What is Laser Eye Surgery?
Laser eye surgery uses thermally cool beams of light (a laser) to correct your vision. These beams of light are directed at the clear layer of your eye known as your cornea. The cornea is responsible for focusing light on the tissue at back of your eyes (called the retina). The light is then sent to your brain and translated into what you see. The cornea needs to be a particular shape and thickness to work well. If it isn’t, this can cause vision problems like short-sight (myopia), long-sight (hyperopia) and astigmatism.
Laser eye surgery targets these imperfections in the cornea, reshaping it so that your eye can focus light on your retina in the correct way and improving your vision as a result.
Unlike many other forms of corrective eye surgery, laser eye surgery is a relatively simple, quick and pain-free procedure. The treatment takes approximately 20 minutes for both eyes. Recovery times are also quick, with most patients able to drive and return to work within 24 hours of the procedure.
What types of Laser Eye Surgery are there?
There are two types of laser eye surgery: LASIK and LASEK. Both types of treatment provide the same incredible results. Most patients find that they are suitable for LASIK treatment but some people find they are better suited to LASEK treatment.
Thanks to the fact that it specifically creates a 3D map of your eye, iDesign technology can help to make your laser eye surgery treatment even more accurate.
What is LASIK?
LASIK stands for Laser-Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis. It’s been performed for over 30 years and it’s helped improve the vision of millions of people in that time.
During LASIK treatment, two state of the art lasers are used. The first laser will create a very thin protective flap on the clear layer of your eye (your cornea). This protective flap will then be lifted, and the second laser will then be used to correct your vision. Both eyes are usually treated on the same day.
The recovery process is fairly quick and you should be able to drive and return to work within 24 hours of the treatment. Many people notice an immediate improvement in their vision but for others it may take a few weeks for their vision to settle properly.
With finance available, LASIK represents a great long term investment in your vision— potentially saving you money on the cost of glasses and contact lenses over your lifetime.
What is LASEK?
LASEK stands for Laser Assisted Sub-Epithelial Keratectomy. It’s a better choice for some people based on the unique characteristics of your eyes. During the surgery only one laser is used to correct your vision— rather than the two that are used in LASIK.
An ultra-thin sheet of alcohol solution is applied to the surface of your eye. This alcohol solution loosens the thin layer of cells on your eye’s surface called the epithelium. These cells stick to the sheet of alcohol, which is then gently moved to the side of your eye, giving your surgeon access to the layer of your cornea which will be treated by the laser.
After the laser has reshaped your cornea, a protective contact lens will be put on your eye to increase your comfort whilst it heals. This lens is normally removed after about four days. Like LASIK, both eyes can be treated on the same day and while some patients can see an immediate improvement in their vision, it generally takes a few more days for your eyes to fully recover.
LASEK is affordable and our finance plan means that you can spread the cost of repayment over a period.
What’s the difference between LASIK and LASEK laser eye surgery?
Sometimes a range of reasons can mean you are unsuitable for LASIK treatment. If you are unsuitable for LASIK treatment, you might be recommended LASEK treatment as an alternative.
There are a number of differences between the two treatments. LASIK uses two lasers to correct your vision, whilst LASEK only uses one. Recovery time for LASIK is normally around 24 hours and with LASEK the recovery time is around a week.
Only a medical professional will be able to tell you what type of laser eye surgery you’re suited to. Both treatments provide exactly the same quality of results and both are as effective as each other.
What is iDesign?
iDesign is a state of the art diagnostic technology that maps the unique details of your eye in greater accuracy than ever before. It is used to produce a 3-D ‘map’ of each eye that can add to the benefits of laser eye surgery. The laser follows this incredibly precise and personalised ‘map’ to allow your treatment to be custom-fit to the exact specification of each of your eyes with microscopic accuracy.
Adding iDesign to your laser eye surgery can provide one of the most effective vision treatments current available.
Optical Express offers iDesign treatment in every clinic.
How long does laser eye surgery take?
Laser eye surgery is a very quick procedure. It usually takes between 15 and 20 minutes to correct the vision in both eyes. However you can expect to be in the treatment clinic for about an hour to allow for a final surgeon consultation and recovery time.
Why was I told I couldn’t have laser eye surgery?
Thanks to the development of research, techniques and technology, laser eye surgery is able to treat more people than ever before— even patients who were previously told they were not suitable for treatment can now experience a life without glasses or contact lenses.
In general, a good candidate for laser eye surgery has had a stable prescription for at least a year and their eyes are in a good condition. Laser eye surgery can now treat higher prescriptions than ever before, making even more people across the world suitable for the treatment.
In the past you may have been told that you weren’t suitable for laser eye surgery if you suffered with astigmatism. Thanks to advances in technology and treatment techniques, most patients with this eye condition can be treated with laser eye surgery, providing millions of people across the world with the opportunity to correct their vision for the long term.
The only way to find out if you’re suitable for an eye surgery is to come in for a consultation.
Is laser eye surgery dangerous?
While it is generally thought to be one of the safest surgeries available like any form of surgery laser eye surgery does have a degree of risk to it. We make every effort to provide you with all of the risks and benefits of eye surgery though. You will be given a comprehensive informed consent document at your initial consultation and you will also be shown a video that explains the benefits, risks and potential side effects of eye surgery.
Thanks to the fact that our technology is some of the most advanced available we can provide very accurate and precise results. Our advanced technology and strict hygiene routines help to minimise the risk of complications from happening.
How much does laser eye surgery cost?
You’re probably under the impression that laser eye surgery is expensive. Thanks to our finance options, laser eye surgery is now more affordable than ever— even if you don’t have the short term funds available to pay for it immediately.
Our 0% finance offer means that it’s easier than ever to repay the cost of your treatment.
Think of how much you’re likely to spend on glasses or contact lenses over the course of your life. For a relatively small cost, laser eye surgery can save you a lot of money on the care of your eyes over the long term.
Aftercare and recovery
If you’ve had LASIK surgery, you’re likely to be able to return to work within 24 hours of the treatment. You’re also likely to be able to drive again within this same time frame. This means that LASIK surgery is one of the fastest forms of long term vision correction there is.
For patients who have had LASEK, the recovery process and return to work is likely to take slightly longer—usually around a week. This is because of the slightly different way that the surgery is carried out.
After treatment you’ll usually be asked to wear sunglasses or goggles for the immediate hours after the surgery because your eyes will feel quite sensitive to sunlight and, possibly, gritty. It’s normally recommended that you try to sleep following the procedure to minimise any discomfort you might experience.