My Experience with Laser Eye Surgery at Optical Express

My Experience with Laser Eye Surgery at Optical Express

I had laser eye surgery nearly 10 years ago at Optical Express in Bluewater and its one of the best things I have ever spent my money on. It completely changed my life. I have so much more freedom and confidence. My short sight wasn’t as bad as some; I was -6 in one eye and -5.5 in the other. I simply couldn’t function without contact lenses. Life was blurry and out of focus. I couldn’t distinguish faces and I certainly couldn’t tell the difference between the shampoo and conditioner in the shower – not without bringing them two inches away from my face. Whilst I was coping perfectly fine in contact lenses, without them it was debilitating.

I had been wearing glasses since the age of 7 and contact lenses since the age of 15. It seems like a lifetime ago that I made the decision to get my short sight corrected at the age of 22. At 31, I am forever thankful for taking that step towards perfect vision and I never take my sight for granted. In all honesty, it absolutely changed my life. This picture was taken a couple of days before my laser eye surgery. I had to be completely contact lens free for a week beforehand. I always hated wearing my glasses and before this I hadn’t worn them for years.

Two people looking at the inside of a car.

The Consultation:

I was a perfect candidate as my vision had been stable for over 2 years. The only minor issue was that I had a thin cornea, which meant I had to have the more expensive type of surgery where the flap is precision cut with a laser. I actually didn’t mind this as the healing time was significantly faster compared to being cut by hand.

They also reassured me there was absolutely no risk of blindness. The worst thing that would happen is the surgery would fail and my vision would remain short sighted. I decided to bite the bullet and go for it. It was going to cost me £1500 per eye – I was living at home at the time with a stable income so I got the whole thing arranged on a 2 year finance deal at the end of my consultation.

The Day of My Laser Eye Surgery:

I was nervous and anxious. What if something went wrong? The surgeon was calm and confident. He’d done over 200,000 procedures in his time and reassured me that everything would be fine. I remember waiting with my mum (she was having laser eye surgery too) and my heart was pounding. He explained every step of the procedure, what actually happens and answered all of my questions.

My actual surgery lasted one minute. 30seconds in one eye and 29seconds in the other. All I had to do is look at a little red light that slowly got clearer and sharper as the laser does its magic. Then the surgeon puts the flaps back down and you are good to go – the whole thing lasts only minutes.

I vividly remember the next few moments like they happened only last week.  Sitting up in the chair, eye clamps removed, looking over at a clock on the wall and bursting into tears. I could SEE all the numbers on the clock face that was roughly 2.5 metres away from me on the other side of the room. The nurse chuckled and said it was good to cry – my eyes needed to be kept wet and the tears would help the healing. She led me (still balling my eyes out) to a dark room to recover and I nibbled on a few biscuits and sipped a hot chocolate.

I was not in any pain at all; I was just feeling incredibly emotional at the fact that I could actually see clearly with my own eyes.

Girl wearing sunglasses on her head.

Healing & After Care:

I actually don’t really remember much of this stage as it was so long ago but the after care was easy to follow. You have several eye drops (some have to be kept cool in the fridge) that you have to use for a week or so. One is a lubricating one as your eyes need to stay moist, I think one was a saline solution and one was an antibiotic. I also had to wear goggles in bed so that I did not rub my eyes by accident during the night. I remember being quite sensitive to light so sunglasses were worn regularly for a week or so.

The optician advised not to wear any eye make up whilst my eyes were healing. You have to avoid rubbing them and its best to avoid anything that could contaminate them and cause infections. But it didn’t actually bother me too much – its a perfect excuse to wear a bold lip colour or highlight perfectly chiselled cheekbones. I opted for bright red lips courtesy of Russian Red by MAC.

This picture was taken maybe about two weeks after my surgery. My eyes were no longer bloodshot but I was still being cautious about eye make up.

Side Effects:

I wouldn’t really say I have any major side effects but I do suffer from dry eyes occasionally. I don’t really know if this is directly related to the laser eye surgery as I had dry eyes before due to being a long term contact lens wearer. When it was really getting me down and starting to feel a little painful I saw my optician. They simply said its not serious, nothing to worry about and I just needed to give my eyes a little extra moisture. After a couple of days using eyedrops they felt normal again. Now I just buy the occasional bottle from Boots when I feel like I need a little extra top up.

My Vision Now:

I feel great pride telling people that I have better than 20/20 vision. I’m able to see the smallest line of text at the opticians when I have my eyes tested. I love being able to see the world in all its vivid colours and clarity. My vision is something that I never take for granted because I remember how blurry and unfocused my world used to be.

 

If you are considering laser eye surgery then you should just go for a consultation. Theres no obligation to go ahead, its free of charge and you can get all the information you need. It honestly changed my life and I am loving my results! Its really the best £3000 I have ever spent.

Have you had laser eye surgery? what was your experience with it?

 

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