My Vision Correction Journey!

I am so excited to write this post because of many reasons. One of them is because I really wanted to achieve a perfect eyesight for a long time. From memory, I remember I was myopic since 10 years old (Primary 3). However, that wasn’t the main driving factor which really encouraged me to do the surgery. For past 2 years, my eyes have been failing on me. My eyes get strained and tired easily, even with spectacles. I couldn’t last through more than half a day in front of the computer without struggling to focus. Moreover, it gets worse with contact lenses. My vision starts to get blurry after a few hours of wearing contact lenses. That could also be due to my astigmatism (125 on one, and 75 on another).

Why do LASIK?

Lasik is considered a cosmetic procedure an you cannot claim under MediSave. I chose to do it because my eyes have been suffering from the discomfort as I’ve talked about earlier and also because it would greatly benefit my lifestyle!

I love travelling, and if you are an avid traveller yourself, you would understand the pain of getting up every morning and putting on contact lenses, and wearing it all day long. And because I am travelling, I usually take the time to explore the area, and hence I will spend 10-12 hours a day outdoors, which is significantly more than a normal day. What’s more annoying is that my vision starts to get blurry because my eyes are dry (especially if the weather is cold) and that hinders my vision to view the scenic spots and attractions that I am seeing for the very first time.

And it is just not nice to wear spectacles… at least not for me! I don’t look good in spectacles sadly.

I paid for this treatment and I am very thankful that LSC Eye Clinic agreed to allow me to document the treatment and post-surgery process.

Before considering vision correction surgery, you first have to go for a check-up at the clinic! From my knowledge, LSC Eye Clinic and many others offers a student rate for check-ups! (LSC offers $1 eye check-up for students).

Image taken from my school email in Apr 2018, the clinic has changed its name to LSC Eye Clinic. Do refer to their website / school emails for updated pricing!

Image taken from my school email in Apr 2018, the clinic has changed its name to LSC Eye Clinic. Do refer to their website / school emails for updated pricing!

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Before you decide to dive your head into this, you have to go for a pre-LASIK assessment, and that will take about 2 hours, including doctor’s consultation.

The assessment is conducted in a room with about 12 machines (too many I lost count). The main purpose is to ensure that the cornea is thick enough to perform LASIK on.

After my assessment with the clinic assistant, they applied eye drops to dilate my pupils before performing the vision test (the one where you read alphabets, like when you would do when you visit the optometrist).

The final step is to meet the doctor, who will then look at the test results and recommend the best procedure for your eyes.

My degree reads about 450 for both eyes, which is not considered extremely high and my cornea is thicker than the average. I was provided with 2 options - Lasik & ReLEx Smile. It becomes a bit tricky when your degree is too high and your cornea is too thin. The doctor might recommend are procedures.

 

LASIK

Lasik involves laser cutting the cornea flap (hence the term ‘bladeless’). Imagine how you open the cover of the cup noodles. I like to think my description as imaginary, but I think you get it. The laser cuts 80% of the cornea, leaving a small uncut area that acts like a ‘hinge’. The cornea flap is lifted up, then the laser will reshape the cornea ,the cornea flap is covered back and will bond itself together like how tissues heal and bloods clot.

I am no expert in this subject matter so if you want to find out more do contact the clinic to find out more! The team the LSC Eye Clinic was very patient to explain the procedures to me and answering all my questions, I have acquired a lot of information from them that helped to make a more informed decision.

ReLEx Smile

I did the ReLEx Smile procedure, which was the least minimally invasive procedure, which is also the newest technology. The laser last for 25 seconds exactly, and it creates a lenticule which is the piece that the doctor will be removing. Then a small incision less than 4mm will be created by the doctor to remove that lenticule. And next, IT’S DONE! The process is really fast which boasts to be one of the advantages of this procedure.

What makes ReLEx Smile better and worth the money?

  • It heals faster, because the area cut is so minimal, and less damaging to the eye. Don’t need to stay at home and wear sunglasses. (I get this question asked a lot!)

  • NO pain at all! (Well it depends on individual, but I’m sure after a nap, you will feel as though nothing happened)

  • No cornea flap implications

  • Less to no dry eyes (This also depends on individual, but it was one of the reasons that made me choose ReLEx Smile because I have existing dry eyes condition)

  • Degrees stabilises in future. It is very unlikely that nearsightedness or farsightedness will reoccur, whereas for Lasik, it could be possible.

