Last week we received a call at the clinic, one young voice politely asked me two questions about the SMILE laser eye treatment that Mr. John Bolger does at My-iClinic. His last question was how much does the surgery cost, hearing the price of £2250 per eye the guy replied to me: “It is too much, I can have it done elsewhere for a cheaper price”. 


          He left his phone number so we can call him back, and he never answered a call.



 

My thoughts related to this incident were somehow summed up with the question “is the price too high?”

 

I do understand that we live in a time when costs are going down, the internet allows us to compare prices, therefore leading to such things as price transparency. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Boxing Day, Easter Sales, we are so used to the idea that prices are cut, that we always expect things to be cheaper and cheaper.




                    
                                                                                    Photo by JJ Ying on Unsplash


          But the question to be asked is how much this price tag should influence our decision?



Should it be to the  discounted shirt from Zara, the half price sugar coated doughnut bought this morning in Tesco?  should the eye laser surgery be included in this endless list ?

Cheap products are usually low quality and therefore have a shorter life span which means that at some point in your life you will need to buy them again. I remember the phrase that my uncle used to say to his daughters: “We are not that rich to buy cheap things”, and this crossed my mind exactly the second when the guy over the phone said “cheaper”.It is so sad that by this price tag people see “laser eye surgery” as an expense. 



     The truth is that eye surgery is an investment, definitely not a cheap one, but one in yourself.



Remember the phrase “Seeing is believing”, well how can you believe when your vision is limited by the black spectacle frame with a pair of thick lenses. How can you believe when you can’t see clearly without glasses. How uncomfortable and convenient is it to put your lenses in every morning. How sad is is that you can’t see how beautiful your girlfriend or boyfriend is in the morning unless you put the pair of contact lenses on your eyes. And why...why do we decide to choose the cheap option in order to get rid of these problems.



                                                         Our health, your health, is most important. 



Earning money and saving money definitely comes second in life's priority list. As I guessed, there are no doubts that a healthy person is capable of anything, or almost anything.

 

People do not appear to prioritize the right thing. The other day, I was in Tesco and I saw a couple who were choosing a TV for their home. I overheard them saying that they would buy a £2500 TV from their savings. It was impressive to hear that they saved enough money to get that huge £2500 TV, but I was unimpressed when I looked at the content of their shopping basket. Four frozen pizzas at a discounted price, some frozen chips with the label “sale” on and some other processed food with the big yellow label “discounted”. This made me sad; don't get me wrong I love pizza.



   but my question is why people decide to save money on food, their fuel which influences their health. 

              I mean why did our priorities change and we became so likely to invest money on things and not in                                                                                                 ourselves?

 


Analyzing the whole situation, I realized that most people concerned about prices are young adults, so called millennial. Looks like our older generation assume that their eyes are worth this money and go for laser treatment, without doubts. I agree that on another hand it is a lot of money for a young office worker but you know what… that trip to Asia in four months this can be postponed for the following year and he/she can spend money on the surgery instead, so when they go there they won’t be dependent on their glasses, and will be able to swim freely in the ocean and maybe even see the nature more in its full spectrum of colour. I know that our generation is looking for experiences. 



Smile laser eye surgery is an experience and should be considered as one. An experience that may change                                                                                      your life.

 

 


Your vision should not make you dependent on glasses or contact lenses. I was drinking coffee every morning for the last three months and I felt that I become addicted. I stopped this habit and I was eating candies every day for three months I had became addicted and I stopped this habit, then I was drinking two glasses of wine every evening. I become addicted and I stopped this habit. I hate being addicted, it makes me weak and poor (double meaning). 



                   If you are wearing glasses and contact lenses it means that you are addicted to them,                                                                         don't you want to stop the habit of wearing them?



Inform yourself about laser eye surgery.

                 
                                                                         Photo by The Digital Marketing Collaboration on Unsplash

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Friday, 26th of January, 14:00 we were trying to pack the last things and load everything into the huge orange lorry, 15:07 the last boxes were loaded into the lorry. 15:10 we are driving on Finchley High Road towards ExCeL London, looking at the pink blue sky while the sun is shining. Lots of fun and team work that is how we would describe that evening. We installed everything our TV to show our brand new introduction video of the My-iClinic, our lighting stand with a super nice 32 teeth smile picture of the team and two chairs in our brand colours so we can sit in style and comfort while talking with people.



