Adult experiences with lazy eye/squint treatment
This section is only here because brave, lazy eye/squint patients have been willing to
share their stories with you - regardless of the outcome.
Please click on any of the following names to read about their experiences...
Janet's Story Carole's Story
Darren's Story Debbie's Story
• • •
"I first noticed that my eye was turning out 4 years ago. I mentioned it to family and was told that it was only when I was tired. However, I knew that it did not look right.
I hoped that maybe it only turned out if I was looking at it intently. I would take pictures of myself to see if it was turning out, and used to repeatedly look backwards and forwards into a mirror from different angles in the vain hope that if I wasn’t concentrating, my eye was actually straight. I eventually took to never looking at myself in the mirror with my glasses on as I felt so ugly.
When I first mentioned it to an optician, I was told to try exercising the eye by staring at the tip of a pen but this didn’t work. It was while planning my wedding I mentioned it to an optician again. I was told that it was a cosmetic procedure and so unlikely to be treated on the NHS so I gave up. The night before my wedding I was desperate to get a good night’s sleep, so that my eye would be as straight as possible. I even wore contact lenses on the day so that it would not be too obvious.
Finally, 6 months ago I went to my GP. My eye was getting worse and no matter how much sleep I had, it would still turn out. Those who knew me still maintained that they couldn’t see it, but I felt I looked like a freak. When I met new people I could tell that they would not always make eye contact with me so it began to effect my confidence. This also affected my work as I was uncomfortable meeting with customers.
I was nervous the doctor would think I was being vain and wouldn’t be able to see what I was talking about. However as soon as I mentioned it, he knew which eye straight away. I was referred to a consultant and told that I could have surgery to straighten the eye. Hearing this news was such a relief. I knew that I wasn’t being paranoid and actually felt that finally I was hearing the truth and being taken seriously. When I told friends about my forthcoming operation, many of them admitted they had noticed it, but didn’t want to say anything.
I was actually quite excited about having the operation. Nothing would have put me off going ahead. The operation took place in the morning and I was home in the afternoon. Apart from feeling slightly groggy afterwards, I did not suffer any discomfort. My eye was puffy for 5 days and red for 3 weeks.
As my eye has healed I have noticed that my entire face looks completely different. I feel much more confident meeting new people now and find it easier to present in front of customers. I am ashamed to admit that I spend longer looking the mirror now but I am happier with what I see!
"I am nearly 28 and have had a squint in my right eye that has been getting progressively worse since the age of 5. I had patches and glasses when I was younger but as I've got older it has become more noticeable. I have noticed the sight in my right eye getting worse as well.
I work in health care myself and have noticed several things. I have a job where I have to go out and meet people and where effective communication is essential. At the moment it looks like I'm looking through people and not at them - people give me funny looks and it makes me feel self conscious - also sometimes it looks like I'm staring at people when I'm not. I have to say this doesnt do a lot for my self confidence. I have had an issue with depression because I dont like myself and I dont have confidence in my abilities or how I look. Working in health care myself I am really on the other side, but just hope that this opperation is going to help me develop a new found self confidence. I am just amazed at what can be done now. My operation is in two weeks - to say I am a little aprehensive is an understatement! I know it will be worth it to not look like am looking through people any more, and hopefully people will be staring at me for the right reasons - and not thinking she looks odd but cant see why!!"
"Heres the after surgery bit! The morning of the operation I was more than a bit apprehensive and was just hopong it would be worth it. The staff were very kind to me and I think they realised that being on the other side of the fence was hard for me. All I remember is being given the anasthetic and saying my hand feels numb. The next thing I knew I was on the day surgery ward and Mr vivian came to see me and said how good my eye looked. All I knew at that point was how rough I felt and how much pain I was in.
My eye has felt scratchy, and since the day after the operation I havent had pain. I have been good, putting drops in my eye four times a day, and as sore and red as it was the whiteness around the eye is coming back and it is so nice to have a straight eye for the first time in my life. I can say it has been more than worth it, and my eye now looks natural. All I can say is thank you to Mr vivian and his team for their care and dedication, and for a very straight eye!"
"In 1999 I had a serious road accident and one of the problems it left me with was double vision which meant I couldn’t focus properly or balance correctly. A nerve was damaged in the accident which meant that my right eye was turned out all the time.
