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BLIND (-13D) to 20/20 - An artist's journey to visual clarity....

Published by Auckland Eye on Monday, 18 Sep 2017
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If you are struggling with vision impairment due to a very high prescription and astigmatism, which  cannot be successfully normalised through Laser Vision correction, you may be interested to read Esme's story about the ICL procedure at Auckland Eye, which restored her vision from practical blindness to 20/20.....

Esme* (name changed for privacy) is an artist - a painter, sculptor and writer, who came to see us at Auckland Eye in 2005.  Esme was exceedingly shortsighted with myopia and astigmatism measuring -13 dioptres and 4 dioptres respectively  in both eyes. As she describes, "It used to be an extremely foggy world for me. I could not walk without bumping into things". As contact lenses were not working for her any more, Esme's only option was to remain in spectacles, although these had long since become unwieldy and uncomfortable.

While she was keen to have her vision corrected through laser eye surgery, all the doctors she had been to had concluded that at her level of myopia, a successful outcome of achieving perfectly restored vision was unlikely. Esme then heard about Dr Dean Corbett at Auckland Eye and his ICL (Implantable Contact (or collamer) Lens) procedure that was achieving very successful outcomes for people who were unsuitable for laser vision correction (PRK/LASIK/SMILE).

What is an ICL? This is a tiny, highly customised, lens which is surgically implanted in the eye as an addition rather than a replacement to the natural lens. It is also reversible. The end result can be life-changing -  patients with extreme near (or shortsightedness), long-sightedness and/or astigmatism which has rendered them unsuitable for Laser vision correction can now experience the freedom of vision without glasses or contact lenses.

Esme made an appointment to meet Dean at his practice at Auckland Eye and immediately felt a sense of confidence that he would be able to help her and deliver her eyesight back to her through this procedure. It was decided to do one eye at first followed by the second eye six weeks later.  

As Esme recounts, "Going in to the operation theatre on the day of my surgery was one of the most terrifying moments of my life". Even though she knew that this procedure would be life-changing, it did not stop her from being nervous. "I had to essentially be awake during this procedure, even though I was given a hypnotic drug to help relax me".

"As I knew that I would be weighed before being administered the drug,  I ate a huge breakfast on that morning and came in to Auckland Eye wearing my heaviest shoes. I was of course hoping that I would weigh more and therefore be given a larger dose of the drug to help relax me! When my optic nerve was injected, I did not expect total blackness, so that felt very strange; however, in essence the hypnotic drug turned me into a highly cooperative 'lump of lard'. I felt no pain during the procedure, rather just a sense of pressure".

After the procedure was done, Esme declared herself happy to jump off the table and to go home with her eye-patch and her drops. That evening, while sitting on the couch, relaxing and watching TV, she opened her operated eye and noticed that she could see through a hole in the eye patch....and what she could see was so completely clear that she cried. "I could literally not believe that I could see clearly!" After a successful outcome for the first eye, Esme had the second eye done a few weeks later, and was able to completely rid herself of her glasses!

Everyday now, Esme still give thanks for her surgery. "Dean is one of my favourite people in the world". As Esme says, it has changed her world for the better in innumerable ways. She is  an artist, a sculptor, a painter and a writer, and to have the freedom to do all these things really easily now,  still fills her with amazement. It has changed her confidence levels around daily life. She says " if there is an emergency in the middle of the night, I can just jump out of bed without first groping blindly for my glasses. I can cry without fogging up my contact lenses! Dean is my hero and I have recommended him to so many other people I know and they have also had very successful outcomes."

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If your eyes are not suitable for Laser Vision correction due to high prescriptions or thin corneas, and you would like to find out more about Auckland Eye's ICL procedure, you are welcome to follow the link below http://cms.aucklandeye.digitalcloud.biz/vision-correction/implantable-contact-lens-icl/  

or call us on 0800 255 393  and book an appointment. We are very proud to say that all eyes implanted with the STAAR™ ICL at Auckland Eye have achieved unaided vision of better than or equal to driving requirements without the need for glasses or contact lenses. We would love to speak with you and help you on your journey to great vision.

Categories: Eye Conditions

Auckland Eye - New Zealand Centre of Excellence for Eye Care