Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Hello everyone!! I am saying HI with my perfect eyesight, typing from a good one metre away from my screen! Having regained my 6/6 eyesight is akin to having life giving me a second chance to take care of my eyes - how often do we get second chances in life? 

The above is me on most years of my childhood and recent days when I'm a 黄脸婆 at home minus the makeup. I don't mind wearing spectacles because the big frames help to hide my dark eye circles whenever I decide to skip the face powder routine. What I reallyyyyy dislike though is
1) how the glasses leave red imprints on my nose bridge after wearing it for long hours,
2) no matter how I tighten the frame, it still slips off my nose, and
3) how annoying it is to have my eyelashes brush against the lens all. the. time. My fake lashes might be too long but my natural lashes always dirty the lens with... the eye cream? I don't know what dirt is that but my lens get blur and I have to wipe it every hour.

When I was flying last time, I had to take out my contact lenses during the short 3 hours crew rest and it was such a hassle! I could've slept with contacts on but that would make my eyes red and dry when I wake up so I diligently removed them before rest and sacrificed some 15 minutes of precious rest time in total. I was also a blind cat walking to and fro the crew bunk from the toilet. :/

Friends/Ex-colleagues who went through LASIK (I'm using this term loosely) always share stories about how the procedure is the best decision they've made up till this point in life and truthfully, I've always thought it's a little exaggerating. I cringe whenever they describe the surgery - "blade slicing open your cornea", "cornea was flipped open and lasering was done to correct refractive error. Sounds absolutely horrifying with these images going through my mind and some of them are spotted with red eyes (broken blood vessels) for a week!

Yet the thought of going for LASIK never left my mind because I don't want to be a 四眼妹 forever! If I can make my life/travelling easier, why not?

A month before I went for the refractive eye surgery, I actually gone through a 2-hour long pre-refractive surgery evaluation at one of the LASIK clinics located at Paragon Shopping Centre to ensure my suitability for refractive surgery treatment. This evaluation also provided me information on the health of my eyes in general. I sat through 6 different stations which require me to focus my eyes on the screen in front of me while the professionals do their checks. I was then asked to watch a couple of videos about the different types of refractive eye surgeries available and a consultation with the attending doctor - easy peasy! 

At the end of the 2 hours, it was revealed to me that I have thick cornea (yay!) and I am suitable for all forms of refractive eye surgeries for my shortsightedness and astigmatism (double yay!) so I made the choice of going for ReLEx SMILE, which is a new bladeless, flapless, and micro incision refractive eye procedure that corrects visual problems including short-sightedness & astigmatism. 

I checked it out and realised they were one of the two centres in Singapore that offers ReLEx SMILE.

ReLEx SMILE (Refractive Lenticule Extraction, Small Incision Lenticule Extraction) was the least terrifying method where only a tiny 2-4mm incision is made in the cornea! It is a single-step, all-in-one laser procedure that takes about 10 minutes to perform on one eye but my surgery finished in 15 minutes for both eyes! Literally in the blink of an eye it was over ;)

Taken at the clinic before my surgery - last picture in glasses and bye-bye myopia!

All I did was just lie there with my eyes open, focused on the green light and I was done! I did not feel anything and contrary to beliefs, I couldn't exactly see what the doctor was doing - it was all in the head because I watched the video previously.
I could leave immediately after the procedure and because H had an important meeting that afternoon, he couldn't pick me up so I was feeling a little anxious before the procedure about the trip home without my eyesight. In the end, I realised my worries were unfounded because the nurse actually personally walked me to the taxi stand and I COULD ALREADY SEE though all I wanted was just close my eyes due to the discomfort felt.

Got home, popped a sleeping pill prescribed by the clinic, slept for 4 hours and the discomfort was GONE and I have regained at least 80% of my vision - clear just not perfect yet.

I went back for my post-surgery review the next day and it's as if life is back to normal again though this time my dependency on spectacles and contact lenses were greatly reduced! My left eye felt perfectly normal but right eye was experiencing minor discomfort like having an eyelash in the eye. No major disruptions to my life though! I could go about my daily life just without makeup but hey, my complexion improved tons during the 2-weeks post-op!

Also, after ReLEx SMILE, I developed slight night vision issues such as haloes and starbursts which look like the background of the picture above. It's no biggie and doesn't pose a problem when driving at night. Thankfully, I was told by the doctor that this will go away in 3-6 months when I regain full visual potential, and it is part of the healing process.

Would I recommend it?
Yes, a hundred times yes. There is no wrong in improving your quality of life.

I say, give yourself this second chance.

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