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Eye can see just fine: surgery success for Ashbourne woman

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: June 09, 2014

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THE owner of the Mulberry Bush nursery school is throwing away her contact lenses after undergoing a revolutionary eye operation to restore her full vision.

Liz Sread, who will be 60 this year, has been incredibly short sighted for decades, and was only able to see things held four or five inches in front of her nose.

As a teenager she banned glasses from her life and has worn contact lenses every day for more than 40 years.

She said: “I had the kind of short-sightedness - myopia - that deteriorates very quickly when you are very young but then stays at the same level. So I wore strong glasses from just five or six years old and stayed at that level of vision for a very long time.

“If glasses or lenses had not been available, I think I would have been registered blind as I could only see things that were literally inches in front of me.

“Since I was 16 years old, when I was able to start wearing contact lenses, my prescription has stayed the same but recently I started to feel my eyesight wasn’t as good as it had been.

“I also felt that 42 years was an awfully long time to have a foreign body in my eye every day. Although I tolerated contact lenses really well and never once had an infection, I did not enjoy windy days when a bit of sand or dust got under my lens and felt like a brick.”

Liz first heard about the new eye treatment, called Clarivu, in a magazine in a hospital waiting area where she had taken her mother for an eye test.

One of the reasons eyesight deteriorates as people age is that the naturally harden over time – meaning eyes will not be able to focus as clearly at different distances.

Unlike the tradition laser surgery which reshapes the cornea, Clarivu removes the actual lens of the eye and replaces it with an advanced technology lens.

This lens is tailored to the individual patient's prescription and lifestyle needs. And as it is an artificial lens, it also eliminates the chance of getting cataracts in the future

Liz said: “I had never heard of it before, and to be honest it almost sounded too good to be true. But I was so keen to fix my vision but I definitely didn’t want glasses.

“Glasses were quite a stigma for me, they caused me quite a trauma in my teenage years and I felt disfigured with them on. I’d apply makeup and then glasses would make my eyes shrink into my head, I felt so unattractive.

“I couldn’t wait to get into contacts at 16 and then I banned glasses from my life, and I have never worn them again, not even at home on my own.”

Mr Subramaniam, consultant eye surgeon at Optegra Birmingham Eye Hospital confirmed Liz’s sight had deteriorated and that her prescription was very strong – at minus 10 in each eye.

He was able to perform the permanent lens replacement which means Liz can now enjoy excellent vision without the hassle of glasses or contacts.

Liz said: “It’s amazing. I have got better long distance vision than I have ever had in my life. Mr Subramaniam chose to balance my eyes so my left eye sees distance slightly better, and my right eye sees close up better – to balance each other out.

“It’s the miracle of being to see the clock in the middle of the night – I still wake up at 4am, but at least now I don’t have to get up, walk to my husband’s side of the bed and hold the clock inches from my nose to know that.

“I have never, ever been able to do that before.”

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