I had a squint operation to put my eye back into the centre, which looked much better, but because the eye did not move properly I still got double vision. I initially wore glasses and the right lens was frosted out so that I couldn’t see through it. I was always aware of being looked at oddly by other people which used to frustrate me. I then changed over to a contact lens which was matched as close as possible to my own eye colour and the back part was opaque so that I couldn’t see through it. I found this quite a pain having to put the lens in, in the morning and out at night time. Also when the weather was windy and there was quite a lot of grit and dust around, my eye used to irritate a lot because the grit always went underneath the lens and the only way to get this out was to take the lens out first and clean my eye. On days where the weather was like this I used to keep my lens out and put my odd looking glasses on.
But then I asked Mr Vivian (ophthalmic consultant) if anything else could be done and he gave me the option of having a cataract operation with an opaque implant lens. I was at first a bit wary but I decided to go ahead with it because it cant be any worse than what I was having to put up with at the time – So I had the operation and initially I had to protect it by having it covered but then after that time had passed, it was just brilliant. It was the BEST thing deciding to have it done. My balance is not perfect due to the accident but having my eye fitted with this opaque cataract lens has helped a great deal and I don’t have to worry about when it’s windy and there’s a lot of dust and debris around. It is now just over a year and I have no regrets about it at all. I don’t worry what I look like to other people any more and because I feel so much better I would recommend this to anyone who has concerns."
"I had a squint operation as a child - when I was four or five years old, unfortunately, it wasn't very successful. I always felt very conscious of my squint and was teased as a child.
When I became an adult I felt very nervous about photographs being taken of me, incase my eye was turning in to one side. It was an ongoing worry for me because when I met different people I felt they were looking at my squint, the eye was not turned to one side all the time, but it did seem to do this particularly when I was tired.
When my youngest son went to the West Suffolk Hospital for an eye appointment, it was mentioned to me by a member of staff at the eye clinic that my squint could be corrected.
So I had it done and haven't looked back since, it was 100% successful and has given me so much more self-confidence since I had the correction."
The Day of the Operation
"Remembering the anaesthetist had said that once I actually knew I was awake, it would be best to open my eyes slowly, I did so with trepidation and excitement, and was rewarded by another blurry view. I was wheeled to the ward, where I knew my wife Anne would be anxiously waiting. She was, and our private relief was electric.
The next hurdle was an assessment to see if Mr Vivian needed to “make final adjustments”. He didn’t, and I could tell by the dynamic of the team gathered around my wheelie-bed that they were actually well satisfied with their job. Reassurance kicked in by degrees, as each clinical calculation seemed to please the group more. A decision was easily taken with smiles all round. None bigger than my own!
3 Days Post Operation
Each day has seen me a little more recovered. Drops are still a feature, and will be for another 10 days or so, but have today decided to cease taking paracetamol and ibuprofen because things are becoming decidedly more comfortable.
Am reasonably positive but have ‘dipped’ following the few occasions I experienced double vision. It took me by surprise at first.
The experience has made me glum. Even questioning the sensibility of having the op in the first place! Nevertheless, I stay positive by relaxing to a weird inner confidence that in some way my brain will sort things out, in its own time, just so long as I help by not dwelling on any implications."
7 Days Post Operation
"Have turned another corner. My eye becomes increasingly comfortable day on day. A painful sensation, similar to when eyes are rubbed hard, which I have experienced whilst blinking, is significantly less this morning. It has almost disappeared. What is really encouraging, is that more often than not, I seem be dealing with what appears to be one strong single image. I am therefore relieved that double vision is perhaps not likely to become too much of an issue."
9 Days Post Operation
"Progress continues at a pace. Am pleased that I felt confident enough to chair Rotary Council on Monday night and then continue with ‘normal’ presidential duties at Rotary lunch yesterday. Everybody seems pleased to actually know at which point I am looking at them, rather than trying to guess which of my eyes may have their attention! – We have had a lot of laughs!
Anne tells me that now she is enjoying the feeling of having me looking directly at her with both eyes at the same time. This is a first in almost 40 years of being together. Apparently, the guy she married had a remarkable habit of attempting to engage her in (perhaps) romantic conversation over dinner in (say) a restaurant, whilst seeming to scan the room with independently swivelling chameleon like eyes! At such times this poor chap lost complete credibility as an interesting dinner companion. But now she knows that she has his comprehensive attention, and will enjoy going out to dinner more often!"
