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LASIK Eye Surgery: Is It Worth It?

Content warning: Details about LASIK surgery and eyes

Everyone who has bad vision has dreamed of the day where they would wake up and be able to see clearly without any glasses or contacts. I know I did. So that’s why, when I saved up the funds, I immediately booked a LASIK consultation. I had the procedure done this summer and I’ve been so happy with my vision ever since.

What is LASIK?

LASIK stands for “Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis.” This is a procedure where a laser, powered and controlled by a computer, creates a corneal flap and reshapes your cornea to correct vision. This can be done for near-sightedness, far-sightedness and astigmatism. LASIK is an outpatient surgical procedure with a very short healing period–you can go to work the next day if you want to!

Finances

I was saving up for a while for LASIK since it is pretty pricy and insurance usually doesn’t cover it. I was able to use the money from COVID relief to get the last of my funds saved up to cover the whole surgery! I paid $4400 for this surgery, which also includes a year of aftercare visits whenever I need them and a correction surgery if for some reason I would need one. The cost can vary depending on where you get it done, but I would recommend paying a bit more to go to a reputable surgeon. These are your eyes, after all.

My Surgery

I was SO nervous about getting LASIK. I have anxiety already, and the thought of getting surgery when I was awake terrified me. But my surgeon was very kind and reassured me and all of my worries. I felt safe under his care and all the reviews were positive. I was recommended to him by my eye doctor and also my friend’s dad who used to perform LASIK. They will also prescribe you an anti-anxiety medication to calm you down before the surgery.

A bit loopy on the medication, I was given surgical shoe and head covers and led into the operating room. The assistant laid me down gently on a dentist-looking chair. They gave me numbing eye drops so I couldn’t feel anything. My surgeon told me all that was going to happen and let me know what was going on so I wasn’t unsure at any moment. They operated on one eye at a time, so the eye that wasn’t operated on had a cover put on it.

I was nervous about the cornea flap part. Some forums I read said that it feels like a PVC pipe pressing on your eyeball. However, in my experience, it felt as though the pad of someone’s thumb was putting pressure on my eyeball. It didn’t hurt at all. One of the surgical assistants was holding my hand, letting me squeeze hers, and kept repeating “You’re doing so good!” That made me so comfortable. It almost felt like I had my mom with me!

Then my surgeon used a tool to move the cornea flap. I couldn’t feel anything. My vision was very blurry and it just looked like if I was moving my eyes up and down really fast. Next was the vision-correcting. All I had to do was look at a red light for around 12 seconds. The laser made a fast clicking sound and it smelled a bit like burnt hair, but nothing too bad. Then the surgeon moved the flap back on, put some goggles on me, and the surgery was done! It all in all took about 15 minutes. My vision was clear right after!

Recovery

The recovery process was very smooth! I had no pain, just some itching and slight burning after the numbing eye drops wore off. However, I just took over-the-counter pain medication and slept for a few hours so when I woke up they were just dry. Over the next couple of weeks, I experienced dryness but I used artificial tears frequently and that relieved the dryness. I had to use goggles while I slept for the first week to make sure I didn’t rub my eyes.

Three Months Later

I am so happy with my vision! Being able to see things without having to put on contacts or glasses is just spectacular. I don’t miss them at all. If you are in the financial state to get LASIK, I highly recommend it!

Sydney Erickson is an English and Public Relations Major. She is an enrolled Cowlitz Indian. She loves books, movies, spirituality, and Marvel. Sydney hopes to become an author and actress one day. This is her second year writing for Her Campus.
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