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Light entertainment Yesterday 10:24 #1

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One of the most common and debilitating visual disturbances after refractive eye surgery is seeing halos around all light sources, as I do, so last night I was surprised to discover that the super large halo I was seeing around the moon was real 😎

A beautiful sight for people with healthy eyes, but I found it sad, because after suffering laser eye surgery in 2011, I have seen these (+starbursts) every night since!

From Dr Dan Reinstein’s website (aka The Reinstein Cowboy or Dr Blindstein):


Yet again, the seriously debilitating risks of refractive surgery underplayed!

As for halos being ‘a healthy sign’, after 10 years I would argue not!

But keep in mind this is from the man who made a fool of himself on ThisMorning show in 2019, claiming that wearing glasses was dangerous!

These side effects are frequently far from ‘minor’, and irreparably permanent, with many people who rely on driving for work forced to give up their jobs because of reduced daylight hours in winter months!

Anyone reading here who is still considering risking unregulated refractive surgery - laser or lens - be sure to ask the right questions, in detail, and don’t take the advertising hype at face value. Because if it were all true then you wouldn’t be reading my words!


LASIK wearing off after 3 years 19 Sep 2021 22:54 #2

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Hello, I am having the same issue as ChloeP.

I had my LASIK surgery in December 2018 but over the last few months I've noticed my eyesight wasn’t as sharp as it should have been. Then over this month, I noticed the TV was blurry. I went to an optician for an eye test and they said I need glasses to drive.

It's been less than 3yrs and I need glasses again. I am now 25 and they said I wouldn't need glasses till I was about 40.

Is there a way I would be entitled to a refund? How do I approach this.

I am so annoyed.

Please help

Kind regards
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LASIK wearing off after 3 years 25 Jun 2021 17:25 #3

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Hi, I had LASIK with Optical Express in Sheffield 3 years ago and was lucky to have 20/20 vision straight away. I've now however just had an eye test and my eyesight has gotten worse and I have been told I will need glasses to drive at least. I am absolutely gutted.

I was 20 when I had LASIK and now I'm blaming myself, was I too young? Was my eyesight not stable? - did they actually check that??

I don't really know what my next step should be; a complaint? Do I have any kind of case to have money refunded or another LASIK procedure to fix my eyes again? I stumbled across this website and I am horrified about all the terrible side effects people have suffered from eye surgery and I feel really naive and foolish to have gone for it in the first place now.

I wondered if anyone could offer me advice on where I stand with this? Thank you, Chloe
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Lasik problems 13 Apr 2021 19:34 #4

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Dear Sasha,

I'm not really sure where to begin, that's how disappointed and upset I am

I went to optical express and had my pre screening done, only to be sent away twice and be given drops. I was told I had dry eyes, I never have experienced dry eyes before. The last visit they were going to send me away but decided to do the lasik July 2019. I was told if I took the idesign for £4,400 I'd get a guarantee of 20/20 vision and if not get my money back and 12 month aftercare. Alternatively I could have had it done for £3,700 because it was my eyes I didn't want to mess about and thought I'd do it right and only have to have it done once.

After having the lasik they saw me the next day, 1 week after and about a month after that and never contacted me since. I tried to contact them in March 2020 numerous time and by the time I spoke to them it was July. They told me I was out of my 12 month period and would need to pay. I explained to the guy on the other end I've tried and not succeeded to get through to which he was going to check up if I needed to pay or not and get back to me. I can only assume he never got the answer he needed as he told me he'd contact me back and he never did. I've tried calling since and not got through.

Since having lasik done I've experienced double vision, bad headaches, my left eye can no longer see close up, when in fact my near vision was good. This constantly gives me anxiety when it should have brought me a better quality of life.
I feel bitterly disappointed.
admin: Optical Express have taken advantage of the pandemic: claiming they can't see problem patients yet operating on new ones, lying that refunds can't be processed but able to take payments, blaming dry eyes on increased use of computers during lockdown, etc...
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LASEK Concern 18 Oct 2020 22:10 #5

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I underwent LASEK treatment on Wednesday 9th September (25 years old at the time) at a private clinic based within an NHS eye hospital as I thought this would be the best option rather than OE/other high street clinics which I’ve heard bad things about.