11 Days Post Operation
Feel really good today – buzzy. Have done some driving and it was fine. Bizarre at first, but that soon went in the cut and thrust of traffic. I have my 2 Week post-op visit on Monday and am entirely upbeat about the outcome of my squint correction operation. An exceptional job that I am sure will enhance my quality of forthcoming life. Thanks to all concerned."
"I would just like to say a big thank you to the lazyeye team for the surgery on my eye. It has made a huge difference to my life. I am 66 years of age and I did not think it was possible to have this done at my age. The optician I used to see often made nasty comments and the last time I went he said "whoever made your eyes must have had a sense of humour", which really upset me. So I changen my 0ptician and he put me touch with Mr Vivian and I am SO glad he did!"
"Ever since I was a little girl I have always been aware of my eyes being different from everyone else, having to wear an eye patch was the worst. I remember being called names by boys, they used to call my name and I would turn to look at them and then they would all laugh. I think because I am quite self conscious anyway I did become extremely sensitive which has never helped my confidence. My parents were always telling me how beautiful I looked and how my blue eyes were striking but I remember as a little girl going to the doctors with my brothers and sisters and my dad must have thought I wasn't listening and he asked the doctor if there was anything else they could do for me because he'd noticed my eyes getting worse. I know he was only doing what he thought was right but it only made my confidence worse. My elder brother who is the family clown and a bit of a joker, always teasing the younger siblings, once said to me that my sister was fat and she could lose weight but that I would be permanently ugly like this for the rest of my life. I was a teenager then and I know my brother loves me and know that if he knew how much pain that had caused me he would never have said it - so I don't blame him at all. As I grew up my teenage years weren't unhappy but the awareness of my eyes is almost exhausting. From something so simple as walking into a shop and taking over the counter, to a job interview. Everything always seemed like such a trial and another defeat in my confidence. When it came to the opposite sex I was quite shy and withdrawn and even though I did have boys interested in me I was still so worried that if they stared at me too close they wouldn't be interested in me any more. When I met my husband, I would never stare at him until one day he asked why I didn't look at him and my feelings just poured out and I thought he wouldn't want to be with me anymore but he said it didn't bother him in the slightest and that I was the most beautiful girl in the world, which I know is far from the truth but it can be good to hear every now and then.
As a child I would pray that on my wedding photos, that you wouldn't be able to see my squint and fortunately it is not very obvious as a stood at an angle. I hate having my photo taken because I know I will look at my squint and tear the photo up which is painful for my husband to watch. I thought I was stuck with this condition for the rest of my life until my new GP asked why I had never done anything about my eye and I was amazed when she referred me to West Suffolk Hospital. I was on a high for months thinking my eye could be fixed, my dream had come true. Although the appointments at the hospital made me nervous as everybody was staring at the part of my body that I was soooo self-conscious about and for years I did not talk to anybody about my eyes but I was so willing to do anything.
I remember being in the waiting room the morning of the operation feeling very nervous and seeing a child about the age of 2 or 3 and she had to have some eyedrops in before her operation and I had to look away because I was crying remembering me as a child having my operations. I felt so selfish that there I was feeling sorry for myself and a little child who was frightened and confused was being braver than me. I woke up after the operation and the first thing I said was, did it work? I couldn't look in the mirror for 2 days, I was so scared that it hadn't worked, people around me said it had but I didn't believe them. When I finally looked in the mirror, it was the weirdest feeling ever to see my eyes straight. I thought I was dreaming, I was so happy. Because my eye was very red it was hard to tell if the operation was a complete successful – but I do still have a squint. I am still very self-conscious and hope and pray that one day my eyes will be completely straight but you can tell the difference when I'm having my photo taken, my eye doesn't turn out as much as it used to. So my operation was beneficial and I'm so glad I had it and hope if I can to have a second operation if possible. But if not then I'm lucky enough to have what I've got, a husband who loves me for who I am and two beautiful children. I told somebody once that I felt different and she said, “you're not different Holly, you're special and unique.”
Thankyou so much for being so kind to me at the hospital and for giving me this oppurtunity to try and help others in my situation."
"I found the lazy eye clinic on the internet and their website extremely informative and professional.
As a child I had surgery that was not very successful, I grew up being teased at school about my eye and this subsequently affected my confidence/self esteem. I was desperate to get this fixed so as a teenager I got referred to my local hospital they advised nothing further could be done for me. I was devastated. Now in my 30's I decided to seek further opinion and set up a consultation with Mr Vivian.
