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New eye hospital opens in Swansea, offering cataract sufferers life-changing treatment

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A new hospital in Swansea has opened its doors this month, offering world-leading, quick, convenient cataract surgery to Welsh residents whose sight – and lives – are affected by the eye condition.

Freedom Vision is located on Atlantic Close in Swansea Enterprise Park and says it will meet increasing demand in Wales for cataract care.

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With clinics in Bolton, Wokingham, Leeds, Solihull and Southampton, Freedom Vision says it has launched its Wales clinic with an expert team, including some of the UK’s most experienced and reputable consultant ophthalmologists.

The hospital provides tailored treatment plans designed to accommodate each patient’s unique lifestyle and set of requirements. By opting for world-class private treatment, patients can access lens choices specific to their vision needs. In addition, patients don’t need to wait until their vision has deteriorated to the extent usually required for referral to NHS-funded treatment.

The hospital is set to welcome patients like Neil Lamont, a keen cyclist in his early fifties who recently underwent cataract surgery at sister site, Freedom Vision in Bolton, and is now back on his bike – having cycled 500 miles around the north coast of Scotland just two weeks after his life-changing treatment.

Neil Lamont recently underwent cataract surgery at Freedom Vision’s Bolton site.

Neil, from Warrington, Cheshire, was diagnosed with early onset cataracts aged just 52 after he noticed his previously perfect vision was deteriorating when he struggled to focus on words and numbers, and realised his long-distance view was also beginning to blur.

“It was really concerning to begin with”, he confessed. “I’d had no issues whatsoever with my eyes until that point, so made an appointment with my optician to see what the problem might be. I was diagnosed with early onset cataracts and told that one eye would even fail the legal test for driving, which surprised me. I know cataracts are common in older people, but I still see myself as fairly young! I was told that I probably didn’t need to do anything urgently, and to go back if things got worse.

“I wouldn’t say my eyes deteriorated rapidly, but I knew it wouldn’t be safe to go out on my beloved bike with my wife Julia. I was getting so frustrated, and went for an appointment with Freedom Vision in Bolton, who discussed my needs and lifestyle, and we decided on a hybrid mono focal lens in each eye – one for close distance and one for far distance.

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Neil is a keen cyclist and is now back on his bike – just 2 weeks after his surgery

“And with that, I was booked in for surgery. It was incredible, and the recovery was so quick – I was able to read messages on my phone the morning after my first eye was done, and two weeks after the second, I was on my saddle enjoying the beautiful scenery of the Scottish Highlands, something I never thought I’d be able to see properly.”

Neil, who was a sales director before his recent retirement, says: “I was understandably apprehensive before I went in for surgery, but I honestly didn’t feel anything – it’s such clever microsurgery, and with no pain at all. I was particularly impressed by the bespoke nature of my appointment, and how they really personalised my care.”

Stephanie Kyle, National Patient Liaison Manager at Freedom Vision, explains: “Neil is typical of our patients – most of whom lead active and busy lives, drive and use screens and want to sort their cataracts out straight away once diagnosed.

“Cataracts are common in adults – about 30% of adults aged 65+ will have a cataract that is affecting their vision and requires treatment – but the prevalence of earlier age cataracts is increasing.

“As Neil experienced, a specialist consultant can advise on a wide range of lenses on offer, from multifocals that help with both distance and reading, to Toric lenses that can correct large degrees of astigmatism. This kind of bespoke service, which can restore vision and even remove reliance on glasses, is a benefit of opting to invest in the treatment through a private provider. Plus, recovery time is usually quicker, because the cataracts have been treated earlier. Sadly, there is a postcode lottery affecting referrals for cataract surgery, and with NHS waiting times an issue UK-wide, a private hospital has a lot to offer.”

Cataract surgery is the most common operation performed today in the UK, with around 450,000 surgeries taking place each year.

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Cataracts Symptoms

You may experience one or more of the following symptoms if you have cataracts:

  • A decrease in vision clarity that can’t be corrected with glasses
  • Colours appear faded or washed out, sometimes with a yellow haze
  • Sensitivity to light, glare, and seeing halos around lights
  • Frequent changes to glasses or contact lens prescriptions

It’s best to see an optician if you think you have cataracts. They will perform a thorough eye check and will be able to refer you for treatment if needed.

Freedom Vision Swansea is open Monday to Saturday 8am to 6pm.

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