Steve Shaw

Steve Shaw

It's been almost a year since my Lens Replacement Treatment (LRT) to correct my vision.

It's been almost a year since my Lens Replacement Treatment (LRT) to correct my vision.
I hadn't visited my own optician for a while, they were now keen to see me and I wanted a second opinion.
At 52, my job on the Daily Mirror as a layout artist, working on screen for 8 hours per day was putting a lot of strain on my eyes.
I was severely short sighted but worse I was told I now needed another pair of glasses for reading.
I loved sport, but playing football with glasses just wasn't practical, swimming when you can't see, embarrassing.
Having used contact lenses off and on for thirty years my tired, sore eyes were paying the price.
I'd done some research and was considering laser eye surgery.
In December 2015 I plucked up the courage and made an appointment at Optegra Eye Health Care Hospital. North London as it was slightly cheaper than Central London clinic.
I saw Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon Srinivasan Subramaniam who advised me that LRT would be the best option for someone my age. Laser surgery would not be permanent.
The LRT procedure is where the existing lens at the front and just below the surface of the eye is removed and replaced by an artificial lens. This is done under local anaesthetic and normally takes about 20 minutes.
I was to have two different mono-focal lenses.. one eye for distance and the other for close up.
LRT could give me 20/20 vision. The lenses come with a lifetime guarantee and I'd never get cataracts.
Three weeks later and I was preparing for the operating table.
After several different eye drops I was ready.
The operation, 'Open your eye, arrr good, perfectly dilated'.
'Keep your eye open' I hadn't realized I'd closed it.
Now the next few minutes passed in a visual blue blur. I knew they were operating but could feel nothing. 'Right you're done'.
My eye was then taped comfortably shut.
I was given tea and biscuits, an eye protector, anti inflammatory and antibiotic eye drops plus careful instruction on how to use them. I was told to be very careful and given a number to call if I needed advice or the pain got too much.
Three hours later I was home and plucking up the courage to open the eye.
Slowly a blurred distorted image with floaters appeared.. whoa!
There was no pain and over the next few days my eyesight cleared.
I'd chosen Optegra partly because they were Which? tested, had been around for several years, had clinics scattered around the country and were regulated by the Quality Care Commission. They had the latest equipment, their staff were professional and they seemed to really care about my vision.
Then when I met Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon Mr Subramaniam who'd worked at Moorfields NHS Eye Hospital I knew I'd made the right choice.
He talked me through the treatment, what I could expect vision wise, the surgical risks and why they had an above 99% success rate .
Anyway you can never be too sure especially with your vision, so I decided to find out more, especially the unhappy 1%.
These ranged from blurred vision to floaters, poor night vision and one lady who ended up getting severe headaches.
I was relieved to read that the majority of complaints (though not all) seemed to have sorted themselves out and just needed a longer recovery period.
A week later and I was back my eye was healing nicely. My vision was already much better and the second operation on my other eye would sort out my shortsightedness. I expected it to be easier but knowing the routine I'll admit to being a touch apprehensive especially when I started to recognise some of the blurred shapes heading towards my numbed eye. I was glad to get it over with. This time my blood shot eye felt more bruised and itchy.
Several days later though my vision was near perfect and any memories of discomfort were forgotten.
Another week and a follow up eye check. After a close inspection Mr Subramaniam declared the op a complete success.
I now wake up with near perfect vision. I don't have to worry about where I'd left my glasses. My eyes are no longer sore. I can now see the goal and also the dismay on my fellow players' faces when I miss.
Most importantly according to my optician my eyes are now really healthy.
This truly is a life changer... now if only I could somehow get Messi's legs?

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