It is thought around half the UK population wears glasses or contact lenses. Moreover, with an aging population this is likely to increase.
However, growing numbers of people are opting to have some form of eye surgery to correct their vision and get rid of their spectacles.
One individual who has benefited from this procedure is TV celebrity Ruth Langsford.
Ruth had poor vision, which meant she had to wear different glasses for different things – from seeing long distances to reading small print. In an interview she admitted having had at one time 15 pairs of spectacles.
She also said that as she works in television it was particularly disconcerting, since she needed to have her glasses on hand all the time – putting them on to read then removing to speak to people.
Fed up, Ruth finally decided to look at options. She initially opted for LASIK surgery and visited a specialist in Harley Street. However, it turned out she was not a suitable candidate for this particular therapy. The surgeon suggested she wear contact lenses.
She did try wearing contact lenses for a while, but found they were not always sharp enough. In fact, she recalls at times one of the lenses could cloud over which made it difficult to read the auto-cue.
Ruth’s problem was she had a condition called presbyopia which is the term used to describe age-related long-sightedness.
After investigation, Ruth found out about a newer surgical procedure called Clarivu, which is an alternative procedure for people over the age of 50.
Clarivu is a technique that uses femtosecond laser technology as an alternative to traditional LASIK surgery. It was initially used for the removal of cataracts, but is now offered to people like Ruth when traditional eye surgery is not suitable.
Ruth explained that Clarivu would not restore her vision to the same level it was when she was young, but it would allow her to be able to see better; and more importantly without the need to wear glasses.
The recovery time is much faster than that of traditional LASIK surgery. Ruth simply had to put anaesthetic drops in her eyes for a few days afterwards.
Laser eye surgery has been around a long time now, but as technology improves and confidence increases, many more people will no doubt opt for this in the future.
Even better is that there are various options for various ages and medical conditions.