Asian Eye Institute: A LASIK Eye Screening Experience (Part 1 of 3)

Photo 01-07-2016, 10 43 17 AM

It started with headaches at the age of 25. Numbing, annoying pain in my temples that just wouldn’t go away, despite cutting out caffeine, drinking more water, or consuming pain killers.

“Maybe you need glasses,” my former boss suggested. Having 20/20 vision my whole life, I was in a bit of denial that I was following the path of my mother who wore glasses and contacts for most of my childhood. But the tests proved my boss right, I was diagnosed with astigmatism and so began my 10 year “love affair” with contacts and glasses.

Every few years, I would need to be checked only to discover that my grade kept going up. Till last month, I heard some sad news. My astigmatism had reached a level (300 on each eye) where contact lenses were no longer available to fix my blurred vision and worse, they were scratching my eyes because they didn’t fit properly. My ophthalmologist recommended I look into LASIK and it just so happened my good friend Nicole was about to have it done with the Asian Eye Instituteso I decided to go in for a screening as well.

img_0880.jpgThe front desk of Asian Eye Institute Rockwell: their main branch.

img_0881.jpgWaiting at Asian Eye Institute Rockwell to begin my eye screening.

img_0872.jpgLASIK is defined as an eye surgery to improve vision by fixing the inner cornea with a laser. I quickly realized that not everyone is a candidate for the procedure. You require a certain level of corneal thickness and tear production to be able to have it done. And I was also quickly schooled that Asian Eye Institute gives one of the most elaborate eye screenings  in the country to be sure that you are the ideal candidate. Here are some pictures from my own screening:

img_0879.jpgNo need to bring your glasses or tell them your grade, they will check this out for themselves.


img_0878.jpgOne of the trippy machines to check my corneal thickness.


img_0876.jpgSo far so good!

img_0874.jpgThese sheets are placed in your eye lids for a few minutes to check your tear production. Dry eyes is a common reason why people don’t qualify for LASIK.

img_0873.jpgI’ve got normal tear production. Yay!

Photo 14-06-2016, 4 24 52 AMEye drops are inserted to dilate my eyes so they can look at the back end. More about this in my tips below.

Photo 14-06-2016, 4 30 02 AM Dr. Robert Edward T. Ang, one of the senior doctors at Asian Eye Institute, checks my corneas to make sure I’m a candidate. He’s also one of the directors of AEI.

Photo 14-06-2016, 4 31 56 AMWoohoo! Dr. Ang says that I am a good candidate for LASIK. Look at that smile on my face. Both excited and nervous.

Photo 14-06-2016, 4 32 24 AMDr. Ang explaining the procedure to me. And because I prefer to do my own investigations on doctors, here is some background on Dr. Ang that I uncovered during my research (from

Screen Shot 2016-07-06 at 8.54.54 am

Yup, highly qualified. Have I convinced you enough to get screened? Here are some tips I can offer to make the process go smoother:

1. Clear your calendar: When you make your appointment be sure you have no other obligations that day. The screening can take between 3-5 hours and your eyes are really going to be too tired to do anything else after.

2. Have a good breakfast or lunch: It’s also best to go after a big meal so you don’t get hungry in between tests.

3. Wear comfortable clothes and bring something warm: The Asian Eye Institute likes to keep their airconditioning super cold. It also wouldn’t hurt to bring a bottle of water to stay hydrated.

4. Tell work and family that you won’t be able to text for at least 3-5 hours after: One of the tests requires a medicine to dilate your eyes and make them blurry. You won’t be able to see things up close for a number of hours.

5. Be prepared for some light sensitivity: I woke up the next day with my eyes still a bit dilated and sensitive to light, which is perfectly normal.

6. Don’t wear your contacts for at least a week before your screening: wearing contacts might affect your results. 

Learn more about The Asian Eye Institute and book your appointment through their:

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Stay tuned for when I share how my LASIK procedure went!

(In case curious, my blue pinstripe shift dress is from local brand Commonware