Retired Leeds nurse returns to driving after urgent eye surgery at Spire Leeds Hospital

A retired Leeds nurse said she has regained her independence after urgent eye surgery at Spire Leeds Hospital.

Monday, 13th September 2021, 4:45 pm

During a routine eye test on Christmas Eve in 2020, Annette Qazi, 78, a retired paediatric nurse from Leeds, discovered she had cataracts in both eyes.

Her sight had become so blurred she had to give up driving and was struggling to read or watch television.

Annette, a widower and grandmother of one, said she panicked at the news.

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Annette Qazi, 78

She said: “I knew my sight had deteriorated but thought I just needed stronger prescription glasses. It was devastating having to give up driving, it’s my only way of getting around.

"It meant losing my independence and my freedom. I knew I needed to do something about it straight away.”

Annette’s GP referred her to an NHS hospital in Leeds however due to the pandemic and as she was classed as ‘vulnerable’ and on the shielding patient list, she decided to go to Spire Leeds Hospital as a private patient under the care of Mr Raj Mukherjee, consultant ophthalmologist.

Annette said: “I was nervous about the surgical procedure but the minute I met Mr Mukherjee he immediately put me at ease.

"I felt total confidence in him and knew I was in good hands.

"Everyone at Spire was brilliant and I was well looked after.

"The surgery was fine, absolutely nothing to worry about!”

Annette had both cataracts removed – her right eye was done first in May 2021 and the other eye the following month.

She attended as a day case patient and felt the benefits almost immediately.

Mr Mukherjee said without surgery Annette’s vision would have continued to deteriorate affecting her ability to carry out daily activities and affecting her quality of life.

He said, “Cataract surgery is a safe and straightforward procedure that can achieve dramatic improvement when cataracts have progressed to the point that seriously impairs vision and impacts daily activities."

Cataracts are very common.

The main cause of impaired vision, it’s estimated in England and Wales that around 2.5 million people aged 65 or older have some degree of visual impairment caused by them.

Cataracts develop when the lens, a small transparent disc inside the eye, develops cloudy patches.

Over time these patches usually increase in size causing blurred vision and eventually blindness.

Surgery involves replacing the cloudy lens inside the eye with an artificial one.

It’s a straightforward procedure that usually takes between 30 and 45 minutes and patients do not require an overnight stay in hospital.

Annette has recently started driving again. She said, “It’s over a year since I’ve driven and it’s great to get back my independence.

"I also don’t need glasses for reading anymore and my natural eyesight has improved.

"I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this procedure to others.”