Patient Travis Mara
Meet Visianary Travis Mara, one of the winners from our 2011 Visian ICL giveaway.
Find out how a homemade video and the visual power of the Visian ICL changed his life:
When did first notice you had vision problems?
I really can’t recall a time in my life when I wasn’t wearing contacts or glasses. From what I’ve been told, it was around 2nd grade when I had come home from school and told my parents that I couldn’t really see the chalkboard in class. I went to the eye doctor a few days later and over the next several years my eyesight had decreased to about -10.5 in each eye. As a child my prescription was at worst a -10.5 in both eyes which by my 20’s had gotten a little better and moved to a -9.75. Now after the Visian ICL procedure my eyesight is 20/15 and nearly 20/10.
How did you hear about Visian ICL?
A few years back my wife and I were on our honeymoon in Costa Rica. It was our first night in the first town we were staying in and someone trying to get into our room had woken us up. With my eyesight being as bad as it was, I hadn’t owned a pair of glasses in years. In the dark, I had to fumble around and put my contacts in before running to the door. Fortunately, it was just a few intoxicated guests that were trying to get into the wrong room. At that point I realized I needed to look into getting my eyes fixed. Once we got home, I started looking into getting the LASIK procedure done. I shopped around for a while and met with a few doctors. I really liked Dr. Perl of Corneal Associates. His staff was awesome and he was one of the best surgeons around. I had a few pre-op appointments, which went well, but on my last one the doctor had a few issues with the thinness of my retinas. He quickly setup an appointment for me with a retinal specialist and I drove right to their office. Both my eyes were checked there and he was going to call Dr. Perl in the morning. About a day or so later, which was the day before my scheduled surgery, Dr. Perl called me at home and had explained his concerns with how safe LASIK would be for me and that he wasn’t entirely comfortable with me having this procedure done. We had briefly discussed other options, ICL and PRK. I didn’t like the idea of the PRK procedure and having already been 20/20 with my contacts, I couldn’t justify the cost of ICL’s. I then decided to put my eye surgery on the back burner for awhile. I can definitely agree that out of all of the options that I had, ICL was the best and based on my results, I can attest to that too.
Why did you consider entering the Visian ICL contest?
I didn’t. I guess it was out of shyness and the fact that I don’t ever win any contest that I’m in, but I didn’t want to do it. It wasn’t until I had told my wife and son the story of the phone call from Stacy at Corneal Associates, that I had changed my mind. I should rephrase that and say that they changed my mind. My son, who was 8 at the time was so excited at the prospect of making a video to try and win something. We ended up having a blast doing it.
How did you feel on the day of the procedure?
Excited I was getting my eyes fixed, Thanksgiving was a few days away and at the end of the week I was leaving for a 7 day trip to Jordan. I was sedated during the procedure so I’m not too sure of how long everything was. The whole day went well and probably couldn’t have been any easier for me.
How did the YAG procedure feel?
I still haven’t been able to find words to describe the feeling of the YAG procedure. It certainly didn’t hurt, but it was odd. Having had eyesight as poor as mine and wearing contacts for nearly 20 years, I was used to having my eyes poked and prodded. For me it was a breeze.
What was the first thing you saw with your new HD vision? How did you feel? What were your thoughts?
My wife was waiting by my bed when I “woke up”. So I guess she was the first thing that I saw with my new eyes. I had to wear protective eye shields and still had goop in my eyes for most of the day, so nothing was in “HD” yet. The next morning when I woke up, I could clearly see out my bedroom window and could read the alarm clock without holding it to my nose. Then I reached for my contact case and realized that I didn’t leave them on the nightstand the night before. I didn’t have to! Still almost 8 months later I find myself going to take contacts out before bed. I guess 20 years of habit is tough to break sometimes.
How has your life changed since receiving Visian ICL?
I started training for my first marathon shortly after the return from my trip to Jordan, which was right after my ICL procedure. Before when I ran, I would sometimes lose contacts. They would just randomly pop out of my eye. I’m not sure why, but it would happen from time to time. Having poor eyesight, losing one contact and still having one in the other eye would render me without depth perception. Not so good when I’m 10 miles away from home. In addition to that, I have a few extra minutes each day not having to clean or insert/remove my lenses. Swimming has also become more of a pleasure than a chore at this point too. Having to no longer worry about things like that aren’t a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders but it definitely makes life that much more enjoyable.
Would you recommend this procedure to others?
In a heartbeat. It’s definitely made my life more enjoyable in many ways. Also because of the way in which the contest was presented and all the fun I had leading up to finding out that I had won, makes it more of an unforgettable experience. Like I said earlier, some days I forget that I’m no longer wearing contacts but because of my overall experience I don’t think I’ll ever take my eyesight for granted.
Stay tuned for more Visianary testimonies!
If you are a Visianary that would like to share your story email Erin at Erivera@Staar.com