It’s my age, I keep being told ; failing eyes, teeth and ears

This is the story from one of our readers, which I think will be recognised by many of us. Teeth, ears, and eyes fail us as we get older, but help is out there for failing eyes, as Laura Forster found. Thank you, Laura, for sharing your experience.

It had not been a particularly good week! The dentist said my teeth were moving (it was my age); the audio department said my hearing aids needed updating (it was my age).

My third medical visit of the week was to the optician. I was struggling to read even with my reading glasses. I found it hard to identify the different patterns on the 3-in-1 jigsaws that the grandchildren had. I just couldn’t see in the badger tunnel at the British Wildlife Centre! It’s always dark, and adjusting takes a little time.

Well, I just didn’t adjust.

The optician took a while to do all the tests. He told me there was nothing wrong with my prescription. Why can’t I see then? I asked. Cataracts, he said. I bet you’ve guessed, it’s my age! He also told me it would not be done on the NHS yet. Double blow.

I realised I was struggling with important areas of my life – playing with the grandchildren, reading my music at choir, enjoying reading with my book club, and cooking a new recipe. I also realised that it would probably eventually impact other valued areas of life – walking my lovely dog and enjoying nature; I decided to go and see the surgeon who did my laser surgery over 20 years ago at Centre for Sight, a marvellous man called Mr Sheraz Daya and fortunately, he was able to help me.

I decided to have a replacement lens in each eye. Well, it wasn’t going to get any better, was it?

LAURA IN HER NIGHTTIME GOGGLES

The surgery was extraordinary; the recovery was very good (the nighttime goggles at the beginning gave my husband a few laughs), and the results are excellent.

At one of my follow-up appointments, I asked about Omega Eye gels. I am not generally a supplement fan, and these gels are expensive, but I wanted to know if they are helpful, are they harmful, or are they just expensive wee! The advice for eye care was absolutely clear. Plenty of water, good quality sleep and a big yes to Omega Eye gels made by Scope, as this manufacturer uses a process called RTG. Not for everyone I know, but I have decided they are definitely for me.

I am delighted I took the plunge to get this surgery done. I realised how important it was to me to do so because of my hearing loss; to have difficulties in both vision and hearing would make certain things much tougher. I now no longer need glasses for anything. I did use reading glasses (Mr Daya always said he couldn’t stop the ageing process. A bit annoying, but true). Latterly, I had glasses to give me some support when driving. So to no longer use those dreaded words: “Where did I leave my glasses?” is quite extraordinary.

Well, I am just off to choir now. I shall do my singing warm-up in the car. I have changed the lyrics of a well-known song to fit my new vision.

I can see clearly now; the mist has gone.
I can see all obstacles in my way.
Gone are the dark clouds that hid my view.
It’s gonna be a bright, bright, sunshine-y day

Grace also had a cataract operation in 2019 and here is her post.