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Laser Eye Surgery

I am short-sighted and have been wearing contact lenses for 20 years, firstly hard, gas-permeable lenses and latterly soft 2 weekly lenses, but I have now decided to take the plunge and get laser eye surgery *gulp*. I have 5 friends who have had their vision corrected this way and they have all found it bliss, but despite their reassurances I am rather terrified of the procedure – just reading the Informed Consent Form made me queasy!

I visited Optical Express and Ultralase to compare the laser surgery they offer.  Whilst I found Ultralase the slicker of the two outfits, they were going to charge me £1400 more for the procedure and I struggled to find the USP worth such a price jump.  The counsellor said that they don’t differentiate between patients prescriptions, so it’s one price fits all, whereas Optical Express graduate the price according to your prescription.  I am not that short sighted, so feel I should not have to fork out as much as my friend who may be -6.00 in both eyes and will need more laser treatment time than me! Ultralase also said that their laser technology was more responsive to eye movement, but when asked Optical Express were not prepared to concede this matter….! I did a bit of internet research. In the end I chose the Visex laser technology as approved and used by NASA as opposed to the Bauch & Lomb laser technology used at Ultralase.  As the counsellor at Ultralase said it’s was German engineering versus American engineering – although she compared it with cars and whilst I might normally choose German car technology over American, not so for this, as many Americans have had this treatment.

So, Wavefront Intralase – Lasik is the prodedure I am to have…. at the moment I can’t go into detail of what’s involved in the surgery as my legs will turn to jelly and my vision will go fuzzy!! Suffice to say that a corneal flap (eeeuw!) is created using the intralase laser, then the corneal tissue is reshaped, but I am trying not to think about it.  For all that I have slapped contact lenses in my eyes with abandon over the years, I am actually squemish about anyone doing anything with my eyes! I keep thinking of a friend’s comment “its just 10 minutes of your life” then I will, assuming all goes well and to plan, be able to see clearly without the aid of spectacles or contact lenses!

I have perhaps jumped the gun a little by returning the unopened packs of contact lenses that I had to my opticians of choice, Trotters.  I have attended Trotters, 44 George Street, Edinburgh for well over 15 years, having my eyes cared for by Coral Allan, a lovely, personable lady who made my optical appointments enjoyable as well as practical, giving excellent eye care advice… which I was sometimes not so careful to follow! Rather than get frustrated with me, she would encourage and guide me though my eye-care issues.  It was always lovely to walk through the door and have either Joan or Ann recognise me without having to introduce myself and explain why I was there, they would know I was there to collect lenses or to have an appointment – such customer service seems so rare these days!! I will still attend Trotters for my regular eye check ups, but there is some satisfaction in thinking I may not need their kind, helpful and customer focused attentions as much, if this laser surgery does its job.

So, after the 11/2 hr consultations for laser eye surgery, where lots of eye measurements and tests are done to check your prescription, health of the eyes, the cornea thickness, etc you are told whether you are a candidate for laser eye surgery, then a discussion about the various types of surgery that would suit you is had.  Then there is the money part. Once you decide, it’s a case of booking the appointment.  Seven days before the eye surgery contact lenses are banned! Out come the specs, in order for your eyes to revert to their natural shape (contact lenses change the shape of your eyes).  On the day, although I am to be in surgery for around 10 -15 minutes, I will be at Optical Express for a few hours! The horrific part for me is that I will not be able to wear any make-up on the day of surgery and for 7 days after I cannot wear eye make-up! Aaaaaarrrgggghhhh! (Yup, what a girl!)

So, hopefully next week I will be able to give you an update on how it went…. Here’s hoping that I will be saying it was fine!

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  1. Double Ouch - Eyes and Back - Brett Fitness linked to this post on January 12, 2009

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