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Colin Brazier
Sky News Presenter
"I suppose people consider having laser eye surgery for a variety of reasons. Mine were quite specific. As a news presenter, my job often takes me to inhospitable parts of the world. I was the first British journalist to reach Baghdad with American soldiers during the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Front-line reporting has also taken me to destinations like Afghanistan, the Gaza Strip and Southern Lebanon. In all these places the environment can be hostile. Trying to work in a desert sandstorm with contact lenses is a headache I could do without. I have never worn glasses on-screen.

Now I’m based in the studio, glasses are even less of an option. The reflective glare can be distracting, not least for the viewer. So laser eye surgery seemed worth exploring.

The level of service offered by Optical Express was exemplary; the procedure itself a doddle. I heartily recommend it, whether you’re a frequent visitor to the war zone or not!"
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Kathleen McDermott
"The Optical Express team were just fantastic throughout from start to finish. I had lots of questions but the staff at the clinic were very reassuring and able to provide an answer to everything I asked. They took lots of time with me and I really liked the fact that they gave me a phone number to call if I thought of any further questions when I got home.I was treated at Optical Express in Glasgow by David Teenan who was absolutely lovely and he really helped put me at ease. The most surprising thing about the procedure was how quick it was. I expected to be there for quite a while but it only took about 30 seconds for each eye. I noticed the effects of my treatment almost instantaneously.

It was an amazing feeling being able to throw my glasses and contact lenses in the bin. I can clearly remember phoning up and cancelling my contact lens direct debit which really was a very pleasurable experience. My eyesight is better than 20/20 and I’m absolutely delighted with the results of my laser eye surgery.
There are so many benefits and I’m over the moon that I have had it done."
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Max Evans
Scotland Rugby International Player
"Absolutely awesome! It hasn’t been long since the procedure but already I know that Optical Express has improved my life forever. Who would have known that such a lifestyle changing alteration would be so comfortable and literally take a matter of minutes!

I’m indebted to Optical Express and to all the staff that made the experience so simple, I thank you very much."
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James Arthur
"Thanks to Mr. Manek Patel and the team at Optical Express for their care and making the whole process of getting laser surgery so straightforward.

The benefits of 20/20 vision have had an invaluable impact on my day to day life as a musician – I would recommend laser surgery to anyone."
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Sonya Mac
TV & Radio Presenter
"After around 16 years of wearing a combination of both glasses and contact lenses, I decided to ‘take the plunge’ and opt for Laser Eye Surgery.I can’t say that this was a decision made in haste, in fact, after making an appointment for my initial consultation, I rang again to cancel it! However, I plucked up the courage to re-arrange and found out that my eyes were suitable for Advanced CustomVue Wavefront LASIK eye surgery.

As the day of surgery approached I became increasingly nervous. On surgery day I couldn’t understand how the rest of the patients in the clinic looked so calm. I had my procedure done in Belfast on a Monday afternoon. I went home, slept for around 2 and a half hours and woke being able to see – everything!

I even was back on air on the Tuesday morning telling my Northern Ireland listeners how I was feeling and how much of a miracle it was that I could see!

I would totally recommend Optical Express. The staff are very friendly and really put you at ease throughout the whole process. The aftercare service is exceptional and they really care about your needs as an individual."
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Pete Reed
Olympic Champion, London 2012
"I am absolutely delighted with my new and perfect vision from Optical Express.It’s not just the brand new feeling of being able to see better than 20/20, but the convenience of not having to use contacts or glasses for my training and racing.

However, the thing that will surprise you is the wonderful customer service, the swift procedure, the short recovery time and the aftercare – in fact, every step from booking to clarity has been a breeze.

I wish I’d had it done sooner. Don’t be worried – just go for it!"
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Retief Goosen
Professional Golfer
"Most of you will know me as a golfer. What you may not know about me is that for a long time my game suffered because of poor eyesight. I was used to wearing glasses and contact lenses and for anyone who plays golf, or even if you don’t, you’ll know what a hassle this can be. I’m a man who likes to do my research so I started looking into the treatment and couldn’t believe how popular it actually was. Millions of people have had it.

Optical Express stood out as being the best at what they did. For someone like me, whose profession is dependent on their eyesight I couldn’t think about being treated by anyone but the best.

The difference, not just to my game, but to my everyday life has been phenomenal."
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Sile Seoige
TV Presenter
"I had laser eye surgery at Optical Express and it was fantastic. It has made such a difference to my every day life including my work. As a TV presenter I now feel more confident not having to wear contacts or specs while on camera. The staff at the Dublin clinic were great, they looked after me very well throughout my surgery and post operative appointments.

