I have worn glasses since I was three years old. With a little break in my 20’s when I had contact lenses I have always worn them. Over the past year (since hitting 40 ) my eyesight has been rapidly deteriorating and I was heading for varifocals in the next 6 months. Not a massive deal but I lose glasses all the time, hated being this hazy and was really quite worried about how bad my eyesight was getting.
Sometimes something amazing happens and luckily for me I was asked by Optical Express if I would like to review laser eye surgery along with 21 other blogger/journalists as part of their 21 year anniversary celebrations. I could not believe it and I was ecstatic to say yes. I would not have considered it before. I haven’t had the money and it’s not something I have ever really thought about, plus it sounded scary!
Having looked into it and been for a consultation with the wonderful Optical Express team in Nottingham I was deemed suitable and absolutely sold on the idea. I was very excited.
Well as the rest of team21 bloggers came back reporting their various successes with their surgeries I got myself all geared up for mine. I was nearly sick with nerves. I had made lots of babysitting preperations and plans for others to take the kids to school for a few days, AND……
They couldn’t do it…my prescription on the day was far worse than it had initially seemed. Apparently I had been wearing very wrong prescription glasses and my eyes were a lot weaker than they initially appeared but they couldn’t tell till they did the very in depth scans. So I was sent away with a new set of glasses to see if these were right. I was a bit frustrated but obviously they couldn’t laser it to the wrong prescription.
When i went back the second time my eyes were too dry so I was sent away with drops. Apparently if they had done it I would have been really really sore and irritated. I was frustrated again this time but everyone assured me third time lucky and all that.
On my third visit everything was seemed to be place, my eyes weren’t dry and I had the right prescription I met my surgeon and he looked at everything. okay he said I don’t think laser is going to be the best option for you, because of how weak your eyesight is and the fact you are both long and short sighted you would be a better candidate for IOL. Having no clue what IOL was and completely fed up (combination of getting myself all nervous and worked up again!) I had a little cry. George (my surgeon) and the optical express staff were fab, they mopped up my tears and explained it all to me.
Intraocular Lens procedures include Refractive Lens Exchange which is the procedure that was deemed suitable for me. It is similar to cataract surgery, basically the lens in the eye is removed and replaced by a new lens which has been calculated to compensate for your prescription. Kind of like wearing an internal, permanent contact lens.
Okay I thought this sounded GRUESOME but marginally better than being lasered . They were really informative sent me home with some good literature to read and advised I have a think. It would involve a journey to their private hospital in Manchester and it would be one eye at a time.
I was constantly reassured throughout the all of this that despite knowing I was reviewing laser surgery Optical Express were cautious and careful in my treatment. They didn’t just go ahead to please me and do an okay job. They really did want to do the BEST job for my eyes even though this was frustrating for me. I think actually its the sign of very good practice. They wanted me to have the BEST long term outcome and so IOL procedure is what I opted for. I really had developed trust in them .
I was nervous about my procedure I won’t lie the thought of having my eye meddled with made me squirm.
Basically after a bunch of tests you are given a local anesthetic and lie down. Your eye that is being operated on it left uncovered but apart from that you don’t see whats happening. George Settas my surgeon was reassuring and clear about what he was dong bu all I could see were hazy lights. I felt nothing at all. |Not a thing. I was entirely comfortable. Within minutes hew as done. I was so shocked. That was it . Over.
Everyone was lovely bringing me tea and biscuits and letting J know I was ready to be collected.I had a patch over my eye for one day then after my 1 day check up it was off.
I could see really well immediately. I could read nearly all the charts and I confess I had a joyful little weep. It is such an absolute pleasure to have good eyesight. I was advised not to drive for a couple of days or rush standing up as my brain need to get used to things but already I had 20: 20 vision. I had to take drops for 2 weeks and sleep with a little eye shield for a week at night
The same surgery and check were repeated a week later in the other eye. I am now glasses free.
I can read anything! I can drive without glasses, spend all day at the computer and see with no strain and no problem. I had multifocal lenses popped into my eyes that correct both my long and short sightedness so really I can see anything. It’s like a miracle really!
I highly recommend Optical Express and their staff who have all been so supportive to me. I think George Settas is a genius, fab, lovely wonderful surgeon. I so love being able to see so clearly.
The only drawback? I have way more wrinkles than I realised and I can see them now…eeek! I keep looking needlessly for my glasses.
Next week I am going to go into Nottingham and buy some eye makeup which I have never really worn. I am also going to give all my old glasses in at Optical Express who recycle them to developing countries.
Thank you Optical Express you did a fine job.