Laser Eye Surgery with Optical Express!

Hey everyone,

MY NEWS & THE VLOG

I hope you are all well, this post is really exciting for me as tomorrow I’m having laser eye surgery with Optical Express!

I wanted to write this post to give you all an update, tell my story, but also to highlight that I’m going to be vlogging the whole thing (eakk). I’m going to be creating a vlog which will be going up on Optical Express’ Youtube channel, so make sure you subscribe to stay tuned to see my final video! I’m super excited to be creating this vlog as it’s so different to anything else I’ve ever done before. I’m going to be capturing my whole experience from before, during (on the day) and after, so you all get a real feel for it.

I know that some of you will find this vlog super useful if you are considering laser eye surgery and I’m going to make sure I provide a real honest depiction of what it’s like so it’s really informative and useful for you guys. I’m not going to sugar coat it either, so you guys can know exactly what to expect if you choose to pursue this like me!

BACKGROUND

What you may not have realised about me is that my eyesight is currently awful!  My vision is -4.75, anyone who wears glasses/ contacts will be able to put that into perspective. It’s bad enough to effect day-to-day tasks, for instance, I wouldn’t be able to read the letter keys typing on my laptop right now if I wasn’t wearing my glasses currently. I can’t go about my day without them on at any stage, dare I admit it that I’ve even started wearing them in the shower! So needless to say I can not legally drive without my glasses on.

I’ve worn glasses since I was about 6 years old and gradually over the years, my eyesight has deteriorated, prescription strengthened, and the overall need to wear my glasses increased. More recently, over the last 6 years, I’ve been wearing contact lenses happily until about a year and a half ago… So during sixth form and university I wore my contact lenses all the time, I would say about 5 times a week. For a long time I loved wearing them, it was like a whole new world for me when I put them in. Contact lenses gave me better sight than what my glasses did, so in a weird way wearing contacts became addictive! I’d always want to be wearing my contacts over my glasses, so I’d have to force myself to give my eyes “rest days” a couple of times a week with my glasses.

About a year ago, perhaps slightly longer something changed with my eyes. My contact lenses became uncomfortable, itchy and irritable. At first the symptoms were minor so I just ignored them, but gradually these got worse and worse and over the space of a year it got to the stage whereby now, I simply cannot wear them any more. Writing this now I cannot even remember the last time I had them in, I think it was over 4 months ago. I’d put my contact lenses in and they’d became unbearable instantly. My eyes and contacts went from best friends to arch enemies in no time at all!

So over the past year I’ve been wearing my glasses pretty much every day. For some of you that may come as a shock, as you’ll notice you won’t see any photos of me wearing glasses on my Instagram or on here. I guess I got so used to wearing my contacts that wearing glasses just doesn’t seem very me any more. I just don’t feel myself when I wear glasses, I know that might sound odd because I am a “full on glasses wearer” but I can’t really explain it.  So whenever I have my photos, I always take my glasses off!  Although I don’t mind wearing glasses, I don’t really want to wear them for the rest of my life.

I guess I’ve just got to the point where I’ve been wearing contacts or glasses since I was 6 years old, and to be honest I’ve just kind of had enough. I feel like I’ve done my share of glasses wearing and I’m excited about the prospect of never needing them again! So, it was over the past year that I decided I needed to take the idea of laser eye surgery more seriously. Over the past five years I’d always said that one day I’d pursue laser eye surgery, but it was ultimately the issues I’d experienced with contact lenses which gave me this push.

WHAT HAS HAPPENED SO FAR?

About a month ago now I had my first consultation with Optical Express, this appointment was to assess if I was eligible to have the treatment. Which – although daunting – I found very reassuring. I thought anyone could have it done, but they were so thorough that this placed my confidence in them straight away.

This first appointment consisted of various tests, some of which were standard sight tests but I also had new ones which I hadn’t experienced before including the one where they blow air into your eye (everyones favourite haha). All-in-all I was there about an hour and a half, and was over the moon to hear I was indeed eligible to have the surgery *hurray*. They spoke about what the surgery consisted of and answered any questions I had. I have to say the staff I encountered at Optical Express couldn’t have been more welcoming and approachable. No question I had was too silly or too big and they quickly put my mind at rest. I was most pleased to find out that during surgery you have anesthetic eye drops put in your eye – I had no idea this happened before – so that instantly made me feel better too. Safe to say I had definitely made my mind up.

I quickly booked in my second consultation, this I had about two weeks after at the Shaftesbury Avenue Optical Express (London). This is one of the Optical Express clinics where they actually carry out the surgery.  This appointment consisted of further tests as they discovered in my previous consultation that I have a dry eye problem, which I highlighted to them. They just wanted to be 100% sure I was ok to proceed so I had few more specialised tests done. I was really honest with them in my first consultation about all the issues I’d been experiencing with contact lenses and the damage they had caused my eyes. Even though I knew this could of potentially jeopardised my eligibility to have the treatment I thought it was very important to tell them. This dry-eye problem was the result of using my contact lenses over so many years which caused me to develop Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis.  A condition which is not uncommon to contact lense wearers, in a nut shell the lining of your eyelid becomes inflamed. My further tests came back ok, so I got the final go-ahead and at the end of the appointment I met the surgeon who would complete my surgery.

My next appointment is my surgery, which is taking place on Monday morning 24/04/17 at 10:30. My allocated surgeon operates at the Shaftesbury Avenue clinic and the Harley Street clinic, so I could choose either to have my surgery in. I chose to go with the Shaftesbury Avenue clinic as the waiting list was quicker, it’s the same surgeon and the same operating machinery so it doesn’t really make a difference!  I’m told the surgery itself will take about 15 minutes, but i’ll need to allocate 3 hours for the appointment.

THE SURGERY 

At the moment I’m obviously super nervous! I’m not really nervous about the procedure being painful, or going wrong. I’m just really apprehensive about it being a bit scary, and not really knowing what to expect the sensation to be like. However, my mum and boyfriend are coming along to support me and I’m confident that I am in fantastic hands.

As well as being nervous, I am of course really excited and to be honest I cannot even comprehend what it’s going to be like to have a life without glasses! I actually feel quite overwhelmed and tearful when I think about it as I know it will make me so happy. I cannot wait to go on holiday and be able to wear my sunglasses like a normal person by the pool, and not spend the whole time squinting at people through my prescription glasses!

This surgery will definitely have a massive impact on my life, at the moment that’s quite hard to visualise (excuse the pun), I just cannot imagine it right now as it seems so crazy for me! I know day-to-day life will be so surreal with being able to see without my specks. One thing I’d love to do once this is complete, is go snorkling on holiday. I went once before but the experience was ruined – guys contact lenses, sea water and snorkels do not go – so I’d love to see tropical fish under the sea! Probably sounds like such a random, simple thing but that would just be amazing. Also, I cannot wait to be able to do my make up without being two inches away from the mirror and go to the cinema without glasses!

I am having the LASIK iDesign treatment which was what was recommended for me, I believe this is the most common type and has the fastest recovery time.

AFTER SURGERY 

I’ve been told that after the surgery I need to have a sleep, ideally within an hour! I also need to bring some sunglasses with me to pop on after as my eyes will be really sensitive to light.

I also need to go back to Optical Express the following day for my check up appointment which is compulsory. Then after this spend the rest of the week taking it easy and recovering! Obviously my vlog will be going up on Optical Express’ Youtube so make sure you stay tuned and check it out soon.

Wish me luck!