Laser Eye Surgery

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We know that having laser eye surgery is an important decision that you will have spent a lot of time thinking about. We know that it can seem quite daunting at first, especially if you do not know much about it. You will soon discover that laser eye surgery is one of the safest and most common surgeries. We want to make sure that every stage of the process is as straightforward as possible and that you always get your questions answered. To get you started we have answered the most commonly asked questions below.

Will I be suitable for laser eye surgery?

Whilst the majority of patients who attend a FREE consultation are suitable candidates, not all will be. We treat eye prescriptions of up to four and a half dioptres of long sightedness, up to twelve dioptres of short sightedness or up to six dioptres of astigmatism. For some there may be a health or eye condition which means laser eye surgery is not the best optical solution for them. Other eye surgery procedures are available for those who are either not suitable for laser eye surgery or would benefit from an alternative solution as a result of their clinical evaluation. To be considered you must be over the age of 18.

Can I have laser eye surgery if I have astigmatism/high prescription?

Yes. Thanks to new technology more and more people are suitable for laser eye surgery. Even people who have previously been told their prescription is too high or their astigmatism can’t be treated. In fact 9 out of 10 patients are now suitable for treatment. The only way to determine if you are suitable for corrective eye surgery is to attend a consultation.   

Is laser eye surgery safe?

Almost 24 million people worldwide have had laser eye surgery. It is the most common elective surgery in the world. It is important to understand that any form of surgery has a degree of risk. It is our aim to fully inform you of the risks and benefits of eye surgery. During your consultation you will be shown a video that explains the benefits, risks and potential side effects of eye surgery. This informed consent video will allow you to make a well-informed decision on whether eye surgery is right for you. Less than 1% of patients will develop a complication and the majority of these are easily overcome through a personal aftercare plan. Most people are back at work within a few days. The majority of our patients are extremely happy with their results and wish they had done it sooner.

How long does it take to perform laser eye surgery?

Less than 10 minutes for both eyes. The procedure is very simple and to gently reshape the cornea to correct your vision typically takes less than one minute. Both eyes are treated on the same day.

Does laser eye surgery hurt?

Anaesthetic eye drops are applied to your eye first and you will not feel pain. An eye holder is applied to keep your eye open and some people have described a mild discomfort as it is applied. Most people describe a mild discomfort and sensitivity to sunlight as the anaesthetic wears off. Typically this only lasts for a few hours and can be managed with over-the-counter medication. For LASEK patients this recovery process may take a week or two.

What if I blink, sneeze or move during surgery?

Nothing. Very sophisticated and ultra-fast eye tracking technology is used to follow the eye’s movement precisely. Although your eye will move during surgery the laser will pause automatically at even the slightest of movement outside the parameters set by your surgeon. This ensures the laser always pulses in exactly the right place.

How quickly will I see the results of laser eye surgery?

Some patients will notice a significant improvement in their vision immediately. Most will notice a significant improvement within 24 hours of having surgery.

When can I go back to work?

We would normally recommend that you take the day following your surgery off work. Recovery time varies depending on a number of factors such as treatment type and your working environment. Most LASIK patients return to work within 48 hours of having their surgery. LASEK patients may take around four days. You can return to work as soon as you feel comfortable with your vision. Most people are able to drive and return to work within 48 hours after laser eye surgery unless their work environment is very dusty or dirty.

How long does it last?

Laser eye surgery is permanent. It is a permanent correction of your current prescription but your eyes can continue to change with age. Most people will not need glasses again to correct their distance vision. As part of the natural ageing process our eye sight changes from around the age of 45. Even people who have enjoyed good vision throughout their life will then require reading glasses. If your eyes do change then it may mean that glasses will be required in later life. It is possible to have further laser eye surgery. 

Where is my nearest Optical Express clinic?

One of the advantages of choosing Optical Express is that we have the largest number of private clinics in the UK and Ireland. You can be sure to find a clinic close to your own home. Click on the link below to find your nearest clinic.
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