Consultant Ophthalmic & Corneal Transplant Surgeon
Head of School of Ophthalmology, South West Peninsula Postgraduate Medical Education
I had worn glasses from my early teens, but had never been comfortable with them. I switched to contact lenses in my late twenties, when I could no longer see the far end of a football pitch clearly towards the end of games in the late Autumn and Winter!
I was always quite comfortable with contact lenses, but by last year, I was struggling even with my these, as I was at that stage when bifocal vision was plaguing me. I was prescribed varifocal glasses, but just couldn’t get on with them – I seemed always to be looking through the wrong part of the lens!
So, it was time to look at an alternative, so I had a consultation with Mr Habib. I was assured that I was a ‘suitable case for treatment’, but it was pointed out to me that with astigmatism in both eyes, and varifocals now the order of the day, I might need reading glasses and glasses to drive at night, following surgery, should I go ahead with it. However, with the prospect of being free of both glasses and contact lenses, for probably 90% of the time, for the first time in something like 40 years, I decided it was worth going ahead.
Surgery took place in mid July. I was looked after superbly on arrival (and at al times throughout the morning) at the Nuffield Hospital in Plymouth - probably far more fuss than I needed, in fact! – and was taken down for surgery, where I was offered music if I wanted it, and looked after by the nursing staff, whilst Mr Habib prepared. Every aspect of the procedure was explained to me, and I was made to feel very relaxed and completely ready for what was to follow. Except that it was all over in a few minutes, and once again I was left wondering what all the fuss was about!
Furthermore, as soon as I sat up, I was able to see clearly, without glasses or contact lenses, for the first time for as long as I could remember. Fantastic.
The after care was just as good, with a follow up consultation with Mt Habib 24 hours, then 1 week, later.
Initially, I was finding that I felt I needed reading glasses to help at times, but after a few weeks I found myself no longer needing them – thankfully, Mr Habib had told me to just buy some ‘off the shelf’ reading glasses, at the lowest prescription I could find. Even so, some 4 months later, these now seem like a waste of money!
My next follow-up consultation took place after 3 months, at which appointment Mr Habib assured me I had better than 20 / 20 vision – I could read much, much smaller letters on the test chart than I ever thought possible, bottom line and beyond! – and that my eyes were in good shape and everything was looking great.
Of course, everything is looking great as far as I am concerned – waking up in the morning and being able to see ‘normally’ for what seems like the first time in my life; being able to really enjoy scenery when out walking; being able to read traffic signs, notices, shop window displays, all things which people with regular sight take for granted, but which had long been a source of frustration for me. It seems churlish to describe it as ‘life changing’ when ‘all’ I have done is rid myself of glasses and contact lenses, but like so many things, unless you have experienced it, it is hard to describe what a difference it makes.
Do I have any regrets about the surgery? Yes – I wish I had done it years ago!
My recent cataract operation was a short painless procedure, done in a relaxed atmosphere. Prior to surgery, my unusual cataract had grown rapidly over a few months reducing my vision to a near sighted blur. The outcome has been beyond my expectations, as I now have my clear vision restored.
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