When you hit thirty and beyond, your body parts can start to head a little South.
For me, I’ve noticed it the most with my eyes.
I’ve been a glasses girl for six years now and to be honest, as funky as some glasses are, I hate wearing them!
They get in the way, I lose them, my toddler pulls them off my face and covers them in filth, they ruin an outfit, they fog up, I accidentally leave them on in the shower, and if I forget them I’m screwed because I can’t bloody see!
The most annoying thing is, once you need glasses, you can’t safely live without them.
Well actually you can! There is a solution to being glasses free and I am about to journey down this path to vision freedom. It’s called laser eye surgery and from what I understand, it’s a game changer!
To give you some background, I’ve been thinking about having laser eye surgery for over a year now but it wasn’t until the bravest woman I know (my mum) had the procedure that I’m now literally bursting at the seams and booked in for this January!
Now I know I’m not the only scaredy cat out there when it comes to doctors and procedures, and don’t get me wrong, any surgery is a big deal, but the benefits are so huge, and the risks are so low, I’ve decided to take this step to live a glasses-free lifestyle.
I’ve chosen to have my surgery done with the team at Adelaide Eye and Laser Centre, but I would recommend you doing some research and making your own decision about what’s right for your eyes.
So if you have ever thought about having eye laser surgery the good news is that I’ve done your research for you. Here is everything you need to know about laser eye surgery.
Step 1 :: Do your research and get in contact
There will be a number of eye laser surgery providers available to you. I would advise doing some of your own research — online and by asking your friends. Once you’ve decided who to investigate further, contact them.
This can be via their website and online enquiry form, or by calling them directly. They will provide you with some information, be able to answer some of your initial questions and if you wish to progress, book you in to your pre-operative assessment and appointment.
Step 2 :: Your first appointment — the pre–operative eye assessment
Not all people are candidates for this life changing surgery. This is because eye laser surgery alters the focusing power of the eye by changing the shape of the cornea. Factors such as your glasses prescription, your age and visual needs, and the configuration of your eye all influence which surgical options you have. However, the good news is that the majority of people are suitable.
Your first appointment is all about determining if you are a suitable candidate for the surgery. This initial consultation will be with the optometrical and clinical staff to help you understand and evaluate your options. At this appointment all aspects of laser surgery will be discussed including the benefits, your suitability and treatment alternatives, and possible side affects.
At the end of this appointment you will understand if you are a suitable candidate and if you wish to proceed, an appointment will be made with your surgeon.
Step 3 :: Appointment with your surgeon
This appointment provides you with the opportunity to meet your surgeon and ask any further questions you may have about the information you have been given. It also provides your surgeon with the opportunity to again assess your eyes and discuss with you your own individually tailored path forward.
Depending on your unique eyes, there will be a surgical option best suited to you. Your surgeon will explain the surgery, what you can expect from it in terms of results, downtime and any recovery period you should plan for within your schedule.
A good eye laser centre will keep you involved at all times, take the time to explain anything you don’t understand and make sure you feel comfortable moving to the next step. At this stage you will be informed of the cost of the procedure. If you wish to spread your payments for your surgery over time, you are able to ask for information about applying for a payment plan with a third party provider.
At the conclusion of this appointment you will be able to book in for your surgery on a date that suits you.
Step 4 :: Day of the procedure
Awesome – it’s the first day of the rest of your glasses free future!
The procedure itself is relatively quick and you should allow for spending approximately two hours at the centre – including pre, during and post surgery time. On the day you will arrive at your scheduled time and be taken through to the pre–treatment rooms.
The procedure is performed under analgesic drops and there is no pain experienced or any use of injections. An eye speculum is used to stop you from blinking and a flashing light in the laser acts as a target for you to look at. At the beginning of the procedure you may experience a light pressure sensation. The total procedure takes between 60 seconds to 3 minutes.
Once the procedure is completed you will be seated in recovery until you and the nursing and surgical staff have assessed you and cleared you to go home. You will need someone to give you a lift as at this stage as it is not safe for you to drive.
Step 5 :: The recovery
You will require the use of antibiotic and steroid drops for a period of time that differs for each person as the eye heals. Usually these drops are used for 5-8 days. Depending on which type of surgery you have your eyes may feel a little bit scratchy and irritated for the first 2-4 hours after surgery and it is important to keep them protected for the first 72 hours with no excessive rubbing.
Visual improvement is speedy and you should start seeing better within the first few hours and vision will keep improving over the next week. It’s quite incredible.
On leaving the centre your post operative visits will be scheduled and will depend on which type of surgery you have had but usually there are at least two, the first one being on the following day.
It is usually possible to return to all of your normal activities, including work and driving within 72 hours of the procedure.
Now all you have to do is book in, and say goodbye to your glasses, dropping them at the door as you start seeing the world in 4D for the first time!