Surgery was painless but the second I got outside of the hospital the pain was awful. I had my eyes closed the whole journey home, stumbled into the house and into bed where I stayed until I could open my eyes once more...2 1/2 days later!!! The pain was one of the worst pains I’ve ever experienced.

I had my follow up 2 weeks later where I found out that a temporary lease was not used which I thought was strange. They claimed that some surgeons will use it but they personally don’t due to an increased risk of infection.

However, my vision at the appointment felt like it was without glasses pre-surgery. I also noticed my near vision was a lot worse...it used to be be fine/perfect and now I am struggling to read my phone etc., especially with my left eye.

At my follow up appointment, the eye test came back with a prescription still (not sure whether it was worse/the same/better than pre-surgery). The doctor (assistant to surgeon) dismissed the result and claimed it was just because I was still healing.

However, my vision is exactly the same as it was at my follow up appointment and I don’t believe it should take this long. My eyes feel a little dry and/or tired at times but fortunately nothing worse at the moment. Previously had double vision but that seems to have gone away now.

Is this normal? Everything I’ve seen online with LASEK, people have great results within a week or two at most. I’m worried the surgery has not worked and cannot think about going through it again!
admin: I am one of many thousands of people who had Lasek (aka PRK) and suffered irreparable debilitating results.

However, I have never heard of a ‘temporary lease’ in laser eye surgery. Typo?

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Scratches & infection 20 Jul 2020 12:46 #6

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Dear Sasha,

I’m hoping that you might be able to give me some advice relating to my treatment at Optical Express.

First of all, may I say a sincere thank you for all the work that you do for people that have been duped by these companies which are purely out for profit. I only wish I had done better research and found your website before I decided to go for it.o
I'm nearly a year after the laser eye surgery now and I'm only now starting to feel better both emotionally and in terms of my eyes, although the vision in my left eye is still bad. And I'm now starting to get myself organised to officially complain to OE.

I had the surgery in July 2019 with Dr Manek Patel and ended up with scratches on my cornea from the surgery and a serious infection within one week. Unfortunately, due to lack of decent post-op care, I did not reach out to them until it was clear that it was serious, four days after symptoms first emerged. I am left with scarring on my left cornea impacting my vision in this eye and somehow also developed astigmatism in the same eye, which I had no idea was even possible. You can see more information in the draft of my complaint letter below. It’s rather long so if you have any advice on the most important aspects to mention, please let me know.

I want a refund from OE. Do you have any advice you could share with me? What do you think the chances are that they would give me a refund? Do you think I should engage a solicitor before submitting this complaint? And should I submit an official complaint with the GOC and/or GMC? I just want to put this behind me as painlessly as possible. I feel like a mug for paying £3K for what I've gone through and I want my money back.

Many thanks in advance.

Best wishes,
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Streaking Lights 24 Apr 2020 12:16 #7

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Paul F wrote: Hi
I had wavefront lasik in August 2012 at the Newcastle branch and immediately after surgery suffered from dry eye (DES) and light sensitivity, neither experienced before when my eyes were perfect in that respect.
After about 2 months I noticed light streaking from any light source when I blinked, made worse if my eyes watered or I put drops in.
At first it was most noticeable at night but gradually become more noticeable during the day when looking at a mobile phone, or light coming through the window.
If my eyes are wide open i don't notice this, but any kind of blind or partial closure of my eyelids and the streaks appear and lengthen dependent on how much i blink,
i still suffer from DES and light streaking 18 months after surgery and tend to notice the light problems more when my eyes are irritated, so I think they may be linked.
i have been back to Optical Express a number of times and had all checks done and they say my eyes are fine and that I only have minor DES.
i have visited my local eye hospital and again they can't find any problems besides DES, so I am becoming really depressed and beginning to give up on hope it will improve.
i have read similar stories on websites and no one has been able to find an answer to the light streaking, although I've read some suggestions it's caused by the tear film and/or the pressure caused by the eyelid when blinking.
Does anyone have any advise or answers to my problems as I really don't know were to go from here?
Many thanks,


