One thing that I had wanted to do for over 10 years was get LASIK. Starting in the 6th grade, I wore glasses and occasionally contacts. I had to, my vision was too poor to do much of anything without them. I did my research and asked friends and family about their own procedure and I decided that I wanted to get it done sooner rather than later. I checked out the ExpatWoman forums and found some discussions on the procedure and a good number of women highly recommended Dr. Ashraf at The Atlanta Vision Clinic. It was mentioned that expats make up a pretty big portion of their clients in Dubai. I checked the website for this business and it so happens that they had a Ramadan special (4000AED off your procedure). The sale was extra motivation for me to get the procedure done soon.
At my consultation I had my eyes and prescription checked with various little tests, much like a normal eye exam (minus the dreaded puff of air in the eyeballs). The staff was great and friendly. The office, a villa in Jumeirah on Al Wasl road, was clean and decorated nicely. Once it was determined I was a good candidate for LASIK we scheduled for that Saturday when Dr. Ashraf would be in town. (The Doctor has a location in Georgia, USA and he visits to do procedures once a month in Dubai, HERE is more information on him).
At one day after my LASIK I already loved the results. Dr. Ashraf is really nice, easy going, and answers any questions you have. It was reassuring to have him as my Doctor. The actual procedure was very quick. One eye at a time a thing is placed on the eye to hold it still and the first cut is done to access the cornea (correct me if I’m wrong). There is plenty of pressure and it gave me a little bit of a headache feel but there was no pain and I couldn’t see anything in the eye being worked on. Then the laser is used to correct the vision and for this another thing was placed on the eye to hold it still. I could see the little instrument the Doctor used to pull back the flap. Then I watched the little red blinking light and I could hear the buzzing sound and smell a kind of burning smell (All of which is normal) and still no pain at all, just pressure. I could see when he smoothed things out as well. It was very quick and easy, I was very nervous but once it was over I got to breathe and feel relief that I had finally done it!
Directly afterwards, everything had a white hazy appearance and light hurt a bit. We went to the Dubai Mall after to get one or two things and this was a bad idea! My eyes were sensitive and got dry easily from having my eyes open a lot. It was hard to see where I was walking and caused me a little bit of a headache. It would have been best to go straight home rest and be comfortable. Although being at the mall was a pain I could tell that my vision was better already. I could read store signs I would not have been able to otherwise and even with the haze on everything I could see what things were. I was much more comfortable after laying down to nap and keep my eyes closed!
The second day, the haze was going away bit by bit and I could see without glasses. I had to try really hard not to rub my eyes (a big no-no) and not get hit in the eye by my kids either. The one thing that was difficult for me was doing the eye drops. They did not hurt at all but the fluid drained through the tear ducts and out into the back of my mouth, which tasted SO horrible. I pressed on the duct for a minute after doing drops to minimize it getting in there and this helped but I think to press for 3-5 minutes would be even better.
Why get Lasik?
I am now one year post LASIK, and I am so glad that I had it done! At this point I get a little dry eye first thing in the morning but no other problems. I had dry eye from wearing contacts all the time so this is not new to me. When I use gel drops every night before sleep I notice that my morning dryness is decreased.
Make sure you do your research before your make a decision for yourself. This blog post is to share my experiences and opinions and are not a substitute for your own research and consultations with doctors and professionals.
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