Laser eye surgery, like LASIK, is used to correct vision problems such as short sight, long sight and astigmatism. It has been widely available since the mid-1980s, but there are still many myths surrounding the procedure. To help those who are considering laser eye surgery get the facts, Optical Express have created this guide to answer some of the most common questions.
Does it hurt?
Some patients might feel slight discomfort during the procedure as the eye is kept open throughout, but it only lasts for one to two minutes. Otherwise, the procedure is a painless one.
Is it risky?
Over 20 million people have had this surgery with complications occurring in less than 5% of all cases. Infection is the biggest risk, however those who wear contact lenses are up to ten times more likely to get an infection than people who have laser eye surgery.
Is it expensive?
It’s possible to spread the cost as clinics have financing options available, which include interest free plans.
When you compare it to the cost of a lifetime’s supply of glasses and contact lenses, it might even result in a saving.
Are only young people suitable?
The surgery has no upper age limit, and approximately 98% of those over 45 are viable candidates.
Is it permanent?
Yes. Although your eyesight may still naturally deteriorate over time, the results of the procedure are permanent. Follow-up treatment may be required if your original prescription is high.
Could I get burnt if I move?
The lasers detect eye movement and will stop if you aren’t still. A cool beam laser is used, which means that if it did make contact with the skin it wouldn’t scold or burn.
Are the results instant?
The results of laser eye surgery are evident within just a few seconds for most patients.
Will there be aftercare?
Yes, aftercare is extremely important. All patients who have the procedure should attend at least three consultations following the surgery.
Is it a long recovery time?
Most people will only need to take one or two days off following the procedure. Many patients are able to drive within 24 hours.
Could I go blind?
With experienced surgeons completing the procedures and the advanced technology that is used, the common myth that you could go blind following laser eye surgery is unsubstantiated.