Is it normal to experience near vision loss after ReLEx SMILE?
Hello! Just did SMILE lasik last Friday evening (2 days ago). Far vision so far is almost perfect, but I seem to have lost my near vision 😩 Reading for example, or texting, is rather difficult as it's blurry :( My near vision was perfectly fine before the procedure. I'm using eyedrops regularly, so I'm not experiencing any dryness either. I’ll be 29 this year, so hopefully it isn’t age related?
Hi Cheryl, it's great to hear that your distance vision is so good after your recent eye surgery.
In the early period, especially within the first week, it is fairly common to find that fine detail (such as when we are looking at things close up) is not so clear. There can be a slight mistiness to the vision overall.
This happens sometimes also with LASIK, and often is related to the fact that the eye is still healing and the presence of a 'junction' or 'interface' between the flap/cap and the underlying cornea. As the eye heals, this 'junction'/'interface' becomes less obvious and vision improves.
There is also the possibility of temporary fluctuations in refractive state (spectacle power), and that is why we usually wait until one month after LASIK before re-measuring the spectacle power, which is usually very low or zero at that time.
You are probably worried about age-related focusing issues (Lao Hua in Chinese or otherwise known as presbyopia). Rest assured that no laser refractive surgery affects this in any way. It will develop eventually but at the usual age of your early forties. For sure, what you are experiencing now is not Lao Hua/presbyopia.
My guess is that your near visual blurring will improve over the next few weeks. Do continue follow up with your regular doctor and the usual instructions regarding post-operative care and eyedrops.
Glad to hear that you are now able to see relatively well at far distances 2 days after ReLEx SMILE. From what you have described, it seems like you have some difficulty in reading at the moment.
Without the benefit of examining you, I can only offer a few possibilities why this might be.
To be honest, 2 days is still fairly early days in terms of visual recovery for any laser vision correction.
At this time, there will be some element of post-operative healing present. The healing process includes improvements in the post-operative swelling, which may mean that the refractive state of the eyes have yet to reach a stable state.
It would be best to reassess your visual experience about 1 week from the time of the surgery. For some patients, improvement to their vision may continue even weeks or months after the procedure.
In the meantime, it would be a good idea to adhere to the post-operative advice given by your surgeon to aid in the healing, prevention of post-operative infection and dry eye. Wishing you a speedy recovery.
Dr David Chan
Hi! It is great to hear that you achieved good far vision soon after SMILE.
Last April, I presented a talk called the "Wow" of RELEX SMILE at the Asia-Pacific Zeiss Refractive Meeting" to fellow SMILE surgeons. In it I showcased the visual results of my SMILE patients at first post-op day, 2 weeks post-op and 3 months post-op. Your results fall within range of what is expected.
Hang in there, keep your appointments, continue your eyedrops - the blurring for near vision will improve.
At 29, unless there is a pretty significant overcorrection of your eye power, you should not be experiencing presbyopia / lao hua for the next 10 years or so. So, enjoy your good uncorrected vision when the haziness subsides!