I’ll admit, when Dork Adore’s benevolent editor-overlords offered me the chance to review laser eye surgery as part of Optical Express’ Team 21 anniversary campaign, it didn’t take much consideration.
It may have taken a few milliseconds to put down a biscuit and type ‘YES PLS WHEN?’.
My eagerness came from a vague memory of what clear vision was like, coupled with the ringing endorsements of friends who’d had it done in the past. It’s been a while since the surgery now (which I described here) and my optician confirms I have better than 20/20 vision.
I hadn’t anticipated all of the delights of perfect sight, so if you’re wondering what to expect, here are my top 9 life-changing benefits:
[Related: What it’s like to have laser eye surgery]
1. It saves money
I was paying £22 per month for 24 pairs of daily disposable contact lenses. My taste in frames was frugal and my prescription a moderate -3, but it still cost around £80 for a new pair of glasses every couple of years. That would be in the hundreds for spec-wearers with designer preferences.
Depending on the kind of surgery you get, Optical Express charge from £395 per eye and can arrange payment deals as low as £5.04 per month (contact them for full details). The effects are set to last for at least a decade, so there are savings to be made.
2. It makes work easier
In my spare time I’m a fitness instructor, leading groups of people through cardio work-outs. Ever the elegant lady, sweat used to cloud up my lenses; now I can see who’s struggling or slacking even if they’re at the back of a large venue.
During the day I work in front of a computer screen and there’s no more contact lens-induced eye fatigue, or constant pushing my ill-fitting frames back onto my face. It makes the daily stint down the internet mine far more pleasurable.
3. Less morning bewilderment
Ever woken after a heavy night, unsure of where you are? Life’s like that every morning for the myopic and far worse when staying in a friend’s guest bed with glasses not kept in their usual bedside spot. Now I can find my way to the bathroom and everything. No more excuses.
4. Driving’s easier
I used to find oncoming headlights almost painful when driving in the dark. My surgery was recent enough for the opticians to advise me to still expect a lot of light-sensitivity and glare, but actually I’ve found driving at night noticeably easier already.
5. Rain is less annoying
Spectacle-wearers hate rain. Effective windscreen wipers have yet to be developed for glasses and unless you stump up for a particularly fancy lens treatment, they steam up as soon as you reach the pub. Now I skip through bad weather like I’m Gene Kelly.
6. Swimming pools are fun again
Forget lengths, we all know that the most fun to be had in a pool is all the underwater stuff: breath-holding competitions, handstands and mushrooms. Before surgery, I was nervous about my lenses floating out even when wearing goggles and quite often spent a good deal of pool time blinded by water in my eyes. I can’t wait to ditch the staid breaststroke and revisit all the good stuff!
7. Old frames can help someone else
I’m about to donate all my old glasses to Vision Aid Overseas, who fight global poverty through access to eye care.
8. Your vanity is less obvious
People always knew when I was trying to look better; my glasses were conspicuously absent on nights out, important meetings and in most online avatars. Now perma-specless, people will have no idea of when I’m desperately trying to win their approval (always).
Helen describes what life’s like after the surgery
9. Your eyes are safer when you’re drunk
The drunken contact lens wearer has two major risks: leaving lenses in through the long recovery sleep (cue nightmares about lenses trapped somewhere inaccessible in the brain) and attempting to remove lenses that have already been removed (painful eyeball scraping).
As long as I can stay sober enough to retain the simple fact that I no longer wear lenses, I’m golden.
The benefits of this miraculous procedure far outweigh the costs and minor discomfort. Massive thanks to Dork Adore and Optical Express for getting me to perfect vision sooner than I’d planned.
Read about Helen’s experience of getting her eyeballs renovated here: What it’s like to have laser eye surgery
Disclosure: Helen got free eye surgery from Optical Express so she could review the procedure. The views in this piece are entirely her own and have not been edited by Optical Express or otherwise interfered with.