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What It’s Like To Get Lasik In Your Late Twenties

For my 30th birthday I decided to give myself new eyes…I took the plunge and got Lasik surgery. This is what it’s like to get Lasik in your late twenties (aka early thirties).

My Background

I have needed glasses since middle school. But, I must admit, I was that middle schooler who refused to wear her glasses, maaaaaybe putting them on quickly to see the board but that’s about it.

By eighth grade, I had convinced my parents to let me get contacts (thanks again!). Ever since, I have needed them.

Fast forward to today, my eyes were not the worst, but I definitely could not see much more without my glasses than reading the book in front of me. As a homeowner, this took on a new meaning as I could not see anything when I’d open my eyes in the middle of the night and I was convinced I blurrily saw someone in my home!

There were many factors to my decision, both that I was turning 30 and that I had saved up enough money in my Health Savings Account that I could use it to pay for my surgery (or in my case, I paid myself back so I could get the credit card points!). And yes, it is important you know that Lasik surgery is HSA approved.

What It’s Like To Get Lasik In Your Late Twenties

Free Consultation 

Most vision correction surgery offices have free consultations available. You have nothing to lose!

Not only will you have all your answers questioned, but you also find out whether or not you are a candidate for the surgery; not everyone is a candidate so it is so important you find out first if the surgery is good for you.

At my consultation, they asked me some questions, ran some tests, and told me they’d be able to make me see even better than I could with my current glasses prescription. I was a candidate – yay! I made my decision on the spot that I wanted to book my surgery, but you do not have to, you can go and sleep on it and go/call back to book yours.

Things To Know Before Surgery 

There are some factors you should know prior to surgery, this way you schedule your surgery for a time that works best. The day of the surgery, you will be a bit groggy afterwards and it is encouraged to sleep it off.

You will need to wear googles or shields the day of your surgery to prevent you from rubbing your eyes or anything getting in it. You do not need to wear it the next day, but it is suggested to wear it when you sleep for the first week.

Heavy lifting is also a no for the first week. You also cannot submerge your eyes in water for a couple of weeks, meaning no swimming underwater and you have to wear googles while showering. For beauty product lovers, you also cannot wear eye makeup for two weeks.

Essentially, while the flap they created in your eye is forming, you cannot rub your eyes as it can cause it to move and not heal correctly. It is recommended to be especially careful if you have young children or pets at home.

You are also asked to get your prescriptions prior to surgery. For me, I had two — the antibiotic and a steroid.

You are also advised to get eye drops prior to surgery as well. These are OTC, but need to be  preservative free.

During Surgery 

The entire process takes about ten minutes and the surgeon will likely talk you through it (at least mine did). I went in to the office (I booked the latest appointment they had that day because I wanted to be able to sleep it off immediately!), signed the waivers, and was told it was OK if I took a Xanax (I have a prescription).

Numbing drops were then put into my eyes and it was time for the laser! I went into the room, laid flat and was told to lay still.

There are two machines at play — one that creates the flap and one that reconfigures your eye. One machine suctions to your eye and it almost feels like a vacuum.

I will say that you can smell the laser (if you’ve ever done laser hair removal it smells like that) but besides for that you feel nothing. The most annoying part of this time is the “instrument” that is holding your eye open — it doesn’t hurt, it’s just a discomfort.

Post Surgery

I was able to leave about fifteen minutes after my surgery. The ophthalmologist gave me my first doses of drops, taped the shields to my eyes, provided me with dark sunglasses, and sent me on my way.

I was driven home, napped for two hours, had some dinner, did my drops and then went to bed. You cannot have any screen time the day of your surgery. If you are in pain, you can take Tylenol.

For the first week, I had to do the two prescription drops four times a day. For two weeks, I did eyedrops on the hour.

The next day, you can wake up and see. It’s crazy! I went back into the office for them to check out my eyes to make sure all was good. I had another follow up one month after as well to check the healing.

For a while, you will see halos around lights (such as car taillights) or rainbows coming out of lights. These are both normal and the only “side effects” I experienced.

This is also why you may not want to do Lasik during the holiday season. Wearing sunglasses for the first couple of weeks is also a good idea, but especially critical for the first couple of days.

In Conclusion 

I am so glad I did Lasik. It truly changed my life. If you’re scared, don’t be! The thing you need to know the most is that there’s so many eye drops needed.

I carry my artificial tears with me everywhere — I am almost three months post surgery and I still do my eyedrops 4-5 times a day (I do have a job where I stare at a screen all day, so this doesn’t help anything).

But, the artificial tears are HSA applicable, so you can use your HSA dollars to pay for them (yup, you bet I upped my HSA contribution after this!).

And yes, I am one of those people who always say that they wish they did Lasik sooner!

About the Author

Michelle Ioannou

Michelle graduated from Fordham University with a Bachelors of Arts '13 and a Master of Arts '14. She's currently working in corporate America with a side of freelance writing. She wants you to learn from her experiences and mistakes so your 20s can be your best decade. When she's not working, she's likely planning her escape to a tropical island.