12 September 2023

For Ely man, Phil Waddilove, a very high prescription of -7 meant he was so short-sighted he could hardly see anything without his glasses. This has all changed thanks to a latest vision correction treatment which has allowed him to complete a charity run.

Phil, age 49, was aware of his poor vision every day and it particularly affected his sports hobbies. He said: “I had one pair of all-purpose varifocal glasses and another pair to help with close-up screen work. When my eyes were tired towards the end of the day, I had to keep switching the pairs back and forth, and it was a real pain.

“I have always enjoyed taking part in sports like rugby and swimming, neither of which are great for wearing glasses. I regularly swim at my local pool for fitness and depend on prescription goggles in the water – it’s even a challenge walking to the pool without them on!”

Ironically for someone whose sporting pursuits are affected by vision, it was his PE teacher who first suggested he needed glasses as a teenager: “During a game of school basketball, he suggested I needed my eyes testing – I thought he was joking, but actually I really did need glasses, and have been in them ever since.”

Thirty years on, Phil decided to explore his options and it was his cousin who recommended Optegra (, a specialist eye hospital group offering a range of vision correction options.

He went to Optegra Eye Hospital London, in the Harley Street district, and after many thorough tests in his consultation, was recommended to have one of the newest forms of laser eye surgery.

Presbyond is a form of laser where one eye is treated to focus in the distance, and the other to focus close-up – and the brain learns to adjust between the two resulting in excellent all-round vision.

Phil explains: “With the increasing expense of having multiple back-up pairs of varifocals, problems picking frames that would accommodate the thick lenses I needed, and the annoyance of constantly switching between pairs of glasses, I was spurred in to taking action.

“I was told that my dominant eye would be able to see distances clearly and the other eye would have close-up and middle-distance vision. The optometrist showed me what it would be like using lenses which was really helpful.”

Phil was treated by Mr Amir Hamid, Medical Director and consultant ophthalmic surgeon at Optegra, who said: “After all the tests, we were confident that Presbyond would provide the best outcomes for Mr Waddilove, as it results in excellent vision at all distances. This means it could support him with work and close-up screens, as well as the distances needed to enjoy sport again. We are so pleased with the excellent result, better than 20/20 vision.”

Phil is delighted with his new vision: “Swimming is so much more enjoyable and because I no longer need to run in glasses, I was able to complete the Cancer Research 60-mile challenge in September 2022.

“I would not have attempted it wearing glasses due to sweat and rain on the lenses, it would have been too challenging.

“On a day-to-day basis, life is better – I can see the computer screen more clearly at work, driving is so much more enjoyable. To be honest, it’s a revelation to be able to wake up and not reach for my glasses!”

Optegra Eye Hospital London is part of Optegra Eye Health Care and is a specialist provider of ophthalmic services. Established in 2007, with its first hospital opening in 2008, it has completed over one million eye procedures from its 31 eye hospitals and over 60 locations across the UK, Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia.

Optegra brings together leading-edge research, medical expertise and state-of-the-art surgical equipment. It performs more than 140,000 treatments annually, both private and publicly funded. Its top ophthalmic surgeons are renowned for their areas of expertise, offering excellent clinical outcomes and great patient service.

For more information on the Presbyond procedure visit:

Tel: 0800 077 3272


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