For a procedure that takes only 10 minutes it has been life changing, I would highly recommend this to everyone who wears specs or contact lenses."
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Stephen Maguire
Professional Snooker Player
"Last season I felt my eyes strain under the tournament lights. I was aware that my eyesight was not as clear as it could be and I had to concentrate harder to see the pockets. I visited Optical Express in Glasgow who recommended laser eye surgery and within two weeks, I had gone through the consultation and had my treatment done.

It was such a simple process and I'm delighted with my results. I have already changed the lenses in my old glasses to make sunglasses as I have no need for driving glasses any more."
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Tom Solesbury
Olympic Rower
"My vision is perfect, and I couldn’t believe how quick and easy the procedure was – even for someone like me who hates anything going near their eyes! The care and skill of the surgeon and other staff was fantastic, and really put me at ease. The day after surgery, I had better than 20/20 vision, and the whole process, from the surgery to the aftercare, never got in the way of my training schedule! I was always damaging or losing my glasses and it was a real hassle. I couldn’t wear contacts, and I really wanted freedom from specs, not just for rowing but for every part of my life. People would often tell me they’d seen me and waved and that I’d ignored them – since I couldn’t see them without my glasses on! It’s great that that doesn’t happen anymore.It is brilliant being able to see perfectly, I hope my new vision will help me and the GB rowing team win more medals!

After seeing how quick and painless the whole procedure was, my only regret, why did I wait until now to have treatment?"
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Matt Scott
Scotland Rugby International Player
The 23 year old began playing rugby at six years old at his local club, Currie RFC, and went to university to study law before turning professional and signing as an elite development player for Edinburgh Rugby in 2011. Matt won his first cap for Scotland in the 2012 RBS 6 Nations Championship and has since achieved 21 caps for his national side. He had been battling with contact lenses on and off the pitch since he was 16, and after receiving advice from his team’s physiotherapist who found the procedure life changing, Matt underwent iDesign iLASIK in September 2014. The Scotland centre had been on a break from the sport to undergo shoulder surgery so took the opportunity to address his vision problems during this gap in the season.

Matt said: “Training and playing with contact lenses was a real hassle. Being short-sighted, I struggled to make out the finer details in the backfield and found it difficult to judge the depth and the speed of the ball at times, not to mention the faff when they became dislodged mid-play. The ten seconds you spend fiddling with your lenses in the mud, without a mirror, could cause you to miss a crucial stage of play and ultimately cost your team the game.

Perfect vision is crucial for my job – being able to see things at a split second in all weather conditions was a big factor in getting it done. Also, it’s great to think that I won’t ever have to worry about carrying lens solution and spare lenses. Despite the cost of laser eye surgery, I’d probably end up spending a similar amount on lenses over my lifetime anyway, so it’s been a no brainer for me.

Matt says the procedure was even easier than running out onto a rugby match. “It was an absolute breeze – quick and painless – and the team at Optical Express in Glasgow were really professional and made me feel comfortable throughout the whole process. The results were amazing even after a few hours post-surgery.

Laser eye surgery was a doddle compared to my shoulder operation. The results have been amazing, I’m trying to persuade my mum to get it done at the moment and have been raving about it to my team mates and showing off that I can read things miles away.

With his shoulder mended and his vision better than ever before, Matt’s next big target is getting fit and returning to the Edinburgh and Scotland squads with a hope of joining his national teammates in the World Cup in England next autumn. Matt’s surgeon, Mr David Teenan from Optical Express clinic at 200 St Vincent Street in Glasgow, said: “It’s great to hear that laser eye surgery has had such a positive impact on Matt’s career and we wish him the very best in making the World Cup squad.”

Matt added: “The procedure was truly life changing and I can’t thank Optical Express enough. I’m now fully focused on achieving my dream of playing for Scotland in the World Cup next year and I think my new perfect vision will help take me there.”
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Dave O'Donnell
MMA Promoter
"It couldn’t be clearer – Optical Express is just knock out. I can’t believe how quick and easy the procedure is. You need a clear head and clear vision to compete at the top level and now I have got both.

There’s only one problem – now when I look in the mirror I realise that I need a face lift too!"
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Tim Healy
"Woke up this morning a new man. Thanks so much!"
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Brett Sturgess
Professional Rugby Player - Exeter Chiefs
"Only a day after surgery and my sight is incredible. Hopefully my enhanced vision will give me that extra edge on the rugby field and the ability to see one or two more openings in the game. Plus, I won’t need to worry about losing a contact lens in the scrum!

Investing in my eyes has helped me see my future more clearly; I can see my next try already!"
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Jack Shepherd
"Work suggested I have my eyes lasered when I couldn’t drive in a scene without my glasses! I saw Optical Express on TV and booked myself in. It’s the best money I’ve ever spent! I had my eyes treated at different times and the staff kept in touch to check everything was ok.

