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Laser eye surgery - fact or fiction?

Let us de-bunk the common misconceptions surrounding laser vision correction.

It’s the most common elective surgical procedure in the world, yet there is still some confusion over many half-truths and downright mistruths about laser eye surgery. With so much wrong information and fiction around, we’ve answered the top 5 misconceptions about laser eye surgery.

Laser Eye Surgery Is Painful


Anaesthetic eye drops are applied to quickly numb the eye, so you won’t experience pain during surgery. Afterwards you may feel some grittiness and discomfort, as your eyes start to heal. They may also be more light-sensitive and look a little bloodshot for a while. Any discomfort is usually short-lived, allowing you to enjoy your improved vision within just a few days.

Laser Eye Surgery Might Make Me Blind


Every surgical procedure has an element of risk, but laser eye surgery is incredibly safe. It’s almost impossible for it to lead to blindness – in fact, the chances of this happening are in the region of 1 in 5 million.

Minor complications are estimated to happen in just 0.1% of treatments. Even in these extremely rare situations, the expertise of Optical Express’s surgeons is such that issues can usually be corrected swiftly.

The Laser Will Burn My Eyes


This is one of the most common misconceptions - that you will smell ‘burning’ and that the laser feels ‘hot’. It’s completely untrue.

The lasers used to carry out corrective eye surgery use a cool beam of ultraviolet light which is so precise that it can split collagen molecules. It releases atoms of carbon into the atmosphere, and the smell can be mistaken for burning.

Rest assured that no burning is taking place, because cool lasers simply don’t burn.

I’ll Need A Long Recovery Time


You won’t have to stop doing the things you love for long after laser eye surgery. While recovery time depends on a number of factors, such as the type of treatment and your working environment, most LASIK patients can return to work within 48 hours of their surgery.

Essentially, you can return to normal activity whenever you feel comfortable enough with your vision to do so.

It’s A New Treatment, So Might Have Unknown Consequences


Laser eye surgery procedures have been performed for around 30 years - ample time for any long-term effects to have come to light. Laser eye technology has made huge advances, and the procedures themselves have been perfected. The vast majority of the millions of people who have been treated across the globe have enjoyed much improved vision with no side effects.

However, it’s always best to check that your laser eye surgery provider has wide experience in the field, has the best laser eye technologies, and has a comprehensive patient care programme.

Optical Express is the UK’s leading laser eye surgery provider. Find out more at or call us on 0800 023 2020 for more information.

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