  • Faster surgery time

  • Suitable for people with active lifestyle, such as contact sports players. Can start playing after a week.

Surgery can be done right away on the same day, but I didn’t do it on the same day because it was a large sum of money and since I am paying it myself I had to take a longer time to consider. Of course with ReLEx Smile being about 30% more expensive than normal LASIK, you really have to think it through and measure the benefits and costs. I had dry eyes and I was afraid that LASIK would worsen the dryness which was why I decided to take the safer option.

I was given a pill to consume which helped to ease my tension right before the surgery. Shortly after, I moved to the waiting room. In the room, I waited in line for my turn as there were other patients as well.

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Photo with Dr Marc Tay right after the surgery. He did a check under the scope to ensure everything was fine before I was discharged.

Photo with Dr Marc Tay right after the surgery. He did a check under the scope to ensure everything was fine before I was discharged.

Initially, it felt rather uncomfortable like theres a scratchy sensation in the eye, and it has to be kept closed. It felt as though I just woke up from a hangover.

Pro Tip: Bring your own shades if you want to go home fashionably.

After I went back home, I put on the eye shields given, took a sleeping pill which was provided in the medication kit and slept for 5 hours, took a bite and then till the next day morning.

NEXT DAY

I would say washing hair or face is not recommended after the surgery, as water might enter the eye. The next day I woke up, the discomfort in the eye was completely gone. I would just like to reiterate that there was NO PAIN at all throughout the entire process. My vision was rather clear, but not perfect. I was so happy to wake up and see everything without the help of my glasses! (I can’t help but subconsciously wanting to put them on)

Pro Tip: If you want to wash your hair, wear swimming googles so that water doesn’t get in your eyes, make sure its secure. Otherwise, going to a salon helps too. Just make sure they are aware. You can also wear lab goggles while at it, just to be extra safe.

Eye shields to prevent contact with the eye while sleeping.

Eye shields to prevent contact with the eye while sleeping.

Day 1 after ReLEx Smile - no scar or any redness, and most importantly, no pain or discomfort.

Day 1 after ReLEx Smile - no scar or any redness, and most importantly, no pain or discomfort.

There are 3 post-op reviews included in the package, and the first is on the day after the surgery.

I went back to see Dr Marc Tay and he just took a look at the eye again and said that the tiny wound is already healing up. The vision will stabilise in about 2 to 3 months. I can’t wait!

I did a instagram highlights on my profile on my ReLEx Smile journey so if you have not seen it, you can check it out here.

POST-OP 3 MONTHS UPDATE:

My eyes are still dry, as it has always been so, even before the surgery, and I had to use eyedrops. At least for now, I don’t have to withstand the discomfort of lenses in my eyes are dry! I use eye drops almost on a day to day basis. I am glad that the surgery brought a lot convenience to my lifestyle. I don’t have to look like a zombie when I got for exams anymore. (I usually wear specs to exams)


Some FAQs, questions I was curious about and also questions I have received

Was the surgery painful?

No it wasn’t painful at all. I just felt a bit uncomfortable after the surgery, sort of like a hangover, it would be best to keep my eyes closed.

Do you need to stay indoors for a week with sunglasses?

Not necessary, you can head out the very next day. Whether to wear glasses or not is entirely up to you! Personally, I did not feel that the daylight was glaring at all. However, this would be very different if you opted for the Lasik procedure.

How much does it cost in total?

The latest updated prices can be found at https://lsceye.sg/prices/. Interest-free instalment payment is an option.

Can it correct astigmatism?

Yes, it corrects astigmatism together.

Can you still get cataracts?

Yes, cataracts and other eye diseases might still occur and surgery can be performed again.

How long does it take to recover?

Vision becomes immediately clearer, but it takes 2-3 months to stabilise. Hence, clarity fluctuates from time to time.


LSC Eye Clinic is collecting unwanted eyewear, and they will be recycled to provide quality vision to seniors living in the Whampoa district.

Drop by LSC Eye Clinic at Paragon Medical #16-01/02 to donate them today and support this meaningful cause!

Thanks for reading,

Melvin