10 October 2023

An Assistant Headteacher from High Wycombe has welcomed her return to the classroom after the summer break, thanks to surgery which has given her eyes a new lease of life, and the visual freedom to enjoy family sports she had previously avoided.

Helen Roberts, 47, had a strong prescription of -6 which meant she could see very little without lenses or glasses. This led her to having one of the latest forms of laser eye surgery, Presbyond, at Optegra Eye Hospital London, and her eyesight is now 20/20.

“I’ve experienced many years of not being able to see anything, near or far, without some kind of help” she said. “I felt that it was starting to affect my ability to gain the most enjoyment out of life.”

Having considered laser eye surgery for a number of years, it was the Covid pandemic which finally spurred Helen into action. She explained: “When Covid hit, many of us teachers switched to online learning which meant hours in front of a computer screen. There was also an increased amount of computer admin, and I noticed that my eyes were feeling extremely tired with my lenses in all day. I was desperate to take them out in the evening.

“At the same time, the cost of my lenses increased making the monthly outlay expensive. I figured that in the long run, I would be better off having vision correction surgery than continuing with the expense of lenses and glasses for the rest of my life.”

A friend recommended Optegra and it was the nudge she needed to make an appointment for her initial consultation.

Due to both long and short distance vision problems, she was booked in for one of the newest forms of laser eye surgery at, in the Harley Street district.

She said: “I was fascinated by the technology and intrigued as to how it was going to work, so this took my focus away from feeling nervous.”

Her surgery was carried out by Optegra consultant surgeon and Medical Director Mr Amir Hamid. He explained: “Helen had a very strong prescription which meant she was totally reliant on glasses or contact lenses all day long. As she found, this can be very frustrating and can prevent you taking part in certain activities. And spending such a long time on computer screens, especially in contacts, can really impact on comfort and vision.

“One of the newest forms of laser eye surgery, Presbyond, is ideal for those needing support at all levels. One eye is treated to focus in the distance and mid-distance, and the

other to focus close-up and mid-distance vision. The brain learns to adjust between the two resulting in excellent all-round vision.”

Helen says: “The procedure was so much less scary than I thought it would be – the team did a great job of reassuring and talking me through everything that would happen. What I was most surprised by was the fact that the surgery was completely pain-free and took only 10 minutes.”

And she is delighted with the results, loving life without lenses. “I like to keep fit and regularly go out for a run, so now I can just put on my trainers and go.

“In Cornwall this summer, I went coasteering and surfing with my family – this is not something I would have considered doing with my lenses in. It was such good fun and made me realise that having good vision is helping me to maximise the fun in life.

“As for school life, my role as an Assistant Headteacher means I am constantly switching between classroom teaching, computer admin, writing and meetings. It is so wonderful to be able to complete all aspects of my work with no worries at all about my vision, and no eye strain from too many hours in contact lenses!”

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.


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