According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 2.2 billion people in the world experience visual discomfort daily due to visual impairment. The search for solutions to improve vision many seek only when it begins to interfere with living a comfortable life and poses a threat to health. One of those who dared to change the current situation is the architect, known as the creator of “Vilnius Street Art” piece” Juozapavičius Waterfall”, Ignas Lukauskas.
“I wanted to have laser eye surgery since I was a student. At that time, this procedure cost about 7,000 Litas (around 1993 euros) in Lithuania and I had even gone to the check-up. As a student, it was beastly money, so everything ended only with thoughts,” I. Lukauskas begins his story.
The architect, who obtained a doctorate from the Vilnius Academy of Arts in design, inherited the weakness of his eyes from his father and began wearing glasses in middle school – when he started watching television, studying more and spending less time in the fresh air. After graduating from bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral studies, he began to live an active life and learn to dive.
“When my vision dropped to more than -3 diopters, I came up with the idea to learn to dive in Malta. The only thing that saved me was that the instructor who had diving masks for every possible diopter. Otherwise, I would not have been able to see anything underwater,” says I. Lukauskas.
Diving goggles were not the only discomfort. It was difficult to find sunglasses as well. So when everyone around him wore them, the man bought such glasses only after a while, for the production of which he put a considerable amount of money.
“The funniest thing when you try on glasses in optics is that you never see how you look with them or whether they are right for you. You have to get very close to the mirror or take someone with you to help you choose. You can evaluate the result only after receiving new glasses and paying for them,” the man notes.
Decision Was Encouraged by Recommendations
“Everything changed one evening on a friend’s birthday. There, I met an active leisure-time enthusiast, who promotes walking on the rope, an IT professional who constantly spends days at the computer. He told the story of his laser eye surgery. I had the most doubts about whether the vision would worsen once more after spending long hours in front of the monitor, but the newly met friend confirmed that it was the best solution in his life,” I. Lukauskas recalls.
According to the architect, he decided to go to the Vilnius Eye Clinic “Lirema”, where the doctors performed detailed vision examinations.
“I was surprised when experts estimated that my cornea was twice as thick as usual. I was a suitable candidate for the operation, and the extremely thick cornea left the possibility that the procedure could be repeated in the future. Going deeper into the differences in surgery, I decided to opt for the PREMIUM standard for shorter healing. I wanted to recover sooner because I had to go back to work,” says the man.
The operation lasted only 20 minutes. Before the procedure, sensations that awaited were explained to me. During the process, the staff kept commenting on what was going on.
“I was nervous before the operation, but when the eyes were quickly desensitised and the time for the procedure came, all fears vanished into thin air. Although a friend was waiting for me to help me get home, I probably saw better than him after the procedure,” jokes I. Lukauskas.
After the operation, there was greater sensitivity to light, and eyes felt a little teary, so Ignas spent part of the day in the dark, with closed curtains. However, the discomfort was felt only at noon.
“When I got up the next morning, my eyes were no longer so sensitive. I saw better, and after three days, the ideal vision was achieved. I really liked that the doctors discussed openly and in detail the course of the process and the possible side effects. About a month after the operation, while the brain got used to the changed angle of refraction of the light beam, I saw reflections, but immediately after that, everything got on its own track,” I. Lukauskas claims.
The Result – Better Than Expected
“After the surgery, it was incredible to see distant signs written in small print and to be able to read it. Everyday life has turned into a kind of racing game with yourself, finding where the farthest reading limit is. A few days after the operation, the body was still controlled by the reflex to reach for the glasses in the morning. After six months, good eyesight has become a matter of course, and the glasses have been forgotten in such a way that it seems I have never worn them,” comments the architect.
Finally, the man enjoyed more than one pair of sunglasses that were no longer so expensive. As a result, there was no need to produce diving, skiing and cycling goggles with diopters separately.
“When it comes to glasses, the biggest problem is fogging. I had very high-quality anti-fog glasses, but even those let me down. One time I was at a disco, and someone accidentally slapped me in the face. The glasses fell to the floor. The dancing ended because everyone started looking for my glasses,” I. Lukauskas recalls.
When he started going to the gym, wearing glasses was very annoying, and without them, he could not see anything. As a result, the man often greeted strangers who seemed like acquaintances.
“I tried to switch from glasses to contact lenses, but my eyes were very sensitive, they dried up from work at the computer, and the lenses fell off as a result. Even the softest lenses didn’t help. In addition, while visiting the pool and the sauna, they kept overcasting until I decided to give them up altogether,” I. Lukauskas names the drawbacks.
According to the architect, he has been feeling and seeing well for five years now, realising that vision can deteriorate over time, but it is a matter of care and lifestyle.
“In order not to lose my superpower, I drink food supplements for the eyes every day. Although, if necessary, I could do a repeat laser eye surgery, it would be a shame to lose something as precious as vision again. I like blueberries and carrots. I spend a lot of time in nature hiking or cycling. I try to eat healthily – I believe that this is the recipe for my healthy vision,” I. Lukauskas concludes.