Solihull businesswoman, Michelle Holden, felt that her professional life was being challenged by deteriorating eyesight.
Yet a chance meeting at an awards ceremony led her to an eye procedure that put everything back on track.
As the owner of a domestic spare parts distribution company, Michelle and her husband regularly attended the annual TRIC (Television and Radio Industries Club) awards in London and had met Ruth Langsford several times in the past.
During a conversation at the 2014 awards, Michelle discovered that Ruth had banished her glasses by having Clarivu™ permanent lens replacement
; and that she was speaking at an Optegra Eye Health Care open evening near Michelle’s home, two weeks later. Michelle decided that she wanted to find out more about the surgery which Ruth herself had undergone.
Michelle, 49, says: “Ruth struck a cord – she mentioned that she struggled to see the labels on bottles in the shower and read menus. On holiday that year I had the same issues. My long distance vision was ok so I could still drive but my short distance vision was bad - at work I was starting to use bigger fonts just to be able to read spreadsheets!
“In all honesty, I just didn’t like the look of glasses on me and was too squeamish to wear contact lenses, so the Optegra open evening was my chance to explore whether Clarivu was the right choice for me.”
Clarivu is the Optegra brand name for its individually tailored, consultant-led vision correction (or Refractive Lens Exchange – RLE) package. The package includes all diagnostic eye assessments, an advanced technology intraocular lens (IOL) specially selected for the lifestyle and visual goals of the patient, the procedure undertaken in an Optegra eye hospital
and post-operative care.
Michelle felt a rush of excitement as the evening approached, and listening to the experiences of others at the event only confirmed in her mind that this was what she wanted. If there had been a hospital open that night she would have had it done right there and then!
With two children, aged 25 and 11, plus a busy business to run, Michelle chose to wait until September for her surgery, following the initial consultation in May. Optegra Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon Mr Sai Kolli recommended that Michelle have her left eye done first and then wait for six weeks to let her eyesight settle down again. But Michelle found that she could see so well after the first procedure that she didn’t need to have her right eye done at all.
Mr Kolli explains: “Michelle’s long distance vision was good but she was having problems seeing things close up which was starting to affect her work and family life. As her prescription was mild, I recommended that she have her left eye done first, the worst of the two, so we could see if that was enough to correct her short distance vision. Fortunately this turned out to be the case.”
Michelle is fully prepared to have surgery on her right eye when the time comes. She says: “People always ask me ‘does it hurt?’ and I can honestly say that it doesn’t! I am such a baby and can’t tolerate any pain, so if I can do it then anyone can! It was quick and everyone was so relaxed that I felt relaxed too. I have no qualms about having my right eye done when my eyesight starts to deteriorate again.”
The whole experience has had a huge impact on Michelle’s life. She feels like she has been given a precious gift.
“I do feel that people take their eyesight for granted – the deterioration is gradual so you don’t notice just how bad it is. But when you can suddenly see everything with crystal clear clarity, well, you feel like a child in a sweet shop! I started decreasing the font on my phone just 24 hours after the surgery to see just how small I can get it! I couldn’t believe the results were so immediate. Optegra offered a first class service every step of the way – from initial consultation to after care – and I tell everyone who will listen that they should go and have it done!”