Ian Longman

Cataract patient Ian Longman

“The morning after my operation, and every day since, I see people and animals clearly in the distance, clumps of grass and all sorts of different things; it was life changing. Now I drive without glasses and can see everything clearly.”

Mr Ian Longman
Retired Caravan Engineer

Mr Longman’s vision deteriorated sharply throughout 2020 and early 2021 to the point where he required 3 different lens prescription changes and was wearing glasses to drive, to read and for intermediate distance like watching TV. Now retired, Mr Longman decided to have cataract surgery to transform his sight and enjoy his life with improved vision.

What was your vision like before cataract surgery?

In a few days’ time I will become eligible to receive a State Pension, I therefore now feel qualified to refer to myself as a pensioner! Wow, I still listen to the same music as when I was 17!

It’s important and relevant that I return to those days for this account as on 18th September 1970, the same day as the world lost Jimi Hendrix, I lost the sight in my right eye due to a brain aneurysm, I was only 14. I was immediately scared I’d lose the sight in my left eye too because that’s the way that your mind works.

That occurrence has always reminded me how fragile we are and what a gift good eyesight is, also, I never fully appreciated at 14, not until many years later, how lucky I was to survive the whole experience too. So, these are very important factors, to me, in my later decisions to undergo the laser cataract surgery.

The immediate aftermath for me, after having single eye vision, was mixed. Firstly, frustration at losing what was referred to as stereoscopic vision, so my depth of field perception disappeared which affected hand/eye coordination, so, having to re-learn catching a ball, or, pouring a drink, but you gradually adjust. Secondly though, the bonus seemed to be, and subsequent tests seemed to indicate, as a compensation my long vision seemed to improve, I seemed to be able to read things at great distance that none of my peers could.

Why did you decide to go for cataract surgery at Centre for Sight?

As ageing adults, we all have to accept eyesight challenges. I am no different, and around the age of 40 I started to need reading glasses, although my long vision was still excellent. By my late 40s the start of floaters had been detected, and that is something, I am afraid still plagues me now.

I mention all of the above to explain my mindset at late 2019 and into 2020 as my optician had detected the early growth of a cataract which had just started to affect my long vision focus, the one thing about my eyesight that had always prevailed and preserved despite all of the intervening sight challenges.

This situation deteriorated sharply throughout 2020 and early 2021 to the point where I had required 3 different lens prescription changes and was now having to wear glasses to drive, and, no longer needed glasses to read, even the TV was a problem to focus on text.

The point had arrived where the decline would likely affect my ability to drive and future lens changes might not even help with that.

The conversation was all about cataract surgery now, Melina Joy, my optician, was particularly concerned with the risk assessment specifically considering having just the one eye!

I considered various options including approaching Moorfields who had carried out my right eye evisceration removal surgery in 2000, or the McIndoe Unit at the Queen Victoria near where we were then living in early 2020 however after hearing good things about Centre for Sight, in particular Mr Sheraz Daya, I decided to pursue Centre for Sight in more detail.

“When I mentioned this to Melina Joy, she was unequivocal in her praise and endorsement of Mr Daya, describing him as the best in the business.”

These testimonials propelled me into action, I fully appreciated that where any form of surgery is concerned there will always be risks, but I felt they had been greatly reduced by being in the best hands.

What was your experience like at Centre for Sight?

I was now full of confidence and proceeded towards the surgery. Even I was amazed at the speed of availability. I recall my first meeting with Mr Daya after undergoing the many tests, it was a Monday, I believe, he asked if I was free on the Wednesday! Even that was a bit quick for me, we agreed a week later, and I came in for the surgery.

I was quite nervous on the day, but determined and looking forward. I would say the worst part was the pre-op as by now you just wanted to get it over with, but, I realised that process is there for a reason and the general care and advice was exemplary, to the point where when surgery commenced, although ‘awake’ I felt so relaxed and simply do not recall any discomfort whatsoever, and then, all of a sudden, it was complete!

I recall it was a very bright sunny day and when it was time to leave, because my pupil was dilated and there was a plastic cover over my eye, all I could ‘see’ was bright light, and by the time we were home, I had been told to rest for about 4 hours, so, when next I ‘came to’ was around 10.30pm. The TV was on, I think it was the weather forecast, so there was a fair bit of text, although I did not remove the eye cover, I could peek out of the side, for the first time in months I could see the text clearly without glasses, I was so elated!!

How is your vision after Cataract surgery?

The next morning, just after sunrise, I’m NOT usually an early riser, but I’d had so much sleep by now, I removed the cover and looked out of our back window, I shall never forget that feeling, it was a beautiful morning and our view is fantastic, but the clarity and focus was unbelievable!

We moved house in March 2020. We are fortunate enough to live right on the edge of the South Downs. The view from our house is spectacular. We are situated at the foot of the Downs, virtually on the edge and the view is upwards and about a mile to the top on the horizon. During the buying process I kept thinking about the view, that pencil line curve between grassland and sky. By the time we had moved in March 2020 that clear line had become very fuzzy and over the coming months deteriorated into a blur, it was such a disappointment.

“The morning after my operation, and every day since it has re-transformed into HD, not only that, I see people and animals clearly in the distance, clumps of grass and all sorts of different things, it was life changing. Now I drive without glasses and can see everything clearly.”

I am eternally grateful to Mr Sheraz Daya, whose expertise is clearly peerless, but also the whole team at Centre for Sight. It’s a marvellous operation full of talented and lovely people.

I realise the best form of referral is personal recommendation, and I fully understand how prospective patients would be worried or even scared of having their eyes operated on.

I would highly recommend the surgery in a heartbeat to anybody who is wavering, of course there are always risks, but if they can be minimised significantly by employing the best people then surely the benefits outweigh those risks, notwithstanding the risks attached to doing nothing about it instead.

I would do it all over again!