I recommend laser eye surgery to anyone, it’s a blessing."
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Jim Leighton
Former Goalkeeper; Coach
"After wearing glasses and contact lenses for over 35 years, I decided it was time for a change. I’d wanted laser eye surgery for years, ever since I started playing football but was always too scared to go for it.Even at my first consultation I was still unsure as to whether I would go through with it but the staff at the Optical Express clinic in Aberdeen were fantastic and answered all my questions easing any doubts I had.

I am delighted I have had the surgery and would 100% recommend it to anybody who is thinking about having it done. I only felt some slight discomfort during the treatment and the surgery itself lasted only 10 minutes.

The results were instant and two hours later and I was back home watching golf on TV. At my aftercare appointment the following day, I passed my eye test with flying colours which allowed me to drive home!"
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Robin Galloway
"As squeamish goes, I am quite probably the dictionary meaning. Dentists, doctors – they all make me nervous. So how on earth was I going to cope with a laser beam being pointed at my eye-ball? Piece of cake actually. The moment I arrived at Optical Express, it just felt right. My initial consultation was welcoming and most reassuring. I only required glasses for reading but my optometrist wasn’t prepared to even discuss whether or not I should have the treatment until such time as I try contact lenses – which would illustrate the post surgery outcome. This spoke volumes – as I’d have been most uncomfortable being pushed towards something I was unsure of. My procedure was carried out by Mr David Teenan who’s professional temperament I'd most liken to the calming effect of an airline pilot, metaphorically ‘holding my hand’ throughout. The laser treatment itself was less that 10 minutes from start to finish and despite my squeamishness, was no more than mildly uncomfortable. No pain, no anxiety and in actual fact, quite relaxing!

I have extremely high praise for all the staff at Optical Express. From front of house – right through to Mr Teenan and his entire team who attended to my every need throughout the laser eye surgery.

It has been truly life changing and I would say to anybody considering the procedure have no hesitation in going for it.

The technology is available – so embrace it!"
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Ben White
"Walking up Renfield Street in Glasgow, I’ve never felt so attached to my glasses. I may have been a reluctant speccy since I was eight, but the trepidation on the way to the Optical Express clinic, where I’m about to have laser surgery to correct my vision, makes wearing my jamjars appealing for the first time since I was a 15-year-old trying to get into pubs.

On arrival, my nerves are calmed by the friendly staff. There seems little difference between this clinic and any other optician. I’m still a little apprehensive about getting a serious operation in what looks like a high-street shop.

Within 15 minutes, though, I’m in the operating theatre, which looks more convincing, with large machines and a mechanical bed a bit like an oversized dentist’s chair. The nurse and two surgeons make sure I’m calm and comfortable. I must be, given that it doesn’t faze me when they clamp open my eyes. I can’t help thinking of the brainwashing scene in A Clockwork Orange.
There are different kinds of eye surgery available but I’ve opted for the Lasek procedure. Although the procedure is over in minutes, full recovery will take a few weeks, during which time my eyes will most probably feel gritty.
The procedure involves having the thin top layer of my eye softened and peeled off, then having the laser fired into it while I stare at a fixed light. The more popular Lasik procedure would have been more comfortable, but since the part of the eye displaced during the op regenerates after a few weeks, leaving no trace of surgery and no potential weak point, I feel Lasek is the safer option in the long-term and right for me.
It’s all over within ten minutes. I leave the clinic and while I can see, my eyes are streaming (I had been warned) so I’m thankful I brought a friend to guide me home. My eyes feel uncomfortable and tired but over the next few weeks my sight improves and the discomfort subsides.
It’s now a year since the surgery and I’m happy to report my vision is 20/20. I still have one slightly dry eye but it’s not bad enough to require drops. Any affection for my glasses has long disappeared and since the op, quite honestly, I’ve never looked back."
The Scotsman – 20th December 2008
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Darryl Broadfoot
Head of Communications, Scottish FA
"This is the first article I have written with 20/20 vision. Which explains rather a lot about my earlier contributions. After years of curiosity, months of indecision and, irresistibly, the promise of free treatment, I went under the knife – or rather the laser – in the name of investigative journalism.

Optical Express has looked after my teeth for long enough so, given its name, eyes should present no problem. I was in safe, steady hands: David Teenan, a surgeon who fixes facial bulbs as nonchalantly as a car mechanic fixes tyres, told me he was prohibited from drinking coffee during working hours. Shame his bosses weren’t so strict on him bringing Sting’s Greatest Hits to work.

