten a lot worse. I’m feeling discouraged with a tinge of regret. I think the hard part is being happy with my vision and then it getting worse. I know ‘patience’ is the key word for PRK folks, but… So, has anyone had haze come weeks in, is that normal, can it go away? Can haze be corrected? Thanks all.

  7. April 8, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    Thanks very much for sharing your experience… it seems that most surgeons don’t explain as much about the recovery process as they could. I’m coming up on the 4 week mark in a few days time, so I thought I’d share where I’m at.

    My surgery went great and I only had a day or two of pain, and after 2.5 weeks my left eye was razor sharp (though probably only 20/30 on the chart). After 3.5 weeks my left eye is nearly as good as my wife’s bifocal vision (she had Lasik 7 years ago and was assessed as being 20/20).

    My right eye, on the other hand, is taking its sweet time and is fairly blurry at all distances. I too work at a computer all day, and I employ a combination of closing my right eye so as to read with my left (quite annoying) and making the fonts really big. I don’t really have halos or proper double vision, just blurriness… but if it wasn’t for accounts like yours I’d be freaking out that my surgery had failed and I was doomed to a lifetime of poor depth perception and closing one eye to read stuff. As it is I’m a little bit nervous but just trying to trust that it will come good in time.

  8. April 8, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    Thanks very much for sharing your experience… it seems that most surgeons don’t explain as much about the recovery process as they could. I’m coming up on the 4 week mark in a few days time, so I thought I’d share where I’m at.

    My surgery went great and I only had a day or two of pain, and after 2.5 weeks my left eye was razor sharp (though probably only 20/30 on the chart). After 3.5 weeks my left eye is nearly as good as my wife’s bifocal vision (she had Lasik 7 years ago and was assessed as being 20/20).

    My right eye, on the other hand, is taking its sweet time and is fairly blurry at all distances. I too work at a computer all day, and I employ a combination of closing my right eye so as to read with my left (quite annoying) and making the fonts really big. I don’t really have halos or proper double vision, just blurriness… but if it wasn’t for accounts like yours I’d be freaking out that my surgery had failed and I was doomed to a lifetime of poor depth perception and closing one eye to read stuff. As it is I’m a little bit nervous but just trying to trust that it will come good in time.

  9. Karen Horstmeyer
    April 19, 2013 at 12:41 am

    all my DR said was the recovery is longer than lasik. If I had read this ahead of time I probably would have stayed with low power glasses after cateract surgery, I had PRK on 29 March. Luckily I am not seeing ghost images, but it is hard seeing the computer at work and I can not enlarge the font on my screen. Three months after cateract surgery my left eye has a “white cloud’ that “circulates” over my left eye that the DR can not see and is still there after my PRK surgery for “tweeking ” my vision. I am so frustrated with the weirdness in my left eye but my vision is still better in my left than the right after PRK BUT I still can not see as well as before my PRK surgery

    • Teressa Plank
      March 12, 2014 at 4:28 pm

      Karen, I realize your post is almost a year old, but I am really wondering if your eyes have gotten better by now??? I had cataract surgery on both eyes in March and April of 2013. The recovery period was very long for the right eye. Now I am looking into PRK to fix about a +2.00 astigmatism in both eyes. I’d be devastated if I saw even worse after PRK. I also have Type I diabetes, which I’ve had for 44 years.

  10. Jeff
    May 19, 2013 at 7:29 am

    I had PRK about 7 months ago and had bad results. Both eyes were over corrected and I was totally unable to read and also unable to see anything at a distance. I waited patiently as the doctor instructed but my eyes got worse before getting better. I think they actually were getting better but what I needed was them to get worse to see clearer. Better meant stronger which my prescription was too strong already. It was like wearing contact lenses they putting on your near sighted glasses at the same time. My eyes required reading glasses of 1.75 for distance and 3.25 for reading. It seemed I got a different persons prescription instead of mine. I was suppose to get mono-vision where I could read in my left eye, both eyes ended up with the same over correction. I felt this was something that no one else in the world had experienced as I used to read perfect without glasses or contacts as my vision was near sighted with 8.50- contact lenses for distance.
    I decided to go for the enhancement for tweeking one eye and it has been 10 days now. I am happy to say that the vision has improved. This time I noticed they put your name, address date of birth on a name tag for each patient. I recommend this for every doctor’s office. I really think this time it is the correct amount of correction needed and I will be able to see clearly eventually. I will probably do the left eye once this one heals completely. I did have the cloud on the right eye before the 2nd surgery but it has now gone away. I think I may actually be able to live without glasses one day.

