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Consultation - Optical Express counselor talked to me about the process, methods and payments. She explained to me that sometimes, if vision is very bad like -8-9 there might be a small under correction and then they have to do an enhancement. She highlighted as well that it doesn’t relate to me because my vision is around -4.0 only which is not much and I certainly will not need any enhancement. To reassure myself I decided to go for most reliable and expensive method (WAVEFRONT).
Laser surgery in Oxford. Was painful when anesthesia stopped working. My eye remained reshaped after suction for several hours
Follow up appointment. I could read all the lines (letters) but they were shadowed and not clear. I asked about it, specifically I wanted to know, if just after operation I can’t see perfectly, then maybe it will get worse in few weeks (regression), but the optician reassured me that from now on my vision will be only improving. Hearing this, I was very positive about the result. I received a survey to fill in, with questions like ‘would you recommend the Optical Express’, etc.
I remember I asked how many more surveys I will get, and they said that at least 2 more, 1 after 3 months and 1 after 6 months. But I haven’t received them, since my vision wasn’t perfect and they must have been noticed I was not very unhappy with the result.
Next follow up. I said that all the letters wherever on the street are not cleared, doubled, and I gave as well an example that I went bowling and couldn’t see the pins. The optician said I am in this 1-2% of unlucky people that have problems and that it is very rare, unfortunately had happened to me. But when my vision is stable I can consider an enhancement. He then mentioned about possible risks. Next follow up was supposed to be 6 months follow up.
However soon I was feeling tired and tired, I started to realize that I cannot see simple things, like products in a supermarket, people on the street and any road signs when driving, and I was feeling discouraged to do anything because of that. I had feeling my vision got worse again. When I was in London I popped in to closest Optical Express and I said I have feeling something is NOK, and asked, shall I wait until few more months for the scheduled appointment (6 months after surgery) or go for a checkup now? The lady from London Optical Express said if I feel something is NOK, I should see optician asap. She also said that it is VERY common that people can’t see very well after laser vision correction and they need an enhancement. She even showed me on her computer screen how many people are scheduled for second or third (less) enhancements. She warned me that recovery time after Lasek is ‘slightly’ longer, not 1-3days like with Lasik, but 4-7 days, and after that vision is improving during next weeks. I thought in the worst case I can handle doing nothing for 1 week (the longest). Did not expect that ‘slightly’ doesn’t mean slightly (see below).
Next appointment. I explained that I cannot see very well and I feel very tired because of that. The optician said she understands that and although prescription is a –quarter only, I may feel like it is -2. She said they will check my vision 2 more times every month, and if it is stable they will do an enhancement. I said I am not convinced for an enhancement, but she reassured me that this will be a very small enhancement and will make a huge difference for my vision, that will improve a lot. I asked her about possible risk regarding the enhancement; she said ‘there is no risk’. I still wasn’t convinced as I remembered the other optician told me before, that enhancements carry some risk.
I felt very tired because of bad vision, could not even see clearly people in the office, and I couldn’t wear lenses or glasses until 6 months after surgery.
Prescription was same during the next visits, and the optician was keen to put me under enhancement, said I can do 1 or both eyes – my choice. I asked again about the risk, she said again that in my case there is no risk, as the enhancement will be very small. Still not believing and wanted to make sure about it, I asked if my vision go slightly to +, will I be able to wear contact lens to correct it? Her answer was: ‘It will not go to +, surgeon won’t let it happen’. Having heard that, I decided to book an appointment for the enhancement, especially that my current contract was coming to an end, so I could do the enhancement ‘in between jobs’. I also decided to call the head office and ask for the best surgeon.
Enhancement - I was waiting a long time (like 2-3hours) in the waiting room!
I asked the surgeon about the papers, do I have to sign them, and told him that the papers say about the possibility that it can be worse than it is now. He said he doesn’t know about any papers and the same doesn’t know what is in the papers, that those are standard company papers and they must secure themselves in some way. I said, if there is any chance that it can be worse than it is now, then I would prefer to leave it like it is. He said ‘It can’t be worse than it is now’. This statement calmed me down. Still when Surgeon asked me if I want to go for 1 eye or both I said that for 1 maybe. He said he thought the same. Then he said to me to wait again in the waiting room for a call.
