11th December 2022
4 minute read
Categorised under:
Patient Stories

‘Cataract surgery changed my life’ – now SpaMedica patient is back to doing the hobbies she loves

A grandmother with deteriorating vision – which meant she could no longer watch football on the TV or share her passion for reading with her grandchildren – says her quality of life has been restored, following successful NHS cataract surgery at SpaMedica.

Jan Hobbs, 65, was struggling to live life as normal and enjoy her numerous hobbies after developing cataracts in both eyes. Now, following surgery at SpaMedica Leicester, she wants to encourage others in a similar situation to “just do it” and not put off necessary procedures.

Initially worried about her surgery, Jan said she’d been concerned that something could go wrong, but received reassurance from friends, and from SpaMedica staff. “I spoke to a few people who had undergone cataract removal,” she explains. “They all told me there was absolutely nothing to worry about, and they were right. I waited only a month from referral and the procedure was straightforward and completely painless.”

Jan, from Swadlincote, had been referred by her optician because of the impact the cataracts were having on her quality of life. “I absolutely love reading, but I was really struggling with it,” she says. “I have two grandchildren who regularly sleep over and, one evening, the youngest, who’s seven, asked me to read him a bedtime story. I just couldn’t see well enough, so he ended up reading it to me instead. That’s when it hit home and I knew I needed to get my vision checked out properly. Now I’m back to reading all the time – I recently got through four books on my Kindle in a week, while on holiday.”

Another of Jan’s favourite pastimes is watching sport on TV. “I love football but before my surgery, every player had a shadow, so it looked like there were 44 on the pitch instead of 22. I couldn’t read the team names or the score and was constantly asking my partner what was going on. Now I don’t even need glasses to watch TV and can see everything clearly.

“The surgery really is life-changing,” she says. “I had gone through three pairs of glasses within a year but, following surgery, the difference is just amazing. Now, I have one pair of varifocals with clear distance and just a reading prescription which helps when I go shopping. I feel more confident being out and about, especially when I’m driving as I was struggling to read road signs before surgery. I’m enjoying being back behind the wheel and being able to drive to visit my family in Solihull.

“My advice to others would be: don’t live your life not seeing everything and second-guessing all the time! Just do it. I feel like I’ve got my independence back and it’s wonderful.”

SpaMedica has 40 hospitals across England and supports thousands of NHS patients like Jan every week. Its expert team is dedicated to delivering the highest quality care, while helping to reduce NHS cataract surgery waiting times, with appointments available within just four weeks.

Hospital manager at SpaMedica Leicester, Jenna Forsythe, adds: “It’s always fantastic to hear how much of an impact cataract surgery has on the lives of our patients. They’re like family members to us – we make sure every patient receives personalised care and attention, which is why over 99% say they would recommend us to their own friends and family. It’s great that Jan felt at ease with us and had a positive experience – it’s the reason we do our jobs.

“Although cataracts can affect quality of life and independence, for the majority of people it is a treatable condition, and the procedure itself is quick and straightforward.”

Cataract surgery is the most common operation performed today in the UK, with around 450,000 surgeries taking place each year.

Cataracts Symptoms

You may experience one or more of the following symptoms if you have cataracts:

  • A decrease in vision clarity that can’t be corrected with glasses
  • Colours appear faded or washed out, sometimes with a yellow haze
  • Sensitivity to light, glare, and seeing halos around lights
  • Frequent changes to glasses or contact lens prescriptions

It’s best to see an optician if you think you have cataracts. They will perform a thorough eye check and will be able to refer you for treatment if needed.

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