So it’s been three years since my life 100% changed for the better. If you think I’m exaggerating, you clearly have not familiarised yourself with the crew, the crew being anyone in the world who has had lasik done before. As mentioned on instagram a couple of weeks back, I blogged about my epilasik procedure three years back and till this day, it remains one of the most popular subjects of the email/DMs I get from readers. It seems that getting the procedure done has crossed most myopic people’s minds seriously more than once, and although I raved about the procedure 3 years ago, I thought it was time to add something new.
Everything I said about lasik before still stands, and if you’re someone who’s still kind of on the fence about it, you can read my previous posts on my epi-lasik journey here:
The Accident (Nightmare, part of the reason why I wanted to do Lasik)
The Operation (Nightmare, part of the reason why I wanted to do Lasik)
Pre-epilasik (Finally deciding to do it)
Immediately Post Epilasik (Research, the procedure, and life immediately after)
Three Months On (After some time)
As you can tell I have journaled my epi-lasik story pretty extensively (starting, truly, from the point where I was done with my long history of eye problems and started looking for alternative options). I wrote most extensively on the research that went into my decision making process in my post epilasik blogpost (linked here), so start with that, but I’d suggest you also read the rest of the posts and also look around online on what other people are saying about it!
Anyway, as I was saying, it’s still something I get asked about till this day, so I thought it was high time I write another follow up post on it, three years down the road. Sufficient time has passed and I can now comment on it from a long term perspective, so here goes.
I compiled some questions from readers, and here they are, answered:
What’s the total cost and recovery time?
Before you can do the procedure, you have to do an evaluation, and the prelasik evaluation costs $37.50.
If from there they say you’re ok to do the procedure, then you can continue. Epi-lasik, the procedure I did, costs 3,888SGD for epi-lasik surgery for both eyes, initial set of medications, and post-op reviews for a month. It’s GST inclusive!
Is it covered by insurance?
No, cos its not considered a medical procedure.
Can I pay for my procedure with medisave?
Yes, conditionally. IF your eyes have a power degree difference of 300 and above – eg. Right eye 600 degree and left eye 250 or something – then MOH lets you claim up to SGD1250 per eye from your medisave! This is because it’s considered a medical condition, a degree difference so big is an imbalance of power, which is quite funny and totally useful for money purposes. It’s still subject to approval though, as with every thing in singapore. The clinic will submit the claim for you, it sounds like a relatively fuss free process.
Did your myopia come back?
Nope. I’ve never had a problem with my eyes since then, and I actually dont do anything special to take care of my eyes anymore haha. When I first did my procedure, I was so paranoid that I wore shades whenever I went into the sun, I didnt watch TV late into the night, and I didnt use my phone in bed at night. Now, although I dont purposely do those things extensively, I definitely dont take as much care as I used to, but my eyes are still fine. I should probably practice better eye care habits though.
What was your degree before and after?
My degree was 450/500 (L/R), and now I have practically perfect vision. I say practically cos I havent been to an eye shop to test it in a year, but I still see everything perfectly, so for all intents and purposes my eyesight is ace.
Is there any post-op warding?
Nope, it’s a day surgery and you’re in and out in about three hours. You have to stay home for the next few days while your eyes are recovering, but you dont actually stay overnight in the hospital at all.
Is there any post-op medication?
Yes – I got a bunch of different medicated eye drops to be used in three/four hour intervals. You mainly use it in the first week or so, after that you can switch to using normal eyedrops whenever needed.
What are the follow ups like?
For my clinic (ClearVision Singapore), they did three follow up sessions several months apart, with the last one being one year after the op.
How did you choose the clinic that you ended up doing the surgery at?
I did a lot of research on my own for about half a year before deciding – Everything is detailed in my blogpost here.
Clear Vision Singapore
6 Nutmeg Road
How much time should you set aside for yourself to recover after the surgery?
I would say minimum 4 days at home, after one week you should be more or less functional, but you should be careful for the next few months. Dont go swimmin in the sea or anything for at least a month, obviously. But I think my life basically went back to normal after a month, and I didn’t have to take super extraordinary care of my eyes or anything like that after.
Did you experience dry eyes whilst wearing contact lenses, and do you experience dry eyes after lasik?
