Embracing the 'laser'

Eye surgery a 'cut' worth making for athletes and fansFOCUS. How many times have we seen this word printed in the sports pages of our national newspapers?

Managers focus on their rivals and players focus on the next game. However, what happens when a manager's 'focus' becomes a little blurred? Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson wasted no time in investing in a pair of glasses when he discovered that his vision wasn't what it used to be.

But these days, Fergie doesn't even need glasses.

Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, managers, players and spectators - in fact anybody - can rely on 20/20 vision to make sure they're at the peak of their visual powers - thanks to laser eye surgery.

After much deliberation, I recently 'took the plunge' and waved goodbye to my spectacles and trusty box of contact lenses for a permanent solution in the form of laser eye surgery at Optical Express on Wellington Road, Dublin 4.

Soccer and rugby fans would know the road well as they pass by it on the way from the city centre to the Aviva Stadium, via Baggott Street.

For those on the other side of the city and further afield, there is a clinic at Whitewater Shopping Centre in Newbridge and one in Cork.

My journey back to perfect vision started with an initial consultation at the Optical Express outlet in Dundrum Town Centre, which included a full eye examination after which the form of surgery that would be required was discussed.

This was followed by a meeting to discuss the financial packages that are available.

The good news is that the surgery is tax deductable, and there are further discounts available if you have health insurance, so it's well worth calling your provider to see what your entitlements are.

Eye surgery with Optical Express is affordable thanks to their financial packages where you can spread the cost - interest free - of the procedure over ten months, if you find that the total cost isn't immediately payable. Approval can be gained in minutes if you bring the relevant details.

Following this, a date for the 'big day' was booked immediately and the question I asked myself was: "Why didn't I get this done sooner?"

All those evenings spent looking for my glasses to watch the big match on television, of hoping that I have at least one pair of contact lenses left to play a match! The final straw came when I had neither, with a big match to watch that evening. My glasses, it later emerged, were 'filed away' in a toy box by my daughter, so I couldn't find them, and I had run out of lenses. Yes, glasses and lenses do the trick, but a more hassle-free option is available nowadays. The surgery itself takes about ten minutes and is painless. The friendly and helpful staff at the Wellington Road clinic will put the patient at ease immediately with their warm welcome and advice.

Post-op, there is another consultation where the crucial next few weeks are discussed and medication, in the form of eye drops, are provided as part of the service.

The recovery process takes a few hours initially, during which there is discomfort which fades after a few hours.

The next day is the beginning of something quite beautiful. Everything becomes a lot clearer and after a few days, the mild blurriness around the edges makes way for full-on high definition eyesight!

For sports people with defective vision, laser eye surgery is a 'given.'

Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni has often talked about the "little details" that make a big difference. Good eyesight is one of those precious things that can make a big difference, whether you are working hard or playing hard.

To book a free consultation call Optical Express on freefone 1800 818 543 or visit their website www.opticalexpress.ie