back to article Optical Express 'ruined my life' attack site wins Nominet takedown battle

Nominet has ruled that a gripe site, which allows people to claim that Glasgow headquartered Optical Express blighted their eyesight, can live on – despite a second complaint being lodged against the owner of opticalexpressruinedmylife.co.uk. The dot-UK registry company said in a Dispute Resolution Service decision (PDF) on 1 …

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  1. Dave 126 Silver badge

    I remember a 1980's National Geographic article about the USSR (where laser eye surgey was pioneered), showing an operating theatre for laser eye surgery. Eight beds were arranged like spokes in a wheel, so the surgeon could process patients like a production line. Of course, laser surgery doesn't place the same demands on sterilisation of tools etc that conventional surgery does.

    It is telling when a Google search for 'laser eye surgery' doesn't return a Wikipedia result on the first page... instead, it returns advertisements for clinics offering their services, and blogs from the Telegraph and Guardian.

    1. JimmyPage Silver badge

      er ...

      are you sure it was *laser* surgery ? I was under the impression the Russians devised the technique using conventional surgery (against a chorus of scepticism from the medical community). They used to do it on board ships they sailed around the world (for hard currency).

      It was the west which refined it using lasers ... at which point it became Big Business.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: er ...

        It seems you're correct. Wikipedia supports my hazy memories of that Nat Geo article, but I can't access the source it cites. It would appear that the Wikipedians have been confused for the reasons you outlined, i.e the procedure of cutting with a scalpel was developed by Svyatoslav Fyodorov, and then it was some IBM researchers working with lasers (for work on silicon) who discovered the could neatly cut flesh without thermal damage to surrounding areas.

        It is also possible that the Soviets adopted the procedure on a greater scale than the Americans, as would be suggested by a 'production-line' -like operating theatre.

        1. wolfetone Silver badge

          Re: er ...

          "it was some IBM researchers working with lasers (for work on silicon) who discovered the could neatly cut flesh without thermal damage to surrounding areas."

          I'd love to know how they found this out. Did one of the engineers put his hand in front of the laser?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I remember a 1980's National Geographic article about the USSR (where laser eye surgey was pioneered), showing an operating theatre for laser eye surgery. Eight beds were arranged like spokes in a wheel, so the surgeon could process patients like a production line. Of course, laser surgery doesn't place the same demands on sterilisation of tools etc that conventional surgery does.

      That wasn't LASER eye surgery, but something called "Radial keratotomy". Basically, it was correction via micro scalpel (hence the full sterile operating theatre). I know this because I was approved for this surgery in those days, but decided not go ahead as the idea of having someone slashing away at my eyeballs to a depth of about 60% wasn't quite compatible with my knowledge of material flexing under stress, and I was facing a lot of time in planes. So, I bailed and continued with contact lenses.

      Because of that interest, I followed laser eye surgery rather closely, so when Russel Ambrose started Optimax in the UK I spend some time researching how it worked and they fully cooperated with it (including patient access when they allowed). At some point, the US had developed a technique to correct astigmatism and shortsightedness in one go, which Optimax then brought over here too - I think I was the 1st or 2nd person in the UK to receive that treatment.

      Now, some 25+ years later I finally need reading glasses. Other than that, never a problem other than that "not driving a car for the first 2 weeks" is something you really should stick to. As a passenger in those 2 weeks I could see road signs from quite a distance, but parking and night time driving would have been simply impossible as you start with being farsighted.

      One note of caution, though: in my limited experience, results tend to be better if you need a correction from at least a -3 or more - less than that and the results tend to be less accurately end up at "0".

      1. Winkypop Silver badge
        Terminator

        +1 for "Radial keratotomy"

        Yes indeed.

        I too followed this very closely from the 80s.

        I finally achieved my dream to be 'spec free' about 8 years ago.

        I waited for the tech to improve and the risk to diminish, oh, and I was also a tad scared.

        It is your freaking eyes AND you have to watch!

        All good now though.

    3. drewsup

      I also remember

      The Russians perfected what was then call Radial Keratotomy after a school kid wearing glasses was punched in the face, sending shards into eyes. After patching the kids eyes up,(and a bit of healing), the kid noticed his nearsightedness was almost gone.

      Within 3 years they perfected it to the point of those 6 bay radial surgeries, the doctor was a bit a bit of rock star , considered "The Guy" to have this done by.

      Now we into PRK and radar mapped PRK, amazing what 30 years can do for a procedure. The best quote I've ever heard regarding this type of surgery,(and it is surgery!) is "I would never have my eyes worked on for $400 each, I would however, consider it at $800 each".

      You get what you pay for, as much as I need it done now( -7 index, plus now I need reading glasses on top of my contacts, ultimate irony), the idea of these clinics gives me the heebie jeebies .

      1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        Re: I also remember

        My opinion was formed several years ago by a surgeon who said "Have corneal surgery for your myopia when you see less than 50% of surgeons without glasses". I suspect that the only corrective surgery I'll have is when they swap out my rapidly clouding lenses for new plastic ones.

