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Wed, 05 April 2017 17:19:33

Laser Eye Surgery At Optegra Helps Swimmer Heather Clatworthy Make A Big Splash By Conquering Gruelling 13 Mile Charity Swim

There are several benefits to having permanent vision correction carried out. Just ask Heather Clatworthy, who has succeeded at an audacious 13 mile swim from Moville in Donegal, Ireland to Portstewart in Northern Ireland, across the mouth of the Foyle and Bann Rivers.

The swim raised money for the Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) Portrush and the Portstewart Outdoor Recreation Fund. Notably, no one had completed the swim since 1929, and Heather needed to be on top of her game to complete the strenuous task.

Heather, 33, was aided in completing the challenge by correcting her poor vision by having LASEK laser eye surgery at Optegra Eye Health Care.

Featured on Best Fit TV recently, Heather said “I’ve worn glasses since I was 10 and contact lenses since I was 15. Although I am grateful that I have been able to see clearly since then, my love of the outdoors has raised certain challenges and I won’t be sad to see the back of them! Being able to see clearly when I swim will be amazing! And not having to worry about rain and mud on my glasses when I am land training will be great too.”

Heather took her time before finding the right hospital to have her procedure. After researching and visiting a few places that left her feeling less than confident, it was her mother in law who suggested she visit Optegra Eye Health Care Group. She has never looked back since, and describes her experience at the hospital.

“I turned up to a lovely modern building and immediately met with friendly, relaxed staff who put me at ease. After a few eye tests, I met the surgeon who would be carrying out the procedure, which was fantastic. He was willing to spend the time answering my questions and discussing options, and I didn’t feel pushed or rushed. Because I had already done a lot of research, I decided to go for it and booked in for five weeks later!”

Optegra have over 150 highly qualified NHS trained surgeons at their disposal, covering several UK locations including London, Manchester, Birmingham, Yorkshire, Hampshire and Surrey. Her consultant was Mr Mark Wevill who explained Heather’s case in more detail. “Heather told me all about the swim she was training for. I treat many patients who have active, sporting lives, so I understand the specific challenges this can bring when wearing glasses and lenses. Heather’s prescription was only -3.5 in each eye so I was confident that LASEK laser eye surgery would enable her to be glasses free.”

The procedure was a routine success, and Heather went on to describe her feelings and experiences post-surgery. “As soon as the laser procedure was over, I had to stop myself high fiving the team. I sat and looked at everything around me – I could see faces, details in pictures hanging on the wall and read signs. It was an amazing feeling of elation. Strangely enough, it was also very calming – spending your day squinting at things isn’t relaxing at all and perhaps my face might have fewer wrinkles now too! One of the loveliest things is seeing my children’s faces first thing in the morning or during the night, without having to find my glasses – I can see their freckles close up and that means a lot.”

So would Heather recommend that others who are looking to ditch the glasses or contacts consider laser eye surgery?

“I tell everyone I meet; to just do it, don’t wait. I wish I had done it sooner! Taking the step to laser my eyes wasn’t a quick one, but I wanted to see my children grow up and enjoy the benefits of ‘seeing with my own eyes’! It is perfect timing for my swim and when I’m training, every now and then I stop and take my goggles off, and just take in the beautiful coastline and horizon. Mark and his team are incredibly gifted and I feel so honoured to have been able to have my sight restored (and upgraded I think!) to enjoy a fuller life.”

Heathers laser eye surgery experience can be seen on Best Fit TV, and on the Optegra website

To learn more about Optegra, its advanced vision correction treatments, flexible finance options and ‘0% interest free’ facility visit or call 0808 178 2815 Mon-Fri 8am-8pm, Sat 9am-4pm.


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