George Chesterton of GQ Magazine has Laser Blended Vision

To be an editor for one of the world’s leading publications, you need to be many things.

You need to be a critic for detail and an expert in seeing the bigger picture. You need to be as impartial as a judge and as opinionated as a Kardashian. But above all, you need to be tough. As an editor is often the last to lay eyes on a piece before it goes public, they need to be relied upon to make the right call when it matters most.

Recently, for George Chesterton, Chief Sub-editor at GQ UK and long-term glasses wearer, the time came to make an important call on his poor and quickly-degrading vision.

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For the past 30 years, George has worn glasses and contact lenses to correct his myopic refraction of -5.5. Safe to say he’s also a pro when it comes to dealing with the endless drawbacks of vision correction equipment: waking to dry eyes after forgetting to take your lenses out, showering in a haze, kids constantly pulling glasses off your face…

So when he hit his forties and started experiencing the added effects of presbyopia, he knew he had a decision to make: Accept that he was going to spend the rest of his life searching for his glasses and banging his knees in the shower, or, have Laser Eye Surgery.

Hair nets, teddy bears, and cutting-edge laser technology

George Chesterton of GQ magazine has Laser Blended Vision at London Vision Clinic

In an article he later published on GQ, George described London Vision Clinic — where he had the treatment — as a sort of utopian science-fiction condo. And for the treatment he was to receive, that was quite a fitting setting for it. George was in for Laser Blended Vision, a revolutionary laser vision treatment pioneered by Professor Dan Reinstein that would address both his short- and far-sightedness at the same time.

Blended Vision works in a similar way to monovision lenses, albeit without pesky and infection-prone contacts. The treatment involves using a precision laser to adjust one eye to work best up close, and a little at a distance, while adjusting the other to work best at a distance, and a little up close.

What makes Laser Blended Vision really stand apart from the traditional method of monovision, however, is the treatment is tolerated by ninety-eight percent of patients, in comparison to the sixty percent who tolerate monovision.

George was aware of all this and more — having been stuffed to the brim with facts and information from Prof Reinstein — as he lay back in the chair, clutched his little teddy bear, and waited for the procedure to begin.

During the treatment — which takes just 3 minutes for each eye — Prof Reinstein talks to George, narrating the process every step of the way and throwing in regular progress updates. As you can see in the video, it makes the whole experience seem like he’s listening to a tale being read from a storybook, in which every story always goes swimmingly and there’s always a happy ending.

Immediately after the procedure, George smiles in amazement as he realises he’s now able to read the writing on the wall — something he couldn’t do just moments ago. He describes how it’s like there’s a slight mist in the room — due to the temporary swelling as Prof Reinstein points out — but that there’s no discomfort whatsoever.

Around ten minutes or so later, after laying down in a dark room and resting his eyes, George takes a moment to reflect on the experience: “It seems to be that people think about it for a long time, like I did, they have the procedure, then they wish they hadn’t bothered thinking about it, they wish they just gone and done it as soon as they thought about it.”

That’s a heavy statement for an editor to make: admitting that at least two decades of glasses wearing could have been avoided if only he made a decision sooner. It seems world-class editors are also fallible to poor decisions. But then again, they’re known to work best under high-stress circumstances so it’s only when things get critical that the best calls are made.

George Chesterton of GQ Magazine has Laser Blended Vision

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