        1. Don Dumb

          Re: I also remember

          Depends on how old the surgeons are doesn't it? As no laser surgery can prevent presbyopia (old age deteriation). When I went for a consultation they were very clear about this.

          I understand the logic in sceptisim that asks "how many surgeons wear glasses?" and that is certainly healthy*. But it isn't quite as clear as that, I mean would you think there was a problem if you had a knee operation from a surgeon who had a crutch? With eye surgery on (should) get good eyesight up to the point that eyesight deteriorates as it would anyway. Same way that you can have knee operations that will allow for normal activities up to the point that your legs naturally weaken and you need a stick or wheelchair.

          *It is telling that those who peddle the "vacciantions are a conspiracy" line (you know, those who think homeopathy will stop measles) don't seem to question why all peadiatric doctors, nurses and even immunologists all have their children vaccinated, quite some odd conspiracy.

  2. JDX Gold badge

    I should register

    OptimaxShouldPayMeOrIDishTheDirt.com

  3. Beamerboy

    Without wanting to stir up trouble

    I'd comment on opticalexpressmademylifemuchbetternowthaticansee.com with something positive. This is not a recommendation - make your own minds up but I'm more than happy with them!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I married an eye surgeon

    Advice to anyone contemplating this kind of surgery:

    Find an eye surgeon in the UK who's had it done to them. Ask why.

    For some reason none of them seem to have decided to participate in what is in effect a very long term field trial for anything other than genuine medical reasons. Seen any long term studies published? No, neither has my spouse.

    There are genuine reasons, such as glaucoma, where it is the best treatment but because you don't want (or its inconvenient) to wear glasses/contacts? No.

    Quietly DVLA are now looking into this as the treatment is regressive (meaning about 10 years later you are back where you started, but you've scarred at least 2mm of the 6 or so you have available in the retina, so much less to work on for next time) and so the same problems will simply re-occur. It is now realised that this affects peripheral vision and night vision without the subject being aware of the deficit, and we expect that at some stage (it wil be a while, this is HMG after all) there will be a slew of letters going out to those who've had this treatment (details obtained from the surgical logs under public health regulations, we are talking about the control of large metal things hurtly about the highways at speed) advising them that until they get these factors tested in an extended ophthalmic examination, and pass, that they no longer meet the vision criteria for driving and their licences are accordingly withdrawn.

    Lawsuits to follow no doubt, but you try sueing the clinic you went to 5+ years ago for the fact that you can possibly no longer earn a living, even if it is the same legal entitiy. Perhaps those driverless google cars will have a wider market, better get programming chaps.

    AC as my spouse is also on the books of a major high street chain which does this kind of thing.

    1. Splodger

      Re: I married an eye surgeon

      One has to enquire: if your spouse thinks it's such a bad idea, why are they on the books of such an outfit?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I married an eye surgeon

        @Splodger: "One has to enquire: if your spouse thinks it's such a bad idea, why are they on the books of such an outfit?"

        Isn't the answer to this question obvious?

        Whoring for filthy lucre...

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: I married an eye surgeon

      I read the account of a mountaineer in the national press, who said that unbeknownst to him at the time, extreme cold temperatures played havoc with his laser-treated eyes. He discovered this half way up Everest...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I married an eye surgeon

        > I read the account of a mountaineer in the national press

        A specific reference, please?

        > who said that unbeknownst to him at the time, extreme cold temperatures played havoc with his laser-treated eyes.

        Because of a condition, of which he had not been made aware, directly attributable to the intervention? What type of treatment? Was there a previous condition? How were his eyes before the treatment?

        > He discovered this half way up Everest...

        Without more concrete details one cannot say, but please note that going up Mt. Everest does not make you a mountaineer--friend of mine went at the age of eight. Most people go up to base camp, which is an athletic but well organised tourist activity.

        In short, just saying that you're just posting Chinese whispers. No particular beef with the subject at hand, although I have had a certain type of eye surgery performed on me years ago.

        1. Kauppe

          Re: I married an eye surgeon

          Yes, it happened in 1996 to a mountaineer named Beck Weathers.

          http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beck_Weathers

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I married an eye surgeon

      "Meaning about 10 years later you are back where you started,"

      Impossible... I suggest you ask your partner for more information. Surgery physically removes cells, then drugs prevent scaring. I had my eyes done after much research (not at a factory high street chain, with an eye surgeon, in a hospital) and wasn't something I took lightly. But the suggestion that my eyes will go back to -10 with severe astigmatism in another 3 years is crazy. Natural degradation due to age, yes, fully expect it and anticipate needing reading glasses eventually, but that's not what was corrected. Night vision isn't fantastic, but neither is night vision with contacts or glare from glasses.

      AC as I'll show you mine if you show me yours...

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: I married an eye surgeon

        I had lasic - and 10 years later I was wearing glasses again. I'm -2 now was -6 at the time of surgery.

        Enjoyed the 10 years but suffering from it now.

        1. JDX Gold badge

          Re: I married an eye surgeon

          Well, you may have been -8 if you'd not had the surgery. Generally you can expect to go long-sighted sooner than you would've.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I married an eye surgeon

        ROTFLMAO!!!! "...then drugs prevent scaring."

