Laser Eye Surgery Review by Andy Woodward

photo of 'Laser Eye Surgery' photo of 'Laser Eye Surgery'

Aug 1, 2004

I discovered that I would have to wear glasses when I was 17 years old, still at college and at a time when image and first impressions were important. I enjoyed playing football and endured the constant hassle of one-day throw away lenses. Sore and tired eyes and on the odd occasion forgetting they were in, only to wake up in the middle of the night with even more painful effects of my mistake.

It wasn't until 10 years later when the birth of my son was less than six months away and again I was conscious of what his first impressions of me would be, I then learned from a friend about corrective laser eye surgery and he recommended Optimax.

Having not yet contacted them, I discovered on their website that they ran no obligation evening seminars, with a presentation, video demonstration and a Q&A session for all those interested or curious to attend. So, I registered and discovered a very busy evening of like-minded curious and some very nervous individuals.

I was almost relaxed that I was in a room full of people that also suffered from the same frustrations as I did, but in comparison to some cases my affliction of -3.75 was mild when hearing about some much worse instances, but the representative was very well informed, encouraging and approachable to any questions raised during the meeting, so I and everyone that I spoke to felt more confident about the procedure.

At one point a man who had already had the surgery stood up, having brought his wife along to consider the same treatment and boasted about how pleased he was with the results six months down the line giving me all the convincing I needed to go through with it.

For some people putting their fingers near their eyes or even touching their eyes would make them squeamish, but to someone who has routinely put in or taken out contact lenses, it is second nature, however of all the senses most of us are lucky to be born with, I still regard my sight as the most precious, to the thought of having any surgery on my eyes made me very nervous and I started to imagine all of the 'worst case scenarios' that could happen, with the fear of never being able to se my children grow up or enjoy seeing the things we all take for granted.

But in the couple of weeks that it took me to decide to book a consultation, the daily frustration of waking up to a blurred room, only rectified when I have to put on my glasses gave me the courage to proceed.

After my initial consultation I was a little apprehensive but started to imagine what 'normal' vision felt like again, and booked the operation for the following week.

I was strangely unemotional on the morning of my appointment and on the train journey into London my wife was talking to me about everything but the imminent surgery, which kept me relaxed and not at all concerned about the life-changing experience soon to take place.

As a small gift for luck we went to a department store and my wife bought me some designer sunglasses, which would also serve as the required after-treatment necessity as your eyes are very light sensitive and I can still remember spending half an hour playing with the TV when I got home after the treatment, trying to adjust the brightness and contrast levels just so that I could still watch Eastenders that evening! The surgery itself was efficient, clinical and painless, and contrary to many stories I'd heard by friends who knew of people that had been through the operation, I did not smell burning during the time the laser was correcting my eyesight, and the gadget best compared to a cheese wire that skims the top layer of skin off your eye to perform the surgery, did not hurt a bit.

In the week after surgery, which altogether took about 20 minutes, I had a course of eye drops and protective hard plastic eye patches to wear at night to avoid any infection or damage to the repairing tissue, but I had returned to work after only two days with very little discomfort and clear sight. It felt so good to get up in the morning and not fumble for my glasses, although even weeks after the operation I still caught myself trying to take my glasses off at night, before realizing that it was just a feeling and I didn't wear glasses anymore.

It is now three years since my treatment, and I still proudly explain in graphic detail to people that ask exactly how my surgery was, and never think twice about recommending it to anyone that I see wearing glasses.

I now have two sons, the second just seven weeks old and I feel so much happier that I can enjoy them with my own eyes, and just hope that they are blessed with my wife's 20:20 vision! I now cringe when I look back at pictures of myself in glasses, just because I know that isn't me anymore, but when my children ask me in years to come who the four-eyed geek was in my teenage photographs I will proudly explain how I corrected my vision in what years from now will still be the best life-changing experience I've had, after seeing my sons being born that is.. thanks to Optimax.