I’ve been wearing eye-glasses for about 55 years. So when I saw a chance to ditch ’em, I went for it.
I first had to start wearing glasses when I was fifteen years old. Just a slight adjustment to my vision, but as time went by, I even ended up with a restriction on my driver’s license. And one day, when I was forty or so, I suddenly found I could not longer read the small print on a box, so then I needed bifocals. Some years go by and I started feeling some terrible pains in my neck and back and arms. My Doctor sent me to physical therapy where they tried a diverse set of routines, but the only thing that worked was something similar to being stretched out on The Rack. I finally figured out that it was because I was looking through the bottom part of my glasses while playing games for hours on end; I needed a separate pair of computer glasses.
Here is my room
I usually have the TV on while I work or play on the computer. When I switch looking from one to the other, I have to change glasses. When I get up in the morning I have to find where I left my glasses when I went to sleep. In fact, I spent a good deal of my day tracking down what I needed to be able to see clearly.
Then I saw an ad on the TV from Austin Eye, so I made an appointment with Dr Shannon Wong. They did every eye test I’ve ever had before, plus a few I had never seen. Doctor Wong
went over the results of the examination with me, which concluded that I had cataracts in both eyes; this made me eligible for the surgery and my insurance would therefore pay for some of the cost. We decided on the PanOptix Trifocal IOL, which should do away with the need for any glasses at all. And they didn’t make me wait forever; they set up the first surgery for less than two weeks away.
1st surgery: They did my left eye first. I went in at 11:30 AM; I had a friend take me, as I would need a ride after the procedure. First, I sat for about 40 minutes with a very nice nurse, who filled me in on what to expect. She gave me a Valium and Tylenol with a peanut butter and cheese snack to help me digest it all; she also numbed my eye and dilated the pupil. And she had me watch this video which is most helpful.
She took me in a wheelchair to the first part, which is a laser that makes an incision in the cornea. They covered my other eye so I wouldn’t blink and used a gizmo to hold my eye open; all I saw was some red dots. This all took maybe five minutes.
Then we went to the operating room. My face was covered with something like a tarp with a hole in it for the eye, and Doctor Wong went to work. You really don’t see much; just a light. The only sensation was some occasional wetness and a small bit of pressure. Absolutely NO PAIN, not even a little bit. (I’m a big sissy and would tell you.) The surgery took maybe 10-12 minutes? No clue, but I was mainly listening to office gossip and the Go Gos playing. Doctor Wong gave me regular updates (“We’re about half done.”. “Just a couple minutes more.”) which was very reassuring.
Then they the sat me up in the chair and wheeled me out. I sat with a nurse who monitored my blood pressure until it went down to an acceptable level (you can’t help but stress out a bit during this; the unknown is irksome.) Once that was done, they wheeled me out to my friend Dennis, who took me home and stayed a bit to make sure I was OK.
Post op: When the Tylenol wore off, my eye was a bit sore and the PGB eye-drops you have to use 4 times a day for the first week do burn a bit. But follow them up after a few minutes with some liquid tears and that relieves the irritation. I kept that shield on all night. The next day my eye was fine and I could see perfectly. I was able to drive myself to followup the day after surgery with no issues. I loved that eye so much that I bought it dinner and took it to a movie!
2nd surgery: A week later, they did my right eye. Pretty much all the same, except for post-op stuff. This time, my eye was sore for a couple of days, but that cleared up. On the followup, they tested my vision in both eyes, 20/20 all the way.
However, after about eight days, I started seeing some black specs in my right eye; it was like a snow-globe full of coffee grounds. Something like this:
There was also a floater the shape of a Portuguese Man O’ War that periodically caused my eye to blur. I called that in, but it was the day before Thanksgiving, so they got me in on the Monday after the weekend and looked everything over. I was told the black specs should go away after a while — and they did. Took a couple of weeks, but they are gone. That Cthulhu-like floater is still there, but not as bad. They tell me if it doesn’t go away, they can break it up with lasers. Sounds like a party.
All in all, I would recommend having this done and particularly, Austin Eye, if you’re in this area. They are very friendly, professional and extremely helpful.
I know what your next question is, so here ya go: It cost me about $4700.00 per eye, after insurance. Not bad; I wish every procedure I had went this well, and I’m happy I did it. A couple of days ago, I had the restriction for glasses/corrective lenses removed from my drivers license, for the first time in over 40 years.
So, I guess I am officially a cyborg now. If I can just figure out where the switch is that will shoot lasers out of my eyes, or even turn on the X-Ray vision, I’ll be ready for the Avengers!
Other notes: I fail big-time at eye-drops. After a month of practice now, I manage to get more than 50% in my eyes.
Everything is much brighter now. I could see the difference after I had the first eye done. I absolutely need sunglasses for day driving. At night, there is a halo effect around bright lights, such as headlights and tail lights, but it’s not that distracting. However, I did have to turn down the brightness on my monitor.