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Post Info TOPIC: My CXL + T-PRK experience in Canada


Veteran Member

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Posts: 59
Date: Mon Mar 31 1:44 PM, 2014
RE: My CXL + T-PRK experience in Canada
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Hi Smilloy,

I'm taking the steroid drops because of my light sensitivity. They seem to be directly correlated right now - if I start to taper off of the steroids, my light sensitivity gets pretty bad. I'm down to one drop a day right now, and I have this low-level headache that gets worse throughout the day, especially if it's bright outside. Once I feel fine with that, I'll start tapering off more, going to a steroid drop every other day. Different surgical places do steroids differently - apparently for the same surgery at Lasik, they'll have you on steroids for 3 months, and not long ago, it was typical for patients to be on steroids for 4 months after just regular PRK without the CXL. Everybody's eyes react a bit different to this surgery - I still have some corneal haze, although apparently it's getting better - I'm hoping that my light sensitivity will be more or less resolved when that is gone.

I do use contacts. I still have some ghosting, and feel that the contacts are necessary for me to drive to and from work. And my work is at a computer screen, and contacts plus computer screen equals dry eyes, even if you haven't had surgery. I'm hoping to be out of the contacts soon, at least for daytime driving, but the ghosting is still a little too much for me to feel safe behind the wheel without them.

Anyway, it is good to hear that your recovery is progressing so well!

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Date: Mon Mar 31 1:59 PM, 2014
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10 WEEKS

I saw my optometrist again. This time his wild speculations are positive, rather than negative. He says his prediction now is that when things have settled, I'll be fine without corrective lenses during the day, but will possibly still need glasses at night. I'm starting to really take these sort of things with a grain of salt. I would be *very* happy if that's where we ended up, but at the moment I still have a very prominent ghosted image below the main image, and I haven't seen much happening for that to improve.

He also has put me in different contact lenses, my left lens now has correction for astigmatism. It has to be at least 5 times as thick as the lenses I was using before - not easy to get in, and so far not very comfortable. I'll try them for a bit, but if they don't help much, I'll probably ask to go back to the daily disposibles he's been giving me.

My light sensitivity is still occuring, but I'm pretty confident it's getting better, if slowly. I'm going to keep tapering off the steroid drops as it gets better.

I also spoke to my optometrist about how expensive the preservative free tears are. He recommended I switch to "Refresh" tears, the ones with the preservative. Apparently the preservatives in those tears break down into water when exposed to sunlight, so they aren't as bad. I've been using them for a couple days now, and no issue, and they will be *way* cheaper than the Bion Tears (or any other preservative-free tears), so I'm happy to save a little money.

So that's where I'm at right now. Still slow improvements. If this ghosting clears up, I think it will be smooth sailing, as my vision is pretty sharp discounting the extra images I see.

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Member

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Posts: 14
Date: Tue Apr 1 4:18 PM, 2014
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I hope things will be further on the up sooner than later!

This is a good article on where CXL is at currently http://osne.healio.com/i/277864/3

Make sure you click through to the other pages, there are a few.



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Veteran Member

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Posts: 59
Date: Tue Apr 1 4:30 PM, 2014
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Thanks for the encouragement and the link. There's some interesting stuff in there.

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Date: Sat Apr 19 1:16 PM, 2014
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THREE MONTHS

So it's now been three months since I had the surgery. As I mostly read that this is roughly a 6 month process, I guess this means I am perhaps at around the half-way point. Here's an update on where things are at.

VISUAL ACCUITY
I've noticed improvements over the last couple weeks with the ghosting. The ghosted images are finally starting to converge a bit. My vision fluctuates throughout the day more than ever before, but I have had a few mornings where the ghosting was almost altogether gone, if only for a few minutes. I'm guessing I'm sometimes waking up with a good tear film, and as it degrades throughout the day so does my vision. Each day is still filled with frustrations and struggles with my vision, but I feel real hope when I have these rare times of excellent vision. After having at least a month where I saw no difference in the ghosted images, it's great to finally see some progress.

LIGHT SENSITIVITY
There's been some improvement on this front, but right now my doctor's told me to lower my steroid drop dosage whenever the light sensitivity becomes bearable, which means it's never bearable for long. A week ago I dropped down from 1 drop per day to 1 drop every other day, and my light sensitivity has gotten pretty bad. I'm hoping that this only lasts for a few more days, and then in another week or two I can get rid of the drops altogether.