        Alcohol and heroin abuse might prevent "scaring" after you realise what drug of THEIR choice was used on your eyes!

        As for 'scarring'... Google "Complications of Mitomycin C in eye surgery"

    4. An0n C0w4rd

      Re: I married an eye surgeon

      One of the risks that is definitely NOT advertised by LASER eye surgery places is that if you later develop cataracts then the treatments are more difficult or not possible due to the LASER eye surgery. My dad was told this when he went in for cataract surgery a few years ago.

      Stick with glasses or contact lenses.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I married an eye surgeon

        "One of the risks that is definitely NOT advertised by LASER eye surgery places"

        Conversely, one of the risks that is definitely NOT advertised by opticians, is that contact lenses carry a MUCH higher risk of infection which could result in eye loss rather than poor vision!

    5. Mephistro Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: I married an eye surgeon (@ AC 7th January 2014 15:01 GMT)

      Too true. I also have relatives in the optician business and several years ago they discouraged me from undergoing this kind of surgery, for the same reasons you stated in your comment. After that I've seen many instances where laser surgery went seriously wrong, and some of those cases have been covered in the news.

      Don't know how things are in your area, but round these parts, eye surgery clinics pay a tidy amount of €€€ to optician shops and ophthalmologists for each patient they send to said clinics. For the optician shop it is a win-win, as they know that the patient will need glasses/contact lenses again in a few years.

      As they told me, if your eyesight problem is not too extreme -e.g. less than 8 dioptres for short sightedness- you are better off with glasses or contacts.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I married an eye surgeon

      > I married an eye surgeon

      I knew someone once whose boyfriend was an architect and was giving me advice on house renovation. I didn't take it, and that was face to face.

      You are entitled to have an opinion and present your point of view (no pun intended), but please understand that you are basically saying that it is based on hearsay.

    7. Richard Altmann
      Pint

      Re: I married an eye surgeon

      So let me put this into one short sentence:

      It is now realised that this affects peripheral vision and night vision without the subject being aware of the deficit, and we expect that at some stage (it wil be a while, this is HMG after all) there will be a slew of letters going out to those who've had this treatment (details obtained from the surgical logs under public health regulations, we are talking about the control of large metal things hurtly about the highways at speed) advising them that until they get these factors tested in an extended ophthalmic examination, and pass, that they no longer meet the vision criteria for driving and their licences are accordingly withdrawn.

      Have a Pint

      1. DPWDC

        Re: I married an eye surgeon

        "It is now realised that this affects peripheral vision"

        No where NEAR to the level that a pair of glasses does! Frame + only having a small clear area directly in front of the head is surely much worse?!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I married an eye surgeon

        It is now realised that this affects peripheral vision and night vision without the subject being aware of the deficit

        Sorry, I find the peripheral vision statement questionable, not only from personal experience, but also from a logical perspective. My work requires a very high degree of situational awareness, and it's never been as good as post op. Affecting night vision, however, is indeed true, and that takes a good two months to settle, but it still compares favourably to glasses (not to mention not having the problem of glasses misting up when entering a room :) ).

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I married an eye surgeon

      Quietly DVLA are now looking into this as the treatment is regressive (meaning about 10 years later you are back where you started), but you've scarred at least 2mm of the 6 or so you have available in the retina, so much less to work on for next time)

      Umm, that doesn't seem to correspond with the facts I *personally* have experienced. YMMV, of course, but I would like to see that in a study.

      1 - I went from -5 to 0. And remained that way for a good 20+ years. This is not hearsay, but confirmed by eye examinations every 2 years. I'm now at an age where I'll need reading glasses, but I've had a good run, and can still see well in the distance, which still compares well with my starting point where I needed glasses to find my glasses...

      2 - the treatment diameter is 6mm outer, concentrically working down to the centre, so I can't quite see how you can scar the centre and not the outers, and especially scarring the outer rings would be a royal pain in the neck during night driving as you get the ring effect (which was indeed an issue in early LASIKs, until the treatment diameter was enlarged).

      The only issue that has emerged during LASIK is the so-called "Centre Island" problem, in which the centre is slow to regrow so it takes more than 2 weeks for the level of adjustment to stabilise - in some cases up to 2 months.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I married an eye surgeon

        "The only issue that has emerged during LASIK is the so-called "Centre Island" problem..."

        Do some more research!! Google "Morris Waxler" & "Dean Kantis" for details of the US fight specifically against LASIK!!

    9. MrXavia

      Re: I married an eye surgeon

      I have had this surgery, and it changed my life, from wearing glasses, constant headaches, eye strain....

      I would not have had the old surgery, but what I had 4 years ago was amazing, my night vision is actually better now than before

      Sure I expect my eyes will continue to deteriorate to the point I'll either need glasses again, have another round of laser surgery, or even replacement corneas, who knows it might be stem cells or nanites that rebuild my eye!, the technology is improving every single year.

      but I found it funny that the surgeon who did my operation wore glasses!

      oh and it was not Optical Express, they seemed like a cheap cut price place to me...

