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Hi everyone,

So I initially done this blog post back in 2017 after I had my laser eye surgery. I have since edited it to add in about one year on and now nearly two years on. If you have any more questions on the treatment at all, DM me on Instagram HERE and I will get back to you.

So first things first…..Why do I want laser eye surgery? For so many reasons.

Living in France for nearly three months was a turning point for me and my eyesight. I was snowboarding everyday down the mountain unable to wear my glasses and pretty much snowboarding BLIND. I couldn’t find any goggles that allowed me to wear my glasses underneath so I was stuck squinting the whole time. I remember this one particular day when there was a total white out, of course in true seasonaire style we all decided we would still go up the mountain but little did I know what was about to happen when we got to the top. We got off the chair lifts and I couldn’t even see 5 metres in front of me, IT WAS WHITE and worse than I thought. We went down a small bit to see if it got any better and it didn’t. At that stage, I had to keep going and it was one of the worst experiences of my life. I swore to myself that I would never ever let that happen again. I went down the mountain that day crying the whole way fearing for my life that I was going to go off the edge of the mountain. It was an experience I never ever want to repeat. At that moment, I told myself the first thing I will do when I get home was GET LASER EYE SURGERY.

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It was a treatment that I had been thinking about getting it done for a few years anyway so this incident confirmed that I needed to get it done.

Another reason that I wanted to get laser eye surgery is because I had a passion for flying and would love to get my Private Pilot’s License. I’ve been up numerous times in a small plane however there was always only one problem, I wasn’t able to see without my glasses. Being able to see without my glasses was actually a dream. Now to someone reading this who can see perfectly, you won’t understand but to someone reading this who wears glasses, you will most definitely understand. Another reason I wanted to get it done was because my eyesight had got a lot worse in the past two years before the surgery and I was needing to wear my glasses more & more. Simple things were becoming blurry for me. In the job I do, I am required to pass a medical every few years, on my current medical I was required to wear my glasses at all times. I also needed my glasses for driving and when I was watching television/at the cinema.

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So what did I do when I came home?

I booked a free consultation with Optilase in Dublin to see if I was suitable to get the treatment done as not everybody is a candidate for Laser Eye Surgery; depending on what your vision problem is. I went for my consultation were the Laser Optometrist checked my eyes, eyesight and glasses. It took about 40 minutes and she went into detail about the surgery/treatment. She then collates all the information and meets with the surgeon to discuss your surgery.

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For those of you that don’t know exactly what Laser is, it’s a way of correcting your vision permanently to allow you to be free of glasses and contact lenses. Over 30 million people worldwide have chosen to undergo this life-changing procedure. The procedure uses a special type of laser to gently reshape the surface of the eye to correct certain vision problems and the surgery is quick, simple & painless. There are two types of treatments LASIK and LASEK.

LASIK

LASIK (Laser Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis) or IK, for short, is the most frequently performed laser procedure in the world. Your Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon prepares your eye for laser treatment by creating a small flap on the surface of the cornea (front surface of the eye) by using blade-free IntraLase technology. The laser is then applied to the underlying surface to reshape your cornea and correct for your prescription. Your Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon then places the flap back down and your eye begins to heal. The key benefits of the LASIK procedure are a rapid recovery time, usually within 48 hours and little or no post operative discomfort.

LASEK

PRK/LASEK (Photorefractive Keratectomy) or Surface Treatment (PRK/EK) is a vision correction procedure in which the vision correction treatment is applied to the surface of the cornea. PRK is the procedure of choice for patients whose corneas are too thin to have LASIK. PRK/LASEK corrects your vision the same way LASIK does, by reshaping the cornea with an Excimer laser so light focuses directly on the retina. The difference is that with LASIK, a flap is created on the outer part of the cornea, and vision correction is applied to the inner tissue of the cornea. With PRK/LASEK, a portion of the eye surface called the epithelium is softened using an Ethanol solution and gently moved aside. The laser is then applied to the underlying surface to reshape your cornea and correct your prescription. A special contact lens is put in place over your cornea for a period of five days to provide comfort and protection to the surface as it heals.

The decision as to which procedure is best for you will be made in consultation with your Laser Optometrist and Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon.

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There are so many questions that I asked about the surgery itself and what happens but thankfully Optilase have a FAQ section on their website all about the treatment.

So why have I picked Optilase to get my treatment done?

After researching lots of clinics in Ireland, Optilase seem to be the best surgery in Ireland for the treatment. It’s an Irish owned clinic with the best surgeons and safest technology. They also offer a lifetime guarantee which I thought was AMAZING and the consultation is free. Some clinics charge for a consultation so that is a bonus with Optilase. They are also open 7 days a week so really helpful for me and my crazy unpredictable rosters. I read a lot of their testimonials and they really helped with my decision too.

