In August 2013, I spoke about my eyesight on this blog (here). Back then, I was worried about finding glasses which I was comfortable wearing out of the house on the days when I didn't want to wear contact lenses. Fast forward 18 months, and I am at the end of my tether with glasses and contact lenses. I've had conversations with a couple of people who have had laser surgery and speak very highly of it. And that's why I made the decision to book a consultation for laser eye surgery with Optical Express.
I've thought about laser surgery for years, but something always put me off finding out more. I'd read SO many bad reviews online and was petrified that something was going to go wrong. But I remembered that people are always more likely to write a bad review than a good one. With that in mind, I booked a free consultation a couple of weeks ago, and yesterday attended the appointment in Optical Express Bath.
I was seriously nervous and I think most of that was because I was afraid that they were going to tell me I wasn't eligible for the surgery after thinking about it constantly for a couple of weeks. They were showing the episode of Friends where Phoebe and Mike get married in the waiting room though, so that settled my nerves pretty quickly.
The consultation is a series of eye tests. First up was the "puff of air in the eye ball" test, which always makes me jump. Then I met my optometrist, Scott, who did a 'regular' eye test to determine my prescription, including the red/green tests, and the 20/20 vision reading tests. All normal stuff which I have done before at previous eye tests with Specsavers. Then the weird bit happened. Scott put anaesthetic eye drops in so he could measure the curvature of my cornea by poking my eye with a little machine (the technical term for it is Auto-Keratometer). I couldn't feel a thing! The same eye drops are used for the surgery which is really reassuring - honestly, I couldn't even feel myself blinking. And for the last test, Scott put in some more eye drops which dilated my pupils, then looked at every side of my eyes by shining a really bright light at them. That was the hardest part of the consultation because it is so difficult to convince your eyes to stay open when a light is being shone straight into them.
After all the tests, Scott told me that I was a perfectly eligible candidate for laser eye surgery, with a simple prescription of -3.75 in each eye. I watched a 5 minute video about the procedure, the risks and the expected results, and then he answered all of my questions honestly and explained the two different types of treatment I could have. I decided to go for LASIK iDesign treatment, which has a 99.1% rate of achieving 20/20 vision or better. I felt excited to know that my eyesight could be changed forever.
Scott handed me over to Melissa, to talk about booking in for the treatment and finance. Optical Express offer interest free finance for 10 months, and other long-term finance options which aren't interest free. I looked at my calendar, and booked my treatment for Friday 17th April in Optical Express Bristol Cabot Circus. In 2 weeks time, I should have perfect vision!
I already know that this will be life changing. The surgery isn't cheap - mine is just shy of £3000 - but I can't put a price on the difference it will make to my every day living. If I don't have lenses in or glasses on, I can't drive, I can't watch TV, I can't read anything. It's so exciting to think that in a couple of weeks time, I will have 20/20 vision.
After my consultation, I walked into the high street to meet my sister after being advised that I wouldn't be able to drive afterwards because of my dilated pupils. Check out the picture below of how big they were! I did feel a bit funny walking around town, and even got a little headache, but I shut my eyes for half an hour when I got home and felt fine afterwards.
Of course, I will write again in a couple of weeks when the surgery is complete.
But until then, I want to know - have you had laser eye surgery? Or ever thought about it?
UPDATE 7th APRIL - I received some messages on Twitter/Facebook regarding ways in which Optical Express price their treatment, and how you can often get a reduction in price by simply asking for it. I called Melissa today, and she was able to offer me £200 off the final cost. If you don't ask, you don't get!
Note: this is by no means a sponsored post, or a post endorsed by Optical Express. I am simply documenting my treatment on the blog in the hope that it'll help other people.