11 June 2019
Introducing Barbara, Optimax Harley Street’s clinic manager
Barbara is our clinic manager at Optimax Harley Street. She works both in the office and with our patients, as well as scrubbing up and assisting in the treatment room for laser and lens surgeries. It’s safe to say that Barbara knows vision correction treatments inside out! Over the years, Barbara has helped countless Optimax patients on their journeys to 20/20 vision so, as a glasses-wearer herself, making the decision to opt for LASEK last year was easy for her.
We’ve written previously about the variations between LASIK and LASEK – our two types of laser eye surgery – and that they differ in the way in which the cornea is removed. Not everyone is suitable for LASIK, especially if they have thin corneas, in which case the optometrist will recommend them for LASEK. So, what was best for Barbara?
“I was found suitable for LASEK. I knew from treating patients that the recovery period was longer than for LASIK, but the long term results are just as incredible.”
LASEK procedures involve the surgeon placing a dilute alcohol solution into the patient’s eye to soften the surface layer. After this, the top corneal layer can be removed or gently moved to the side. The laser is then applied to the middle corneal layer. The recovery from LASEK is longer with slightly more discomfort, which is why most patients opt for LASIK. However, as Barbara said, the long-term results of LASEK can sometimes be better when it comes to a reduced chance of dry eye, and no risk of corneal flap complications. There are also important lifestyle factors which influence the decision between LASIK and LASEK. You can read more about our comparison of LASIK and LASEK here.
The recovery time for LASIK is relatively quick as the process is minimally invasive, and lots of patients are even back at work the next day. The LASEK recovery period is between 1 and 2 weeks long as the removed epithelium cells must regrow. This can cause some discomfort and temporarily blurred vision.
“The recovery, as I knew beforehand, was slow but I don’t regret opting for LASEK. Most of the time, the success of the surgery is based on the recovery process, so I followed the instructions religiously. My surgeon and optometrist were amazing!”
Following treatment, all patients are given a selection of eye drops with strict guidelines for their use. Like Barbara says, the long-term success of the procedure if often down to the eye drops used in the first few days and weeks, so following instructions from the clinic is vital to produce the best results possible.
Despite having assisted many Optimax patients over the years, and helping them know what to expect following treatment, even Barbara herself was surprised by her new vision!
“In the beginning, it was strange waking up and trying to reach for my glasses in the mornings. After a couple of blinks I used to think that I had fallen asleep with my lenses in… only to realise that I now have my vision corrected!”
Laser eye surgery sceptics often claim that those who work in the industry wouldn’t get treatment themselves – but that couldn’t be further from the truth! In fact, over 200 members of staff at Optimax have undergone laser and lens procedures. Lots of them say that seeing how patients’ lives have been transformed is the main catalyst for them to have treatment themselves. If you would like to hear more about the treatments options we offer, get in touch today or book your free consultation.