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My Lasik, Laser Eye Experience
This page was inspired by Tonia, a lady who one day may also have
Having laser eye surgery was one of the best choices I have ever made. It was also a very big decision because there are still horror stories about the many things that could go wrong. However, my experience at the Laser Eye Center was great. Dr. John Latham is fantastic. A few months after I had the surgery, my sister also went to him with fantastic results. Dr. Latham is about 45, patient, confident, and a good people person. I felt very comfortable with him as my doctor/surgeon.
A little history on my eye sight: I was very nearsighted. I couldn't read the large "E" on the eye chart without my glasses. In the morning I couldn't do a thing without first putting them on. I wore contact lenses for about 6 years, waiting for laser eye surgery to become more common. As you may know, even disposable contact lenses have their drawbacks, such as the daily time it takes to put them in, and when your eyes are tired, or slightly irritated, the contacts don't want to stay in your eyes. Dirt gets under the lens and it hurts, or you forget they're in and you rub your eye -- losing the lens somewhere in your head (and hopefully you weren't driving at the time). Yeah, laser eye surgery starts to look reeeeeeeealy good.
Finally, I had scored a job (RENT) that supplied some extra money and I wanted to make the step. The surgery cost was $1000 per eye. Prices are probably lower now. I researched around and found that the Laser Eye Center had been around for a relatively long time for that business. I had 3-4 consultations/eye testing of the shape of each eye, and testing to precicely figure the extent of my lack of crisp vision. I was told that when I'm in my fourties, just like everyone else, I will probably have to wear reading glasses. NO PROBLEM.
I set up an appointment for the lasik procedure, and I could not wear contacts for the three days prior to the surgery since they slightly morph the shape of your cornea. Surgery day, they checked my vision yet again, then put drops into my eyes to dialate them. I was taken into a dim "relaxation room" (which was nice since the dialation makes eyes sensitive). They gave me a mild tranquilizer (which was a good idea I think because people are generally a little nervous) and they supplied me with an after-care fanny pack package. In about thirty minutes, the nurse came to take me to the surgery room which was bright and clean. There was a chair for me to recline in and I was Ready.
I sat down, laid back, and Dr. Latham was right there. We started with my right eye. Basically, they use a soft O-ring and tape to keep your eye open, and you don't feel anything but a little pressure (not pain) while the machine precicely makes a 3/4 circular incision on the thin flap of skin that covers the eye. The pressure goes away when the machine is done, you focus on the red light (laser) for 10 seconds and when it's done the doctor lightly puts the flap across your eye again. He removes the tape and soft O-ring, you blink and BINGO -- You Can See! But only for a second because he'll ask you to close that eye, he'll tape it shut and he'll do the other one.
When both eyes are done, you can see but they'll ask you to keep your eyes closed and they'll escort you to your driver. They don't want you to look around, the eyes need rest and the flaps need a few hours to reheal themselves. So you chill out the rest of the day not doing much at all. Waking up the next day is beautiful.
The after care package contained some eyedrops, sunshades, two hard-plastic eye shields to wear to sleep so I didn't rub my eyes or roll onto them while asleep. Eyes heal fast, but it would be BAD to wrinkle the flap. They also gave me a Laser Eye Center mug, and a case for the glasses I would never wear again.
I went back for 2-3 check ups in the next week. I felt great, I can see 20-15!! Vision is wonderful in the daytime. At night, going from bright light inside to dark outside, car headlights and street lights have halos. After 5 minutes or so, they diminish significantly... and actually it's kind of pretty. I think it's the brain re-learning how to see because I can focus on the haloed light and the halo will fade. I had the surgery in 2000 and since then the halos have lessened. They have never really bothered me or prohibited my night driving.
I highly reccomend Dr. Latham. He's very talented at what he does. Being comfortable with your choice of doctor makes all the difference with something as important as your eye sight.
Thank You Dr. John Latham
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