  5. Tikimon Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Russians assembly line: Radial Keratotomy

    The Rooskies pioneered radial keratotomy, used for that assembly-line trick. They made a starburst of cuts in the cornea with a diamond knife. Still used for some patients, though the laser methods have mostly taken over.

    Unlike most folks I have a HIGH corrective index (glasses/contacts not optional to get around) and eye surgery would make a huge difference to me. I've been tempted since RK first came out, but I have yet to find a procedure that I'm willing to trust my eyeballs to. I went as far as an appointment once, but the unskilled drone who did my "evaluation" wasn't qualified to sort rocks in a quarry, much less determine eye surgery.

    The mountaineer was Beck Weathers, miracle survivor of the 1996 Everest disaster. I believe his problem was the low pressure more than the cold, but he was nearly blind when he came down. "Into Thin Air" is a great account of that BTW.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Russians assembly line: Radial Keratotomy

      Go to an eye hospital rather than an assembly line. I had a high index, and don't regret it at all. Dry eyes (cured with eye drops) are a sacrifice I happily made. Night time vision problems are no worse now than before (as you no doubt know, contacts are rubbish at night with a high index, and glasses aren't ideal - I'd put surgery somewhere in the middle).

      1. Graham Marsden

        @AC "contacts are rubbish at night with a high index"

        Really? I have an *extremely* high index (-10 right, -11 left!) yet I have no trouble at night using RGP lenses.

        I've considered laser treatment etc, but since nobody can promise me that it would make my eyesight perfect, I'll stick to the contacts.

        1. DPWDC

          Re: @AC "contacts are rubbish at night with a high index"

          I had RGPs for a good few years, then soft lenses for a while - eventually my eyes were rejecting both (started getting severe irritation) and we'd tried every brand going ("we" being a small independent optician and myself).

          Glasses weren't great - as you get hardly any peripheral vision, contacts (before they were rejected by my eyes) just spun around and with astigmatism that's no use!

          I asked my optician about laser surgery and she suggested a specific surgeon rather than a brand name. I did my research on him, went for an appointment and a 2 treatments later can see darn well! He set expectations, and didn't promise perfect vision.

      2. Vic

        Re: Russians assembly line: Radial Keratotomy

        > contacts are rubbish at night with a high index

        Mine are pretty good - I'm +5.0L, +6.0R. I use continuous-wear lenses, and they are magnificent.

        Vic.

  6. g dot assasin
    Facepalm

    she would "fight on until this industry is regulated and the serious risks publicised"...

    ...or in other words, until I get another "undisclosed settlement" to shut it down.

    1. Erroneous Howard

      Re: she would "fight on until this industry is regulated and the serious risks publicised"...

      Not sure why your post has been downvoted as that seems to be exactly what she did with Optimax. So she thought, "I'm on to something here", and decided to try the same thing with Optical Express despite having had no dealings herself with them.

      Specsaversruinedmylife.co.uk anyone?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: she would "fight on until this industry is regulated and the serious risks publicised"...

        Instead of attributing YOUR thoughts to someone you don't know by using "quotes" why don't you read more about this so you know what the f@ck you're talking about!

        Extract from the Private Members Bill introduced by MP John McDonnell for Regulation of Refractive Eye Surgery 2 months ago (Hansard Report 20 Nov 2013 : Column 1257/8/9)....

        "I particularly want to pay tribute to Sasha Rodoy, from the My Beautiful Eyes campaign, who has supported many victims of the industry. I do not want to tarnish all practitioners in the field, because there are many good practitioners out there, but confidence will be undermined if we do not tackle the problems.

        Eight years ago, we found that many of the corporates in the sector employed aggressive sales tactics to secure clients. Recent evidence from clients and former salespeople shows that the problem continues and has got worse. It often starts with a phone call, the offer of a time-limited discount or entry into a competition for free treatment. Patients visit the shop on a no-obligation basis for a consultation; then the phone calls start. We have evidence of people receiving 20 phone calls in a single day. Some salesmen are described as counsellors or refractive technicians, but have minimal training in what the surgery involves and come under intense pressure from their managers to clinch deals no matter what. Patients are often not given adequate information on the potential risks. One former Optical Express salesman described pressure from managers not to give customers all the available information for fear of scaring them off.

        Material used by some companies to promote sales has been proven on several occasions by the Advertising Standards Authority to be unfounded, lacking in evidence and misleading. In 2011, the ASA upheld 17 complaints against Optical Express brochures."

        'F@ckwit Of The Month Award' goes to you!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: she would "fight on until this industry is regulated and the serious risks publicised"...

      "...or in other words, until I get another "undisclosed settlement" to shut it down."

      If you were less cynical & had bothered to read up on this you'll find that she was offered £200,000 for the site but planned to give the story to The Guardian rather than pocketing the money. Details on www.optimaxruinedmylife.com website

  7. Anonymous Coward 101
    Flame

    Is anybody else alarmed by this story, in that depending on who you believe, either:

    a) company X is peddling lies about company Y; or,

    b) company Y is lying about company X peddling lies about company Y.

