Super Squeamish Emma Overcomes Her Eye Phobia

Whether it’s sparked by spiders, heights, snakes or mice – phobias can affect and limit our lives in many ways.

Personally I don’t like birds flapping close to me; however – after a hypnotherapy session – I am now able to cross Trafalgar Square without having a panic attack in the middle; and have even learned to ignore the pesky pigeons at Liverpool Street station.

The key to overcoming any irrational fear is to focus on the end result. Those who are frightened of flying, for instance,  might be tempted to give it a try if they are able to visualise visiting a far away dream location.

It is the same with Laser Eye Surgery … remember the story of “Katy the Fainter”? Despite passing out at the mere thought of any medical procedure, Katy’s desire to see clearly without her hated glasses, gave her the strength get through her laser eye surgery procedure and emerge the other side not only with perfect eyesight but also a terrific sense of achievement.

London Vision Clinic patient Emma from Oxfordshire had a slightly different problem. Dr Dan described her as being “SUPER, SUPER, SUPER squeamish” and Emma agrees with him.

“I cannot bear the thought of touching my eyes myself … let alone allowing anyone else to get close to them”, she told me.

So, of course, wearing contact lenses was completely out of the question.

“I tried lenses 19 years ago when I got married. I wanted to see my husband clearly on my wedding day and obviously I didn’t want to be a bride in glasses. “

But Emma couldn’t do it. She was simply unable to bring her finger tip close to her eye, so instead she spent her wedding day in something of a blur.

Emma tried – without success -to put in contact lenses on one other occasion. “The person who was helping me said that my eyes literally rolled back in their sockets”, she explained. “I was in a complete panic – really upset and distraught!”

So how would this “eye phobic” patient manage to overcome her fear, have her short sightedness corrected and be able to enjoy a glasses-free life?

“I found the pre-operative tests the most difficult to bear – in fact I was on the verge of pulling out at one stage. But my optometrist (Brendan) was patient with me and pointed out that putting on eye make- up every day was not so very different.

“Actually, the surgery itself wasn’t nearly as bad as I had feared. Everything was explained to me, not only by Dr Dan, but also by my friend who had had it done there a couple of years ago.

“I tried not to think about what was happening too much – and everything was as I had expected – it was not too bad at all!”

I spoke to Emma just three days after her blended vision operation when she was just beginning to get used to not needing the glasses she had worn all day every day for the last twenty plus years.

Visanility problems: show jumping in the rain while wearing glasses

She was especially looking forward to horse riding and competing in show jumping events without the inconvenience of wearing glasses.

“When it was raining I could hardly see – I needed wipers on my glasses”, she explained.

And water skiing was worse. “I have never been able to see properly when water skiing; it will be really exciting to be able to see next time.”

Emma also enjoys taking part in car rallies: “Before, each time I drove through a tunnel, I would have to hand my dark glasses to my co-driver, then change to my normal specs, then back again…it’s going to be so much easier from now on.”