Lasik surgery is wonderful. I had it done to both eyes three and a half years ago and love not having to wear glasses all the time.
However, lasik surgery tends to exacerbate dry eyes. I didn’t realize until after the surgery that my right eye is a lot drier than my left eye, but quickly found that it needed more lubricating drops than the left eye did. Add hormonal changes on top of that, and the right eye gets even drier.
Last winter I started getting episodes of serious pain in the right eye. I went in to see a specialist and was diagnosed with recurrent corneal erosions (RCE). Basically, my eye gets dry enough that the eyelid starts tearing off parts of the cornea. It feels like someone is stabbing you in the eye. To fix this, I use a lubricating gel every night before bedtime. It seemed like things were cleared up, but I still used the gel most nights to make sure the eye stayed lubricated.
Tuesday afternoon, I suddenly started feeling like a grain of sand was in my eye. I had my co-workers look at the eye and flush it with saline, but they couldn’t see anything wrong with it. We finally found if I used a paper towel as pressure on the eye and kept the lid closed, that the pain would go away. I finally went home and rested the eye for a couple of hours, then ran an errand to Leslie Peterson’s house, and then the pain started up again. Taped the eye shut for the night to see if it would heal.
Wednesday – still felt like the eye was scratched or something. After an emergency appointment at the Moran Eye Center, Dr. Chang said that the RCE was back with a vengeance. She put me on a variety of drops and placed a contact lens in that eye to keep it from hurting so horribly and scheduled an appointment with the head eye doctor for Friday.
I met with Dr. Mifflin on Friday and he said that basically the only way to cure this problem is to have PTK eye surgery (another type of laser surgery). Basically – they will scrape the top layer of cornea off and put on a contact lens to let it heal.
Surgery is scheduled for November 5th. I don’t like having this contact in my eye, but am trying not to be too whiny and trying to remember how painful it would be otherwise. No way will I take it out – the doctor said it will tear off more of the cornea if I do. Maybe I should get an eye patch to keep that eye closed part of the time. Would that look nifty?