    Both of these companies are responsible for taking powerful lasers to people's eyes. Frightening.

  8. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. R69

    Free speech vs cyber extortion?

    ...providing that the claims espoused on said website are factual this seems genuine enough - but i cant help thinking it smacks of just hunting a payout.

    Am surprised - the libel laws being what they are in the UK - that this hasnt gone further...the High Court has a pretty appalling record of siding with the little guy in these cases, as any Provate Eye reader will know, so it may be just a matter of time.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Free speech vs cyber extortion?

      "Am surprised - the libel laws being what they are in the UK - that this hasnt gone further..."

      That's probably because if the claims are true it's not libel! Personally I doubt that Optical express would have wasted time challenging the site via Nominet if they could have paid a fraction of what it'll have cost them to take it to court!! It would also raise their profile if court action showed that the site in question was a complete lie, priceless adverising

  10. frank ly

    So convenient

    "Optical Express, which sells ophthalmic treatment services such as laser eye surgery and intraocular lens implants, ..."

    I'll ask the nice woman behind the counter at Boots if she can arrange liposuction and a nose job for me.

  11. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    The whole industry is ripe for investigation

    It passes my personal "byer beware" - use of professional criminal spammers to do advertising mailshots by at least some of the players.

    By the way - I am not talking some lousy amateurs like Wallace. Real, proper professionals which register one-shot domains to fire off a mailshot, then dispose of it. The domains have valid certs, mail has dkim signatures, the mailshots are fired from proper valid servers in real hosting (and disposed off after that). The lists and mails have correct geographies too as they have been sourced from real companies (I know who sold my addresses by the way). So no address based block can nail them. In fact, the mailshots are so well done that no antispam system I am aware of can nail the f***...

    I have a couple of mail addresses which I had to abandon over the years due to them getting on these mailing lists. I could have /dev/null-ed them. Instead, I train my spam filters on it (the bayes is now selecting these with good enough confidence) and automatically report anything that hits them into every single anti-spam with a reporting function that I know.

    I also keep an eye on what goes into that bucket to see who gets in there.

    Laser eye surgery is not the most common entrant, it is however present and persistent - not a one-off (a mail or two a month). It is probably on par with the more dubious solar panel schemes and double glazing. Nowhere near various "fraud of the year" "experience" tours, but not that far off either.

    All in all - if an industry needs criminals to advertise their services it is ripe for the fraud squad.

    1. Skoorb

      Re: The whole industry is ripe for investigation

      If you really want some sort of surgical refractive visions correction, whether that be from a laser or from swapping your lens out with a plastic one (see warnings above) then at the very least look at the private wings of NHS eye hospitals - they tend to be more 'open' about what they are doing and why, and have a much greater level of Clinical Governance overseeing everything.

      Both Manchester Royal Eye Hospital and Moorfields Eye Hospital will take private patients on like this , and they are two of the leading eye hospitals in Europe

  12. Chris G Silver badge

    Diamond knife, laser, finger nail..

    I'm not keen on having anything poked into my eyes having had the benefit of alumnium swarf, road grit and a fingernail flying off a pair of nail clippers.

    The swarf was the most fun, needing local aneasthetic and a nurse with a needle to remove it from the surface of the lens.

    For two days I couldn't use my eyes at all, move one and naturally they both move so the scraped one hurt like someone poking a stick in my eye each time. Until you lose your sight even for such a short time you don't realise just how valuable sight really is and how much we take it for granted.

    My heart goes out to any one with visual impairment. After the experience with the swarf I take very good care of my eyes, now I'm an old bugger I have to wear reading glasses but to volunteer for what is basically cosmetic surgery is not something I would ever consider.

    I am stunned that the 'industry' is not fully regulated.

    Lasik as it is usually called in the States is getting cheaper and cheaper and many people go in for it at relatively young ages, scary!

    1. Tyson Key

      Re: Diamond knife, laser, finger nail..

      It gets worse - now you can buy a rather pricey, one-shot "LASIK @ Home" kit from a probably-dodgy company that hasn't been approved by the US FDA (from what I can tell).

      Interesting to see the (fake?) testimonials saying stuff like, "Now I don't need to buy contact lenses!", and "My partner helped me do it in one night!"...

      1. MrZoolook

        Re: Diamond knife, laser, finger nail..

        "Now I don't need to buy contact lenses!"

        ... because I'm now permanantly blind!

      2. Tyson Key

        Re: Diamond knife, laser, finger nail..

        Hmm, interesting. After looking into it some more, it's apparently a hoax - and their order form bails out with an SQL server "table not found" error...

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Re: Diamond knife, laser, finger nail..

      My sentiments exactly, you only have one pair of eyes so why take the gamble ?

      1. Don Dumb

        Re: Diamond knife, laser, finger nail..

        You only have one pair of legs - is surgery on them to fix problems not as much of a gamble?

