2018 marks 80 years of optician-ing in Leyland. Starting off as Sutcliffes on Towngate before moving and merging with other opticians on Hough Lane. Around 35 years ago, 78 Hough Lane became home for what is now ‘Leyland Opticians’.
Leyland has changed greatly in those eighty years and so has optics. Things we take for granted now were mere pipe dreams in ’38. The NHS hadn’t been born (recently celebrated it’s 70th birthday!) and it took another ten years till 1958 for eye testing to be made part of NHS provision.
Implanting a new lens after removing cataracts was not possible until British surgeon Harold Ridley performed the first operation of its kind in 1949. This took till the 1970s to improve sufficiently to become routine. What used to need 5-7 days stay in hospital now takes place in under two hours.
Macular degeneration (AMD) has blinded many of our grans and grandads. Today we have a cure. Well, maybe a treatment but compared to twenty or so years ago, it seems like a cure. Ten years ago in Leyland, it might take 5-6 months to get an assessment for AMD (usually at Blackpool). Often by this time damage was so severe as to be too late. Thankfully, assessment and treatment can happen within a week locally.