after 6 months Lasik surgery I see light streaks, but only when I am blinking with my eyes. Imagine the light streaks moving up and down each blink. This complication I have is a downward streak of light (bright light), that grows longer as I close my eyes I can see the streaking light from TV, computer screens, mobile phones, windows, but also outside from the sky or bright objects. Its worse in the dark.

This complication is separate from the glare and halo and starbursting (which is centric around a light source), and ghosting (which causes a single ghost image that manifests to any side of light source.) I also have those things, too : (

I have read similar stories on websites and no one has been able to find an answer to the light streaking, although I've read some suggestions it's caused by the tear film and/or the pressure caused by the eyelid when blinking.

Does anyone have that, too? Any hints / recommendation how to fix it? (Sclelas, Alphagan do not fix that.) Only thing that helps, if I am pulling away my eye lid from the eye. So that the eye lid does not "touch" the cornea of the eye.

Regards Johanna

My Optical Express nightmare 25 Aug 2019 11:29 #8

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Hi all, I've copied and pasted the following from my complaint letter...

Last year I paid for laser eye surgery with Optical Express.

I agreed to the surgery as part of Optical Express' offer of "20/20 vision or better, or your money back" scheme. I was told I had a very good chance of 20/20 vision, although it was not guaranteed. My rationale was that I'd either have 20/20 vision ( my preference) or at worst, improved vision and a refund.

From the outset, the staff I dealt with at Optical Express were incompetent, at every level.

Firstly, after a screening at my Nottingham branch on the 21st May, I was given the go ahead for surgery. I was given a date, paid my deposit and told nothing else was required. I booked time off work to suit. I was then telephoned to be told I had to go back for a meeting with the surgeon, but I'd have to travel to Sheffield for this. This was mildly inconvenient, but gives you an idea of the lack of organisation.

At my Sheffield meeting, I was asked by the manager of the surgical area about my epilepsy. This was odd, as I've never had epilepsy. In hindsight, I strongly suspect they had the wrong details for me. After meeting the surgeon, I was asked to sit back in the waiting area, where I was left for nearly 2 hours until I queried, at which point they said I could have left 2 hours ago. Again, nothing that serious, but this demonstrates the calibre of Optical Express staff perfectly.

After the surgery date, 13th June 2019, I spent a few weeks recovering. Once the pain and discomfort subsided I was faced with two issues. Firstly my eyes were extremely dry. This was a side effect I was fully aware of. Secondly, my vision was blurry and I couldn't see properly. I was told this would improve over a matter of weeks or months and was given an assortment of eyedrops.

Since then, I have been to three appointments with Optical Express, all of which raised concerns about how poor my eyesight is. All I have been given is more eyedrops.

Since the start of 2019, I have become more and more concerned that my vision is not improving. I have made well over a dozen phone calls to Optical Express customer services, each of which has been met with a promise of a call back by a senior person.

At my final clinical appointment, at the Lincoln branch, I was promised my case would be reviewed by the surgeon, who would "be in touch shortly". This was 4 or 5 months ago now and he has not contacted me. I am being treated with utter neglect. I was entitled to 12 months of free care after the operation, I suspect the surgeon did not contact me during this time so as I'd have to pay for any future work. I cannot afford this so I requested a refund, as per the agreement I signed up to.

Exasperated, I made more calls to your customer service. On the 20th June I was promised an "urgent 24hr callback". This did not materialise. On the 3rd July I was put on hold for 15 minutes, only for the phone to be hung up on me. Again, at best this is incompetence at EVERY level. At worst, it's contempt for my health.