        I would have eye surgery if I could. I wouldn't want to walk on crutches all my life, so why would I wear contacts and glasses if I could have my myopia fixed (before presbyopia eventually hits *as it would anyway*)

        I know many people who have had surgery and they have all been fine and recommended it. I sure there are problems and going to an eye hospital over the two companies in this article would certianly be sensible but I don't understand why fixing a condition that requires constant, sometimes costly, treatment (glasses, contacts, prescription lenses in masks, etc) is seen as a 'cosmetic' procedure.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Diamond knife, laser, finger nail.. @ Don Dumb

          Eyeball surgery and leg surgery are very different, the tolerances involved to have a correctly functioning eye are very narrow besides if it goes wrong I can get around on a false leg but a false eyeball will leave me blind.

          I wear glasses for myopia myself (I can't wear contacts) and would love a procedure that would reliably and safely correct my condition without prosthetics but I feel current methods are far from that and I'm not prepared to risk the sight I already have. I would have cataract surgery as the alternative is blindness so that is a risk I would be prepared to take. When gambling, always ask yourself just how much you are prepared to lose.

  13. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    Fails the smell test

    If the woman was out of order, they wouldn't have bothered with Nominet, but would have immediately slapped a libel suit on her to silence her and 'send a message' (TM).

    ... that is of course unless there is something they really really don't want exposed to puiblic view.

  14. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    "Am surprised - the libel laws being what they are in the UK - that this hasnt gone further."

    For libel laws to apply a statement has to be false. If information is damaging to your business, but true, then no dice.

    My question, (allegedly... I don't want anyone getting in libel trouble!), do these clinics have an unusual failure rate, or have they found the dozen failures out of numerous treatments (I assume quite numerous if they are at 15 minute intervals!)

    I found the one post on there particuarly troubling where the LASIK (or LASEK? I didn't know they were different...) machine failed mid-treatment, and they ended up with a crease on their eye. I would hope A) These machines would not fail mid-treatment, period. B) Does the "crease" mean that the machine moved the laser to a "safe" position WITH the laser on, burning eyeball as it went? I would hope any fault it'd immediately turn off the laser.

    At any rate... *shrug*. They are not violating the domain rules, so that's that.

  15. stu 4

    Mental

    Anyone who gets laser surgery for the usual reason (so they don't need to wear glasses or contact lenses) is an utter fuckwit imho.

    You have one set of eyes.

    I've wore contacts every day since I was 14. They take 10 seconds to put in in the morning.

    Also of note, is that the 'success rate' of laser surgery is utter bollocks. they count success generally as 'an improvement in eyesight). note: not the CORRECTION of eye sight to at least the norm 20:20.

    I have around 20:10 eyesight when wearing contacts. (i.e. better than 20:20).

    My contacts are -2.75 diopters.

    If the surgery reduced this to -1 diopter it would be deemed successful.

    how they get away with that is beyond me.

    Even if they corrected it to 20:20 they'd have made my eyesight worse than it was - but hey - they 'improved it from what it was, uncorrected, so it's a 'success'.

    Don't believe me - walk into eye express or 'fuckyoureyesup.com' and ask them for their details success rate stats with breakdown by complications, what counts as success, etc, etc and see how far you get.

    When I go into hospital for an operation these facts and stats are readily available.

    In the laser eye burning field, they ain't.

    utter fucking madness.

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mental

      Anyone who gets laser surgery for the usual reason (so they don't need to wear glasses or contact lenses) is an utter fuckwit imho.

      Well, idiots and generalisations.. I would at best agree that anyone who goes for this without doing some proper research into the organisation and their success rate is gambling, but there may be a lot of reasons.

      A VERY classic argument is what contact lenses do to your eyes - here too, if you get the wrong ones supplied you can seriously screw up your eyes , and the classic "leaving them in because you're too drunk to remember taking them out" problems are not exactly beneficial either, in addition to the risk that every single time you poke your fingers in your eyes you are one mistake away from an eye infection.

      For me it was simple. A high correction factor meant heavy glasses (because even with lenses you still need them for the "off" times), and lenses were not conducive for my work because of hours as well as the occasional exposure to high heat which lenses *really* don't like. I've enjoyed a good run with corrected eyes.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mental

      The problem with stats is they are over a long period of time, if you really look backwards, I am sure the corrective rates were not that great, but with the latest surgery is so much better than the older tech, simply put, the correction is pretty much automated from the eye scanning to the laser, with minimal actual surgeon intervention....

      but you really need to do your research and check out the company, the technology, and make your own risk assessment...

      As for me, day after surgery I was 20:20, 2 weeks later I was better than 20:10.....

      The problem is when someone not suitable is given the treatments, that is when there is failure, and really it is the places like Optical Express that sell the treatments to people not suitable...

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My Experience

    Contrary to, I assume, most other posters, I have had eye surgery some years ago. Although I did not have a great amount of myopia, I required corrective lenses for day-to-day activity.

    I researched the matter a long time ago and came to the conclusion that, as others have mentioned, the whole thing follows a bit of a factory line approach and anyone who could afford a machine (and many who couldn't) were offering the treatment regardless of experience or qualifications.

