Herzig Eye Institute in Refractive Surgery on December 7, 2023

At fourteen, everything feels like it’s the end of the world, so when my optometrist told me I needed glasses days before entering the ninth grade, I was devastated. I had never needed glasses before, and just recently started having trouble seeing things far away from me. I spent some time trying pairs of glasses on and finally decided on a pair I liked, faked a smile, and went home – but truth be told, I hated my glasses.

Even though I could finally see, I never truly felt like myself when I was wearing my glasses. When I got the opportunity to wear contacts lenses, I couldn’t get them on fast enough. Finally, I was glasses free – or so I thought. The contact lenses initially worked like magic, and I felt like myself again, but slowly, my eyes became irritated every time I put them in. Over time, I developed an intolerance to my contacts, and was told I needed to stop wearing them and switch back to my glasses. I felt like I had been propped up just to be knocked down – I felt fourteen again, and no one wants to feel fourteen at twenty-eight. It was in this moment I began investigating laser vision correction procedures.

I had heard about LASIK, as most people have, but had never seriously considered it because I was too afraid. After doing some research, I felt reassured on how safe vision correction procedures are. I built up the courage and decided to schedule a consultation at Herzig Eye Institute.

Visiting Herzig Eye Institute

I arrived at my consultation and was in and out in about an hour and a half. I did a series of diagnostic tests and met with an optometrist who confirmed the results. They had provided me with a procedure recommendation that would be best for me. I was beyond shocked at the sheer number of choices I had. Walking into the consultation, I was under the impression that LASIK was my only option. I was recommended ReLEx SMILE, also known as just SMILE, which the doctor explained as similar to LASIK, but less invasive with a smaller chance of dry eye. I had the opportunity to discuss pricing, financing options, and procedure dates – they also told me I could think about it, but I was sold. I felt more ready than ever before.

Day of the Procedure

The day of the procedure, both my nervousness and excitement were at an all time high. The staff, including the skilled surgeon, Dr. Sheldon Herzig, were beyond patient and continuously reassuring during the entire process. As I lay in the “laser suite,” I couldn’t help but think about all the times I felt held back by glasses, and how I’ve been waiting for this moment since I was fourteen. In preparation for Dr. Herzig, a nurse put drops in my eyes to numb the surface. To my surprise, the procedure lasted less than fifteen minutes, was painless and discomfort-free! Post-surgery, my vision, though slightly hazy, already showed signs of improvement. The next day, I came back for my one-day post operative appointment, I was told my eyes were healing well – I was even cleared to go back to work the next day.

My Thoughts One Year Later

Fast forward to today, over one year later, I can confidently say my only regret was not having this procedure done sooner. My decision to push past that initial fear, schedule a consultation, and undergo the SMILE procedure was undoubtedly one of the best choices I’ve made in my life. I wake up each day with 20/20 vision, and I finally feel like myself. After years of struggling with glasses and contacts, I finally have my confidence back. I embrace life’s every moment with newfound clarity and perspective, all thanks to my incredible vision correction journey at Herzig Eye Institute. Ashley at fourteen wouldn’t even recognize Ashley now, but to be fair, she couldn’t see very far.

Make an Appointment

If you are looking to enhance both your confidence and vision with help from laser refractive surgery, come visit our award-winning eye team to obtain more information about which surgery may be best for you. To schedule a consultation, call our Toronto office at 647-490-6509 or our Ottawa office at 613-703-6656.

To view more on Ashley’s ReLEx SMILE journey, head over to our Instagram to see her process.