Article published in The Cork News on the 18th of February, 2011.
If you’re not in, you can’t win – or so the saying goes. Having never won a raffle or draw in his life, Midleton resident Micheál Barry claimed what he has described as a “life-changing” prize when he was chosen as the winner of the Cork News Optilase competition late last Autumn.
The 34-year-old Corkman had been short sighted since his childhood but now lives with better than 20:20 vision and without the need for glasses or contact lenses.
“It was something I had always considered doing but had just never gotten around to it,” he admitted. “I saw the competition and decided to apply. I never win these things but I ended up being successful and it really has been the best thing that I’ve ever done.”
Optilase, one of Ireland’s leading laser eye clinics, opened a new facility in Cork last summer, as part of the Opera Lane development. Surgery comes with a lifetime guarantee and prices start from just €495 per eye.
“Prior to surgery, you have a consultation,” Micheál explained. “They assess your eyes and make sure they are suitable for the procedure. They also explain everything in great detail and make sure that you’re completely informed and happy. For me, that was very important.
“On the day itself, they explained things once again and made sure I didn’t have any questions. Once they bring you in, you’re introduced to the person who will do the procedure and it’s all over very quickly – the surgery is literally done in minutes. They do a quick check to make sure everything is okay and then give you drops and talk you through the aftercare.
“They make appointments for you to return the next day, the next week and the next month, and that side of things has been fantastic. I was able to see quite well afterwards but they recommend going home and sleeping for a couple of hours. When I woke up, I could actually see across the room, which I was never able to do before. Within three days, as the healing continued, my eyesight got more and more focused.”
Micheál was particularly impressed by the staff’s attention to detail. He works with computers on a daily basis and was given job-specific eye care advice. There was no pain during the surgery itself or afterwards and, several months on, he still has no concerns.
“My recovery has been very straightforward,” he added. “I had the procedure on the Thursday morning and was back in work on the Monday. You are given what you need to help the healing process as well as advice such as drinking lots of water and having plenty of Vitamin C. It’s almost like a holistic package as opposed to just treating the particular problem that you’ve got.
“For the first few days, I kept thinking ‘Where’s the catch?’ I didn’t think it would be as easy as going in and having perfect vision in a matter of days. If I had known what the results were, I would have had it done years ago and would probably have been willing to pay double what they now charge for it. It’s been amazing - I’d even go as far as saying it was life changing.”