Pioneering treatment in Yorkshire has helped one businesswoman see more clearly. Catherine Scott reports.
TOP businesswoman Rhona Quin-Mcleod was starting to struggle with deteriorating eyesight.
Not great news when you are a division head of one of the country’s biggest supermarkets, a mother of two and studying for an MBA.
However, thanks to a technique pioneered in Yorkshire she has the vision of someone half her age,
Rhona, 47, from North Ferriby, has an impressive track record in business as well as being a busy mother – so when her eyesight started to become a problem, she naturally wanted to do something about it to ensure it didn’t hinder her performance in the workplace or impact on her home life.
The mother-of-two is divisional head of technical manufacture for Yorkshire-based Wm Morrison Supermarkets, with responsibility for technically overseeing a £1.2bn multi-site business. She is also studying for a Global Executive MBA from Manchester Business School, so life is full of commitments.
This year, Rhona was named in the exclusive Worldwide Who’s Who for Excellence for technical leadership in food manufacturing.
It was after reaching 40, that Rhona, of Swanland, North Ferriby, experienced deteriorating eyesight due to presbyopia, an ageing of the eye’s natural lens which affects our ability to adjust when focusing on near objects.
A long-term contact lens wearer, Rhona found these were no longer adequate but was reluctant to have surgery in case of any problems.
But, as her eyesight deteriorated further, she decided it was time to take the plunge and opt for lens replacement treatment.
“I thought, ‘enough is enough’,” says Rhona. “I am not usually one to be fearful but I wanted to be absolutely sure I had made the right decision. It got to the stage where I had nothing to lose so I immediately contacted Milind Pande, a surgeon with whom I had discussed this treatment before and I trusted his judgment and advice.”
Rhona had a consultation with Mr Pande, consultant eye surgeon at Vision Surgery & Research Centre in East Yorkshire.
He recommended lens exchange surgery whereby her own lenses would be removed and replaced with a bespoke combination of powerful lenses to correct her vision and restore a full range of focus.
Her sight was measured using Mr Pande’s own vision measurement technique called Panfocal Vision, a technique he has pioneered which includes measuring a patient’s vision at distances needed for a range of everyday tasks.
Items used to determine refractive error even include a Harry Potter book, an iPad, a laptop, a desktop PC and a mobile phone, all in different light illuminations.
“I am absolutely delighted with the treatment. It has turned my life around,” says Rhona.
“My work and my studies are so demanding and I can now do close work for my MBA, use my computer for business reports or accessing online research and can drive to any one of our eight business locations, all without putting on a pair of glasses.
“The treatment was pain-free and within one hour I was reading. It was incredible.”
Mr Pande explained why Rhona’s results were so life changing.
“The difference between having this vision treatment and standard lens exchange treatments is that the overall result is seamless vision without the gaps that can be common with using multi-focal lenses.
“Because we measure functional vision rather than a simple chart, we are able to predict the outcome accurately and get our patients the best possible vision without glasses.”
Rhona concluded: “Almost everyone gets a cataract in their lifetime but I now have the added bonus that I will never develop a cataract, so won’t need a cataract operation in the future.”
The treatment costs £3,500 per eye, but according to Rhona it is well worth the money to get her life back on track and concentrate on her career and family without being hindered by bad eyesight.
Surgeon held in high esteem
Milind Pande trained in Yorkshire prior to taking up the prestigious Iris Fund Research Fellowship at St Thomas’s Hospital in London.
He was a lecturer at Oxford University before joining Hull Royal Infirmary as a consultant ophthalmologist.
He has over 30 years of clinical and surgical experience in the field across four continents, with sub-speciality experience in cataract, cornea and refractive surgery.
His innovative work in the fields of refractive cataract, lens exchange and laser vision surgery is recognised throughout the profession.
He is the current President of the United Kingdom and Ireland Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons, and is on the laser eye surgery committee of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists. He heads the Vision Surgery and Research Centre in Hull.