Optilase have ten locations all around Ireland. They have extremely flexible opening hours including weekends and late evenings, allowing them to work around your busy schedule.

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Not everybody is a candidate for Laser Eye Surgery; it depends on what your vision problem is. This is why Optilase offer a free consultation with one of their optometrists for all potential patients in order to determine if laser eye surgery is right solution to their individual vision difficulties. To see if Laser Eye Surgery may be right for you, contact them on 1890 301 302 or BOOK HERE.

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THE DAY OF MY SURGERY

I was honestly so beyond scared that morning. I was shaking and all because it’s my eyes. I was excited too but definitely a mixed bag of emotions for sure. They told me I would feel like this. I personally recommend trying to get an appointment as early in the morning as possible so there is less waiting.

I was over the moon with my eyesight after the surgery. To be told that I have 20/20 vision was just incredible. The minute the optometrist told me, I had tears in my eyes. I couldn’t believe that 24hrs earlier I had struggled to read the first line without my glasses in an opticians & now I could read the faintest of letters on the chart. When I came out from the surgery, I had sunglasses on and a hat. The light immediately hurt my eyes so I actually ended up putting a scarf around my head. I went straight home and I was told to sleep for as long as I could. I had to wear special glasses while sleeping.

THE DAYS AFTER MY SURGERY

The day after my surgery I actually felt great and like nothing had even happened. By day two after my surgery, my eyes felt very dry and I had to take 3 different types of drops for my eyes. These were antibiotics and lubricating drops to keep my eyes moist at all times. It was so sunny in the days after my surgery so sunglasses were key and essential. You need to be so careful to make sure that nothing gets into your eyes. On day four, I could feel my eyes getting much better and couldn’t believe how clear my eyes had become. I was just amazed at being able to finally see things so much clearer.

A WEEK AFTER MY SURGERY

Nearly a week on after my laser eye surgery, I felt great and honestly like nothing had even happened. I was told in my week check-up that they were healing so well. My eyes felt totally normal. 

ONE YEAR AFTER MY SURGERY

I haven’t looked back. The best decision I ever made. I cannot recommend it enough especially to someone who wears glasses all the time. As I said I only needed it for long distance but really it has helped me so much. I had my year check up to make sure my eyes were ok and the optometrist said you wouldn’t even know I had surgery at all, my eyes look very healthy and clear.

NEARLY TWO YEARS AFTER MY SURGERY

For the past three months I kind of felt like my right eye was relapsing slightly however I wasn’t able to get checked as I obviously had only had my baby. They say that eyesight can change slightly during pregnancy and after you have a baby so I waited. I went and had a check up to see was I right. Yes I was. My right eye has slightly relapsed however so slightly that they couldn’t do surgery on this again yet. My left eye is still perfect 20/20. I don’t notice this much so it’s not a huge change AT ALL but just ever so slightly. I’ll see how I am a year from now but I was told that this happens so I was fully aware this could potentially happen. I assure you it’s not a massive change as I can still see everything much clearer than I ever could before the surgery.

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For example this all maybe silly to you reading this who has perfect sight but for me, someone who has worn glasses for over 16years, this surgery was totally life changing. 

  • I can see my eyes in the mirror. Don’t laugh but genuinely that was the first thing I noticed. I could stand back and look in the mirror & I could see my own eyes for the first time in FOREVER. 
  • I can go to the cinema and actually sit at the back of the cinema now. 
  • I can see road signs on the side of the road
  • I can wear sunglasses now driving instead of having to wear my sunglasses
  • I can see down the entire airplane without squinting (I work as cabin crew) 
  • I can go flying in an airplane now and be able to see all the views
  • I can see details on things I never knew were even there 
  • I can snowboard without fearing for my life now. I was basically snowboarding blind wearing now glasses for the past 10 years. 

These are just some ways of how laser eye surgery has changed my daily life, both in work and at home. I can only imagine how it would feel for someone who wears glasses constantly 24/7, it must be insane for them. I genuinely from the bottom of my heart cannot thank Optilase enough for this treatment. Without a shadow of doubt, I would highly recommend them to anyone even remotely considering it. You can go for the FREE CONSULTATION if you are considering it, to see what works best for you. 

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Love Aoibhe xxx

DISCLAIMER:  I was not paid to do this post however I received the treatment complimentary in return for giving my honest opinion on the procedure. I was planning on getting this done anyway and had booked my consultation before knowing I could even collaborate with them. This blog post was uploaded in 2017 and I have since added to it.

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