Once the anesthesia stopped working, the eye was very painful; I took some painkillers but I couldn’t sleep anyway for the next few days. My eye was watering, couldn’t keep it open next day. To be honest it was so painful that hard to describe. If I had the same on the other eye, I don't know if I would make it.
Next day when I woke up, and managed to open my eye, I could see almost nothing. Overnight it got totally foggy. I had been told it may get blurry and keep changing. However then on the ‘What to expect after Lasek’ paper I read that if your vision will get foggy, you should call the emergency line asap. This is what I did but no one was answering. I called the Optical Express and said that I can see hardly something through the fog. They said that I should come and see someone but it is Saturday and they are just closing, also they do not have laser optician on Sunday. They advised me to call emergency line. I said I did but no one answered. They said ‘keep doing, someone finally will reply’. They advised me if there is no change by tomorrow, I could go and see laser optician in a different branch if I want to, otherwise they can book me on Monday. Next day was no change, and I got scared so (luckily I still had the other eye :-/) I went to the other Optical Express branch. Although I could see almost nothing on the left eye, the optician said that everything is ok and that it will improve. 1 week later (when I was supposed to be able to see pretty normal) still I could see not much, everything was tripled, slightly less foggy. I could read nothing from the short distance, and almost nothing from the long distance. The optician only then said that it will take 1-3 months and that will schedule next appointment in 1 month time when it should be more settled and closer to 0. I was shocked that I will have to stay like that for the whole month more or even maybe 3. But he said it will improve in 1 month time certainly. After 1 month time it improved not much, I could not see even the biggest letter on the board (checkup), could read nothing from the short distance. I already wasted 1 month time, and I cancelled 1 job interview (third and final stage) because I could not see. During next appointments my vision was varying a lot, and 3 months later, the prescriptions were: -1.00, +2.00 The optician said: ‘This is not what we expected. We will have to do another enhancement’. I asked: ‘So how long it will take? He answered: Ah, good question.’ He gave me contact lens -1.00 for a trial
1 week later the optician prescribed me contact lens for my right eye and said I will have to pay for them.
I went for next follow up. I said to him that currently my vision is worse than even before the laser correction because there is a big difference between both eyes. He confirmed and said they will do an enhancement on my right eye (free of charge). I explained I was without work for a few months because of bad vision. If I had a job (contracting), I could have earned from £5000 to £20000 pounds by now. Meanwhile I run out of money I had and cannot afford to do this enhancement now even if it is for free, because it would mean I would have to stay home again without work for the next few months. Other thing is that I have just got a new job and don’t want any break now or any risk. He agreed to hold on for 6 months and then decide. I asked for glasses, but the optician said I have to pay for glasses £50 if I want to get them and/or for contact lenses as well. I explained that the other optician said they can give me glasses for free if I want them, but if I decide for contact lenses, I will have to pay for them. While I tried to explain the situation, that I paid almost £3500 for the correction, had bad vision for a year, was without work for few months and run out of money, he rudely said he will ask the other optician how it is with glasses, went out from the room, saying ‘we have finished’. Eventually, the other optician talked to me then and explained that I will have to pay for glasses, maybe if I had frames they could do an exception. I had frames with me. I took them out from my bag. Having seen them, she said to fit glasses for these frames I would have to pay £150. I said, in this case I will go for contact lenses now, and then will think of what to do with glasses.
It turned out I cannot wear monthly contact lenses, my eye tolerate dailies only, so I went back to Optical Express and had to BUY daily contact lenses – 2 month supply for over £40
I went to Vision Express. The optician said that when it comes about my left eye, she is not able to correct it, she doesn’t see any vision improvement when changing lenses. She said my vision is not clear regardless of lens.
so sorry to hear about your awful experience - perhaps there is a more specific title about laser eye surgery you could put this under rather than under the general heading of Optical Express - have a search and if there is ask ciao to move it for you. I hope your eyesight can be improved at some time in the future. x
whitelilly9999 05.09.2011 21:10
I will edit my review now, but you know what, go for the laser if you want.