The popularity of laser eye surgery is growing at an exponential rate. Over 100,000 people in the UK alone opt to have this corrective treatment each year.
However, the decision to undergo laser eye surgery should not be taken lightly.
It’s important to know the facts first, so that you can make a decisive and informed decision.
With this in mind, we tackle some of the most frequently asked questions about laser eye surgery.
Am I a suitable candidate for laser eye surgery?
Laser eye surgery was once highly inaccessible. Over the last twenty years, however, the protocols with regards to laser eye surgery have changed drastically.
Laser eye surgery is now a procedure suited to around 85 per cent of those with poor eyesight. While technological advancements have meant that more people than ever can have the operation, it is not recommended in all cases.
Laser eye surgery is not recommended for those under the age of 25, for example, as the eye can continue to change up until that age. Only those whose eyes have stabilised should undertake the treatment.
In addition to young people, those with diseases affecting the immune system, people with cardiovascular diseases and pregnant women are also discouraged from having this treatment.
What’s involved in the surgery?
Laser eye surgery techniques have been refined over the years, and it is now a highly advanced operation, with surgeons completing the surgery in less than 15 minutes.
After the eye is anaesthetised using droplets, a small incision into the cornea is made, creating a flap. As the flap is folded backwards, the surgeon applies the laser to reshape the cornea, before placing the flap back in its original position.
In the days that follow, the eye heals and in the vast majority of cases, 20-20 vision is achieved.
Will laser eye surgery guarantee that I, once again, have 20-20 vision?
While technological advances have greatly improved the chances of a successful surgery, as well as reducing the risk of error, no patient is guaranteed to have their 20-20 vision restored.
As the amount of tissue that is removed from the cornea is down to the surgeon, the result can occasionally be imperfect. If insufficient tissue is removed, a patient may be able to have more removed in the future by having further surgeries, thus further improving their vision.
How do I choose which company to go with?
Choosing a provider for your laser eye surgery is an important decision. The high street offers a range of potential providers.
In such a competitive market, the quality of the surgery and the aftercare can vary. With the cost of surgery starting at several hundred pounds and going up to several thousand, it’s important to do your research.
Rather than selecting a company based purely on cost, ask your friends for recommendations or search online for reviews of those on your shortlist of providers. The most reputable companies, such as Ultralase, are open about the success rate of their procedures, so the information can be easy to access.
What are the risks?
While the risks associated with laser eye surgery have been greatly minimised over the last twenty years or more, surgery of any kind does still carry some degree of risk.
The most commonly experienced side effects of laser eye surgery include: dry eye syndrome, double vision, infection, headaches, loss of vision, halos and the long-term deterioration of eyesight. Most complications can be rectified by your clinic and the overwhelming majority of patients achieve a good final result.