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PRK – 5 Weeks Later

December 28, 2007 Leave a comment Go to comments

Wow. This past week has shown drastic improvements in my vision. Last week I was finished with the steroid drops. A few days after that, and all of a sudden I started seeing noticeably better. It has improved even until today.

This morning I had my 5 week eye checkup. The eye doctor did the standard wall chart thing, and I managed to read the 20/20 line with each eye separately! That’s a huge step! The vision is still far from perfect, but at the core of the smudgy blurriness, I can see sharp letters. It took some effort to focus in on the letters, but I managed. It’s still better in my left than my right.

Things are much clearer, though I’d estimate my vision at about 80% of optimal. I’ve been able to go back to my standard font size on the computer. My vision is more stable throughout the day. It doesn’t fluctuate as much as it did in the past month. They’re still dry, but less dry than before, and the dryness doesn’t affect clarity as much as before.

I’m still using the eyedrops very liberally. I switched to normal rewetting drops as instructed, but after telling the doc how often I use eyedrops (on average, 1 to 2 per hour), she suggested that I go back to the preservative free drops for most of the time. Apparently the preservatives can cause some discomfort in some people, although I haven’t really noticed a difference. She said the dryness is normal and will decrease in the coming weeks and months.

Overall, I’m very, very pleased with where I’m at today. After spending the last 5 weeks in varying levels of blurriness, the bubble in which I’ve been living has been greatly expanded. Imagine the first time you saw a high def TV compared to the static-laced black-and-white of yesterday. It’s that much of a difference. And the great thing is that it is going to improve, with a very good chance of getting better than 20/20 vision.

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  1. Kristie
    January 5, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    I am so happy to hear that your vision is getting better. I had my PRK done 1 week ago and I was so worried about my vision. I had explained to the clinic I was a law clerk and all I do all day is read case law and research and they assured me by now I would be fine reading again. Of course I’m not. I can read for about 3 hours with the font at a huge size and then my eyes become so tired that I can’t see anything at all for the rest of the day.

    I hope you keep updating us of your improvements. This has really made me feel a lot better.

  2. Sheila
    August 2, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    Your blog has helped me a lot. I am having my PRK done in 4 days and now at leaset I know what to expect. I must admit I had no idea there was such a long recovery period. Now that I know, I won’t have such high hopes. Thanks again for sharing your experience.

  3. Melanie
    December 7, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    thank you so much for this blog! All I could find so far was blog of disaster PRK recovery experiences, but yours is very accurate and similar to my experience so even if I am only at the 10-days mark, after reading you I am back to being optimistic!

  4. Meagan
    February 4, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    I agree with so many others. Thank you sooo much for this blog, it has given me new hope after two and a half weeks of blurred vision. Thank you so much for keeping an accurate and organized blog!

  5. Susan
    October 18, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    Thank You….Such a help to know what to expect…I was getting concerned about my recovery & now I feel that what I’m going through is “normal”

  6. Katrina
    February 9, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    I am going on five weeks now and I’m doing great. I really didn’t start seeing pretty well until week 4. I won’t see my eye doctor until next week but if I had to guess, I’d say I have 90% acuity. Although the first few weeks were worrisome, I’m really glad I had the surgery. For those that are still in the first month of their surgery, hang in there. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

  7. Lillian
    March 20, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing the experience. I am in my fourth week after PRK and start to lose my faith until I read your blog.

  8. Alisa
    February 23, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    I really appreciate your blog. I am on week 2 post PRK and was getting very discouraged. I work from my home computer, so you can imagine how much “work” I have been getting done. Thanks.

  9. Jenny
    March 19, 2012 at 11:46 pm

    My husband has surgery 10 wks ago. He got so frustrated that he still has very blurry vision. He still using the Flarex drops 3/day as instructed by doctor. He said that may be a few minutes a day he can see clearly but then blurry again. Probably when he will completely not use the Flarex drop, it’ll improve? He’s loosing faith & worried & frustrated. It’s hard to work on computer everyday with this blurry condition. Anyone has similar problem??

  10. Sarah
    April 22, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    Steroids inhibit healing… They are a form of anti inflammatory but at the same time they prevent the body from rebuilding. I find it interesting that you noticed a rapid improvement in vision the week after you stopped using them!

