The eyes have it. Consultation time at Sandton Eye Clinic.

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes". Marcel Proust



Being a writer and a photographer, my eyes are very important to me. Just like mental and physical health, I do get my eyes checked on an annual basis in order to make certain that my most important ‘tools’ are in good health. I have worn spectacles since 1971 and that is basically my entire adult working life. Now, at 68 years old, it becomes even more important to make certain that my eyes are in good shape and will continue to work as they have done for all of my life. My visit to Dr. Robert Daniel was to check to see if I had an issue with cataracts and to confirm that all was as it should be…



All the relevant COVID-19 protocols are in place at Mediclinic Morningside, where my consultation was to take place. Although there was a queue to get into the building, it was being dealt with swiftly and effectively. And in no time I found myself standing outside the Sandton Eye Clinic, situated on the ground floor near the elevator.



The number of patients awaiting consultation or for post-operation follow-ups is kept to a minimum and the paperwork was dealt with quickly and effectively. Hence me being able to relax and not be concerned about what I was going to experience.



I began to feel that the large wooden eye on the plinth against the wall was following me around the room, however, it was just a figment of my imagination and it was, in fact, stationary. The information on the monitor explained a variety of procedures that could be undertaken to keep eye health optimal.



Forget the eye-of-the-tiger, I believed that I had the sight of a leopard. Having the correct information to make a statement like that was crucial and I was about to settle into a chair to have the first series of tests. These were far more thorough than anything I had undergone at either opticians or optometrists in the past. And were carried out in a competent and professional manner. It was the old “1 or 2? Which looks better?” routine but taken to a whole new level. The machinery here was some of the most advanced I have ever experienced and if I had any questions they were answered in terms that I could understand.



The equipment at this practice is state of the art and more importantly, those in control of them are professional and empathetic when dealing with patients. My only complaint? All the camera equipment being used is Canon, and I use Pentax! This first part of the consultation is to establish baseline parameters in order for Robert to make a correct diagnosis and to then structure the second part of the consultation accordingly.



There is instrumentation in the main office that would not look out of place on the main control room at one of the Space Agencies. But none of it is invasive or intimidating and even the puff of air on the eyeball to test for glaucoma has been replaced with a new updated electronic version. (This was always the test that I found the most difficult to keep my eyes open for) No Netflix on this particular TV…just my eyeball and the news that I did, in fact, have cataracts.



(This image supplied by Google images)

Given my age and personal set of co-morbidities, Robert sat down with me to explain in detail the next steps in the chain of tests that would be completed to decide the way forward. This was done in layman’s terminology and at no stage did I feel uncomfortable or nervous about his diagnosis and potential treatment. As an aside, and in photographic terminology, it was basically time for a lens upgrade. And THAT I can understand…



I was sent off for a battery of tests, all done within the confines of the eye clinic to confirm the diagnosis that had already been discussed with me. All of these machines are non-invasive and the only issue that I had was to stop myself from blinking during some of the procedures. All in all, the various tests were efficiently conducted and each procedure was carefully explained to me by the technician conducting them. These tests once again confirmed the original cataract diagnosis. So where to from here I hear you ask? Well, I am about to put my spectacles away permanently and undergo a bilateral cataract operation. Getting both eyes done at the same time cuts down on recovery time, limits me to one hospital visit and I only have to undergo one anesthetic. But all that lies ahead and I will cover the actual operation once that procedure has been completed. ( I was reassured that even though the lenses in both eyes would be replaced, each eye would be treated as a separate operation.)


For more information, visit their website, (by clicking on the logo above, or call them on 011 884 5624/5. It will change the way you see your world. I left the clinic clutching a plethora of paperwork that would need to be completed before I found myself back for the operation…




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