I paid for this procedure myself and was not compensated for writing about it. If you click a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission, thank you. I’ve wanted to have LASIK for at least the past 15 years, when I went to a seminar at my job at the time. I was a little worried about the safety but mostly, it just wasn’t in my budget. I’ve been thinking about it more and more in recent years, and I finally decided it wouldn’t hurt to go for a consultation.
I’ve worn glasses for 27 years. I wore contacts for about 12 years but after my first child was born, I no longer could. They felt like sandpaper in my eyes, so I’d put them in to go run and rip them out as soon as I got home. Eventually, I gave up and when I finally got my David Kind glasses, I was able to wear them while I exercised, though they still slipped quite a bit.
I hate shopping for glasses. My face is narrow and very few frames fit me or look good on me. If they look OK with the demo lenses (very hard to tell since I have to get 4 inches from the mirror to see myself), they look awful with my prescription in it. Even with the thinnest, most expensive lenses, both my eyes and the sides of my face are distorted through the strong lenses.
I was fairly pleased with the David Kind glasses, but I’ve spent $400+ each on several pair of glasses that then sat in my drawer. The last pair I’d take them to get tightened and adjusted, but the first time I put them on and took them off, they’d loosen and push against my ears.
When I exercise, they bounce around and slide down with sweat. When I’m giving someone a piggy back, I have to ask said child to push my glasses up for me every 15 seconds. Speaking of fingers on my glasses, I swear they are constantly dirty, no matter how often I clean them.
LASIK wasn’t necessarily a good financial decision for me. Since I only buy a new pair of glasses every 2-4 years (at most) and do not wear contacts, LASIK won’t really “pay for itself.” I’ve been looking for a new pair of frames since my last eye exam in July. I finally found a pair (the first pair I’ve liked on me in a decade plus, after trying on a million), but they were “designer” and the frame alone was almost $300. I decided that I’d go for a LASIK consultation, and if I wasn’t a candidate, I’d buy myself the glasses, price be darned.
I called the office recommended by my ophthalmologist and made an appointment. Of course, before I did so, I did a lot of Googling & research to make sure they were the best choice! The consultation took just under 2 hours, and I left with an appointment to have LASIK less than 2 weeks later.
The consultation involved a regular eye exam along with some additional tests, including eye dilation, dye drops to test moisture in my eyes, scans to see if I was eligible for an additional procedure called Contoura, and an eye pressure test which involved numbing eye drops and a device pressing directly on my eye. That was the worst part of the exam. The numbing drops made my eyes feel bizarre and heavy, and every part of my instinct was trying to get my eye to close while that thing was coming at my eye!!
I left with an appointment for LASIK and Contoura (they said the procedure takes about 15 minutes but that I’d be in the office for about an hour and a half), appointments for 1 day, 1 week (2 week for me since I would be at ABC the following week) and 1 month follow ups, prescriptions, and pre/post op instructions. The price of the procedure (including all care & follow up visits) was $4995, less a $1,000 discount they were offering and plus a $500 cost for the Contoura. In total, I’d be paying $4495. The prescriptions and eye drops cost me about $50 at Target‘s CVS pharmacy. (Side note: I used to always use Target Pharmacy and their generics were really affordable. Now that they are CVS pharmacy, prices have gone up for me, always costing my insurance co-pay. At Target, costs were quite often lower than that for generics – I paid a dollar or two for several!)
Here were my instructions:
For a week prior to the procedure, I am to use a single use, preservative-free eye drop 4 times per day.
The day before the procedure, I am to use an antibiotic eye drop 4 times per day. No eye makeup 2 days before or a week after.
The day of the procedure, I am to keep my eyes closed on the ride home, and take a 4 hour nap, wearing goggles to keep me from rubbing my eyes while sleeping.
When I’m awake the day of the procedure, I’m to use the antibiotic drops and a steroid drop every 2 hours.
Starting the next day, I’m to do antibiotic drops every 4 hours for 4 days, steroid drops every 4 hours for 7 days, and the single use, preservative-free eye drops every 4 hours for 7 days.
They recommend using the goggles at night and not wearing eye makeup for a week, then you can use a regular bottled eye drop as needed.
They gave me a packet of information about LASIK and the doctors, instructions, a consent form to review & sign the day of and even a chart to keep track of every dose of drops before & after.
I left feeling really excited about this and bought a pair of sunglasses I had been wanting for years. I’ve never been able to wear nice sunglasses since the only frames that can be made into prescription sunglasses for me were ugly, flat frames.
It didn’t take long for me to start feeling a bit sick to my stomach about the whole thing. Is this the right choice? Is it going to be scary? Am I going to regret it? Am I going to regret doing this right before I leave for ABC?
I’m doing it!!