Singer-Songwriter Sees Her Fans for the First Time


Farhana Ali Relied on Glasses to Correct Her Poor Vision

As an aspiring pop star, Farhana Ali longed to know if her audiences were enjoying themselves when she performed live. The short-sighted 27-year old-relied on glasses to correct her poor vision, but she refused to wear them on stage.

“I didn’t feel confident wearing glasses so I would perform without them,” said Farhana, from London. “If I was lucky, I could make out a face or two in the front row. Everyone else was just a blur.”


Now the singer-songwriter, who hopes to be the UK’s first breakthrough female Asian artist, is more determined than ever to achieve chart success. Since undergoing laser eye surgery with market leader Optical Express, she has finally been able to see the delighted faces of her fans.


Farhana was treated at the end of last year after winning a competition. The university administrator couldn’t believe her luck when she was selected to receive laser eye surgery free of charge. “I couldn’t wear contact lenses because I got eye infections, and I was always breaking my glasses. When I won the competition I had just one pair of specs, and they were held together by sticky tape.”


After an initial consultation, Farhana underwent iDesign iLasik laser eye surgery at the Optical Express Shaftesbury clinic in London.


She admits she was a little nervous on the day of her surgery: “Before going to the clinic, I was really excited, but I felt nervous in the 20 minutes leading up to my treatment. Everyone was so nice to me, they really calmed me down. In the end, it was painless.”


Farhana has been singing since she was 12. She performs all over the UK, and last year was a regional finalist in a talent competition staged by a major supermarket chain. She also has a growing fan base on social media, with her YouTube videos receiving thousands of views.


At present, the rising star is writing and recording her first album. She is looking forward to touring her new material – especially now that she has a perfect view of her fans.


“Being able to see people’s faces has changed my performance. I can be much more responsive now that I can see the audience’s reaction,” she said.


“But it’s not just my singing career that has benefited; my whole life has improved. I can jump into my car and drive without worrying that I’ve forgotten my glasses, or that I will break them, and I’m really enjoying being able to see things properly. I find that I look at scenery much more now, and I go to the cinema more often.”


Recent studies have shown that the cost of wearing contact lenses can be up to £10,560, and the cost of wearing glasses up to £3,529 over a 40-year period. 


In a nationwide survey, 65.4% of people stated they were tired of their glasses or contact lenses, while research also showed that laser eye surgery is the most cost-effective way to correct sight in the long term – saving consumers almost £13,500 over a lifetime.


By 2015, it is estimated there will have been at least 2 million refractive procedures performed in the UK. The surge in demand is attributed to treatment becoming more cost-effective and heightened awareness of new techniques and procedures.


Tom Thorne, Regional Manager for Optical Express said: “Having good vision is important for a performer because it allows them to judge the mood of their audience and interpret how their material is being received. Who knows – now that Farhana is able to react more quickly to feedback from her fans, she could be the next big British female pop star.

“Laser eye surgery takes just 20 seconds to perform, but as Farhana’s case shows, the long-lasting results have the potential to change people’s lives enormously.”


Farhana added: “I’d encourage anyone who wears glasses or contact lenses to investigate laser eye surgery. If someone like me can get it done, anyone can.”



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here