  11. Jeff
    May 19, 2013 at 7:32 am

    I had PRK about 7 months ago and had bad results. Both eyes were over corrected and I was totally unable to read and also unable to see anything at a distance. I waited patiently as the doctor instructed but my eyes got worse before getting better. I think they actually were getting better but what I needed was them to get worse to see clearer. Better meant stronger which my prescription was too strong already. It was like wearing contact lenses then putting on your near sighted glasses at the same time. My eyes required reading glasses of 1.75 for distance and 3.25 for reading. It seemed I got a different persons prescription instead of mine. I was suppose to get mono-vision where I could read in my left eye, both eyes ended up with the same over correction. I felt this was something that no one else in the world had experienced as I used to read perfect without glasses or contacts as my vision was near sighted with 8.50- contact lenses for distance.
    I decided to go for the enhancement for tweeking one eye and it has been 10 days now. I am happy to say that the vision has improved. This time I noticed they put your name, address date of birth on a name tag for each patient. I recommend this for every doctor’s office. I really think this time it is the correct amount of correction needed and I will be able to see clearly eventually. I will probably do the left eye once this one heals completely. I did have the cloud on the right eye before the 2nd surgery but it has now gone away. I think I may actually be able to live without glasses one day.

  12. Laurie
    May 20, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    I had PRK 8 weeks ago on my right eye. I am very discouraged because I have the hazy and blurry vision still. Recently I have the double vision and feel sick to my stomach. I still have to wear my glasses for distance and close my right eye to read. About 12 years ago I had the lasik procedure and was extremely happy. The reason for prk was I was getting nearsighted again and was not a candidate because of the flap issue. My doctor says I just have to be patient.

  13. mark
    June 19, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    been 35 days and i am about to panic, i thought i would be stable by now! i had lasik 10 years ago and went in for an enhansement for my right eye. eye is blurry and vision comes and goes, mostly goes, i went in for a check up yesterday and my vision had regressed from two weeks before that. i used regular eye drops that my eye doctor gave me and have been concerned they might have messed me up, i am back to using the preservative free now, hopefully not to late!

    • Crystal
      June 19, 2013 at 6:30 pm

      I would say… don’t panic yet. I’m 3.5 months in and still stabalizing. Although I’ve had issues with high pressures from the steroids and thin corneas. I was 20/20 after surgery and hit my bottom at 20/70, now back up to 20/25. The lesson behind PRK is patience. Ugh… so hard when it is your vision.

      • mark
        June 19, 2013 at 6:43 pm

        thank you, Robert, patience never has been my strong suit

      • mark
        June 19, 2013 at 6:43 pm

        thank you crystal!

      • mark
        June 19, 2013 at 6:46 pm

        thank you, Crystal!

    • Robert
      June 19, 2013 at 6:33 pm

      Hang in there Mark. I had Lasik in 1998 with perfect results. But I needed a touch up to my right eye in recent years, as described in my previous posts. The result was terrible. My vision was a blurry disaster with double-vision or ghosting. It didn’t improve – even after 8 months.

      So my doctors decided to have me in to remove the epethelium but not relaser the eye. The removal of the epethelium is standard procedure before zapping it with the laser. After this 2nd PRK procedure, which happened in January, 2013, my vision was still a mess. I was sure I was doomed. But then, at around 2 months, my vision started to get dramatically better. Now it’s very good.

