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Team 21: Poppy Dinsey – Preparing To See Unaided


A long-term ambition

I think most people who wear glasses or contacts have at some point considered getting laser eye surgery. Maybe a few years ago there were a few more questions about its safety and longevity and so on, but now it seems to be something that most of my bespectacled friends are considering having done or have had done and continue to rave about.

Every time I saved enough money for surgery though I would always find something else to spend it on, the car would need fixing or a holiday would need going on (ahem) and so the opportunity to join Team 21 really was heaven sent!


I liked my glasses as I’d managed to find a decent set of frames for my face, but once you get to the point of being wholly reliant on glasses then no frames are flattering enough to make up for that. It’s hard to explain to someone who doesn’t need glasses, but being reliant on glasses can make you feel very vulnerable. Simple things like walking to the showers in the gym were a nightmare – slippery tiles and blurred eyesight aren’t a good mix! And then there were the inevitable times that you’d take out contacts and then not be able to find your glasses. Looking for glasses without your glasses is definitely the favourite short-sighted person’s game!

Contacts were never my friend

Other things would be annoying too though – you can’t watch telly in bed comfortably if you’ve got bulky glasses on. It sounds silly, but it’s very annoying. And I never got on with contact lenses, I have particularly flat eye balls (apparently! – I’m hoping that’s the type of thing that only an optician notices!), which make contacts really uncomfortable for me. For social engagements I’d always choose to wear contacts but I was never comfortable in them – working in them was impossible!

But would I be a suitable candidate?

I had read up a lot about LASIK before being approached about Team 21, so I was pretty confident I knew the answers to most of my questions before my initial consultation. My main worry was that I wouldn’t be a suitable candidate, but that’s where the folks at Harley Street were so brilliant – there were SO many tests and scans to find out what the best treatment option was for *my* eyes.

My eyes have gotten gradually worse as I’ve gotten older, which is quite normal, but I was worried my prescription wasn’t stable enough for surgery. Luckily, it turned out that this wasn’t a problem and the changes in my prescription over time weren’t significant enough to mean I couldn’t go ahead.

I was so excited to get the news that I was suitable! Then came the next worry though…not the surgery itself, I was never really concerned about the procedure, but WHEN to have the surgery.

The biggest worry of all? It wasn’t the laser!

This will sound terrible, but rather than being at all concerned about pain or discomfort – all I seemed worried about was the fact that I’d need to not wear contact lenses for seven days before the big day and wear no make-up for seven days after. When would this magical two-week period come where I would happily wear glasses/be bare faced?! I had holidays, big dates, photo shoots and all sorts lined up in the diary so to find a date with a week clear either side was actually the hardest part.

Excited for the future

The surgery date ended up falling after a weekend trip to Vienna. I looked through all my holiday pictures in the waiting room feeling rather smug that glasses would (hopefully!) never ruin a holiday photo again! And on the plane I was thinking about how I’d never have to worry about contact lenses drying out on long flights….and then what about holiday swimming? I’ve never been able to enjoy swimming or the beach on holiday because of my eyes. Hopefully that will all change post-surgery.

I can’t wait to be one of those people that never shuts up about how much their life has changed, although I’m a little worried that I’ll have to actually learn how to apply eye make-up properly now and stop hiding behind my glasses!

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