A couple from Pevensey, East Sussex are enjoying near perfect vision and planning to get married in May, after a joint trifocal lens procedure, here at the London Eye Hospital.
Cliff Miles, 68, a retired fire engine consultant and his partner Joy Roscoe, 69, a former property consultant, have both worn varifocals for years, and with a joint family history of vision problems, decided to take action to secure their vision for many more years to come.
Joy, who has a grown-up son, has had excellent vision for most of her life unlike most of her family who had to wear glasses. After years of computer work her eyes began to deteriorate at 51, and much to her disappointment she was told she needed to wear varifocal lenses. Given her family history and the ‘slight sight’ of cataracts she was worried about her vision and knew that glasses weren’t a long-term solution.
“I wore varifocals for 17 years and hated them. I have a small face so they didn’t suit my face shape. They are also really heavy on the nose and got in the way when I was doing yoga and meditation. I also had a slight sight of cataracts, which was a worry. Given my family’s history (they all wear glasses), I didn’t want to risk the same thing happening to me and I know how quickly eyesight can deteriorate! Getting rid of the worry about my cataracts was my main goal and so I did some research into eye treatments that could help. I was inspired by my friends’ experiences at the London Eye Hospital and decided to look into it.”
Cliff, who has two grown-up daughters, worked in the armed forces for years, which required 20/20 vision so he has enjoyed excellent eyesight for most of his life. His problems began when he changed jobs and started doing office work, writing documents for building regulations – close work which put strain on his eyes and over the years his vision deteriorated. At one point he had pains in his little finger and aching eyes and feared he had some form of muscle disease. It turned out he was trapping a nerve in his elbow whilst driving. At 46, he started wearing varifocal lenses and like Joy, hated them and found it hard to focus properly when he wore them for driving.
“My vision started to deteriorate when I was doing office work and it gradually got worse. At 46, I needed varifocals to see the dashboard and the road when driving and I hated them. I also have a family history of vision problems, which was a worry. My dad had dry macular degeneration and was registered blind. My mum was blind in one eye, so I thought my vision might go the same way. When I met Joy and she told me about the London Eye Hospital treatments, it seemed like a no-brainer. I was curious to learn more.”
The couple, who have been together for two years and plan to take each other’s surname when they get married to become Roscoe-Miles, weighed up the cost of eye surgery compared to what they have spent on glasses over the past 15-20 years and realised that surgery was far more affordable and an investment in themselves. Excited for the future and keen to continue their travels, they booked a joint consultation at LEH and the trifocal lens was recommended, a top of the range treatment, which would give them complete freedom from wearing glasses.
The trifocal lens is a major step forward for multifocal lenses, which have been in use in their current form for over a decade. Previous versions had to find a compromise between poor, intermediate vision and glare (difficulty seeing in bright light) or halos (rings around sources of light) often experienced at night, especially when driving. But the new trifocal lens gives great clear near, middle and far vision whilst reducing glares or halos, making them the most effective treatment available for those looking to ditch their contact lenses or prescription glasses.
The trifocal lens is suitable for anyone in their late 30s or older who has long or short sight, even if they have astigmatism. The lens is also suitable for anyone with cataracts, so millions of people who currently wear glasses or contact lenses could benefit – especially if they have previously avoided surgery due to the prevalence of glare problems after having traditional multifocal lenses fitted.
Since having their eyes treated together five months ago, Joy and Cliff have had a gradual improvement in their vision and they are both delighted with the results.
“It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done. I thought I’d feel some discomfort during the op but it was uneventful. Driving has been the most startling improvement and my vision is getting better all the time. We went on a cruise last Christmas and I managed to thread a needle and sew a button on Joy’s shirt – the whole ship knew about it! I could never have done that before. I can now do DIY and see the screws! My eyes don’t get tired in the afternoon anymore.
“I can even see when my daughter’s hand is in my pocket reaching for my wallet! Joy and I can now see each other properly so there won’t be any running away from the alter when we get married… I’ve nailed her feet to the floor!”
“The operation was very comfortable and there were no problems. Often the thought of it is much worse than the actual procedure. After the second op, we both had patches on our eyes and had to get home on public transport so it was like a comedy script with people staring at us on the Tube and the taxi driver asking us what we’d been up to!
We now have 20/20 vision and it’s wonderful to go from squinting to be able to see clearly. Reading has been the most startling thing for me – I can see the tiniest print now. It’s also fantastic to be able to put my makeup on without having to squint into a magnifying glass. We’re getting married in May and off to Antigua for our honeymoon, so we’re not short of celebrations – one for each eye and one for each other!
“Varifocals are expensive and you need two pairs in case one breaks so you’re looking at around £1,500 every couple of years for a new prescription. The trifocal lenses are quite expensive initially but amazing value for money in the long run. When I look at what I’ve spent on glasses over the past 17 years, it was an easy decision to have the op!”
According to the London Eye Hospital Medical team,
“Joy and Cliff are a similar age and like many people, their eyesight had gradually deteriorated with computer work. They approached us to find out if the new lenses would be suitable for them, and booked in for a joint operation shortly after their consultation. Whilst patients will be with us for a few hours, the operation itself is performed in a matter of minutes, with 30 seconds of laser to remove the natural lens and 10 minutes to implant the trifocal lens through a tiny incision. The results will last a lifetime, giving them freedom from glasses without the glare problems associated with other lens implants.
“We are absolutely delighted that having the procedure together means they can now enjoy their wedding. We wish them all the best for their honeymoon and future travels”.