There comes a time in a glasses wearer’s life, when we’ve had enough. Fed up and tired at looking at a computer screen and suffering from dry eyes as well as spending hundreds of pounds on glasses over the past twenty years . I phoned up Optimax for a consultation and within a few days I found myself at the Optimax, Finchley Branch sitting with one of the optometrists who had to check the health of my eyes to see whether I was eligible or not. They just did a few simple tests to see if my eyes had enough moisture. If your eyes are dry, laser eye surgery is a no no! I was giving some dilating drops to help them assess the health of my eyes. You are advised not to drive for four to six hours after they give you these drops. My eyes were only a little blurry for a while. Other than that, all was well. Optimax felt very clean and I felt at peace with the place. The staff was approachable and helpful, as were the optometrist I had seen. Six weeks later, I was booked in for an appointment during my two week Christmas break to ensure I would have new vision for the new year!
Having looked online, I had seen do many adverts for laser eye surgery for around £500, so surely it would be the same. Right?
How about nope!
£3,200! NO NO NO!
I was able to get a good payment plan though, which definately helped!
The admin staff gave me a few potential dates of when I could have a second consultation and to have the surgery.
One of the things which attracted me to Optimax, was that they didn’t pester me with emails or phone calls. They left me to my own devices to get in contact with them. And that’s exactly what I did. I was a bit apprehensive at the time, particularly as I had seen one YouTube video where a guy said he was considered legally blind because of his procedure. This scared me! After all, you only get one pair of eyes!
My first consultation was in October. I had my second pre-surgery consultation in December with the surgeon who would do my surgery; Dr Ayoubi. I felt at ease as I recognised the name from one of the vlogs I had watched on YouTube. Not only that, but he mentioned that he had operated on around 32,000 eyes and they had mostly been successful. This definitely was reassuring because when I went for the first consultation, I was also given a copy of the consent form for the surgery.
This was enough to freak me out! It was like signing away my life.
Dr. Ayoubi convinced me to have LASEK over LASIK. LASEK is usually the laser eye surgery they would encourage police officers and sport players to do. This is because the surgery involves a longer recovery, but is of low risk. A layer of the corneal tissue is removed using the laser, and the idea is that it is not as invasive as LASIK. LASIK, on the other hand, involves cutting cornea to form a flap. The cornea is exposed when the flap is folded back. Tissue is removed from the cornea by the laser and the flap is then replaced.
The day had finally arrived for my surgery December 21st at 9am. It seems as though myself and eight others had the same appointment. Dr Ayoubi had a talk with each of us about the procedure and what to expect. And we were each called one by one for our turn. When it was my turn, we went into a room and there was Dr Ayoubi dressed in scrubs with two other surgeons. I laid down, and all I remember was liquid in my eye, a few laser beams, a whiff of smoke. ( Yes, smoke!) and being told it was all over. After the surgery , I was led to another room where I was given all my eye drops to take for the next few days and told I had to return to Optimax three days later to remove the contact lense.
I was waiting for all those horror stories of not being able to open my eyes and see for two days. However, my recovery was absolutely fine, I wasn’t sensitive to light as everyone kept saying I would be. I was able to get up and go, if I wanted to. But I wanted to take the time out to rest and have a good recovery. So there I was, sitting in bed for a few days. It may have helped that I had been taking vitamin C tablets ( as this is something that is recommended). I was told to sleep with eye shields to protect eyes at night which was fine and not as uncomfortable as I thought they would be. I had to set a timer on my phone for all the drops I had to take at different times.
Three days later, I returned to Optimax so that they were able to remove my protective contact lens. After that, they put a solution of some sort in my eyes. OH MY…that stuff really stung! I remember heading to the toilet and waiting few minutes for it to wear off. Eventually it did.
I was told I had to return five days later for a final check up. It was December 29th and I was given the all clear, to drive and my eyes were 20.20. Yaaay! It’s been four months since getting my eyes done, I am glad I got it done in the winter as you’re advised to keep away from the sun and snow for two months following the surgery. If anything, you have to make sure you wear sunglasses to protect the eyes.