Being able to see clearly makes a whole lot of difference in life, particular for an artist. Missing distinctive colour changes and brush strokes can take the fun out of creating your very own masterpiece, and when one North Newbald woman felt her sight going for real, it was time to find a cure.
Sue Williamson, now 56, said “I had been noticing changes in my eyesight for a couple of years and it was starting to affect my work. It was taking the joy out of painting and my music as well as I was struggling to see notes when I was playing cello in concert. During a routine eye test, I was told that I had cataracts and there was a place that could help me. It seemed an easy decision to make. I went ahead with the surgery.”
Ms Williamson came to the Vision Surgery & Research Centre for Advanced Refractive Cataract Surgery, a procedure not generally available on the NHS. Basic surgery involves removing the cataract and inserting a standard replacement lens to restore focus and quality of vision with limited success. Advanced Refractive Cataract Surgery on the other hand restores the best possible quality of vision without glasses or contact lenses.
Ms Williamson noticed the benefits of the surgery almost as soon as it was done. She said “The change was fantastic. As well as the cataract removal, I had customised multifocal lenses (similar to varifocal spectacle lenses) put into my eyes.”
“My detailed sight improved to such a degree that I can perform all activities without glasses. The operation is over in about 20 minutes and you can see the results straight away. I can now see colours a lot better, and everything I paint is now in much more detail. I have got back the fun of painting which I had lost for a while.”
As we grow older, everyone develops cataracts. Cataracts need not have reached any particular stage of severity before surgery can be undertaken. In fact, the ideal time is when you want to improve your sight. Increasingly the type of surgery is also carried out on people who are more than 45 years of age and want to see better without glasses or contact lenses. They see it as bringing forward their cataract operation by a few years to enjoy the benefits of spectacle-free vision.
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