My decision was a pretty random one. I was in Birmingham visiting my parents. Whilst flicking through the Daily Mail app one Saturday I saw an ad saying due to advances in technology, laser eye surgery had become significantly cheaper and to call now for a consultation. Having worn glasses for the past 25 years at that point and fed up with contact lenses I figured why not see what’s what…. I ended up being recommended to Optical Express Eastcheap branch and I booked my appointment.
How does it work you ask? Firstly, you go in for an initial refractive consultation, it was free otherwise I’d have never done it. You do an eye exam using their iScan machine. It determines if you can have the treatment or not and gives the exact prescription of your eyes. Super important, considering it calculates the numbers the machine will use to fix your eyes! Don’t worry, they do it again later. After you decide to go ahead, they book you in for a further consultation with the surgeon. Mine had done over 60,000 procedures, info I found comforting, phew! My Optical Express surgery was in the Shaftesbury Ave branch, Harley Street is the other option, but I don’t think you can choose.
Let’s fast forward… the day of the surgery. I think I was there about 2 hours. Oh, you can’t wear makeup and nail polish on the day, kmt! They put anaesthetic eye drops in your eyes to numb them; after they kick in, it’s off to the surgery room. At this point, it finally dawned on me what I was doing. I was on the surgery table and I almost bottled it… I was like, ‘can I just quickly go to the toilet’, like that would have helped. The assistant/nurse was like ‘no we’re about to begin’. I think in my head I voiced every expletive known to man, but I laid back anyway. Then the machine comes toward you and you’re told to stare at the orange light. It does get a bit graphic now… firstly, the machine clamps your eye open. Then the surgeon places a suction ring over your eye – of the entire procedure that was the most uncomfortable part, there’s a bit of pressure with the suction. Then some woman in the corner, I swear she thinks she works for NASA, starts counting down 10, 9, 8, 7….. before you know it the machine starts making this tapping noise (like the machine to remove tattoos) and then your done and move on to the next eye. The entire surgery took 6 minutes. Finally, you convalesce in a quiet dimmed room.
Obviously, you can’t drive after surgery, but the minute I stepped out the building, the anaesthetic hadn’t even worn off and I could see the difference. Notably, being able to read the bus numbers when they were still way down the street. I got an uber home and had to wear goggles to bed for a week and use eyedrops for a bit of dryness. One slightly annoying thing is you have to go for a check up the day after your surgery, but it’s cool, safety first and all that.
How much does it cost? Well it’s nearly a year since I had the op, you get two choices LASIK or iDesign. I chose iDesign as it apparently stops the glare and halos when driving. LASIK was £4180 and iDesign £4780. Obviously the price you pay will depend on the prescription you need I was -2.75 in one eye and -5 in the other. This is clearly expensive and if I had to pay all in one go I wouldn’t have been able to, but you can pay monthly through direct debit, interest applies, but there’s no charge for early repayment. In the long run you save money anyway, if you add up the cost of prescription glasses over a lifetime (and I’m the kind of person who wants the designer ones) it more than works out.
This was the best thing I ever did. I’ve always liked my eyes and it’s nice not having to cover them if I don’t want to. After the surgery, you notice the little things that become easier like not having to remember to take your contacts out after a particularly heavy club session or being on holiday and not having to transition from prescription sunglasses to glasses every time you leave a building.
I’d really recommend Optical Express too. The service was amazing and so was the aftercare. No this isn’t a sponsored post, just my experience.
Please share your laser eye surgery experiences. Those who love rocking their glasses welcome also. 🙂