Everything looked good.



Saturday 9:20 we arrived at Excel London, got last minute things prepared: 60 goodie bags arranged nicely on the display, an overfilled bowl of red wrapped Lindt chocolates, a full plate of our patients favorite caramel biscuits, and our VR glasses ready to show the visitors our beautiful clinic. With a smile on our faces we welcomed the first visitors at 10:03. Saturday passed really quickly. Everyone that stopped at our stand was really happy to have a chat with us and we enjoyed every conversation. 



At 18:00 the dream team went to the after party and successfully finished the first day of 100% Optical. 

It was a great day.




Sunday 9:30: Same procedure but this time everything was doubled starting from the goodie bags finishing with the water bottles and pens near our big TV.  13:50 we are getting prepared to go to the Optical Academy corner to listen to Mr. Bolger talk. 14:00 Mr Bolger's starts his lecture about 




Artificial intelligence (AI) in ophthalmology and optometry with the phrase 

“Since AI, people will divide in two categories the ones who will use AI and the ones who will be used by AI”




and suddenly he has captured attention. 5 Minutes later we launched a Facebook life streaming of Mr. Bolger’s lecture. At the end of the speech he presented his audience with the new technology called OrCam. A couple of courageous questions and a lot of applause and we are back to My-iClinic stand untill 18:00. Our team had a couple of hugs and went home to recharge our batteries to be prepared for the last day of the event.


Monday 9:30 all of our team members arrived at ExCeL, same procedure: less goodie bags and more Lindt chocolates. 




We were tired but happy to see everyone who visited us at the last day.




 It was lovely to share interesting conversations and to show people how life at My-iClinic is. 17:20 we packed everything, loaded things into our orange lorry and drove back to North Finchley.

100% Optical this year was definitely a great success, not only because we enjoyed it, but because it was well organised and offered a lot of updated information. Somebody asked us:



 “Do you see any effects of the event on your clinic?”



 and our answer to this question is we do enjoy talking part and helping to educate the delegates and their clients of the latest options and as every year people come to our stand and say:



“OH you are My-iClinic! I do remember you.. Your clinic looks amazing” 



or


 “I referred many patients to your clinic and they said that your staff is super professional”



 or 



“I have been to your CET evenings when is the next one?” 




We like the feeling that Mr. Bolger and Mrs. Odufuwa are recognised and many optometrists approached us and mentioned that they were impressed by John’s lecture.



Thanks to the organisers for a great event! See you next year. For everyone interested in My-iClinic, come to visit us in North Finchley or call us anytime.





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Most people are not aware of the advances in laser eye surgery that have taken place in the last couple of years. Different types of lasers are used extensively in all types of eye surgery from cataract to glaucoma to floaters to diabetes.



Each laser is completely different and has unique properties which are utilised to deliver the treatment for the different eye conditions.



To an eye doctor laser eye surgery means treating someone with one of the conditions above but to the layman it usually means laser surgery to get rid of glasses. This surgery, called Refractive Laser Surgery, is carried out by eye doctors (ophthalmologists) specialising in this area of eye surgery. Just like all areas of ophthalmology it is a very precise sub-specialty requiring long training and study to become proficient. But, unlike the other areas ophthalmology where lasers are used, Refractive Laser Surgery to get rid of glasses has suffered a bad press in the past while laser for cataract or glaucoma is perceived as a beneficial breakthrough.



Many people have heard the urban myths about how someone had laser eye surgery and had poor vision afterwards, while very few people have heard stories about someone getting an eye infection from their contact lenses leading to permanent damage to their sight.



Laser vision correction lasts.


Everybody’s vision fluctuates over time. Even people who do not need glasses have fluctuations in their refraction. However once the eye is focused within the spectacle free zone it is highly unlikely that the normal fluctuations would cause the eye to wander out of the zone where glasses or contacts are necessary.  Laser eye surgery will put the focus of the eye into the spectacle free zone where it should stay indefinitely.



