Prior to undergoing refractive surgery, I had worn contact lenses for more than 13 years to correct moderate myopia and astigmatism. Over the years, however, I grew tired of wearing contact lenses. As an operating technician, I knew of the myriad benefits of refractive surgery and had long contemplated undergoing some sort of laser vision correction. Here, I share my rationale for selecting CLEAR and detail my personal experience with the procedure.
In addition to the inconveniences of wearing contact lenses, including the risk of infection, I also wanted to eliminate the long-term cost of contact lenses.
After assisting Professor Mehta in performing CLEAR numerous times, I decided the procedure might be a good option for me. I was specifically drawn to CLEAR because it has a very low risk of complications and a minimal risk for suction loss. A preoperative evaluation performed at Singapore National Eye Centre confirmed that I was a good candidate for CLEAR (Figure 1), and the procedure was scheduled for February 2022.
Because I have seen the CLEAR procedure performed countless times, I am well acquainted with the entire surgical process. Even so, experiencing it as a patient was eye-opening. I was nervous before the surgery yet excited about the end result. The docking of the laser was slightly uncomfortable, but it was quick. During surgery, Professor Mehta calmed my nerves and kept me focused on the necessary steps, such as looking at the light during fixation. I finally understood what surgeons mean when they explain to patients that the red light will disappear, but it’s nothing to worry about. Halfway through the laser treatment, my vision went dark, and I could not see for a few seconds. But here I am now with clear vision. I felt a slight pressure, but I did not feel any pain during surgery.
Before I knew it, I was in the postoperative recovery room and Professor Mehta was checking my eyes to ensure everything went well. My eyes were not red or painful after surgery. I experienced some tearing, but it only lasted about 1 hour. After CLEAR, my UDVA is 6/6 (Figure 2).
SHARING MY EXPERIENCE
In addition to speaking with my friends and family members about my CLEAR surgery, I also share my experience with patients in our practice. I explain to them what they can expect during the procedure, how long the recovery time is, and if they had dry eyes preoperatively why it is important to treat them before surgery. I have always told patients that the 20-minute procedure will give them a lifetime of freedom, but it is mind-blowing to experience it for yourself (Figure 3).
I will never forget the euphoric feeling I had the next morning after surgery when I woke up to clear vision. It was life-changing, and it confirmed that undergoing CLEAR was the best decision I made this year. Now, I enjoy my life with true freedom from contact lenses and have never looked back. The convenience of not having to wear contact lenses and glasses for the rest of my life made everything worthwhile.