It’s been five weeks since I underwent eye laser surgery. The result? Wow! I can see. Like, really, really well. I visited the ophthalmologist one last time to make sure everything was fine and he confirmed the operation was a total success.
It did take a few weeks for some blurriness to fully subside. At first I was having trouble with my near vision, which is totally normal. After lots of eye-drops, I now feel I got back the eyes I had as a kid, before I needed spectacles or contact lenses. If you’re still thinking about investing in this procedure, or you’re about to do it, here are a few things you can expect during the recovery period.
1. Being paranoid about whether the procedure was a success
This is something you’ll experience for at least four weeks. Once your sight clears up after the operation, you’ll constantly be testing yourself to see if it worked or if you’re one of the unlucky ones. During this time you become extremely paranoid and forget that the recovery process in some cases actually takes much longer than a few days. That’s why the consultant tends to ask you to visit after five weeks later to test your vision and see if everything went smoothly. It’s only once you’re given the green light be the doctor that you start to calm down a little. And when the paranoia subsides, you realise you have practically perfect vision from near and far. And it’s an amazing realisation.
2. And doubting whether one eye is better than the other
This is also pretty common and you’ll find yourself closing one eye at a time to test your sight. Recovery might take longer in one eye than the other so don’t spend too much time worrying about this. Just be religious about your eye drops and wait to get the doctor’s advice. But if you’re struggling to work, keep your eyes as hydrated as possible and take naps as often as you can to make sure you rest your eyes so as not to strain them too much.
3. Getting the all-clear from your doctor and finally putting your mind at rest
My eyes really healed the day after the doctors checked them and confirmed the operation went perfectly well. It goes to show how much the mind likes to work tricks on us when we’re in fear.
4. Getting rid of your glasses and contact lenses
This is a weird step because you really do grow close to your spectacles over time. They become a small part of your identity. And when you know how much contact lenses cost, it feels a bit wrong to throw away a good €90 worth of stock you’re never going to need again. But it’s still nice to know you’re never going to have to spend that kind of money again.
5. Doing sports freely
As someone who plays squash (very) irregularly, it was a lovely change to be able to head to the court without having to wear contact lenses. It was also really fun to never have your vision blurred by an excitable lens that keeps moving about.
6. Going to the beach and seeing everything
It was a real pleasure to go to the beach with my new-found sight and be able to see everything around me. Firstly, there’s all the beautiful people who otherwise might have gone unnoticed. But more importantly, it’s the ability to go swimming and even open your eyes underwater without having to go blind or fear that you’re going to lose a contact lens.
7. Cooking without steamy glasses
One common annoyance of people who wear spectacles is opening a hot oven or taking the lid off a boiling pot and having your vision completely clouded by steam. It’s really nice to be able to see what you’re cooking instead without being so vulnerable to the steam.
8. Leaving your car in summer without your specs fogging up
If you wear glasses, you know the feeling well. You get out of your very well air-conditioned car and your spectacles immediately fog up with condensation as they meet the humid outdoor heat. It feels good to never have to experience that again.
9. Reading on a plane without your contacts drying
If you tend to do a lot of flying for work or pleasure, laser is going to be quite a game-changer. You never have to worry about contact lens containers spilling in your luggage. But more importantly, you won’t have lenses that can dry up as soon as the dryness takes over the plane. And you can read and sleep with ease.
10. Getting into the market for nice sunglasses
If like me you’ve basically never owned a pair of sunglasses because you can’t be bothered to get sighted ones, now’s your chance to find the perfect fit.
11. Never waking up with crusty contacts again
Anyone who wears contact lenses knows that sometimes there’s a night when you forget to take them off. It’s usually after a wedding or some other hangover-inducing night out. After laser, this becomes a thing of the past.