Golfer can see clearly on the green

"You can’t put a price on quality of life, you can’t quantify it. Who knows how long you are going to live or how many years you can enjoy good  vision, but not having to wear my varifocal glasses has truly improved my quality of life and that has been worth every penny.” Owen Ford

Keen golfer, Owen Ford, from Oakley near Basingstoke, has improved his enjoyment of the game by having an eye treatment at a local specialist hospital which has freed him from wearing glasses.

Ahead of his landmark 70th birthday, Owen treated himself to ClarivuTM permanent lens replacement which means he has never had to wear his glasses since.

Always challenged by playing golf with spectacles – from playing in the rain, or having difficulty focusing on his score card to fill in details, or dealing with poor peripheral vision – Owen decided to correct his vision once and for all.

Having worn varifocal glasses for eight years, his latest optician check-up revealed that yet again he needed to pay £500 for new lenses.  This prompted Owen to research Clarivu.

Now retired, Owen previously owned a company which validated operating theatres and clean rooms for hospitals and pharmaceutical companies throughout the UK and globally. Having worked in the medical and pharmaceutical industries and watched various procedures carried out he had no fear of hospital facilities or operating theatres.

Owen said: “I was not at all nervous, just keen to get rid of those glasses!  The staff at Optegra Surrey Eye Hospital were so friendly, I was not at all apprehensive.  It just felt like a normal doctor’s appointment, the procedure was done in no time and after it I was enjoying a cup of tea and a biscuit.  What more could a man want?!

“And from the morning after the first eye was done I woke up and could read without glasses – and have never put on a pair since!”

He describes: “My eye sight has deteriorated with age, because I did a lot of computer work with my job. It was reading that was the main problem since I was about 45, but more recently I decided to wear varifocals. I did not like them, but it was easier than the hassle of glasses on and off, losing them all the time and so on. It was better just to have a pair I could leave on all the time.”

His surgeon at Optegra Surrey Eye Hospital, Mr Andrew Luff, said: “Laser treatment rarely offers good multifocal vision for people of Owen’s age.  And most people in this age group who opt for contact lenses have to wear reading glasses too.  Owen was put off by the inconvenience and wanted an excellent chance of multifocality.  Thankfully there is a solution, and Clarivu permanent lens replacement means we have been able to treat his vision requirements giving him clarity of vision without glasses for both near and distance.  He also knows that he will never get cataracts in the future.”

“Clarivu” is the brand name used exclusively by Optegra, for its individually tailored vision correction (Refractive Lens Exchange – RLE) package.  The package includes; all diagnostic eye assessments, an advanced technology intraocular lens (IOL), specifically chosen for the lifestyle and visual goals of the patient by their Optegra consultant ophthalmic surgeon at their consultation,  the procedure undertaken in an Optegra eye hospital and all post-operative care.

Since the procedure, Owen says life is so much better: “Having Clarivu is one of the best things I have ever done – it has given me a better quality of life overall, and especially for playing golf!” he said.

Keeping an eye on the golfball

Owen explains his passion for golf and how it is even more enjoyable since Clarivu: “I come from a golfing family – we all play, including my sister, and I used to enjoy playing golf with my wife, Sue, who passed away 18 months ago. I have been playing since I was 45, but more seriously since I retired. It’s up to four hours a game and every game is different depending on the weather or the course set up, so it offers me such a challenge.

“One day you can have a great long distance shot and think ‘I’ve cracked it!’ and then the next day it is totally different again! Even for Pro’s there is no guarantee you will always get the ball exactly where you need with a long distance shot. Being that accurate is almost impossible, and that’s where the challenge and excitement lie for me.

“Wearing glasses for golf was far from ideal. While my varifocals meant I could see to hit the ball and to fill in my scorecard, lining up a shot was ridiculous! My glasses meant I lost my peripheral vision, and of course looking sideways into the distance proved almost impossible. Now I can see near and far, no problem, and my scores are improving, to my sister’s disappointment! I’m too old to become a low handicap player, of course, but I certainly enjoy it more!”

As well as golf, Owen enjoys a very active retirement, including walking and other sports.  He enjoys time with his family, who live locally, and travels regularly on holidays.
He also contributes time to local charities, including driving older people to health appointments with Oakley Community Care; and he supports St Michael’s Hospice which looked after his wife Sue, including taking part in a sponsored eight mile walk this April.

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