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  • Posted on 22/01/2013
  • City : Bromley

Charlene Underwent Successful Keratoconus Treatment. Charlene has suffered from keratoconus for over 9 years. Her journey has been a frustrating and painful experience. Today, she can see clearly through both her eyes for the first time in 9 years and cannot believe how effective the Keratoconus treatment has been. Read her story here.

Dear fellow keratoconics,

It is a pleasure to have this opportunity to share my journey suffering with this condition of kerataconus. I first noticed a problem with my sight from the age of 18 where I was severely short sighted (otherwise known as myopic vision). I struggled to see text in the lecture theatre, watch movies in the cinema and sometimes struggled to notice my friends on the street. At this point I booked an appointment at my local opticians and I was satisfied with the glasses they had prescribed for about a year.

From the age of 19, I noticed my eyes became increasingly irritable where I was constantly scratching, rubbing and removing discharge from my eyes. My friends and family noticed that I was doing this almost every ten minutes in front of the mirror. This reaction was understandably worrying. I also noticed my glasses were not as effective and I was squinting more frequently.

During the course of a few years, my glasses prescription changed several times, until one day my optician advised me that my prescription had reached the maximum strength. This was not sufficient for my sight and I was referred to an optometrist.

As you can imagine, I was quite concerned about the future of my sight. During my first appointment at the optometrist I was diagnosed with kerataconus, I was frightened because I had not heard of this condition. I was told the condition was severely advanced in my right eye and correcting my sight in this eye would be a challenge i.e. I could not even see text on a Snellen chart. I knew the future concerning my sight would be long and frustrating. This was particularly noticeable during my driving lessons.

The optometrist suggested wearing rigid gas permeable lenses (RGPs) in my left eye. It took me approximately one month to adapt to the RGPs as they were very uncomfortable, irritable and I slowly became sensitive to light.

For a couple of years, my sight was solely from my left eye. The optometrist trialled some RGPs for my right eye, however due to my degree of conning in the right eye, it was difficult to get the fitting right.

In the interim, the RGPs for my left eye managed to see me through the success of my driving test and generally getting by for 6-12 months. Soon after, the RGPs became uncomfortable (e.g. more rubbing). Eventually the optometrist showed concern about the disease advancing in my left eye. I was referred to an ophthalmologist in the hospital, who managed to design better RGPs that were bigger and more comfortable.

During several consultations the ophthalmologist introduced new treatment options, such as intacs and collagen cross linking (CXL). In addition, they even considered corneal transplantation for my right eye. This led me to carrying out further research on these treatment options. I learnt these options were not available on the NHS, so this team suggested I had the treatment options privately. Unfortunately, after ringing them an ample number of times, they never got back to me.

I returned home to London and continued to manage with the RGPs, in my left eye. It was not until I lost the RGP that I realised how much I was dependent on it so I began to research treatment centres for Keratoconus. I came across Accuvision who are renowned to provide optimal care for Keratoconus. I knew from my first initial consultation that I had definitely come to the right place. The staff was very friendly and definitely empathised with my struggle with keratoconus. They were very understanding, frank and trustworthy.

After thorough examination of my eyes the specialists at Accuvision suggested CXL for my left eye only as my right cornea was too thin for the procedure. The operation was done soon after my initial consultation. As you can imagine I was very apprehensive and worked myself up into a state, prior to surgery. However during the procedure the staff was very friendly and informative and the treatment was practically pain free. The first stage of the procedure involved cleaning the eye and administering local anesthetic, this was followed by scraping of the cornea, which lasted all of five minutes, then numerous drops or Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) and staring at a UV light for an hour. This ended with the placement of a bandage contact lens over the eye, which was kept in place for seven days. One of the first things I noticed after the operation was that I became extremely sensitive to sunlight, this effect was dampened by wearing UV protected sunglasses. Day one post op was pain free; I spent most of my time in darkness with my eyes closed. Day two post op I experienced quite intense pain and watering of the eye, this settled the following day. The staff at Accuvision was happy with the way the eye was healing and my vision was similar to looking underwater, which was expected.

Several weeks after CXL my left eye, the team at Accuvision wanted to focus on trialing out some RGPs for my right eye. Of course in the back of mind I thought there was no way they would find a lens to fit because of the issues I had in the past with previous optometrists struggling to find RGPS to fit the right eye. As the disease is so advance in my right eye I had no expectations. However, to my surprise and after several fittings of various scleral lenses, which are bigger and more comfortable than RGPs, I managed to see out of my right eye for the first time in years. I was very emotional and it was almost a miracle that they had accomplished this. As well as optimising my sight they suggested easing the comfort wear of the scleral lenses with putting a soft lens on first and then placing the hard scleral lenses on top. This technique is known as piggy-backing. I was highly impressed. The following week, they piggy-backed my left eye and for the first time ever, I could see crystal clear from both eyes. I could see objects and people around me in a different light. I describe this as previously looking through black and white television to now seeing things in high definition. This has been life changing for me, my family and friends, as living with this condition has been long and frustrating.

Now, I am more than satisfied with my vision and Accuvision have really impressed me with their approach, timing and highly skilled operation to optimise my vision. Living with keratoconus has been a long, frustrating and emotional journey but Accuvision have proven that with patience and determination anything is possible. Unfortunately, I definitely feel like there are many pitfalls in the NHS with diagnosing, screening and treatment options for keratoconus and there is a need for national combined efforts to combat the progression of this disease. 

