12th December 2022
4 minute read
Categorised under:
Patient Stories

Clear sight is a ‘revelation’ for Yaxley resident following ‘life-changing’ cataract surgery

A Yaxley resident who started wearing glasses at the age of six has credited cataract surgery for ‘changing his life’.

Steve Low, 73, had been struggling with his vision in both eyes due to worsening cataracts, and was referred for surgery following an eye test. After seeing an advert on his iPad for SpaMedica, which provides NHS cataract treatment, he learned of a nearby hospital in Peterborough and went back to his optician to ask to be referred there.

He has since had both eyes operated on and is now enjoying not having to depend on glasses for the first time in almost 70 years.

“It’s made everything so much easier,” says Steve. “I was virtually blind in my right eye. I’d worn glasses for long distance and for reading from the age of six, and I knew the sight was failing too in my left eye. Since I’ve had cataract surgery, I only need to wear a pair of standard reading glasses so, on the whole, the surgeries have changed my life.

“It’s a revelation that I can see so well. Even going back 20 years ago, I couldn’t see without glasses what I can see now.”

Steve recently reapplied for his driving licence due to his age and says his drastically improved vision caused a little confusion for the DVLA. Driving has always been a big part of life for Steve and his family: he is a former HGV driver and his son Andy runs Formula Ford racing team Ammonite Motorsport.

“The DVLA asked why I no longer need glasses for driving when I’ve always worn them previously, and sent me to an optician to do a visual field test,” Steve explains. “Everything was fine and I got my licence back, as my sight is now better than the vision requirements for driving.”

Having never had any surgical treatment previously, Steve had some concerns before the procedures. “It can be a bit nerve-wracking, especially if you’ve not had any surgery before, but the team are brilliant at putting you at ease. I had a little discomfort at first, but I spoke to the staff and they said they could put extra eye drops in which made it so much better. And the end results are just fantastic.”

He adds: “I’m very pleased with how it was done and life has definitely improved for me because of it.

“Since my retirement at 69, I’ve been doing a bit of photography. I take photos of my son’s motorsport team and I do a bit of wildlife too. It gives me a good excuse to go for a walk! I use a Canon DSLR so to not have the inconvenience of glasses on top of the glass of the camera is great.”

“The whole process from start to stop has been great,” he adds. “Before I was referred to SpaMedica, I’d had appointments cancelled which left me feeling frustrated, and without the referral, I think I’d still be waiting for surgery. But here I am, less than one year later, with both eyes done.”

SpaMedica has 46 hospitals across England and supports thousands of NHS patients like Steve 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 Peterborough, Georgeana Roman, adds: “For Steve to have better vision now without glasses than he did 20 years ago is fantastic and it demonstrates just how life-changing cataract surgery can be.

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

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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