DRYNESS
My eyes still get pretty dry. From what I've read, dry eye syndrome after surgery like this usually asts 3 to 6 months, so I don't have any expectations that this should be gone right away. When I'm at work, looking at a computer screen all day with contact lenses on, it gets pretty bad. I'm really hoping that when I go for my next visit, I'll be able to see well enough to switch to just glasses. This will probably improve my dryness quite a bit. I've tried a couple different eye drops that have preservatives, as they are so much cheaper than the single-use vials. I've found the regular Refresh Tears to be the best, and my doctor said that the preservatives neutralize when exposed to light so they are not hard on my eyes.

CONTACT LENSES
I'm still wearing soft contact lenses, just during the day when I have to work (I feel much more comfortable driving with the lenses in.) I'm not using daily disposables anymore. After a week of using them, they literally felt like I was putting gravel in my eyes, they were incredibly painful. So I switched to a different cleaning solution, Clear Care, which is hydrogen peroxide based, and it is *so* much better. You just have to be careful to follow all the directions (as putting hydrogen peroxide in your eyes can be really bad!)

So that's about it. Things are progressing slowly, but they *are* progressing, and that gives me a lot of hope.



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Executive

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Posts: 155
Date: Mon Apr 21 5:55 AM, 2014
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Well, give your pat on the back! OK there was and is some more setting to go and your right on the finish line being around the 6 months mark, with still some people getting slight improvements up to a year ...but your well on your way now...thats great news!

Wayne



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Date: Tue May 27 4:42 PM, 2014
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FOUR MONTHS

I just got back from my optometrist, here's where things are at:

VISUAL ACCUITY
Over the last month, I really haven't noticed much change in my visual accuity, or with my ghosting. It's been a pretty discouraging month, with not much improvement. My optometrist though, was able to correct my left eye's vision better than 2 months ago, so that is good at least, but the ghosting is still bad. Dr McDonald told me that he still expects the corneas to settle and the ghosting to more or less go away, but if it doesn't in the next few months, he's going to send me back to Bochner to see Doctor Stein. If it wasn't for the ghosting, I'd be pretty happy with my vision - and my BCVA is a marginal 20/20 in my right eye, and a good 20/20 with both eyes.

LIGHT SENSITIVITY
I'm still dealing with light sensitivity issues. I ended up getting a really bad headache that would never go away, and so I went back up to 1 drop every day. Even at 1 drop every day, after a week of sunshine and fluorescent lights at work, I have a bad headache that takes a weekend of staying inside at home to go away. That said, my doctor is still insisting on getting me off the steroid drops. He's asked me to drop back to once every other day, and isn't renewing my prescription for now, so I think I only have a week or two left of the drops. So hopefully it gets better and gets better soon.

DRYNESS
My eyes are still really dry. Possibly even worse than a month or two ago. When I've been wearing contact lenses, I have to put drops in every 15-20 minutes just to keep them from falling out, and to keep myself able to see ok. Dr McDonald thinks that taking drops so often during the day may be preventing my eyes from having the proper reflexes towards dryness, and he also thinks the contact lenses may be making it worse. So I've been asked to stop using the contact lenses, and to only take the eye drops 4 times a day. If on the next visit, the dryness is still a major issue, he's going to refer me to an eye surgeon to possibly prescribe Restasis drops for me. I had read about Restasis drops online over the last week and mentioned them - apparently in Ontario they are very new. I hope it's not required, but I've read some really positive things about those eye drops.

LENSES
So, I'm out of contact lenses. I now have a prescription for glasses, and due to light sensitivity, I'll be getting 2 pairs - regular and sunglasses. I went to Lens Crafters and they told me it will take up to 12 days for them to get my glasses in, as they won't have the lenses I need in stock. So now I have a week or two where I can't drive again. So it's going to be a tricky couple weeks, figuring out how to get to work, but at least once I get my glasses, I should be able to drive again, and have more flexibility, as I was only wearing the contacts during the day on weekdays, but I'll be able to wear glasses all the time.

So that's it - not a lot of improvement in the last month, but there are plans in place to address the issues I'm having, so that gives me some confidence.

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Veteran Member

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Date: Tue May 27 7:02 PM, 2014
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I had the same procedure in November. I too had issues with dryness. My dr told me to take 3000 mg of omega 3 per day. This has almost completely fixed the dryness issue. I use omega 3 creme packets that are 2500mg once a day and then a regular capsule to make up the difference. The packets with the creme can be found on Vitaminshoppe.com. I hope this helps

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