    I assumed that if that was possible without them being shut down by administrative intervention or, more likely, bad publicity, it was because the risk (likelihood) was low and the machine does most of the work, requiring no more than a well-trained operator to push the button. Still, since I only have my own two eyes, I gave it a miss.

    Fast-forward about a decade and because of a bid at a career change that required 20/20 vision in addition to being an active sportsman, I decided to take the risk, whatever the worst-case scenario consequences. I did my research again and went to the place where I felt most confident doing it in Europe, an eye clinic. In the meanwhile, the technology had advanced too so that was a bit of a bonus.

    There are various types of corrective surgery and I had one called wavefront PRK, which was indicated by my sports physician on account of being a boxer.

    A post-op in-depth examination by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (required for me to regain my Class I medical certificate) revealed that my vision is better than 20/20 on one eye, and both my night vision and lateral vision (can't recall what it's actually called) have improved and are better than average for a control group of non-treated individuals (the CAA, Qinetiq / MoD, and can't remember were doing a study at the time) . Apparently, this is a common outcome on pilots subject to PRK (over 50%).

    All this to say:

    * Yes, there are risks (remember: risk = probability * severity) and the consequences are potentially very serious even if the probability is low (and therefore the overall risk is low).

    * Yes, there are lots of charlatans and people who probably should not be attempting to offer these services, even if technically the risk is low. There is definitely a production line feel to it in most places.

    * For some people, the benefit may be marginal, purely aesthetic or a matter of convenience, while for others it is more life-changing (I couldn't have opted to the job I was after, and it offered a significant advantage in my sports activity). To each to evaluate their circumstances, which only they are in a position to do.

    * It should be fucking obvious to any responsible adult that, however small the risk, statistically a certain number of cases will not achieve the desired results, which is why it is up to each one of us to make a decision based on as much information as we are able to access and understand. I consider that it is the individual's responsibility to research for that information from reliable sources, and contrast it.

    Now, this Ms Rodoy says that she would "fight on until this industry is regulated and the serious risks publicised." Well, there are two problems that make her alleged goals invalid:

    1. The industry *is* already regulated--perhaps what she means is that the regulation can be improved?

    2. As for the "serious risks", what evidence has she in respect of the risks being "serious"? Or perhaps she means the "potential consequences"? Risk is one of those terms that most laymen seem to to misinterpret, bit like mass and weight.

    In any event, I trust that she has pursued her claims through the courts and the relevant medical authority? What was the result of that? What did consumer organisations say about her case? In what respect a hearsay website is meant to help, even assuming that her goals were restated in some valid form?

    It is not so much the whiff of blackmail in this case as her own attempt at FUD that bothers me. In the same way that certain potential customers could be misinformed by providers, she could be scaring away people who, on the balance of probabilities, would significantly benefit from undergoing treatment.

    1. Dave 62
      Pint

      Re: My Experience

      Bravo! Have a pint.

      Might I be so bold as to ask how long ago you had the surgery and whether there is any hint of your eyesight returning to it's former state?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: My Experience

        Dave, in answer to your questions:

        > Might I be so bold as to ask how long ago you had the surgery and whether there is any hint of your eyesight returning to it's former state?

        Five years and no, eyesight actually improved during the first year and is now stable at better than 20/20. Night vision improved relative to pre-op (own subjective assessment) and is better than the average non-operated person (CAA assessment). This is just one data point though, and it can just as well go the other way so be realistic about your hopes.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: My Experience

      "As for the "serious risks", what evidence has she in respect of the risks being "serious"? Or perhaps she means the "potential consequences"? Risk is one of those terms that most laymen seem to to misinterpret, bit like mass and weight.

      In any event, I trust that she has pursued her claims through the courts and the relevant medical authority? What was the result of that? What did consumer organisations say about her case? In what respect a hearsay website is meant to help, even assuming that her goals were restated in some valid form?"

      If you looked at the website under discussion you would have no need to ask these questions simply to pontificate. The answers are all there!

      "Whiff of blackmail"? Spend some time on the site, read some sickening accounts from REAL people and then apologise to all those you've just insulted with your uninformed pomposity.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: My Experience

        > read some sickening accounts from REAL people

        Beg pardon?

    3. Son of Sloth
      Alert

      Re: My Experience

      Re "In the same way that certain potential customers could be misinformed by providers, she could be scaring away people who, on the balance of probabilities, would significantly benefit from undergoing treatment."

      Better that 99 people miss out on a 'significant 'benefit than even 1 person be damaged for life by significantl debilitating results!

      99% is according to Optical Express' own claims, though problems are believed to be closer to 30% by many worldwide

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: My Experience

      "* It should be fucking obvious to any responsible adult that, however small the risk, statistically a certain number of cases will not achieve the desired results, which is why it is up to each one of us to make a decision based on as much information as we are able to access and understand. I consider that it is the individual's responsibility to research for that information from reliable sources, and contrast it."

      You do seem to have missed the point as one of the main complaints concerning this industry is the lack of factual information/statistics provided before surgery by the two leading laser eye surgery providers Optical Express and Optimax.

      (Is it necessary to use profanities to push your opinion by the way?)

