That changed when I moved abroad at the age of 20, I realised that being in a totally unfamiliar place and in charge of groups of holidaymakers wasn’t going to work if I couldn’t see. I went for a laser eye surgery consultation at a well known clinic but the timescales weren’t right and I decided against it at the time.
So I decided to try contact lenses and it was like a revelation…I could see, I didn’t need to wear glasses and everything was hunky dory. Except contact lenses can be fiddly and uncomfortable, you can only wear them for so long and it can work out to be quite expensive. So I bit the bullet and paid an exorbitant amount for some designer specs “for work”, which I actually wear all the time now and rarely stick my lenses in these days.
The downsides of glasses is that they’re very visible, they get wet in the rain (I sometimes joke I need windscreen wipers), they need to be replaced as time goes on and I obviously can’t wear them for running or swimming or anything like that. And the problem still remains that if I forget my glasses or can’t find them immediately then my eyes are still bad and I still can’t see or drive.
When I was contacted by Freedom Vision, a Manchester based company, to enquire if I would be interested in having a consultation for laser vision correction, I was very interested and booked myself in. I actually knew exactly where their clinic was as my friend lives 2 minutes away and there’s a very nice pub nearby (The Wharf – nice food, lovely interior, looks onto water and allows doggies).
Prior to my consultation, I was sent a welcome pack which gave me loads of information about the consultation and the procedure as well as a form to fill in with my medical history and eyesight prescription. It was really comprehensive and they encourage you to get in touch with any questions you might have after the consultation.
On arrival, I found the clinic was really smart and up to date and all of the staff I spoke to were friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. They really put my mind at ease, answered any questions I had about eye surgery and didn’t put me under any pressure whatsoever throughout the consultation. I found them all to be really informed about the treatment too.
First of all you have some scans of your eyes taken, these are painless, not at all uncomfortable and basically determine the treatment you’re eligible for. You then go and have a fairly long consultation with an optician who does in depth eye tests to make sure your prescription is right and that there are no problems with your eyes. They put a few different eye drops in as part of this testing so your pupils go quite big and are sensitive to light so I’d recommend taking some sunglasses with you to your appointment and you can’t drive home (they do tell you this before your consultation).
My optician was also very open about the risks of the surgery which I think is really important in making a decision too – as with all surgeries it isn’t something to be taken on lightly and you need to be sure that it’s right for you. Again, I found the staff to be very professional and experienced.
You then go into another consultation room where you discuss the options that are available to you and are given information about the surgeon, procedure and aftercare as well as getting a date and time booked in for your surgery. You also get shown around the surgery room and talked through what happens as part of the process. In total I was at Freedom Vision for about an hour and a half discussing everything about the surgery in depth. I actually found it a lot more friendly and felt a lot more comfortable than the previous consultation I’d had at another larger clinic some time ago. Freedom Vision was a lot more personal than the other clinic which felt a bit like I was just a number on a conveyor belt to get my eyes done. I didn’t feel like that this time at all.
Following on from my consultation, the good news is I’m eligible for Lasik with Wavefront and have been booked in for 23rd September so I’ll update you on how I get on. Apparently the surgery takes about 20 seconds per eye, I’ll be out the same day and my vision should be much better and settled by the following day which is amazing! I’ll have to sleep in goggles for the first week, not wear make up and go for check ups the following day, a week on from surgery and then a month on from surgery to make sure everything’s ok. I’m so excited!