So, how is my vision? How well can I see? Let me start off by reminding everyone that whatever I talk about in this post is solely based on MY perception of the results of the procedure. I can only speak for me. Of course, results vary for each individual that has this done and there are many factors that contribute to those results. I happen to be young and very healthy because I'm a health nut. Anyways, according to experts, after having the ICL procedure, perfect vision is not guaranteed. Of course, because they can't guarantee anything. They say that vision anywhere from 20/20 to 20/30 is acceptable after a procedure like this. So, what is my vision. Well, needless to say the doctor and his assistant were a bit baffled when I read the eye chart. My left eye read the chart on the 20/15 line, and my right eye read on the 20/10 line. 20/10!!! I got 3 out of 4 letters right on the 20/10 line. All they could do was laugh. They were speechless. The assistant even said that I may have a bionic eye, haha. Clearly, I have no complaints there.
I should note here that witin these last 6 months, I did make 2 appointments with the doctor because I had some minor problems. The first one was in June and it was because my eyes were severely red and very uncomfortable. This was due to a pre-existing condition I had before my procedure and completely unrelated to it. They gave me some steroid drops and sent me on my way. The second time I went was because my right eye went blurry and stayed that way for a few days. Of course I freaked, because that's what you do when you were once in medical school. You start thinking of all the worst possible outcomes. I just knew that I was either developing cataracts or my eye pressure was rising. I went in to see the doc and basically we figured out that it was because I had stopped using my lubricant eye drops. When the human eye is punctured, there is always a greater risk for dry eye afterwards. In addition to my ICLs, the doctor did also did what are called "limbal relaxing incisions" or "LRIs" on both of my eyes to correct my astigmatism. According to emedicine from WebMD (http://www.emedicine.com/oph/topic656.htm), here is some info on astigmatism and LRIs:
Astigmatism is present when the cornea is not spherical; that is, it is steeper in one meridian than in the meridian 90° away. The cornea with astigmatism may be thought of as being shaped like a football rather than being shaped like a basketball.
Limbal relaxing incisions (LRIs) are a modification of astigmatic keratotomy (AK), a procedure to treat astigmatism. LRIs are placed on the far peripheral aspect of the cornea (the limbus), resulting in a more rounded cornea (see Image 1). Astigmatism is reduced, and uncorrected vision is improved. LRIs can correct astigmatism up to 8 diopters (D); however, the use of LRIs is routinely reserved for 0.5-4 D of astigmatism. LRIs can be performed either at the time of cataract surgery or as an independent procedure.
Although LRIs are a weaker corrective procedure compared to corneal relaxing incisions (CRIs), LRIs produce less postoperative glare and less patient discomfort. In addition, these incisions heal faster. Unlike CRIs, making the incision at the limbus preserves the perfect optical qualities of the cornea. LRIs are also a more forgiving procedure, and surgeons often get excellent results, even with early cases.
Severe astigmatism can be corrected by lasik surgery, which thankfully wasn't my case. Well, apprently it can take up to a few months for this small incisions to heal. A few weeks after my surgery, I thought I didn't need my lubricant drops anymore. I mean, they weren't even medicated drops, just artificial tears. Turns out my right eye went blurry about the same time I stopped using the drops. I went back on the drops twice a day and my sight returned to normal. So, it goes to say that this little problem was corneal, and had nothing to do with the ICL's as well!
Now, as fas as drops go, I am only using the artificial tears. These are the only drops I have had to use since my procedure. Having the ICL procedure can stimulate a temporary spike in intraocular pressure, and anti-glaucoma drops may be needed. Normal eye pressure is between 11 and 18 mmHg (give or take a few). I know someone whose pressure spiked to 34 mmHg 24 hours after the procedure. He was put on the anti-glaucoma drops and then he was fine. My eye pressure is currently 13 mmHg in on eye and 10 mmHg in the other. Also, there is a risk of seeing halos around lights at night, and if they are bad enough, drops may be needed to lessen this effect as well. I think halos are the most common side effect of eye surgery. I must say though, that for the most part, I DO NOT see halos around lights. Only if my eyes are extremely tired. Other than that, my night vision is perfect. I was worried just after my procedure though because I did see very intense halos around light, especially in my left eye. They were so bad that I thought, "if this is what I have to deal with for the rest of my life, then it wasn't worth it". Of course, I was jumping to conclusions again. Those halos were just caused by corneal swelling, and they disappeared after 2 weeks or so.
All is not 100% perfect though. The only problem I have, is that I see ghost images, sometimes. Ghost images are a form of double vision. Basically, I only see ghost images with traffic lights and certain text on road signs. What I see is a partial shadow of the object I am looking at, just underneath it. Have you seen those fonts on Microsoft Word, that have the shadow of a letter under the real letter? Kind of like that. I certainly don't have true double vision. For example, if I look at a car, I don't see 2 cars. As I am typing now, I'm not even seeing ghost images with the words I'm typing. I don't know how else to describe it, but it is so minimal. It is not nearly enough to interefere with my daily activities.
So, that is pretty much my experience. I hope this info is helpful for anyone considering corrective eye surgery. I recommend it 2 thhumbs up to anyone who is a good candidate. Even my doctor now only does lasik on patients who are NOT good candidates for the ICLs because the results are so good. Because this post is getting rather lengthy, in a post in a few days or so, I am going to give all of the information about my doctor, his background and how to contact him if you are considering corrective eye surgery. He is the leading doctor in the ICL procedure, was one of the first to learn it, and actually teaches other doctors how to do it. AND, his fees are very affordable.
As always, feel free to contact me with any questions I may be able to answer!***UPDATE***
One of the commenters reminded me of something that I forgot to explain. The intermittent ghost imaging that I see is due to me still having a slight astigmatism. The LRIs cannot 100% cure the astigmatism. Also, I forgot to mention something about the ICLs moving around or shifting position in the eye. My doctor's office is one of the only in the U.S. to have the latest technology for fitting the lenses to a person's eye. They use ultrasound to get a 3D image of the eye in order to get the perfect size lense. My doctor has had to actually go in and re-fit a few patients lenses who were not properly fitted by the doctors that did their procedures. Remember, these are your eyes. It is VERY important not to get lazy when doing research on doctors. I'll give all of my doctor's info in a later post.