Surprise diagnosis for Manchester lady

When Lisa Hermann from Altrincham made a trip to London, her day did not turn out as planned. Whilst returning from a successful job interview, Lisa noticed her eye was watering and thought she had some grit or dirt in it. In fact tests revealed a surprising diagnosis. 

Over the coming two days her symptoms got worse and frighteningly her vision deteriorated.  Everything became cloudy and within two to three weeks she could hardly see from one eye. 

Her GP referred her straight away to Optegra Eye Hospital Manchester, where her consultant surgeon informed her that – despite only being in her 40s – she had a cataract.

Lisa explains: “It was a very worrying time, as I have had trouble with my eyes for years and for most of my life I have had to wear glasses, but to suddenly lose vision in one eye was so frightening.  I had no idea what was causing it and was really shocked to find out that I had a severe cataract.”

Lisa’s cataract was impacting her vision to such a degree that it was removed straight away, and she was also told she had a cataract in her second eye – though this was in its early stages. Within 18 months, that also required removal.

Consultant ophthalmic surgeon Mr. Mahmood at Optegra Eye Hospital Manchester said: “We were initially concerned that Mrs. Hermann had an underlying medical condition that was causing her problems, as she is young to have a cataract. We advised her GP to check for diabetes but all her tests were clear.

“We are noticing that we are diagnosing cataracts in more and more younger patients.  No longer is this something which only affects people in their 70s or 80s, so it is important that people are aware of symptoms and can be checked if their eye sight changes.  Cloudy vision is a key indicator and also noticing glare from bright lights when driving.”

After the shock of her vision deteriorating so quickly, Lisa is now delighted with the outcome.  Having worn glasses since she was just two years old when she had a lazy eye and a squint, she says the morning after her cataract procedure was the first time she could remember not having to put spectacles on straight away.

She explains: “I have been completely dependent on glasses, with such a strong prescription for many, many years. In fact I love swimming, but have even had to have prescription goggles to be able to do that. 

“After my cataract procedure, I woke up and could see without my glasses for the first time! It has been life-transforming as not only has the immediate problem of the cataract been resolved, but also I can see better than ever before.”

Thanks to her newfound vision, Lisa who is now 50, is planning to learn to drive.  Until now she has not had the confidence to get behind the wheel of a car, as her previous vision problems meant she has struggled with perceptions of distances, and she also had no 3D – or binocular – vision.  Her new lenses have given her back that 3D vision and she generally feels so much more confident as a result.

Lisa works for a computer software company.  She enjoys quizzes, competing in the Stockport Quiz League, and swimming, as well as spending time with her children, aged 17 and nine years old.


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