After Mr Vivian thoroughly examined my eye and I had a few tests, I was ecstatic when he advised that I could undergo surgery to align my eyes.
Now I knew I would not be the easiest patient to deal with as I have severe phobia of needles. After discussing this I was told it would not be an issue as I would be asleep by using gas before they administered the injection. Problem solved!
So after meeting Mr Vivian and discussing the procedure with him I felt comfortable and confident that he was the surgeon I could trust with my eyes. I made an appointment for the surgery.
The day of the surgery arrived and I was nervous but also looking forward to regaining my confidence. I kept saying to myself having surgery and feeling uncomfortable for a week or two afterwards was a small price to pay.
So off I went into the operating theatre, jumped onto the bed, breathed in the gas from the mask and then I was in the recovery room. All done.
I was then sent to the ward where my wife was waiting, my eye felt a little sore but not as bad as I had imagined. As I had surgery as a child Mr Vivian told me he would use the adjustable suture technique, this allows the eyes to be moved after the operation if they are still out of position. 85% of the time this was not necessary.
After about 1 hour of being in the ward Mr Vivian came around to inspect my eyes unfortunately he wasn’t happy with the alignment he told me this could be improved there and then by adjusting whilst I was awake. Now this had really frightened me before the operation I had prayed that this would not be needed, no such luck. Well, all I can say is what was all the fuss about? It took about 5 minutes and I didn’t feel a thing just a little pressure on the eye.
The first few days after the operation were a bit uncomfortable as the eye was swollen, very red and the stitches felt like there was a bit of grit in the eye. As each days passes the eye feels less painful, now after 4 days I feel almost back to normal.
I am really pleased with the alignment of my eyes and my expectations were exceeded. I look forward to getting out there and engaging in conversation with people without fear of how my eye looks.
Finally I would like to add that every member of staff I came across was approachable and caring. I would not hesitate to recommend the Lazy Eye Clinic if you are considering surgery just go for it !"
"Children can be cruel and being called "cross-eyed" at school was just the beginning. Having had unsuccessful treatment to correct a lazy eye during early childhood I thought that it was something I had to live with forever. Throughout my youth, working life and motherhood I was very self conscious, hated being in the limelight and having my photograph taken. When conversing with colleagues, friends and family I felt that they were always looking at my lazy eye and my self-confidence was very low.
I had no idea that any medical procedures were available to correct my eye and assumed I would be thought of as vain if I raised the subject with my GP. It was only when my daughter went for a routine eye check up that the doctor asked me why I had never had my own lazy eye corrected. She explained there was a simple day patient procedure that could be carried out in my local hospital. I felt like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders and was eager to find out more.
The whole medical experience was very straightforward, one consultation with the surgeon and a few weeks later the painless procedure was completed in half a day. Although a general anaesthetic was used, I was in and out of the hospital within a matter of hours and back playing with my 3 lively children later the same day.
Having turned 40 this year it was the birthday present I had always wished for. That half a day of my time has meant I feel like a new person, full of confidence and now love being in all the family photographs."
"Hi my name is Debbie, and I am 42yrs old. When I was four years old both me and my sister, Sharon got measles. We both got a lazy eye through it. As Sharon was four and half years older than me, she kept her patch and glasses on to correct it, which it did, and she has lovely eyes which was great. My family tried everything with me to keep mine on, even a teddy one, but I wouldnt keep it on. If only I knew then what good it was doing to me.
Going through school was awful most of the time, because I used to have people calling me names like crosseyed or clarence, it was horrible. Especially high school, I hated it. It really knocked my confidence.
I had a lot of freinds at school and they would say ignore them, but it was very hard. When I was 15 yrs old I went home and told my mum I wanted something done, as I had had enough. I went to see the doctor who sent me to a consultant at my local hospital.
Six months later I had the operation, it was great, I felt great and could look people in the eyes without being called names.
I went on to have two more operations at my local hospital as my lazy eye came back, but this time outwards.
It was back to square one and I hated it. I was told nothing more could be done!!!!
I am married with two sons and a grandaughter now I had everything I wanted, except my confindence. I liked the summer as I could hide my eyes with sunglasses but I hated having my photograph taken.
Then my sister went to see the local optican, she told him about me, and I went to see him. He asked if I wanted a second opinion, I didnt know I could have one. He got in touch Mr Vivian at the West Suffolk Hospital and I went to see him. They where brilliant, they knew how I felt about it.
