She was living in “a dark and diminishing world”, unable to enjoy the countryside pursuits she adored.
Dawn Wilson was forced to abandon clay pigeon shooting and was struggling to navigate jumps with her horse Bertie when she developed cataracts, affecting her perception of distance and space.
“Clay pigeon shooting became a waste of cartridges and clay,” she said. “I just couldn’t see the clay.
“My world was getting darker and more diminished as time went on. I couldn’t see road signs, I wasn’t able to read recipes and going to the supermarket was so difficult because I couldn’t read the labels of anything on the shelves.”
Now, Dawn, 62, is loading her shotgun once more and is back behind the wheel of the horse box after undergoing eye surgery to improve her vision beyond her expectations.
“It has been a revelation,” she said. “I’d say to anyone to get their eyes done straight away. Think about it, consider your options but then don’t hesitate.
“I thought it was amazing on day one after having surgery. But it’s got better every day.”
Dawn contacted Vision Surgery and Research Centre in East Yorkshire after she discovered her cataracts were getting worse, clouding the already poor vision she had endured since childhood.
She had been given details of three surgeons, two of them close to her home in Irby-on-Humber, Lincolnshire. However, she opted for Vision Surgery and Research Centre after learning of medical director Milind Pande’s unrivalled expertise in the field of ophthalmic surgery.
“Even ‘though it meant a journey over the Humber Bridge, it was a no-brainer,” she said. “I just felt very confident and happy with Mr Pande and his whole team because of their professionalism.”
Dawn underwent lens exchange surgery, where bespoke lenses tailored to her exact requirements replaced the existing lenses to not only remove the cataract but also correct her vision.
Mr Pande said: “Everyone will develop cataracts because it is a natural part of the ageing process.
“Having this surgery now rather than waiting for it to get worse, when their health may perhaps not be as good, means people benefit from improved vision without the need for spectacles and are free to enjoy their lives.”
Dawn underwent surgery on her first eye earlier this year and woke up the very next morning to a new world.
“I opened my eyes and could see the clock on the wall for the first time,” she said. “Not just the clock, I could actually read the time.”
By the time she underwent surgery on her second eye, there was no holding her back.
She no longer requires glasses, even for close-up work, and is enjoying country life with partner Martin, her horse and her seven dogs.
“I can walk into rooms without my glasses steaming up, I can read packaging and I can read a phone book, no trouble at all,” she said.
“You don’t realise how bad your eyesight is getting, how dark everything is becoming because it happens so gradually, your brain adjusts to it,” she said.
“But your perception changes by quite a significant amount.
“Not having to wear glasses is only a small part of it. It’s made a difference to everything I do.”
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