Ask a patient: Mariam’s LASIK story
07 October 2021
Optometrist has laser eye surgery at Optimax
In August this year, we treated our lovely patient Mariam with LASIK surgery. Mariam is an optometrist herself and spends her days talking all things eyes and vision with her patients. She was short sighted and relied on either glasses or contact lenses every day for even the smallest of tasks.
Laser eye surgery is something Mariam had been considering for a long time but she struggled to fit it in last year due to the lockdowns and around her wedding celebrations last summer. However, 2021 proved to be Mariam’s year for 20/20 vision and she was finally able to ditch her glasses for good.
Something which made the experience even more exciting was that Mariam was treated by her aunt, our own Optimax surgeon Dr Bhojani! Dr Bhojani also treated Mariam’s younger sister, Zahra, with LASIK in August 2019. It’s great to see that the family, one by one, is starting to enjoy a life without the hassle of glasses and contact lenses.
We sat down with Mariam to chat about her LASIK experience, hear about the recovery process, and find out what has changed for her since having treatment.
What made you want to get laser eye surgery?
Having worn glasses or contact lenses my whole life, it came to a point where they were becoming inconvenient. Just simply being able to wake up in the morning and not having to search around for my glasses first thing because you can finally wake up and see is amazing. As an optometrist, I was always cautious of the risks of any kind of water activity when wearing contact lenses, whether that's swimming, water sports, or even showering in lenses due to the risk of water-borne ocular infection.
Having LASIK has made small day-to-day tasks so much easier without having to think about how it will impact my eyes. Although contact lenses are great and have many benefits, the risk of infection wearing contact lenses exceeds the risks of having laser eye surgery. These reasons, as well as being able to feel freer without the hassle of contact lenses and glasses, made me want to get laser eye surgery.
How strong was your prescription?
I was around -3.50/-0.50x180 in my right eye and -3.75/-1.50x180 in my left eye. This is a moderately myopic (short sighted) prescription with an astigmatism which required me to wear glasses or contact lenses all the time.
How did you feel in the lead-up to surgery?
Nervous and anxious, but also very excited about the prospect of no glasses and the freedom it would give me. Naturally before any surgery there is a sense of apprehensiveness. However, the actual surgery took less than 10 minutes altogether and the treatment itself is pain free. I would say don't let fear or worry get in the way of small procedure that can change your life positively in the long term.
What’s an area of your life that you feel was negatively impacted by wearing glasses/contact lenses now?
I used to feel completely debilitated without my glasses or contact lenses. During a working day or a day out with friends and family I always had to carry glasses and back up contact lenses with me everywhere I went, just in case there was a problem with my lenses. Going on holiday and swimming, or going in the sea and enjoying water sports was always a problem as I would constantly worry about the complications that may occur if sea water entered my eye with my lenses in. Now, I don't need to worry about that at all.
Has being an optometrist affected your decision in any way?
I think as an optometrist you can appreciate and understand the surgery and its after-effects differently as you understand the anatomy of the eye and the cornea in more detail. This made it easier for me as I knew what was happening and how it worked. The cornea can heal generally quite quickly and even after LASIK the cornea starts healing straight away. Nowadays with advancements in technology and trusted, experienced eye surgeons, laser surgery is a very safe and reliable eye surgery option.
What is the most noticeable improvement in day-to-day life following treatment?
To be able to wake up and see! I am so used to reaching for my glasses first thing in the morning (and still out of habit sometimes do). But it is a great feeling being able to walk out the house, drive, go to work, cook, clean, play sports, and swim without the need or hassle of contact lenses or glasses. For short sighted people like myself, your contact lenses and glasses are part of you as you cannot go anywhere without them, so to not have to even think about it at all now is a blessing.
For every individual person, reasons to get laser eye surgery are different. For some it may be confidence, some may be convenience, but whatever the reason, it is something I would recommend to anyone who considers it and fits the requirements for it. It quite literally is life changing.
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