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Wednesday 5 November 2003

Eye eye eye wots going on here? [houmous]

I suppose I'd better tell you about my new bionic eyes then. I've got (sorry had) crap sight, minus 6 in both eyes, which equates to me being able to see the big letter on the sight board and not much else.
I've worn hard gas permeable lens for years and although I'd been aware of laser treatment for ages I didnÂ’t really fancy it - two things lead to a change in this attitude though.
Firstly I went to the opticians a few months ago to see what new technology there was in the world of contact lens and came out with a new type of soft lenses that you put in, leave in for 30 days, take out, throw away and put new pair in. This introduced me to the world of 'waking up in the morning and being able to see' - being able to track down Di's nipples ( oh sorry dear did I wake you?) without clambering around the side of my bed for my glasses was a world I took to like a fish to water.
Unfortunately I also joined the world of constant dull irritation when my left eye decided it didnÂ’t like soft lenses - but the seed was sown (get it? :-) )
Secondly I kept bumping into people who had had it done and bored me to death with how good it was - what was worse is that most of them had had it done at Boots for gods sake!
I initially went down the Harley street doctor route but they all wanted to take £250 off me just to see if I could have the operation done (25% are rejected) whereas Boots were doing it for free - what had I got to lose? Off I trot to Regent Street
I wonÂ’t rant on about it but they were brilliant, not just in the quality of the equipment and the numerous tests they did but in the attention of the staff. Anyway I pass - I can have bionic eyes!
I booked in and had it done 2 weeks later. You are there for about 1.5 hours while they photograph your eyes so the PC can map them and enable the laser to lock on (more later ) and put anaesthetic drops in them ( and some other ones to dilate your pupils) get the call!
The op takes about 10 mins. You lay back on an operating table and they put more drops in your eyes. Then a little suction cup is put over your eye which they pressurise ( you lose your sight for about 20 secs) You then feel a slight cutting sensation on your eye as a tiny circular saw cuts a circle in the very top layer of your eye - like a layer of cling film - but not quite finishing it. The surgeon then pulls the flap back with some tweezers exposing your cornea. Its all OK though because they give you stress balls to hold haha..
Concentrating on a red light above you they now switch the laser on. This is directly above your eye and bombards the cornea removing a thin layer each time. It is locked onto your eye via the PC and can track and predict your eye movements so it can compensate for them while blasting away. When it gets the cornea to the desired shape it stops. The whole thing takes just over a minute and you donÂ’t feel a thing, but you can smell what effectively is burning tissue ( they tell you its the 'gases' haha).
Oh I forgot to mention that you have eye clips on like Malcolm McDowell in Clockwork Beethoven no Beethoven!
You can’t see to well afterward because of the anaesthetic drops but when you wake up the next morning – god you can’t believe how well you can see!!
I went back for a check-up 4 days later and my eyes are (whatever this means) 2 better than 20/20 vision. Certainly I've never been able to see as well as I do now, with lenses or glasses.
Cost? £1250 per eye but they are currently doing interest free credit - £300 on the day and approx £90 per month for 2 years. There is stuff you can’t do for a while ranging from going to the gym (one week) to boxing (six months). You get drops to put in your eye for a week to prevent infection. It wont help long sightedness which almost all of us get as we get older hehe.
I’ve just put a full carrier bag of lens paraphernalia in the dustbin – I’ve got so much more room in my bathroom cabinet now for facial products! ..


  1. My vision isn't as bad as yours was, I'm only about -4.5, but I've been considering this for a good long while... I wear one day disposable contacts all the time - I go to martial arts training 3-4 times a week, and I just enjoy the whole 'peripheral vision' thing. Also, there's a medical I'd like to pass that requires -2 or less in both eyes. I'm apparently a good candidate - prescription hasn't changed for three years, and my eyes are perfectly shaped (whatever that has to do with it), but (aside from cost), my main concern is long term effects. Given that there's been very little study into the effectiveness of said surgery as one progresses from my (youthful) age to being old and decrepit, I am therefore somewhat reluctant to go ahead. Bleh.

  2. Jesus, I was cringing whilst reading this, it sounds barbaric! I couldn't have it done, there's noway anybody is touching my eyeballs or holding the lids open, I'd freak out bigtime. (I'm a little shortsighted)

  3. Been blessed with true ninja vision since birth, but they better sort this old age shit soon or i will have to go all viking on their asses.