RogerBW's Blog

Eye Lasers 12 August 2015

I have just had two different sorts of laser shot into my eyes. The eye-squeamish may not wish to keep reading.

This was IntraLASIK, done at Moorfield's. First they use a femtosecond laser to blow a pattern of gas bubbles 0.1mm below the surface of the cornea; this cuts loose a thin flap, which can be lifted out of the way (by hand) for the next stage. The main treatment is a computer-guided excimer laser, which re-shapes the exposed tissue, after which the flap is replaced.

Leaving surface skin intact apparently leads to faster healing than simply working on the exposed layers. The whole thing is a bit disconcerting, but not at all painful, and as long as one can keep one's head reasonably still and eyes pointing in the right direction it's all done in half an hour or so.

The fog that is a standard after-effect has been gradually lifting. By the time I got home I could just about see to write; a few hours later there was still some blurring but I was basically functional, though not quite for driving.

A nifty thing, at least if you're me: the excimer laser is guided by optical recognition of the iris. So while the initial lasering needs the eyeball immobilised relative to the laser head, the later operation doesn't.

Now I just need to know why the smell of burned (or rather decomposed by ultraviolet, which is not quite the same thing) wet flesh was so immediately recognisable to me.

Tags: real life

  1. Posted by Michael Cule at 11:49am on 12 August 2015

    You are reincarnating backwards in time and recalling your experiences in the Asteroid Belt Wars of the Twenty-Second Century.

    Alternatively, have you ever had any warts removed? That's when I discovered what my own burning flesh smelled like. And more importantly felt like.

  2. Posted by RogerBW at 01:02pm on 12 August 2015

    When I was in the Asteroid Belt Wars I didn't get close enough to my enemies to smell their flesh.

    And no. Never had any sort of medical procedure more intrusive than drugs or a chest x-ray before yesterday.

  3. Posted by John Dallman at 01:02pm on 12 August 2015

    Glad it worked so well. That smell sounds like wet people on a beach being sunburned.

  4. Posted by Ashley R Pollard at 02:22pm on 23 August 2015

    Susan had her eyes done a few years back. Remember to use eye drops every night before going to sleep as the process can cause dryness. Anyway, I hope that the procedure was worth the inconvenience for you, and improves your vision.

  5. Posted by RogerBW at 02:30pm on 23 August 2015

    Thanks. I'm on a variety of drops every four waking hours for the next couple of weeks; after that it's as required. (This is an improvement, I understand - the old system didn't allow you to have time off to sleep, and for the first couple of days it was drops every hour without the option.)

    Vision is great, better than it ever was with glasses or contacts, and comfort and convenience are excellent.

  6. Posted by Susan Parker at 07:46pm on 07 September 2015

    It took a good few weeks, months even, for the haloing effects of strong light/dark contrasts (mostly at night) to fully go away but that was something I had been warned about beforehand.

    So now for archery I can focus both on the target butt (at 30, 40 or 50 yards) and the bow's sight (recurve) or tip of the arrow (longbow) without having to resort to wearing glasses. Still need to get out and practise more though.

    Since that was my original "specification" upgrade goal I can say that I am happy with the result :)

  7. Posted by RogerBW at 09:49pm on 07 September 2015

    I was OK to drive at night 36 hours after surgery; there's still some halo (more like a giant dandelion ball really) but it's continuing to improve. I have just taken the last of the Really Nasty-Tasting Eyedrops.

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