Now Diana’s ready to bend it like Beck­ham

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Laser Eye Surgery -

WILL eye surgery turn left back de­fender Diana Turner into a born- again striker? Will she come to bend it like Beck­ham fol­low­ing laser vi­sion cor­rec­tion?

Twenty- seven- year- old Turner, an en­vi­ron­men­tal con­sul­tant and lec­turer at the Aus­tralian Catholic Univer­sity, is an en­thu­si­as­tic soc­cer player. She has suf­fered from short- sight­ed­ness ( my­opia) and astig­ma­tism.

For years in sport this has been cor­rected with con­tact lenses, un­til re­cently when her eyes started to re­ject them. She found this to be par­tic­u­larly the case be­cause of dry weather. She was an­other vic­tim of the drought.

‘‘ Con­tacts were al­ways a lit­tle un­com­fort­able for me, es­pe­cially in smoky and dry en­vi­ron­ments when they would some­times fall out,’’ she says. ‘‘ My glasses never seemed to fit right as there’s a 2mm dif­fer­ence be­tween the height of my left and right ear.

‘‘ You would never no­tice, but it was enough to make my glasses fall off.’’

She vis­ited oph­thal­mol­o­gists and op­tometrists and de­ter­mined to scale back the use of her con­tact lenses to a time vi­tal to her foot­ball play - just two hours for the game. Oth­er­wise, she would wear glasses in train­ing and rely on eye drops.

Her fa­ther- in- law and a col­league sug­gested laser vi­sion cor­rec­tion. She thor­oughly re­searched the pro­ce­dure and her op­tions us­ing the in­ter­net.

Turner had a nat­u­ral dis­in­cli­na­tion for surgery, but was per­suaded to visit The Eye In­sti­tute where she ad­vised she was el­i­gi­ble for In­traLASIK vi­sion cor­rec­tion.

‘‘ At the time, I still didn’t think I wanted to do it be­cause I wasn’t sure I wanted to spend the money ($ 3500), and, in all hon­esty, I wasn’t sure I could han­dle the surgery,’’ she says. I’ve al­ways been freaked out by any surgery and I had to over­come that first.’’

She did some soul- search­ing and over­came the fear of surgery with­out a gen­eral anaes­thetic.

First, her team, the Wake­hurst Soc­cer Club ( once the team of Lu­cas Neil, Soc­ceroo and cap­tain of West Ham), now the CC Strik­ers, had to play in the grand fi­nal, and then she de­ter­mined on the surgery.

This took place at the Chatswood Eye In­sti­tute with Dr Michael Lawless on Au­gust 30.

‘‘ I just fo­cused on re­lax­ing and felt no pain what­so­ever just a small amount of pres­sure and dis­com­fort,’’ she says.

‘‘ I was sur­prised that it was over so quickly that my hus­band had hardly had time to shop for din­ner.’’

Within hours, she was re­al­is­ing the ben­e­fits of the In­traLASIK and within a day she had gained 20/ 20 vi­sion, even be­ing able to recog­nise that the ceil­ing in her bed­room needed paint­ing. She was light sen­si­tive, but that prob­lem has been met with sun­glasses.

Sev­eral tech­niques have been de­vel­oped to treat re­frac­tive er­ror in suit­able can­di­dates like Turner.

The two most com­mon types are Laser- As­sisted in Situ Ker­atom­leu­sis ( LASIK) and Pho­tore­frac­tive Ker­a­te­c­tomy.

Turner is now free of glasses and lenses and rec­om­mend­ing In­traLASIK to friends. She has put her eyes to the test on the ten­nis court and in the sea. For the first time she has been able to recog­nise ad­vanc­ing dumpers.

She has yet to tie on her boots on the foot­ball field, but now she’ll have no trou­ble see­ing the foot­ball.

Diana Turner: Over­came her ini­tial fears

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