      So why did my eye not heal properly after the first PRK yet turned out great after the second PRK procedure? I don’t know. But there is one thing I did differently. I noticed the the humidity in my office is very low. My eye was healing with 30% RH air. So, for the second PRK procedure, I set up a humidifier right beside my desk. It raised the humidity to 45% RH. My eye did not feel dry and scratchy like it did after the first procedure. And I ended up with way better vision. Coincidence? I don’t know, but I recommend making sure that, after laser surgery, you make sure you have 40+% RH for the first couple months.

    • mark
      June 20, 2013 at 6:13 pm

      been 36 days, woke up this morning and my vision was 100 percent better!!! thank you Robert and Crystal for the kind words during my major panic yesterday.

      • Jeff
        June 21, 2013 at 1:14 pm

        Great that your vision has improved Mark. PRK is such an experience. I am now going through my send round with the enhancement and it’s been a roller coaster ride. I flew up north over the weekend, now that I’m back my vision has gone back to be about the same as what I had before the enhancement done back in May. I am scheduled for another enhancement on the left eye in July.

      • Mark
        June 21, 2013 at 8:04 pm

        i had less trouble with a hip replacement than i have with PRK, the healing time was quicker! good luck, Jeff, it is quite the ordeal!

      • Crystal
        June 25, 2013 at 3:59 pm

        Glad to hear it, however… is it still? It has been 5 days and it is the PRK roller coaster. I think I’m 20/20! Wow, what a ride.

  14. Undine
    June 26, 2013 at 8:13 am

    I had custom PRK three weeks ago and love it. Great experience. Surgery did not hurt or so, the contacts were in for four days and felt SUPER comfortable throughout. Did NOT have any pain whatsoever in the days afterwards and I am healing really good. I was nearsighted (-3.5 and -3.75 with Astigmatismn), the left eye ( got six seconds more laser treatment) is trailing a bit behind but all in all I am seeing fine. The crispness is still missing and fine print is hard to read but otherwise I am completely functioning and doing my daily stuff. At my 2. Check up I was 20/70 and 20/50, one week afterwards I was 20/25 and 20/30. I am expected to hit at least 20/20 within the next two weeks. Don’t have any halo, just slight ghosting sometimes in one eye, but only when I am tired. So far I am super happy!

  15. Renee Arora
    September 10, 2013 at 11:41 am

    I had LASEK on August 19, 2013. It has been slow but when they removed my bandage contacts a week later, my vision was 20/50. I started driving on Sept 6 and thought everything was going fine, but then yesterday noticed that my vision has gotten a little bit hazy and blurry in my right eye. Going back in today to get checked out. The doctor’s office said what I am experiencing is expected but I’m still going to get it checked out. I really don’t wnat to regret my decision – I had been wearing glasses since I was ten!

  16. Rachelle
    September 12, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    Hi there. I am just under 2 weeks after I had PRK and the docs say my vision is 20/20 but I am so sensitive to light that turning on the light in the bathroom is painful. Driving, particularly in the morning is horrible – I have to wear the sunglasses and the non script clip on ones from my old glasses overtop – like I’m driving with the shades on and holding the clip on portion to cover my eyes. And I still have problems keeping my eyes open – I have to squint so much I get daily headaches.

    Anyone else have such severe sensitivity? I should mention I also have light blue eyes.

    • Jeff
      September 13, 2013 at 8:07 am

      It’s been about 10 months since I originally had my PRK surgery. Both eyes were over corrected so in May this year I had the right eye re-done. I’m glad to say I am now seeing 20/20 in this eye. There are still days where it gets fuzzy but I’m still seeing improvement daily. The left eye I had done for reading. This eye was done about 2 months ago and I am still reading perfect. Hopefully it doesn’t get any worse but right now I am very happy with the results. For about 8 months I really struggling to determine if I made the right decision but now I realize that I did as my sight is excellent.

  17. Raigan
    April 23, 2014 at 11:40 am

    Hi! It’s been almost 3 weeks since my surgery. My vision is definitely starting to clear up and my eyes haven’t felt as horribly dry as they originally did, but for some reason today my eyes have been incredibly dry and burning non-stop… almost as bad the first week after I had is done. I’m still using artificial tears, but thats it. Has anyone else experienced this? Should I just continue to use my drops more frequently? Would it help for me to try a new type of artificial tears?

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