Laser eye surgery is merely the latest manifestation of a premature, oddly eco-friendly mid-life crisis, following the downgrade from carbon-crazy sporty roadster to diesel-efficient family car (minus the family). Prior to last week, my vision had gradually deteriorated for more than a decade, partly as a result of some genetic deficiency shared by billions worldwide and partly because of the flickering screen on my Atex Crash-and-Freeze Classic (MK I) that IT promised to replace eight years ago.

Failing eyesight is an occupational hazard for a journalist. At least, that’s my excuse. I have suffered shortsightedness for as long as I can remember, which is not that long.
I first encountered the milky hopelessness during a standard grade double maths period. Differentiation? I could not differentiate between Mr Cavanagh’s seemingly psychotic array of xs and ys, far less mould them into a formulaic masterpiece.

Trouble was, he also coached the school fitba’ team and regularly took retribution when it came to selecting the starting line-up. Which brings me to this critical question.

I never confessed to waning eyesight until I was released by Queens Parks age 16 ¾: might this have cost me along and lucrative career? If only I had a talent implant to go with the laser surgery. Having emboldened myself for surgery, it was a surprise to discover the number of friends and colleagues ready to belittle my anxiety.
Ach, I had it done months ago,” they chimed, with an irritating boastfulness only I could detect. “It’s easy. The best thing you’ll ever do.

Now, there are many outstanding ambitions in life, but having my corneal flap removed and my poor, underdeveloped eyes stung by a computer-driven contraption does not rank in the top 10 of “things to do before I die”. But of course, they were right.

The Australian accent is oddly soothing when you are being told, graphically, what Dr Teenan is going to inflict on your baby browns. So impressive a procedure is laser eye surgery, I even had my own counsellor, Louise. She was sympathetic to my every question, even the involuntary and deadly serious one: “How long after surgery can I start wearing my contacts again?” When fumbling blindly for your prescription Guess goggles becomes part of the morning ritual, old habits die hard. She had the last laugh by predicting I will need reading glasses at 40.

Jill, my laser optometrist, decided on my behalf which procedure was most suitable, a relief since there are more permutations than a Jimmy Calderwood tactics board. For starters, LASIK/LASEK treatments may sound the same but there is a whole visual world of difference: while the former treats the inner corneal layers, the latter is surface-based.

IntraLase removes the need for a hammer and chisel around the corneal flap, while Wavefront technology makes you see through cast-iron vaults and around corners.

Since I wasn’t picking up the tab, we went for the BluRay of eye ops: LASIK with Wavefront IntraLase. Pity those poor Betamax customers, I thought, aloofly.

The pain was like nothing I had experienced before.

Sorry just a joke for those of you still undecided. The operating theatre was strangely therapeutic. Well at least compared with the waiting room, where the only other patient happened to be a former companion who would doubtless have berated me for my unchivalrous past behaviour had she not been: a) preoccupied with imminent surgery; b) wearing Ugly Betty’s specs; c) celebrating her birthday or; d) being comforted by her mother. Phew.

In truth, the operation was not as harrowing as I had expected – that is, during the sleepless night before, reminiscent of the drill-to-eye-socket scene in Hostel.

I was in good company, too. A host of celebrities have undergone, and since endorsed, laser eye surgery – among them Tiger Woods, Brad Pitt, Nicole Kidman, Jessica Simpson and, wait for it, Cheryl Baker. Apparently she had no problem making her mind up. A six side team took turns to comfort and soothe – one surgeon, two laser technicians, one laser manager, one laser nurse and a patient carer.

One of them even turned down Message in a Bottle on request and confirmed that, had I arrived 24 hours earlier, I could have had my vision restored to the delights of Folsom Prison Blues. The discomfort of the eye clamps aside, the operation was no more than occasionally uncomfortable.

Bluntly, I have been more traumatised upstairs in the dental clinic by Hans’s anaesthetic syringe and ropey Austrian humor. The discomfort lasted about five minutes per eye (or Spirits in the Material World followed by Synchronicity I) before being escorted out with a bag full of eye drops to a waiting car of petrified parents.

Recovery time varies but immediate rest is demanded by mothers and surgeons alike. I slept in my parents bed for the first time since I was elected Man of the House when my father was on nightshift. I was 24.

My dad, bless him was a constant source of reassurance before the op: “Make sure you get one of those white sticks – and do they supply a free guide dog?” This from a man who reads the Herald (or more commonly Nuts magazine) from the same distance Phil Taylor throws a dart.

The real pain is the price, but even then, popularity has risen in correlation with affordability. The basic procedure costs £395 per eye, while the blue ray equivalent will set you back around £1000 per eye.

Vision is restored gradually but impressively. In fact the morning after, I could see my mum throw my good white linen shirt in with the colour bundle from two rooms away, and watch my dad slaver over page 3’s news in briefs. Clearly."
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