Contact lenses are more risky.


Triathletes who need contact lenses would be taking less risk with their vision by having laser eye surgery rather than wearing contact lenses to correct their eyesight. Contact lenses are safe but not risk free. Soft contact lenses can allow an infection to get hold in the cornea with minimal symptoms. Prompt treatment is necessary combined with stopping lens wear to bring about recovery and the avoiding of permanent damage. The risk of losing some vision permanently due to complications of contact lens wear is about the same as having laser and in fact some experts believe that laser is actually safer. Contact lens risks greatly increase if the wearer swims while wearing them. This risk is greatest when swimming in open water such as a lake or river. This means that triathletes who wear soft contact lenses are more at risk of irreversible vision loss than someone who is having laser vision correction. Taking this to its logical conclusion laser vision is safer. And with it comes the benefit of being free of the hassle of contact lenses or glasses.



It’s not painful.


The laser treatment with the early machines was very painful for a few days. But the modern lasers have very little discomfort and healing is almost instantaneous. The latest method called Small Incision Lenticule Extraction (SMILE) causes minimal discomfort on the day and the dry eye symptoms associated with Lasik are much less and shorter lived. People who have SMILE can resume normal activities the same day. And, because there is no flap lifted off the cornea, contact sports can be engaged in again safely.



It’s not expensive.


Over approximately a four year period someone with moderate myopia and a small amount of astigmatism will spend more money on their contacts than if they have SMILE laser vision correction. And the same is true with glasses unless they don’t want the best quality lens in designer frames. And frames go out of fashion.



It’s for everybody.


There was a time when only celebrities or top athletes had laser vision correction. But today it is for anyone who has poor vision without glasses or contacts. It’s ideal for busy people in their 20s or 30s who can become completely spectacle free. Also people in their 40s or 50s who are beginning to have problems with their reading glasses can have laser surgery to give them clear vision at all distances, near, intermediate and far. There is even an option for people who have extreme short sight. Over one million people have had SMILE laser surgery already and tens of millions of patients have had laser eye surgery since it became available. Fewer people have complications from modern laser eye surgery than have complications from contact lens wear. For moderate to severe myopia contact lenses or glasses do not provide a cure, they merely make the condition survivable. SMILE laser vision actually gives you the vision you were always supposed to have.


Inform yourself, Mr. John Bolger.




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One week before Christmas there is lots of shopping, long ‘to do’ lists and last visits to doctors…My-iClinic is a part of the last category. A week before Christmas we welcomed Jack to our clinic. No, Jack is not our new team member. Jack is a young optometry trainee who observed us in the clinic for two days. What led him here and how did it feel to work with us? The answers come in the article below.



With an interesting background Jack is a full time pre-registered optometrist and part-time rugby player. He was 16 when he did some work experience in an optometry practice in Milton Keynes. He enjoyed talking to new people and helping them. He felt that the working environment was perfect for him. While studying at university, Jack had to plan where to go afterwards. Placements for Pre-registrations students are not easy to find and after contacting many practices, and being let down by a couple, Aves Optometrists in Ware invited him to work with them for a few days in their Practice and realising that he fitted in very well, offered him a position. 

As a part of his training he needed some hospital experience so Aves sent him to My-iClinic to get insight into how our eye surgery clinic operates and to learn more about the healthcare industry from our well-known surgeon Mr. John Bolger. 



There are a lot of clinics in London.  How did he come to My-iClinic?

My-iClinic runs training evenings for optometrists. It was at one of those evenings in December when Jack was introduced to John Bolger by his supervisor. Jack was really grateful for “John’s generous offer” to allow him to observe how My-iClinic runs, to see John perform surgery and to sit in on some follow on clinics for 2 days in December.

 As he mentioned:


“Aves refer quite a lot of patients here as we think this clinic is excellent and the quality of the surgery is very high. Our patients have always been very pleased with their care and results when they come here. My supervisor said that I would get a really good experience at My-iClinic, so here I am!!”


Tell me more about your job…what do you think about optometry?


