Eye Surgery: Entry Seven

By kate on May 8th, 2000


My left eye continued to regress until it was almost 20/40. I got a stronger prescription for the contact I was wearing. As the months went by, I was gritting it out until a year after the surgery, at which point the eye doctor would assess whether the regression had finished and if I should have a second surgery.

Then, something changed. My work schedule changed from five 8-hour days to four 10-hour days. At the time, I didn’t think it had any connection to my eyes, but from that point on, my eye started improving.

On the one-year anniversary of the surgery, Sunday April 9, I took out the contact. My left eye was a little inflamed because I had rubbed it the day before, so I didn’t put in a new contact. I went about my day expecting the headache that comes from my eyes being unequal. Instead, I realized to my astonishment that my vision seemed 20/20 again! It was a beautiful, sunny day and I could see the details of the treetops on distant hills, with both eyes. (I got two new inkless tattoos to commemorate the day.)

It was thrilling, but I didn’t hold out much hope that it would last. In my perception, my left eye’s vision kept changing, and this was just another temporary high. I didn’t wear a contact for the next few days when I returned to work for the week. The good vision lasted two and a half more days before it went away again and I put in the contact once more.

The next Sunday, I again had an inflamed eye (I had been at a smoky bar the night before). I removed the contact and went without again, and again noticed my vision had improved. What was going on?

This time, I left the contact out all week. By Thursday, my vision had started to degrade a bit, but I didn’t slap the contact right back on. I waited a few days, and by Saturday, all was well again. And with that, I realized what the culprit was.


Yes, that garden-variety pest, eye strain, had been degrading my vision for months. My eye only began to improve when I started having three-day weekends: three whole days without much computer use gave it time to recover. To test my theory, I began making a very concerted effort to avoid eye strain at work by looking away from my monitor on a regular basis.

And since then, my vision has remained perfect. In fact, this weekend, it seemed so sharp I’m beginning to think I’ve gotten back to 20/15. The eye doctor has confirmed my 20/20 vision in my final PRK checkup. In a few weeks, I have my annual eye exam, at which time I’ll see if I’m really 20/15 or not. I really don’t know why only my left eye was susceptible to eye strain – that’s the only remaining mystery now. However:

It’s over. Worrying about my vision all the time, having my eyes be different, constantly checking the vision in my left eye, getting headaches, wearing contacts… all that is over. I can finally achieve my dream of being able to completely forget about my eyes for days at a time.

Update 6~5~00… I had my annual eye exam today and officially have 20/15 vision in both eyes!

Update 1~19~02… I’m getting close to three years now since my eye surgery, and I’m pleased to say my vision is still absolutely perfect. It was great to be able to go on my backpacking trip without having to worry about contacts.

Please read the next entry about how to avoid eye strain, especially if you have had, or are planning to have, eye surgery.

Filed under: eyes
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