I called back that same day, and spoke to a manager named Steven Hunter, who outwardly empathised with my story and apologised. He promised to personally take charge of getting this sorted and would be in touch very soon. I have heard nothing. Not one call, one email or one letter from him since the 3rd of July.

The only competent person I dealt with during my whole experience was the woman who quoted me the price of the surgery and took my money. She was slick, professional and did not make any mistakes or delays in handing me the card machine.

I am at my wits end. I am escalating this complaint to you in the hope of an explanation of each of these problems and failures, details of what is being done to ensure they don't happen again and finally; a refund for the cost of my surgery so I can pay to have my vision corrected elsewhere.

In dealing with these issues, please consider how you would feel if you couldn't see your childrens faces clearly and nobody cared! I am livid!

Yours Sincerely

Ben Martin

Laser 'enhancement' 09 Jun 2019 12:34 #9

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Anonymous wrote: ’This is not a a horror story of sorts, it is more of a question to all those who have had Laser Eye Surgery with Optical Express. Since my initial treatment almost a year ago, I have been informed I have to have an enhancement procedure as my eyesight has deteriorated.

Therefore, my question is - has anyone had a laser eye enhancement procedure and if yes would you mind letting me know in either circumstance (good or bad) how it was? Did it make your eyesight better or worse or if there were any complications etc?

As the previous poster said, 'enhancement' is a misnomer (a pretty word I refuse to use for what is actually a retreatment), nothing more than a second attempt at fixing what they didn't get right the first time - in your case, within less than a year!

I knew within days of undergoing bilateral lasek surgery that I had problems: first the horrifying loss of my perfect unaided near vision, followed by new and more serious problems and pain presenting at intervals over the years ever since, so that I dread what I may face in the future.

Don't make the mistake of believing that it's only the high street clinics causing damage to untold thousands of people, because as a patient advocate I represent clients who’ve undergone unregulated and risky eye surgery performed by most other providers too, including Moorfields Private (Julian Stevens esp) and Optegra.

During my first 1-2 years post op, two surgeons were eager to retreat my eyes with laser, but not now. And that’s not because of who I am, but because my eyes have deteriorated to such an extent that more laser won’t fix them (tho I'd have to be certifiably insane to let anyone have a second go!), and my only option possibly lens replacement - NO WAY unless I get cataracts, and if that day comes I'll need counselling and tranquilisers just to get me through the clinic door!

And had I been offered RLE/NLR initially you would never have heard my name, because I’d have been out of Optimax so fast at the very suggestion of removing my (previously) healthy natural lens!

My point is, now suffering with MGD, photophobia, corneal neuralgia, blepharitis, and more... had I allowed anyone to retreat my eyes within the first two years of surgery, none of these problems would have been cured, but how much worse could they or would they have been by now?

And if you decide to have a retreat, what if that fails within a year, another one?

I no longer publish anything on True Stories, because since 2012, as MBEF campaigner and patient advocate, I have spoken with thousands of people damaged by all types of refractive eye surgery, and I leave it to them to tell their stories, on Facebook or here on the forum, but I do recommend that you read Craig’s Story to help you make up your mind :kiss:

Optical Express – Laser Eye Enhancement Surgery 09 Jun 2019 10:25 #10

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Firstly, the word 'enhancement' when used regarding further refractive procedures is a misnomer!

It is very risky to have a Lasik flap relifted 1yr post ops so you may be offered Lasek (surface procedure) which, if you had this 1st time around, will be a repeat of what you previously had done. Lasek causes corneal nerve damage (as does Lasik) & also involves the controversial 'off label' drug MMC (Mitomycin-C) being administered during the procedure to counter haze forming & the long term effects of this drug are unknown!

You've already played Russian Roulette with your most precious sense 1st time around, and if you merely have slight regression of vision, you're very lucky compared to thousands of others who have way more serious permanent complications which can include horrific pain!

Lastly, campaigner & OERML founder Sasha Rodoy had Lasek in 2011, suffered from serious complications, and continues to do so to this day!