  • Customer Services: 5/5
  • Value for Money: 5/5
  • Clinical Team: 5/5
  • Technology: 5/5
Mr Gary Cretton
  • Posted on 19/12/2008
  • City : Hertfordshire

My visit to Accuvision was my first step to see if anyone could help with my very poor vision that I have suffered all my life from birth. My Vision was a -28 in my left eye and a -16 in my right eye which was worse than expected when examined at accuvision in Parsons Green. With eyes this bad I knew I would not qualify for laser and just wondered if there was anything that anyone could do. Joan and Vikesh at Accuvision treated me with such respect and class they are a credit to the company.
After being examined by Mr Chad Rostron he stated that he could help me with my eyes and the only option for me was to have implantable contact lenses. I jumped at the chance for the potential of 20/20 in my right eye and correction to my left eye.
Went through the surgery for my left eye in September 2008 and as much as I did not want the surgery the results were out of this world my left eye went from a -28.00 to a -1.00 as it currently is and the vision and comfort is absolutely amazing, my right eye was then operated in december 2008 and was hoping for 20/20 vision after the surgery everything was fine and uncomfortable as expected for a period, as this wore off the vision got better and better and after todays check up with Mr Rostron and Vikesh my right eye is now -0.25 from -16.00 which gives me 20/20 vision.

They are truly amazing at Accuvision and are so professional they made me feel so welcome and comfortable that they have changed my life forever. I cannot put into words how they have changed my life and that now I do not have to worry about contact lenses just enjoy the best vision I have ever had.

If anyone else thinks that you cannot be helped I know nobody as bad eyes as I had and they helped me to feel unbelievable and no words can describe how I feel.

I would like to Thank everbody at Accuvision and the surgery clinic for the way they you treated me and for changing my life forever.

Thank you Mr Rostron, Vikesh and Joan for doing all you could for me it is so appreciated.

Gary Cretton

  • Customer Services: 5/5
  • Value for Money: 5/5
  • Clinical Team: 5/5
  • Technology: 5/5
Hilary Knight
  • Posted on 15/12/2008
  • City : Kent

Had my surgery last month and now have 20/20 vision. The procedure itself is very quick and pain free, of course the vision is ‘foggy’ for a while but still better than without my contact lenses or glasses. The next morning I could see clearly and every day for the first week vision improves. I would definately recommend the Accuvision clinic to anyone considering this surgery, you won’t regret it!

  • Customer Services: 5/5
  • Value for Money: 5/5
  • Clinical Team: 5/5
  • Technology: 5/5
Kate Rawson
  • Posted on 07/11/2008
  • City : London

I had laser surgery at the Fulham branch of Accuvision just under 4 weeks ago. I had been saving up for ages and when the goal had been met, I still didn’t believe that I might be able to be spec and contact lens free! I am now 20/20 and it has changed my life!

I am an actor and lenses were always popping out on stage under the lights, and I was always a bit lazy with them, opting for glasses but then being annoyed by them moving/smudging/steaming up all day.

I went to the heavily advertised laser company for my first consultation and was scared off by the seemingly inept optomotrist that conducted my consultation- my pupils were dilated and sensitive to the sun for at least 36 hours! This was just the consultation! There was definitely more talk of finance agreements than facts about the surgery and it was all rather impersonal and brash.

Then a friend of a friend recommended Accuvision, the consultation was a different ball game all together, so professional, reassuring, thorough and no hard-sell! I knew I was in safe- and gentle- hands.

I had to go to the operation alone, but I wasn’t worried because I knew I would be so well looked after by the waiting room staff. I had watched at least 3 people come out of the operation alive, but when my time came I was still a bit nervous and accepted the nurse’s offer to hold my hand! Everyone was utterly friendly and reassuring. The clamp IS odd, intense is the best word..but never painful. I found the flashing green light a great point of focus during the surgery and before I knew it, it was done. It’s true the procedure on the 2nd eye feels longer, I guess because I was more conscious of what was happening and what was coming. Still, it was so quick.

I was taken home by a friend and lay in bed with my eyes closed (for quicker healing) listening to Radio 4 for the rest of the day! I had an audition less than 48 hours after surgery and managed to follow dance steps and read scripts without any problems.

I have had some dryness, which made one of my eyes a little blurry but I was given jelly type drops which helped, and the problem cleared in a few days. It is now 4 weeks later and I can see perfectly!

    Lisa Hornsby
    • Posted on 04/11/2008
    • City : Surrey

    Absolutely fantastic!! The surgery only took a couple of minutes and was completely painless, you honestly cannot feel a thing (I was about -4 in both eyes with slight astigmatism in one eye). I was on my way home only 10 minutes after I had the op. I was reading number plates on the way home and in the afternoon I could read things in the distance as good as my boyfriend who has perfect vision, I was so impressed, couldn’t believe how quick I could see clearly.

    After my check up on the second day I was told I could now drive as my vision was so good, so I drove home, no problem. I needed extra drops for a few days as my eyes were a bit dry.

    Had my 1 week check up yesterday and was told I have 20:20 vision. It is amazing.

    I chose AccuVision from reading the testimonials and I am so glad I did, I would like to thank everyone at AccuVision in Fulham, they were very professional and made me feel at ease.

    • Customer Services: 5/5
    • Value for Money: 5/5
    • Clinical Team: 5/5
    • Technology: 5/5
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