  11. BobW
    April 27, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    I am at 5 weeks and have purchased some reader glasses. Has anyone else done this? Did they bother you, extend the healing process, etc…? I find that they are helpful but by the end of the day, my eyes are tired and I have that dull headache. I also notice that since my farsightedness is awesomely clear and I use readers, removing them and adjusting back to no glasses brings on a bit of seasickness. So, your experience and any advice is appreciated.

  12. May 28, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    Hello All,
    Wondering if anyone has had this experience? I had PRK in both eyes about 6 weeks ago. From the on set I was a slow healer. It took about 10 days or so for the epithelium to regrow on both eyes. In that time I got an infection in my right eye. From sitting up after surgery I noticed I could see better in my left eye. A couple weeks ago I told the doctor in my right eye its like I didn’t have the surgery. Sure enough prescription is the same -5.75. Left eye is 20/20 right eye like it never happened. I’m about to go to Steroid drops to twice a day soon. I know these slow the healing process done. Fighting the urge to stop them so I can see if my right eye improves. Anyone else have a similar experience with huge differences in eyes and is there hope? Dr says we can scrape right eye again as the epithelium may have grow back double? Hoping not to have to go there.

  13. Lee-Anne
    May 29, 2012 at 11:22 am

    I am on week 5 after PRK. Some days I can read my computer with no readers and other times I need to use them. I went to the dollar store and bought +1.00, +1.25 and some +1.50’s. Each day I seem to need a different level. Like the previous person, some days they make me feel sick so I just switch to a lower level. I had to get them to be able to read numbers at my job. My farsightedness is great some days with minor ghosting and other days quite a lot. It seems to be worse when I’m tired. My eyes needed quite a bit of correction as I was -8.50 in both eyes. My right eye seems to be healing quicker than my left, which sometimes worries me that I will not see 20/20 in both. I guess time will tell.
    Thanks so much for your blog, I have been checking it quite often to see if what I’m going through is normal!

  14. Sherry
    June 22, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    Thank you for sharing. I just had PRK 4 days ago and I’ve been VERY concerned. I was told the recovery period would be a little longer thank Lasik but didn’t realize the extent. I had better vision the day after surgery than I do now (have been very discouraged). I also wasn’t told I should expect to take time off from work… I was told I would probably be able to drive OK and that my vision would probably be a little better than as if I wasn’t wearing my glasses. Boy were they wrong… I’ve been driving but it’s been VERY unsafe, and I’ve gone to work full-time starting the day after surgery (but could actually see better then than now). Your blog has helped A LOT!! I know now that my progress sounds normal and that I can anticipate a slow recovery period. Thanks Again!!!

    • Kim
      June 29, 2012 at 10:44 am

      I am at the 3 week mark after prk and have extreme light sensitivity! I went off the antibiotic drop a week after prk and pred forte the steroid 2 weeks after. My dr put me back on the steroid today after not being able to go outside in the daytime or drive all week. I’m hoping this helps, bc I cannot be a vampire any longer. My vision is at 20/20 with still a little nearsightedness, which I can totally handle compared to the pain of the light sensitivity. I was at -4.75 and -5.25 before with astigmatism in both eyes. I’ve only been able to work 2 days since the surgery. Also, I only use preservative free drops. I have found that Thera tears works the best bc I can’t use any gel drops either, preservative free or not. And restasis made the dryness worse. I guess my eyes are just ultra sensitive. I was on board to get LASIK until the morning of surgery when the surgeon decided prk was a better option. I just keep wondering what if I had gotten LASIK instead?! Would I be normal again? Good luck all.

  15. Shawn D
    February 18, 2013 at 10:59 am

    This blog has been extremely helpful. I had PRK 12 days ago and have been quite discouraged and concerned. This blog has kept my expectations, and patience in check. In one week I embark on a two-week business trip. I’m concerned about reading the airport depart boards. Nothing like flying blind through the Atlanta airport. Many thanks!!

  16. Hayden H
    March 23, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    I hade prk about six weeks just hade my first check up. It was stille a little blurry, but it improved by a line and a half on the eye chart. It still has a little bite of smothing out to do. I only hade one eye done the other one was not to bad and working on coumputer I wanted one done at a time. I will get the other one done when needed or the doctor decide after the other one is healed all the way. It does get better in vison, don’t be in a rush it does take paitences there will days that are going to be clear then other, but before you know it everthing will be crystal clear. I will update after i see the doctor next visit. Take the vit for eyes and drink plenty of water at work it helps not to get the feeling like thay are dried.

