Patient profile: Experienced nurse abandons her specs for better vision

27 June 2019

Author: Kate Green

Nurse has Refractive Lens Exchange at Optimax

Sue’s Refractive Lens Exchange

At Optimax, we treat people from all backgrounds, professions, and walks of life. Depending on their line of work, some patients rely on having excellent vision much more than others. With daily tasks at work such as removing stitches and reading crucial medication labels, perfect vision is a must-have for nurse, Sue. Unfortunately, she had a very high prescription that even glasses and contact lenses couldn’t correct. The eye’s natural ageing process was also beginning to affect Sue’s vision, so she came to Optimax Leicester to see if she was suitable for a more permanent form of vision correction.


Sue’s consultation revealed that she wasn’t actually suitable for laser eye surgery as she had initially hoped:


“Contact lenses were no longer adequate and there was no way I was going back to thick glasses again. The assessment revealed that my vision was too poor for laser eye surgery as I am -9.00 dioptres in one eye and -10.00 dioptres in the other eye. But there was another option – multifocal replacement lenses which I decided to opt for after consultation with the eye surgeon.”


Sue, aged 50, was found suitable for a refractive lens exchange. With laser eye surgery, the lens is left alone, and the laser is applied to the cornea to correction the patient’s prescription. For a refractive lens exchange, however, the eye’s natural lens is removed and is replaced with an artificial lens. This can either be monofocal, giving the patient focus on objects for just one set distance, or multifocal which allows the patient to focus on objects both near and further away.


“My eyes were operated on two days apart and I was so excited to be able to see naturally. I was a bit nervous but there was nothing to be afraid of - anyone should definitely go ahead and do it.  I now have good vision at all distances and I don’t need reading glasses. This has given me so much freedom. It is wonderful to wake up and see well right away.”


Sue’s surgeon at Optimax Leicester was Mr Ilango, our Medical Director for lens surgeries. He has worked for Optimax since 1996, performed more than 30,000 cataract surgeries, and over 400 corneal transplants, so it’s safe to say that he knows lens treatments inside out:


“We perform thousands of these multifocal lens replacement operations each year and they are truly life changing for many people – especially those who are very short-sighted like Sue and who are also struggling with their near vision for reading.”


Replacement lenses actually have multiple benefits, particularly for patients aged 40 and older, who typically also rely on reading glasses, as well as their prescription glasses. The procedure can correct other refractive disorders like astigmatism, effectively solving multiple problems with just one treatment. Mr Ilango also went on to say:


“The operation to remove the body’s natural ageing lens can bring as much life enhancement as replacing a troublesome knee or hip joint, and winding the clock back to a more youthful function. In Sue’s case we were also able to correct some astigmatism which has led to even better vision. The fact that Sue’s natural lenses have been replaced means that she will now not develop cataracts as she gets older, so that is another advantage. This is certainly an operation which more and more people are opting for when they see the advantages.”


At Optimax, we examine each patient’s eyes to recommend the most suitable treatment for them. This will vary depending on their prescription, age, and other eye conditions they might have. Book in for your free consultation with us (we require a refundable £10 holding fee) and our optometrists will determine which treatment will produce the best results for you.


Based on an original piece by Janice English

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