Laser eye surgery, the last bastion of short sight ?

If your sight is not what it should be, then it seems to me that you have three stark choices.
You can opt for glasses, choose contact lenses or have laser eye surgery.
When I was a kid, laser eye surgery was the stuff of dreams. Come to think of it, I cant even remember if contact lenses were available back then. If they were I certainly didnt know anyone who admitted to having them.

I remember having my first paid of glassess when I was about 11. The school told my Mum that I could not see the blackboard from where I was sitting and a move to the front of the class hadnt helped either. Something was worng they said , so I found myself in the Opticians.
Following an eye examination and confirmation that I needed glasses, the optician took out a small cardboard box from his desk drawer and placed about three or four pairs of glassess on his desk. Yes, that was it. Hardly Specsavers back then !.

I first tried on a pair of thick black glassess which made me look like a mini- me version of Robin Day. The look on my Mothers face said it all. The pair I finally settled on was perhapsd the pair that made me look least geeky, and that was not easy when I was a kid.

Going to school on the first day was a nightmare. The facination from my school mates was in overdrive and taunts of ” specky four eyes” were to haunt me for some time after that. Glassess were most definatley not a fashion accessory back then. You wore them because you couldnt see, period.

I wore glasses for some years after that until my twenties when contact lenses promised the option of discarding those glassess forever.
Back at chain store opticians I was told that my astigmatism levels were high and they were unsure if contact lenses were going to be suitable, but I could try.

they placed some ” trial lenses” in my eye and I had to wlak around Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield for one hour and go back. This was a very long hour , believe me. If they had placed two pieces of brick in my eyes it could not have been more comfortable. No, it wasnt going to work. Back to glassess.

Some time later, I had a flyer through to say that there were some new type of contact lenses now out which promised greater comfort for no hopers like me.
Like a moth to a flame I couldnt resist going back for one more try. Same procedure, get the lenses in for one hour and wait and see. The great thing about meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield i that there are no roads to cross. Heaven knows what would have happened otherwise back in those days.
These lenses did feel more comfortable. They were larger than the previous ones that seemed to cover most of the ball of the eye. I was hooked. Loaded up with cleaning and disinfecting solutions I went home to start my new life without glasses.

The first day at work was tough. The first two or three hours were fine, but by four oclock in the afternoon I was back to the first trial and feeling like pins had been stuck in my eyes. I went home to be told by my family that both eyes looked like raw meat, or I had been out on the town all night.

Suffice to say that I stuck the torment and pain for a few more weeks. However, reality soon started to sink in. Contact lenses were just not for me. yes, youve guessed it, back to glasses again.

Moving on a few years and my eyesight got gradually worse, to the point where it vari-focal time. That time when you realise midle age has got you by the throat.

Laser eye surgery does offer an alternative for those who cant bear the thought of not having clear vision without glassess or contact lenses. There are still plenty of people out there who would never consider laser eye surgery of course. Either because they are happy with their glasses or contact lenses, or because they are still unsure about having laser eye surgery. Its incredible that many people still consider laser eye surgery as something new.

Its probably fair to say that many young people are now putting laser eye surgery in their treatment options for short sight. The correction of short sight is now a lifestyle choice depending on how you want to look and how you want the world to see you.

i wonder what my old Optician would have made of all this.

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