What to expect from an Optimax consultation

Hello everyone!

As you might already be aware if you read all the way to the bottom of my posts, I recently went for a laser eye consultation with Optimax in Manchester. I went to the one in Albert Square as that's the closest one to me. In this post I will just explain the consultation procedure, positives and negatives and any other thoughts I have about Optimax.


First of all, please don't generalise my views to every Optimax surgery out there. The consultation procedure and even the consultants will vary everywhere so that's worth baring in mind. 

So I've been thinking about laser eye surgery for a very long time. I have various different problems with my eyes which means I have to wear my glasses or contact lenses all the time as I am extremely short sighted. I booked my appointment through the Optimax website which is where the first unusual thing happened. There are three stages to booking a consultation. First your information has to be filled in, then you pick and date and time and on the third bit you have to pay a £10.00 deposit. 

The website advertises a FREE consultation which, ultimately, it is as you can get a refund of your £10.00 once you have attended your consultation but that's not really the point. Strangely I didn't put any bank details in and closed the page until I firmly decided I was going to go. However I received an email saying my place was booked. Strange as I never clicked any confirmation button. 

Anyway, I forgot about that and did attend the consultation. I was warned that this may take up to two hours. 

When you arrive you fill out a medical questionnaire. Then you go into a testing room where you have various X-rays done and a test I've never had done before which entailed having puffs of air blown in to my eyes (to what end I have no idea).

Next, after about half an hour waiting for the actual consultation I was taken into a small room where the woman didn't fully close the door so everyone sat outside could probably hear what was being said. I had another eye test where you read the lines of letters in the mirror with a variety of different lenses on. This took about ten minutes, tops. 

After this, I was pretty much outright told no, surgery would not be suitable for my eyes. I can't really knock the woman for being honest. But she could have had a little tact. 

Whilst she was explaining why it wasn't suitable I was mentally noting things that I thought would be worth mentioning here. First of all, she told me I have lazy eyes. I've been wearing glasses since about two years old and I've never ever been told that I have lazy eyes. This woman looked at a few tests that had been done, asked me to read some letters and concluded that I have lazy eyes and that 'I will never be able to read the bottom line because my eyes are lazy'. 

At this point I was pretty pissed off. I've been part of studies, I've been the a topic of discussion amongst some of the highest opticians in the UK and I've never been told I have lazy eyes. I do have a very rare condition but it's not lazy-eye-ness. 

Secondly, she told me a piece of information that's not widely discussed about laser eye surgery when they're promoting their excellent results on TV adverts. 

Every patient who confirms their laser eye surgery has to sign a document which explains that there is a .29% chance that they will actually LOSE a line of vision. By that I mean whichever line of letters you can read from the mirror, there's a chance you'll come out of surgery glasses free but being able to read a line less than you could with glasses. They keep that quiet don't they... I know it's only a small percentage but I think they should make it clearer. 

Ultimately, I really didn't rate Optimax in Manchester. I was there for about an hour and a half, most of which was waiting around. I thought the consultant was a bit unprofessional and tactless. However, I can't say she wasn't truthful so that's a plus I suppose. 

Don't just read my experience as the norm. It isn't, I know people who have been to the exact same clinic and had a great experience. Maybe everyone was just having a bad day. I would suggest though if you have any unusual eye conditions I would contact your optican and maybe ask for the notes by email to show at the laser eye consultation so they can't try to tell you that you have lazy eyes...

I am going to book a consultation with a smaller clinic as I've read that smaller places give you a lot more time with regards to figuring out exactly what they can offer you. This might not be for a while though as most of the consultations are pretty pricy. 

Oh and my eyes are still stinging, two days later, from the puffs of air I had blown in to them... great!

Thanks for reading, 
Hope this wasn't too negative for you!
Leanne x

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