  17. Pat
    April 25, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    This blog has been a life-saver. It’s the end of week 5 today. I have a long way to go but can at least see the light at the end of the tunnel. The first couple weeks had me in a ‘dark place’ in my mind wondering what on earth I had done to myself: PRK – both eyes at the same time with -8.50 and -8.75 and astigmatisms. Huge corrections. All that research and I was still foolish enough to think I’d be up and running a week or two later. Nope.
    Told 5-7 days needed … was off work for 4 weeks – could not drive and could not read at all with any strength of readers and had double vision in both eyes – Left/Right in left eye and Up/Down in right eye. At week 4 the doctor put contacts on – that took care of the double vision … what a relief! He added a mild prescription to help the eyes see close to the same so they weren’t fighting each other to focus. Helped a lot, though far from perfect it did bring more relief. Unfortunately they aren’t really fitted so they tend to bob around adding to the challenge of blurry vision in both eyes. Never ‘watered and blinked’ so much in my life.
    For all the struggles though I must say it is amazing to see so much going on all around me. My vision was limited to what I saw through my lenses; outside that I saw a white haze with color blotches. Now I see everything – blurry as it is I know what it is! It’s the closer and finer functional vision I crave now. Feels like I should just put on a pair of glasses and be done with it. That said, I can see the differences daily as they heal and change and heal some more. I make the font huge on my computer and find the contacts do help me read again (yes, it’s hard and tiring … but it’s still an improvement I see and that is encouraging).
    Be prepared and take sufficient time off to simply relax and heal: like my experience, it may not be optional. If it’s planned that way it’s much less stressful!
    Would I do it again? 2 weeks ago I would have said “not a chance.” Today, I say “absolutely!”

  18. Pat
    April 25, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    Oh, yes! I should also mention …
    After surgery I had to have a contact on my right eye for 2-1/2 weeks – to help keep it all held together as my ‘amazing’ vision seems to slip away completely when they took it off … kind of like a collapse. Putting the lens back on gave it support.
    4 days after surgery, and sadly, they warned me that my amazing vision – in both eyes – would soon end and it would get much worse before it got better: that is known as the healing process as they eyes have to heal just like a sore does creating a healing layer, shedding, healing, shedding … all of which affects how you see.
    I had to go to the doctor every day for over two weeks to see if the lens could come off – finally it did. Right eye was quite behind the left at this point.
    Then the left eye developed mind boggling double vision requiring a contact to keep it in shape – not focus – just held it together better. Thankfully they keep them in there 24/7 and I could finally cut visits back to every 4 or 5 days …
    As mentioned, I have contacts on both eyes now as both suffer severely from double vision – the contacts help quite a lot so don’t be afraid to insist on them if you are dealing with this. Blurry vision yes – they bounce around a bit – but it’s tolerable.
    I’m sure in 5 weeks I have been there 15 times already. I go back again in 1.5 weeks to see how my eyes are doing and to change the contacts. With any luck I won’t need them any more. If you decide to use contacts to help with double vision – especially with a prescription in them, your eyes can change so much within a few days or just a day you may have to change them more often. I’ve had these ones in for 4 days … first three days were great … today – not so much. Sigh. Patience is the key.
    The “5 Years Later” blog with this account is inspiring and brings great hope that in time this will be only a memory.

  19. juli
    May 3, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    I am at week 4 exactly for my right eye after prk, and day 3 for my left eye which we decided would be my “reading eye”. Luckily I can see the monitor with my distance eye so I am able to read this very helpful blog. I am at 20/40 in my distance eye. It is comfortable and not dry feeling although after reading so many comments stating that you might not feel dryness and still need drops I use the moisturizing drops. My left eye still hurts like heck. It’s only day 3 so I expected that, and it’s better than yesterday which I mostly slept through. I am anxious to get better than 20/40 vision in my right eye because I only had one eye corrected for distance. I just went off the streroid drops in my right eye so hopefully in a week I too will see more improvement. This blog has been so helpful! Thank You 🙂

  20. ryan
    September 22, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    Im at week 6… i see but i feel my vision should be better… night time is still tricky for me… my doc says i have pressure on my eyes…has anyone experienced this or know more about it??

  21. armen
    June 3, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    I had PRK done 11 days ago, I was gonna ask when I start seeing improvement but by the looks of it it takes a while. I was getting worried too if i would ever have 20/20 vision. thanks for the info.

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