London entrepreneur Saam Zonoozi fulfilled a lifelong dream and now lives life in technicolour, which helps when you own and run your own clothing brand.
Saam, 27, has been wearing glasses for 20 years, starting in Year 2 at school. By the time he reached Year 5, he found that playing sport in glasses was annoying so he switched to contact lenses. “I was quite young to be wearing lenses but it was easier for me to play football without the hassle of glasses getting steamed up and muddy” says Saam.
Around this time, his uncle had laser eye surgery and it sparked a lifelong dream to have perfect vision of his own – Saam could see very little without the aid of his glasses or lenses.
As he grew older and participated in more sporting hobbies, including tennis and swimming, he became increasingly frustrated with his lenses: “They never felt comfortable and I was always worrying where they were. On holidays, I would get very dry eyes wearing lenses and couldn’t be spontaneous”.
Earlier this year, whilst working on a new clothing brand with a friend, Saam started researching options for laser eye surgery. His dad knew someone at Optegra so he booked a consultation. “I was impressed with the surgeon I met – he explained the options to me and was very reassuring about the treatment. I was booked in quickly, I thought I would have to wait a few months but it was only a few weeks.”
Saam had SMILE laser eye surgery at Optegra London Hospital. As a minimally invasive procedure, it is very quick and Saam had both eyes treated in just a couple of minutes.
“I was a little apprehensive on the day of the treatment as I didn’t know what to expect but the staff were incredible and helped to reassure me. The surgeon spoke to me the whole time and it was literally over in seconds. Honestly, it’s the fastest thing ever!
“As soon as I walked out of the hospital I could see straight away. It was amazing! I put on sunglasses as it was a sunny day and I couldn’t believe that I had perfect vision so soon after the treatment. I met the surgeon the next day for a follow up consultation and he said I had better than 20/20 vision – I didn’t even know that was possible! I was out with friends the next night as if nothing had happened.”
Saam was treated by ophthalmic surgeon and Medical Director Mr Amir Hamid at Optegra’s flagship London hospital on Queen Anne Street. Mr Hamid said: “Saam had a strong prescription and we were able to offer him the ‘keyhole’ of laser eye surgery which is the most minimally invasive of laser eye surgery procedures with a speedy recovery. We are delighted that Saam has had such a fantastic result.”
Saam posted about this surgery on Instagram Stories and had many questions from his followers, mainly asking if it hurt, how it feels and what it cost. “I told them that it doesn’t hurt, I didn’t even flinch. With regards to cost, well how can you put a price tag on your vision?”
Having launched his clothing brand, Picante, in the summer Saam is now living life to the full. “Colours seem more saturated and I can see them clearly. Waking up in the morning is
less complicated as I am not searching for my glasses, and it is so much easier playing sport and swimming as I don’t have to worry about finding my contact lens.
“I would 100 per cent recommend this to anyone who is thinking of eye surgery. It has had an incredible impact on my life”