"Aves Optometrists is a private practice. We operate differently to many multiples. We are particularly focused on patient care and share very similar views to My-iClinic. If you provide excellent patient care then patients will be loyal. We regularly refer patients to My-iClinic for surgery and when they have finished their follow ups, they come back to us for their spectacles and continued care. I was very pleased to see how patient focussed My-iClinic is."



Where do you see the future of eye care, eye health? Do you think technology will replace the actual working personnel, clinics and optometrists?


It is something that has been talked about since I was 16 and chose to go into this profession. There has been a lot of discussion about whether ‘computers are going to take over’. This does not worry me because I do not think that computers will fully replace humans. Human interaction is absolutely needed in successful eye care. I think that together with computerised instruments eye care can evolve well. I was speaking to John earlier, his idea is that in 10 years’ time most people will have laser eye surgery, so no contact lenses, no more problems with uncomfortable glasses and thinking rationally this may happen at the rate that the technology is evolving”. 


From your experience at My-iClinic, what was the most impressive in the clinic?


 (Laughs) "Well I saw quite a lot of different patients, but I can’t really think of one in particular. It is really interesting how you operate, and to observe things which you usually do not see in the optometrist's environment. I am so grateful that I got an opportunity to see how you treat cataracts. Watching a few surgeries has allowed me to have a better understanding of the procedure. It will really benefit my patients that I will be able to explain the procedure to them in more detail. I was really impressed by the level of care and expertise”.


What made this clinic particularly special for you? 


“Spending time with John gave me the opportunity to view it, not only from the clinical side of optics and optometry, but also from the ultimate customer service side and excellent management which Mr. Bolger and Ms. Odufuwa have developed over the years.  Some of the chats I had with them, opened my mind a little bit, John is so inspirational. I was impressed by the whole patient experience: you come in, it is a lovely looking place, everything looks great in here, and all the instruments are top of the range. I particularly enjoyed the way that he takes time to explain things to the patients, how they really involve the patient in the treatment process. All of the results of tests that patient underwent were shown to them on the screen and the findings explained. This enables patients to get involved and be reassured about what can be done to help them. Also patients learn this way, it is a great approach”.

 


Thank you, Jack, for the interview. It was a pleasure to have you here; we wish you all the best from My-iClinic. 


“Thank you everyone for a good time, everyone was so nice to me ,I learned a lot here and feel welcomed. Thank you.”




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Dear Glasses Wearer,



Have you ever been alone in your kitchen late at night? It’s cozy and quiet and there is not a sound. But then suddenly the fridge stops and you realise that you hadn’t noticed the noise. Now however it’s even quieter and you realise how lovely real silence is. But then after a while the fridge restarts. Its return is noisy and intrusive, disturbing the silence you had been enjoying.


Well, can you imagine the same experience but this time instead of the fridge stopping....

it is your need for glasses that stops!

Suddenly everything is clearer and your eyes are normal all of the time. There is no need to find your glasses or put in your contacts, you vision is there, clear for you 24-hours a day. Think of the freedom that you could then enjoy. Then imagine that one day you wake up and your dependence on glasses has returned! Imagine how distressing and inconveniencing such a thing would be. That period of freedom from glasses illustrated to you what a handicap needing them is. You’re back to the daily chore of putting in your lenses, taking them out, ordering new ones, remembering to take them on holiday- all the burden and handicap revisited for the rest of your life. Today’s laser surgery is safer than ever and is in fact at least as safe and possibly even safer than wearing daily disposable contact lenses. You could be made free from glasses today with femto laser and this freedom could last forever.

I want you to imagine for a moment that you’ve invented a permanent cure for a disease. Let’s say you discovered a cure for Parkinson’s that was safe and effective in all cases. Then imagine you found someone suffering from the disease who hadn’t heard of your cure. You watch them struggling with the disease and trying to live with it. I’m sure you would want to rush over to them to tell them about your cure and how it would liberate them from the fetters of the disease.

So let me encourage you to look closely at what is now possible with modern laser technologies. Don’t rely on what you’ve heard before because that is already completely out of date. The precision of femto lasers is astonishing, the safety is unparalleled and the long-term results are stable.

Inform yourself,

Mr. John Bolger




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