The whole team are really lovely. I was told they could give me an operation, I was over the moon. Couldn't believe it.
I was told that after the operation I might have to have an adjustment, I tried not to build my hopes up, incase it didn't work but I felt so postive about it.
Two months later I was in West Suffolk Hospital having my operation. It was that quick. When I came round I was seen - to see if I needed the adjustment, I did. But believe me - if anyone reading this needs the same...don't worry! Because they put drops into the eye to numb it, you do not feel anything!!!! My operation is succesful!!!! And I am over the moon.
My family say they never used to notice my lazy eye, but they now see the differance. I now have my confidence and I feel great about myself. I take photographs of myself now to keep checking it.
I would like to say a big thank you to Mr Vivian and all his team for everything and to my opitican for giving me that chance of a second opinion, because if it wasn't for him I would never of known I could have one.
Thank you everyone.
"Hi, my name is Carole and I had a squint! Not a little baby squint that people wouldn't notice but a great big one that was taking control of my life!! I had to brush my hair a certain way...hoping no one would notice my eye. They still did. I could never look anyone in the eye...in case they noticed my squint. They still did! You can tell because they get that certain look on their face...and you know...here we go again!!!
So after a bit of soul searching...oh and a lot of internet searching, I found this website. I can honestly say this website has changed my life! The site explained to me what I had to do, it was quite straightforward.
I took myself off to the opticians. A very nice lady there filled out some forms for me and sent them off. A few weeks later I got an appointment to see Mr Vivian at the Eye Treatment Centre.
I went for my appointment, I was a little nervous and worried in case he said "no, a big squint like that...you will just have to live with it!!" How wrong can you be !!!
The whole team of people there are so nice. I had everything explained to me. They took all kinds of measurements of my eye. Did a normal eye test. They even took a photo!!
Then Mr Vivian explained the operation to me. It is just simple and straightforward. I signed some papers and came home and spent the next few weeks waiting for the date of my operation.
Time passed and it was the day of operation. No drinks after midnight, no make up (how do I hide my eye now?) I wore dark glasses...looked a bit silly I know, but a girl has her pride...even if it is a bit battered!
Waited for my operation...it was soon my turn. All was explained again and before I knew it I was asleep, and then I was awake and it was all over. Along came the tea - it was heaven. I can honestly tell you - that morning changed my life!
I feel like a new person. Go on - give it a try...you wont regret it...you know you deserve it. I lead a much happier fuller life now, never hiding behind my hair and I can look at you when I say 'Hello'!!
Well thats my story ...I hope it helps you.
"My name is Janet and in June 2010 I went to the opticians and they suggested that I could get my right eye straightened by Mr Vivian at Bury St Edmunds hospital. My eye had gradually been turning inwards over the last 6 years but it had got worse.
I didn't like having my photo taken and I would also be looking at something but my eye was looking in the wrong direction so I really needed to get it sorted out! My family were used to it, but even they said perhaps you should get it corrected now.
I then had an appointment at the hospital and the opticians checked my eyesight, took measurements and asked me questions about my eye sight. After they completed their forms I saw Mr Vivian, the consultant, and he said he could do the operation for me and that he was confident I would be happy with the result. All the staff were very friendly and helpful. I was given some information about the lazyeyesite website and looked at the photographs of other people before and after their operations and read their stories. This encouraged me to go ahead with my operation so my right eye would look normal again.
So it was on a dreary morning in November 2010 before the snow had started that I arrived at hospital for my operation, I was not as worried as I thought I would be, even though I had never had an operation before, and I don't like needles.
As soon as I arrived I was asked what I wanted to eat after my operation but all I could think of was the cup of tea which I wanted right then! The nurses gave me a gown to wear ready for the operation. The anaesthetist said they would put some cream on my hands to numb the injection site due to my small veins which is why I had a problem with needles. Mr Vivian also spoke to me to check if I was ok. I said I was a little worried but I was confident I was in safe hands.
At 11:30am I was at the operating theatre and given my injection and soon fell asleep. When I woke up I was surprised to see how well I could see. I was attended by a lovely nurse called Camilla who looked after me giving me tea and biscuits, she put some eye drops in and kept checking on me until I was ready to leave.
I would like to thank all the staff involved for their care and patience.
I would recommend eye surgery to anyone with my problem and don't leave it as long as
I did to sort out!
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