  17. Mike Brown

    Ive condisered this before:

    I wear contacts. But the risk isnt worth it. For the benefit of not having to pop a small plastic disc in my eye each morning, i get to have a procedure that could leave me blind. No thank you. Good luck to all that have had it done, and plan too. But its not for me.

    1. DPWDC

      Re: Ive condisered this before:

      Is the much higher risk of infection (that could leave you blind) from wearing contacts worth it?

  18. Roj Blake Silver badge

    The procedure has been carried out hundreds of thousands of times (at least) in the UK. And how many people have been left blind because of it? And how many of them didn't take their eyedrops as prescribed?

  19. MJI Silver badge

    Glasses here

    I am pretty short sighted, but now getting a new issue due to age, not so easy to focus, I struggle to see close up things with my glasees on. But when I do take off glasses I can do a lot of closeup work, as a modeller it is actually not a problem to be short sighted.

    If I had contacts or laser treatment I would now be in a more difficult place than I am in now.

    However I do annoy the fashion police as they talk about brands they mean frames by fashion designer, whereas I mention brands like Nikon and Zeiss, so middle price metal frames here with bloody expensive plastic!

    1. myhandler

      Re: Glasses here

      Optical Express spam me with numerous texts.. never been near them.

      @MJI: wait till you get a bit older and your close vison will deteriorate to a 1 inch depth of field starting 2 inches from your nose.. mine has.

      I've worn glasses (and spells of contacts) for short sight for years (-7) , but now I'd rather get the long sight fixed - makes any close up work a nightmare of glasses on / glasses off, then nose flat against the thing I'm peering at.

      I really need an expanded set with different strenghts, two isn't enough..

      Pity the watch makers of 200 years ago as they got old..

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Glasses here

        To be honest I need to buy a PC set, reading I am fine, driving OK. Drilling small holes for handrails and door handles OK, for applying transfers accuratly good.

        Because my close up vision is pretty good I see more problems with my models!

  20. Shouldhavegonetospecsavers

    The ignorance of some commenting here explains why the eye surgery industry continues to get away with what they do.

    One post suggests that the comments on the opticalexpressruinedmylife.co.uk site are not true, whilst another explians more sensibly that Optical Express would have sued Sasha Rodoy instead of complaining to Nominet if they were libelous. And, according to a letter posted on the site yesterday, Optical Express is apparently appealing the (second) Nominet decision.

    A few suggest here that her site is simply Ms Rodoy's attempt to blackmail OE into paying her off, claiming that's why she set up Optimax Ruined My Life.co.uk

    I can only assume these people haven't bothered with any research otherwise they would be aware that Ms Rodoy was paid compensation for the damage done to her own eyes by Optimax, which included a 'gagging order' - as most out of court settlements expect, which meant she had to take down the Optimax Ruined My Life.co.uk site.

    These details are available on the Optimax Ruined My Life.com site as they are on numerous You Tube videos.

    The OERML site also details that she has been offered bribes by owner of Optical Express David Moulsdale which she has refused and publicised. Ms rodoy also alleges that she has rcvd threats against her life.

    Doesn't sound like someone who wants money to me!

    Perhaps we are too used to people who will sell their souls for a fat bank account and don't understand that there are still some for whom money is not as important as fighting for a cause they believe in.

    And yes, I support the campaign for regulation - another ignorant comment earlier claimed it IS regulated.

    I suggest someone tells that to John MCDOnnell, tthe MP who introduced a bill in Parliament on the 20th November calling for legislation.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not to make inferences...

      Exactly one post from user "Shouldhavegonetospecsavers" who, somewhat unsurprisingly, seems to feel pretty strongly about the issue?

      1. Shouldhavegonetospecsavers

        Re: Not to make inferences...

        "'unsurprisingly'"?

        I certainly do feel strongly about it which is why I support the campaign, but don't see what the number of posts I make has to do with it? You may have endless time to spend on the internet criticising others but I'm a working mother with two children and a household to run!

  21. Poppy

    I am yet another victim of OE's sharp practices

    I underwent laser Eye Surgery with OE in June 2010

    The surgery failed and I continue to wear varifocal spectacles. My eyesight has deteriorated in the last three years.

    Also, OE failed to identify a pre-existing eye problem that I was unaware of and that should have excluded me from surgery.

    Yes I have tried to sue them but after three years of legal costs and deliberate delays by their solicitors Harper McCleod, was advised that the OE branch in the Trafford Centre Manchester, where the surgery was performed, had gone into administration.

    I am a regular contributor to the OERML website where anyone is free to read my TRUE story.

    I feel a responsibility to warn everyone of the potential poor outcomes that are far more common than OE divulges. I now have to face my life in constant discomfort and regular severe pain. There is no likelihood of improvement or cure. Anyone contemplating surgery should avoid the High Street charlatans hard sell tactics and seek a reputable, experienced, honest and ethical surgery for advise before making a decision.

  22. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

      Moderator note

      Comments on this story are now closed. If the plaintiffs from the article want to continue chucking accusations at each other, please do so somewhere else.

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