We share his letter below:
Dear Dr. G,
The lenses have been fantastic and I’ve had no problems at all with them. The second trip I took to see you last year was really worthwhile. Your fine- tuning of the original lenses from a few years before was very sophisticated and my vision is so improved as a result. Thank you also for your patience as I tested the spare lenses. I am very pleased with the sets you sent me and I am glad I now have multiple strong replacements for the future.
My name is Bob and in 2014 I travelled from the United Kingdom to visit Dr. G at his clinic. Originally I had Laser Eye Surgery in the UK in late 2007. For a few years everything seemed fine and I had very good vision as a result. However in 2011 I started to notice my vision was deteriorating and I had developed a great deal of ghosting and starbursts, particularly in the right eye. My visual acuity in this eye also became very poor. I eventually found out that the laser surgery had caused ‘post-lasik ectasia,’ which is a form of keratoconus where the cornea thins.
The condition meant that not only were glasses useless to me, but also ordinary soft contact lenses, since the outer surface of the corneas was no longer smooth and caused the aberrations regardless of what I was wearing. After hearing the news about the ectasia I had both eyes cross-linked in 2012 to stop any further progression of the condition. This procedure was successful for me. However while it halted progression of the ectasia, it did not reverse the damage already done, and so I still had a lot of visual problems to deal with.
After my eyes had recovered from the cross-linking, I then went to an experienced optometrist in the UK who specializes in fitting lenses for keratoconus patients. Over many months I tried a whole range of different lenses (regular RGP lenses, hybrid lenses, etc), but unfortunately they did little for the ghosting and other visual disturbances I was experiencing. Although the optometrist could fix my general visual acuity, it seemed to just be down to luck whether this would have a corresponding impact on the ghosting. After exhausting all the lenses options that were available to me in the UK, I started doing my own research online and came across a few forum posts Dr. G had made about his lenses on the UK Keratoconus Forum. I dug deeper and found that there were a lot of positive responses online, on a variety of forums, about how these lenses had improved their vision. Most reassuring of all were the responses from those who had the same condition as me.
Following this I decided to email Dr. G to enquire further about the lenses, and he sounded confident that something could be done in my case. After careful consideration I decided to go ahead and book an appointment at his clinic. This obviously was not an easy decision considering the distance I would be travelling to get there. However at the end of the day I wanted to try anything possible to fix my vision after having endured years of misery with the ectasia.
The flight over was hassle free and the hotel was just a short distance from the airport. Conveniently Dr. G’s clinic has an arrangement with the hotel to provide a free shuttle bus to and from the clinic, which saved a great deal of trouble trying to sort out taxis, etc. On the first day seeing Dr. G he conducted rigorous eye tests and scans. These included machines which I had not seen before in my many months of lens fitting in the UK. They included one which was able to measure the number of higher-order aberrations in the eye (ghosting, starbursts, etc) and provide a visual graphic on-screen which reproduced the exact ghosting pattern I was experiencing in my everyday vision. Such technology meant that precise measurements could be made to tailor the lenses to the irregular surface of my eyes. This was a world away from the basic fitting procedures in the UK. Once all this was done (at the first appointment) Dr. G told me he would make my first pair of customised scleral lenses for the next day.
The following day Dr. G gave me the scleral lenses to try. Since these were hard lenses and were also larger in size, they provided a smooth surface to fit over the unevenness of my corneas and straight away made a marked improvement to my vision. Although it initially takes a bit of practice to place the lenses in your eyes, it soon becomes very easy to do this. They are very comfortable, to the point where it does not feel like they are in your eyes.
On each subsequent day of my visit Dr. G would make a new set of lenses for me, each one tweaking and improving on the last. By the end of the week my ghosting and starbursts had completely vanished, and I was able to read at 20/15 on the eye chart (this was something I never thought I would be able to do in my bad right eye again). Returning to the hotel at night, I could see that lights were once again in their proper ‘boundaries’ i.e. car headlights were small again and not a smeared mess on the road. Also I was able to watch TV again without the lights from the screen bleeding into each other.
One of the biggest advantages of Dr. G’s service is that you have new lenses made for you each day. In the UK I had to wait weeks and sometimes months between the arrivals of each new set. It means that you get to see the improvements to your vision every day, and if there is something wrong it can be fixed immediately. The second big advantage is the technical capabilities of the machines he is using. While in the UK the optometrist could only fix the visual acuity side of things, the machines Dr. G uses can hone in on my specific aberration pattern as well as visual acuity problems. I am hugely grateful that Dr. G was able to fix my vision as it has totally changed and improved my quality of life.