Tony and I went together for our consultation at the Focus Eye Centre on Friday. I have worn glasses since I was nine and Tony has worn them since he was seven. Starting in high school I started wearing contacts, and I wore them for many many years. After I had my kids though, my eyes started rejecting contacts completely. Bright red and itchy eyes within an hour of putting them in made me put aside my contacts for good. Tony can still wear them a little, but definitely not all the time. We are an active family, running and biking all the time, so the glasses have really becoming a nuisance. We were just sick of them. Added to this, we both have very strong prescriptions and so getting new glasses was very costly and insurance came nowhere near to covering the costs. Weighing all this together, surgery is looking very good.

We asked around, and no one had regretted their eye surgery. No warnings or watch outs. All we heard were resounding recommendations from everyone.

So off we went for our consultation. We were whisked from one station to the next; from one person to another. Most of the people we dealt with spoke as if they were reading from scripts, and I whispered to Tony at one point that I was pretty sure they were all robots. The final station was where we met with the woman who explained all of the financials to us. We were given a $500 family discount, which I think everyone is given based on feedback I heard. The woman who was helping us started booking our appointments and asking for a deposit before we had even decided whether we were going to proceed. After we left we both felt like we had been through a very slick business operation, and not through a health care consultation. This is obviously a money-making marketing place, and we felt a little bit icky after, like that feeling you get when buying a used car.

Still, I think we are going to go through with it. The thought of being glasses-free is so very appealing. If you have any negative feedback to share, please let me know. Thanks!

About Finola

I am an Ottawa area Mom, writer-want-to-be and coffee legend in the making.
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8 Responses to Focus

  1. Robin says:

    I felt the same way when I went through the Lasik pre-processing. Like a cash cow.

    I didn't spring for the surgery for two main reasons:
    1. I still would have had to wear glasses for reading.
    2. The thought of lasers on my eyeballs scares the crap out of me.

    Plus I wonder what happens when you get older and your vision naturally keeps on changing. How often will you be willing and able to repeat the surgery?

    Glasses look cool. Keep 'em I say.

  2. I looked into laser surgery years ago in Toronto. I too have worn glasses since I was 7 and my glasses are so strong they are coke bottles. I chickened out last minute because I made the mistake of looking up the risks on the internet. My advice is don't do that – it will scare the crap out of you. If you are in doubt, perhaps get a second opinion from another clinic?

  3. Erik says:

    I got mine done at the Ottawa Eye Institute at the Ottawa Hospital. No sales-pressure there and my experience was great. It's been almost 10 years now and I've no regrets.

  4. Finola says:

    Robin, Those are all the same reasons why I have resisted up until now. I am just so uncomfortable wearing my glasses all day long, that even when I will need reading glasses in a few years, I still think I will enjoy not needing them all the time.

    Laura, Do you wear contacts most of the time then? Would you consider going back for another consultation?

    Erik, Thanks, I may check out the Eye Institute as well for another opinion. Good to know that you are still happy after 10 years!

  5. Okay, I really don't want to contribute to any fear … but you did ask … I took classes from a local acting coach and she had a terrible time after her surgery. She would show up to class and be more blind than she was before the surgery. Now, perhaps she is fine now and doesn't regret it, but at the time, she did not seem happy about the choice. You could probably contact her to learn the specific details.

    As for actually getting laser surgery on eyes … My mom has had both her eyes done in a hospital due to cateracts and she had immediate, amazing results.

  6. gryph says:

    A friend of mine got her eyes done. She wasn't a very happy camper immediately after the surgery (healing process is a pain) but the bright side is that your eyes are one of the fastest healing spots on your body. She appreciated it after they healed and was amazed at how good her vision was. But it's been about ten years and she's wearing glasses again. I think she got her eyes done a bit too early in life.

    That's my story. I can still wear contacts, so I'm not considering surgery. Yet.

  7. Finola says:

    Julie, I wouldn't mind contacting your friend…I'll DM you. Thanks for the info, I appreciate it.

    Jennifer, I'm hoping the procedures have improved in 10 years, but I don't really know. Thanks for the info (and welcome to your Pup!)

  8. Jenn N says:

    Hiya! I got mine done the third week of April on a Thursday at 5pm. I went home that night & went to bed. The next morning I went back and had the protective “contact lens bandaid” removed (just a thick, clear contact lens) and was about 80% recovered. Apart from having red bruising on the whites of my eyes for a couple of weeks, I was recovered by Saturday and back at work the following Monday. Keeping up with the prescribed drop regimine was key. I have to remind myself to put my drops in routinely now 3 months later. I find if I do a long road trip I need to put some extra drops in, but otherwise everything has been great. The benefits have been fantastic – no more sticking my finger in my eye for contacts, contacts having to come out at the end of the day so having to wear glasses anyway, seeing the alarm clock, being able to read the shampoo bottle, rolling over and seeing spouse/kids faces clearly… Camping was an absolute dream this year – wake up and go, but also not worrying about the heat of the campfire on my contacts… we're already saving up for G to go next year and get his done… Focus is pretty well rehearsed, but they are excellent at what they do – they actually have ISO certification (for the Quality Systems people among us 😉 ), so the station-to-station approach is probably just them following their SOP binder… Dr E is my sister-in-law's uncle, so we're a little biased, but apart from the family singing his praises, many other friends are satisfied customers… BUT it is such a personal choice – make sure you're 100% comfie!!!

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