A retired tennis enthusiast from Cheshire has made a welcome return to the courts following successful NHS cataract surgery at SpaMedica in Newcastle-Under-Lyme.
Eileen Smith (87) developed a passion for tennis when she was just 10 years old but, due to deterioration of her vision in 2021, was experiencing difficulty both when playing the game and when watching it on TV. Now, following cataract surgery on both eyes, Eileen says the procedure has made a tremendous difference to the definition and brightness of her sight. She is now able to follow the tennis ball much more easily and enjoy the sport she loves.
Eileen, a retired PE teacher, first had surgery on her right eye, followed by the left eye within three months. She says she can’t recommend her experience at SpaMedica highly enough. “It was wonderful,” she explains. “I was both surprised and relieved that it wasn’t at all painful. All I could feel was water swooshing around my eye and it was all over in just 15 minutes.”
Although problems with her eyesight didn’t really prevent her from carrying on with her everyday life, Eileen admits everything was less defined and less colourful than it should be. “The world just looked dull,” she says. “I remember wearing a bright purple jumper to the hospital which I actually thought was brown until I could see it properly! That was amazing.”
Eileen now enjoys playing tennis with a group of close friends on an all-weather court near her home in Alsager, although she admits Covid has ‘stopped play’ a few times lately. When she’s not playing or watching tennis, she attends keep fit classes as a member of University of the 3rd Age (U3A). “I’ve been doing keep fit for 50 years,” she says. “It’s really helped me stay active. I may be 87 but I walk around like a 70-year-old. That’s keep fit and tennis for you!”
Eileen says she wholeheartedly recommends cataract surgery to anyone needing it. “The procedure was very professional,” she explains. “The SpaMedica team was friendly and helpful, and the surgeon was very skilled. There really was no pain at all. I just laid back and enjoyed it and I really can’t understand why anyone would consider not having it done.
“Parking at the hospital was easy and convenient, Covid hygiene standards were extremely high, and I felt very safe. And not forgetting the all-important free tea and biscuits, which were delicious.”
SpaMedica has 37 hospitals across England and supports thousands of NHS patients like Eileen 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 Newcastle-Under-Lyme is Lisa Moors. She added: “It’s lovely to hear what a difference it has made to Eileen to have cataract surgery with us. Our job is hugely rewarding – we view our patients as family members, providing personalised care for every one of them. We make sure they’re at ease and have a positive experience. That’s why over 99% say they would recommend us to friends and family.”
“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.”
Cataracts are common in adults – about 30% of adults aged 65+ will have a cataract that is affecting their vision and requires treatment – and cataract surgery is the most common operation performed today in the UK, with around 450,000 surgeries taking place each year.
You may experience one or more of the following symptoms if you have cataracts:
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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