I dont know if I had dry eyes per se, but I definitely used a lot of eye drops when I was on contact lenses, especially during long days in air conditioned environments, or when I was on shoot. On top of that, I also experienced a lot of red eyes and discomfort whenever I had alcohol at night. All that went away after my epilasik procedure, and I hardly use eyedrops now, so no dry eyes for me! Of course this is my own experience and everyone else’s might differ, so I’d say check with your doctor before doing it to see if your eyes are suitable.
Does it make a difference to your recovery if you have a pet at home?
Well I didnt go hug my cat or rub my face in her fur or anything like that, but living in the same house as her seemed ok and didnt affect my recovery much.
Does epilasik make a difference if you’re looking at a computer all day for work?
Yes! I used to get these nasty migraines, especially towards the end of the work day, when I was wearing contact lenses. Now I dont get those anymore, and my eyes dont feel as tired as they would be if I were filtering computer work through the film of contact lenses.
Can you drink alcohol while recovering from surgery?
Additional benefits of Epi-lasik in the past three years:
– Not having to touch my eyeball ALL THE TIME, trying to peel a contact lens off my dry eyeball after a long day or stick it into bloodshot eyes early in the morning is incredible. I have gotten zero eye infections in the last three years. ZERO. I really believe this is because I am no longer introducing foreign bodies (aka my finger and whatever dust/dirt its picked up over the course of, yknw, being alive) into my eye every single day. This is really incredible because I used to get eye infections all the time and it was the worst!
– If youre a spectacle, not contact lens, wearer, you can FINALLY wear fun shades! haha.
– I can swim without fear that chlorinated water is going to get into my contact lens and induce an eye infection!! I never got around to ever buying swimming goggles with prescription, so I was basically always swimming half blind since I swam with contact lenses once and my eyes were down for 2 weeks after.
– Travelling is just a dream when you dont have to worry about dried out eyeballs on the plane, leaving your specs behind in the plane or Airbnb, forgetting contact lens solution… just generally, it makes everything so much easier. There was once in Seoul when I was walking around and my contact lens fell out of my eye. That was it for the rest of the day and I had to cancel the next two hours of plans so I could rush back to the hostel to get another pair of contact lenses from my bag because theres no way your day can continue when youre half blind – it’s a very dizzying experience to have clear vision in one eye and blur vision in the other. It happened to me overseas, but I imagine even in Singapore if you lost a contact lens or something, you’d still have to go home in the middle of the day. Bah.
– Also travel related – I dont get as sea or car sick as much anymore!
– No more stumbling half blind when you have to wake up in the middle of the night to pee. Or post-shower. Omg for some reason I was always losing my glasses in the evenings, and after the shower I would be panicking trying to find my stupid glasses so I could see when I also needed the damn things to help me see so I could look for them.
– Extreme sports like diving and snowboarding become way, way better.
I wrote The Broke Student’s Guide on getting your Padi Open Water Diver’s License a couple of years back, and since then I’ve dived on maybe six different occasions, including one week-long liveaboard in the Maldives and a recent clean up dive in Singapore waters as part of FRANK by OCBC’s sustainability efforts. I cant imagine what it would have been like with contact lenses on now that I’ve dived with clear vision – the thought of sea water getting on my contact lenses while underwater makes me shudder because damn, that stuff is a breeding ground for bacteria.
I recently went on a snowboarding trip which I wrote about here, and again, the benefits of perfect vision made themselves so apparent.
I fully recognise that diving and snow sports are extreme sports and so not everyone will be interested in them, so maybe this isn’t the most relevant across the board. But it’s one of those cases that I didn’t take into account when considering the epilasik procedure, and so a pleasant surprise!
So yes, three years later and here we are..
I’m super super glad I did epilasik 3 years ago and it’s truly been one of the best decisions of my life. I think you’ll be hard pressed to find someone who’s done the procedure and doesnt agree. Epilasik is basically magic – being given back the gift of sight is really a thing to behold. I cant imagine why someone wouldnt want to do it given how amazing it is – the only thing I can think of is cost, and to be fair, it’s a big upfront cost. But as I mentioned in some of my previous posts, if youre paying regularly for contact lenses, the math works out. You do save money in the long run, and its not just that – it’s like owning your vision instead of simply renting it. My only regret is not doing it earlier.
If you have any more questions about the epilasik procedure, you can always call or drop ClearVision an email and they’d be better suited to reply questions on the more technical aspects of the procedure. And I hope this post was helpful for those of you considering doing epilasik! But man – it really comes down to this. Perfect vision is awesome.