PETALING JAYA: National No. 1 squash player Low Wee Wern now has a clearer vision of her future career – literally.
The 30-year-old Wee Wern underwent eye surgery three weeks ago to improve her sight – and she expects things to look brighter for her when she begins her international stints soon.
The world No. 24, who went through implantable contact lens (ICL) surgery, is confident that things will only get better from now on.
“I’ve always had terrible sight with -10.5 and -9.5 in each eye and having to wear high-powered contact lenses over the years didn’t help, ” admitted Wee Wern, who is based in Penang.
“I did ICL to permanently implant collamer lenses (thin clear lens) into my eye to correct the refractive error (in dealing with light and rays).
“My vision is now better but I still see halos and floaters, especially when I look at bright lights. It will take some time for it to go away.”
To make it even harder, Wee Wern has lattice degeneration, the medical term for an abnormal thinning of the outer retina.
“I also have retina thinning on my right eye which needed laser treatment and I’ve done two rounds of that as well to thicken the area to prevent retina detachment.
“I just want to thank the doctors at Optimax Malaysia for looking after me. They did not only cover the cost but did it as fast as they could, ” said Wee Wern, who will, in turn, be the brand ambassador for them for a year.
Despite all the challenges, Wee Wern’s focus on staying at the top of her game in squash has not wavered.
In fact, her first test after going through the ICL surgery was at the SRAM PSA 1 at the National Squash Centre in Bukit Jalil two weeks ago but she struggled to get off to a good start in her first tournament this year.
The top seed went down 11-2,9-11,4-11,11-2,7-11 to world No. 77 and 21-year-old Ooi Kah Yan in the semi-finals. Kah Yan lost to Aifa Azman in the final.
“It was not the result that I had hoped for. Kah Yan did play well to beat me. I played poorly, ” said Wee Wern.
“I struggled with adapting to the court conditions and finding my game. Nothing worked out right for me. It was one of those bad days that could happen.
“It was disappointing. A loss is always painful to bear but I’m looking to build on from here and be ready for my next assignment.
“I’ll get better with time. Vision wise, I’m almost there but managing with the visual glares will take a longer time, especially when I look at lights from glass courts.”
Wee Wern was supposed to go for the Manchester Open from April 19-25 but it was postponed but she is now hoping to play in the El Gouna International Squash in Cairo, Egypt, from May 20-28.
“I got the approval from the Malaysian government to travel to the UK but the Manchester Open was sadly postponed due to new restrictions.
“I’ve applied for the Egypt trip in May, let’s hope all goes well, ” added Wee Wern, whose eyes are fixed on becoming the world’s top 10 player.