I am half way through achieving the eyesight of my choice. Bespoke, designer vision – achieved by lens replacement surgery, followed by laser treatment – to give me the optimum blended vision, selected to work the best for me, for the rest of my life. Wow!
For four decades and more I have been severely short sighted (eleven and nearly eight dioptres for those who like the numbers). I was able to see in focus up to 20cm (8 inches) and beyond that it was a blur. No wonder varifocals – which I loved – felt heavy on my face all the time, and when contact lenses plus reading glasses, became such a nuisance when delivering my work, I was open, (although scared), to the suggestion from my optician to look at new, surgery based options.
I needed a two step approach: lens replacement surgery (like the cataract operation, where you replace the lens in the eye), plus laser treatment for fine tuning – because of the level of my short sight. For me, the whole process has not been the breeze in the park the TV adverts suggest. As I enter the New Year though, I am now choosing my final combination of eyesight, making a judgement as to what will suit me best for the rest of my life. Really?
These choices are the next (and hopefully final) step of laser treatment. My right eye is my dominant eye, and has been provided with a lens to see perfectly in the distance. With my left eye, the lens has already been set one dioptre short, to allow me to read more easily.
The concept is that both eyes will work together in a blended vision approach. Our brains are clever enough to work out when to use each eye, and how to blend the two where this is appropriate:
Currently I am experimenting with contact lenses of different prescriptions to see how big a gap between the two eyes will suit me best. I could decide to have both eyes perfect for distance (and then always need reading glasses), or to take my left eye up to 1.75 dioptres i.e. to increase the gap between the eyes and have both fantastic distance and reading.
This seems amazing – almost as if I am able to do better than nature for a person of my age. I feel humbled, petrified and gob smacked that these choices are available – that technology and medicine can combine in this way – and that I have been brave enough to venture on this path!
My hunch is that I will go for the maximum sensible gap between eyes, to gain both distance and reading, although I do really enjoy having two eyes which see the distance well together too. The current experiments are to help me feel really comfortable with my decision – as there is an element of compromise in whatever I do.
In the meantime, though, I am SO enjoying no weight on my face; and the compliments I am receiving about the blueness of my eyes.
Which brings me to you. Converting my story into a metaphor for making choices in creating vision, this is one of the times of year when we generally do this vision and goal setting stuff – in our organisations, teams, lives, families, volunteer causes and churches. Here are some thoughts for you:
- When you create your vision – do you place as much attention on being able to see what is close to you, as well as what is far away in the distance? If so, how does it benefit you? How can you also blend the two effectively?
- Do you create a vision which as you move, automatically adjusts and stays sharp? Or must it remain static (in a Powerpoint slide or on the wall), whatever is actually happening in your here and now?
My eye surgeon, has been crucial, listening to me about my desires for my eye sight choices, to help gain the best possible outcome for me. It’s not the end of the process though, as my optician reminds me that annual checks for health and wellbeing will still be important. Which leads to my final thought for you:
- Instead of looking too much at the compromises or constraints, what is the opportunity in your vision – and how can you genuinely and consistently place your focus here, to give you the best possible outcome over time?
Please feel free to contact me if you would like to experiment on a consultancy basis with the bespoke vision metaphor for your organisation in 2015!
Also contact me if you would like to ask a question about the actual experience of lens replacement surgery if you are interested for yourself, or to make any suggestions in relation to my own vision decision.
Photo credits: Martin How
Blended Vision chart from LaserVision (www.laservision.co.uk)