I have been near sighted for most of my life. I started wearing glasses at age 5 and am 36 today. For those of you who know what I'm referring to, don't we all dream of being able to wake up one morning and just being able to see the world clearly without contacts or glasses? Sounds so dreamy,,,
I recently had the ability to be able to afford eye surgery (or at least part of it) so I asked around for a recommendation. I found a highly recommended Dr. in my area and met with his staff who were absolutely fabulous to work with. I was hoping to be a candidate for the highly popular Lasik treatment as Lasik is supposed to be fairly quick and easy and the down time isn't so bad. Unfortunately I did not qualify for Lasik and instead my Dr. recommended a procedure called PRK According to Google, PRK stands for "photorefractive keratectomy. It is a type of refractive surgery to correct myopia (nearsightedness) hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism. PRK was the first type of laser eye surgery for vision correction and is the predecessor to the popular Lasik procedure." Basically what happens is the Dr. has to remove the surface layer (cornea) of my eye to do the corrective surgery and then my eye has to completely rebuild that tissue. (YIKES!) This means I'll have a longer, more painful down time after surgery.
I was forewarned by the lovely people in the eye surgery office that this procedure is a challenge to get through and I would be prescribed pain killers to be able to get through the healing process. Now my thoughts were, "I'm pretty tough. I think I can handle a little pain for a couple of days without pain killers." I. Was. Wrong.
The surgery part wasn't too bad. For years I have dreamed about going camping and not having to deal with contacts or glasses or going on a trip and just being able to see. I was excited and happy to have any surgery that would allow this to happen. The day after my surgery I went in for a quick appointment to make sure I didn't have any infection going on or anything else pop up and I asked about that prescription for pain killers.
The feeling I had in my eyes was beyond anything I have ever felt. Imagine being socked in the eyes really hard and then rubbing onions in them...over and over and over again for about 2 full days. I had to be in a dark room with no light. I wore the sunglasses they gave me all day and covered my eyes lightly with a cloth at night so no light could get in. It was an intense healing time and I was thinking to myself how wonderful it will feel to be past this healing process, AKA "Will this ever end?!" The other thing I was thinking was that I'll need to do a series of microcurrent sessions to rehab my facial muscles from wincing and cringing so much.
I am not quite through my healing process yet, but I am able to finally look at a screen and can open my eyes all the way without them severely watering up. I have come up with a small list of to-do's if you decide to go through Lasik or PRK.
#1 No lash extensions, just NO
If you have lash extensions, have them professionally removed by whomever applies them for you. Let them know you are going in for eye surgery. Your lash tech will be there when you return. I promise.
I could not imagine having to deal with lash extensions during this healing process. I have to put 4 different drops into my eyes multiple times a day. These drops will make your lashes come off more quickly, not to mention your eyes will be extremely watery for a few days. And keeping your eyelash extensions clean? Forget about it. No lash extensions.
I am not a Registered Dietitian nor a Nutritionist, but I believe there are certain vitamins that can help with the healing process. You can read all about it online and for best results, go see a Registered Dietitian or Nutritionist and tell them you are going to have surgery and what would be the best diet and/or supplements to take during this time to help you heal.
Personally I am taking a supplement called Skin Accumax. It is made by a UK company and contains vitamins A, C & E, plus DIM. Vitamin A can help to jump start collagen synthesis, especially in epithelial tissue. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that is needed for collagen synthesis and will also help protect tissue against infection. Vitamin E is an antioxidant and helps to reduce scarring. This supplement was made specifically for someone who has a lot of skin breakouts and inflammation in their skin. Check with your Dr. to see what is right for you.
I firmly believe this supplement has helped me heal faster. My eye team told me my worst day would be 3 days after my surgery, but my worst days were the 1st and 2nd day after my procedure. (I honestly had no idea how it could have gotten worse than those 2 days)
#3 Schedule a Microcurrent Facial
After your Dr. gives you the ok, schedule a microcurrent facial treatment. or better yet a series of treatments. If you can, schedule a few treatments before your surgery and the rest after. Let your Esthetician know you're planning on going in for eye surgery so they can help prepare your skin prior to your procedure.
Microcurrent is a low level of electricity that mirrors the body's own electrical impulses. It is sub-sensory so that most people feel nothing at all. It's almost like a deep tissue massage for your face. Microccurrent will re-educate the muscles in the face to normalize them. What I mean by normalizing them is that some of our facial muscles lengthen over time and some shorten. (Think of the are between your eyebrows. These muscles shorten over time for most people and create the dreaded 11's.) Microcurrent can help to lift eyebrows, relieve facial tension, increases circulation and above all, increases ATP.
Adenosine Triphosphate or ATP is cellular energy. As we age, our cellular energy decreases, which we can literally feel as we get older. Taking an external source of energy (microcurrent) and applying to the skin will help to jump start ATP in the mitochondria, improving skin texture, tone and overall look of the skin.
After lasik or PRK, you will LOVE the results from microcurrent. I felt like my face aged 10 years within a days aftert the PRK procedure. Microcurrent helped to decrease puffiness from my eyes and just got me feeling a lot better.
These are just a few things I've been thinking about as I sat in complete darkness, not being able to do much of anything, waiting to heal from my eye procedure.
I'm headed in tomorrow for my final appointment with my eye Dr. to make sure I'm healing well with no complications. Wish me luck!
Karli Stewart is a Licensed Master Esthetician, Makeup Artist & Licensed Massage Practioner. She owns Mode Skin Care & Esthetics in Olympia, WA and is a Global Educator for Bio-Therapeutic in Seattle, WA.