Here’s something you probably didn’t know: X Factor judge and former 2Day FM co-host Melanie Brown is mostly blind in her left eye, apparently as a result of laser surgery she had 15 years ago.
“I had laser treatment done to correct [my eyes], but it started to reverse in one eye. It’s scary. I’m going blind again,” Brown – who you may know best as Mel B, aka. Scary Spice – told The Mirror back in 2008, after struggling to read her autocue during an awards show presentation.
Although the 39-year-old mum of three didn’t specify what procedure she had, it’s believed she underwent Lasik. This is one of the most common laser eye treatments, especially among short-sighted people.
“[Lasik] is where a flap of the cornea is cut, and then a shape is cut into the substance of the cornea, and the flap is placed back over the top of the area that’s been lasered,” explains Dr Bradley Horsburgh, President of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists.
“It’s been done on millions of people around the world – it’s not an experimental procedure, it’s very well accepted and it works very well indeed.”
However, Dr Horsburgh says in a “small proportion” of cases, patients can experience regression after their treatment.
"It can happen, but I wouldn't say it's common," he says. "If someone was extremely short-sighted before they had the treatment done, then they may have more regression than someone who was not terribly short-sighted before they were treated."
Interestingly, Dr Horsburgh says for some women who undergo Lasik or another laser eye surgery procedure, pregnancy can have an affect on their post-treatment vision.
"People can have Lasik done for short sightedness, and then as they go through their pregnancy the pregnancy hormones can sometimes mean the treatment which was present, and working perfectly well, can regress and they might lose some of the improvement they had," he says. "That can happen to some women."
In an interview with Hello! magazine earlier this week, Melanie Brown said she's now planning to have a cornea transplant to restore her "one in a million" vision issues.