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After hearing a few friends having done laser eye surgery in the past five years, I decided to take the plunge in the summer of 2016. My advice is to do it!


I’m 32 years old and my day job is a programmer. I have about -6.5 vision with an astigmatism in one eye. I didn’t mind glasses when working at a computer but not having to deal with contacts when traveling or doing outdoor activities(camping, climbing, mountain biking) would be a big life improvement.


The first decision to make is to get PRK or LASIK surgery. You can read a lot of articles on this topic but I decided PRK. A little short term discomfort for less risk in the years down the road.


  • Quick recovery: 20/20 the day after and no pain.
  • Reduced infection timezone
  • Risk of cornea flap detaching from a hit to the eye


  • Less risk of damage if hit in the eye
  • Prolonged recovery (3 days of pain, up to 6 months of intermittent vision recovery)
  • Increased possible infection or hazing issues during the 6 months recovery period

Possible Issues

I have a low Schirmer test score (near 0!) which means I have really dry eyes. This can be problematic in LASIK in the long run. The doctor prescribed Restasis. My cornea thickness was fine(min of 250, mine was > 305) for either.
For PRK, you have to be really careful of UV exposure to avoid corneal haze. Especially in the first few weeks/months. Wear sunglasses and a hat.


I selected Dr Kevin Tam at the Eye Care Associates SF for the process. He and his team were great at handling questions and I would recommend their clinic.


Day 0

A month before, i took restasis. I took 2 pills of fish oil a day I took 2 pills of vitamin C I ate a normal diet consisting of : yogurt with granola in the morning lunch was salad, chicken, rice dinner

Day 1 : Jul 5th

Day of Surgery! I came in to the clinic. An assistant did some measurements of my eyes and we start the process a few minutes later. I choose not to use valium as I didn’t have much anxiety.
The process is fairly painless, 15-30 minutes. I sat down on the table, the doctor applied a series of drops for numbing. He brushed the epithelium, the top protective eye layer away. This was the hardest part as you can still feel the brush while you still have to look at it. Afterwards, you just stare at red dot and the laser starts up at your eye for about a minute. It looks like the ending of 2001: A Space Odyssey. It’s painless but you smell your the burning. They then put a bandage contact on you. A few minutes later, repeat for the second eye.
You can see mostly clearly afterwards. Text was hard to read. I took a Lyft ride home. I was still able to go on my computer and check emails, etc. Just bump up the font sizes. Also bump up the font sizes on your phone.
I ate dinner and went to sleep. Still no pain.

Day 2

Woke up the next day, my vision was immediately hazy. i blinked a few times and it got better. The vision is still about the same as yesterday.
Going for a post opt appointment. 20/70 in both eyes.
Healing is going normally and I’m prescribed a few eye drops to help the healing.

Day 3

Text is blurrier. About same level of comfort. Feel more tired .
We remove the bandage contacts and my eyes are 20/30 in both eyes.

Day 4

Woke up ok but eyes felt drier.
At the end of the day, my right eye was in serious pain: Constantly tearing eye and hazing on right eye. I tried to sleep it off.

Day 5

Still really painful in right eye. Slept most of the day.

Day 6

Went back to the eye doctor. Determined contact might have been taken out too soon. Had an abrasion on the right eye. That was the source of the pain.
Right eye is hazed and can’t really see clearly.
Doctor put contact back in and instantly felt much better.
Can walk around without pain once again.

Day 7

No pain but right eye is still hazy. Left eye feels good and can function on it. Went to doctor for checkup, contact still in for right eye but healing better.

Day 8

Right eye still hazy, but less than the previous day.

Day 9

Re-visit doctor to see if we can remove bandage contact again. We removed bandage contact and the eyes feel fine.

Week 2-3

Eyes are without pain.

Week 3

Went for a 4 hour bike ride in Tahoe, really hot and dry. Had a bad case of dry eyes and pain in left eye. Had to shut eye for the rest of the day. Days after, I had to wear sunglasses even in doors to avoid pain. The dryness could have caused a crack in the surface. Went to the doctor and told to go on antibiotics to help the healing. I’m also going back on Restasis to help reduce the dry eyes.

Week 5

I have 20/20 vision in both eyes and don’t experience any pain! I will still make a point to wear sunglasses and a hat outdoors while outside. Rock climbing and bouldering pictures and news Scrambling up the black wall (at Donner Pass)
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