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The Laser Eye Surgery Consultation explained

By Optical Express

A common question we get asked by prospective patients is “what is involved in a laser consultation?”

A laser consultation is basically a very thorough eye examination undertaken by an Optometrist as the first step towards laser eye surgery. The free consultation can take up to two hours compared to a standard eye examination which may take up to thirty minutes. Many of the examinations will be familiar to you such as measuring your vision without spectacles and/or contact lenses, determining your eye prescription and assessing your eye health.

Additional tests
Some of the additional tests may not be so familiar, such as: a test for assessing the shape of the outer window of your eye, known as the cornea, with a topographical instrument such as an Oculus Pentacam; measurement of the thickness of this eye window; and assessment of the higher order visual phenomena that can contribute to the quality of your vision. In addition the Optometrist will, as standard, dilate your pupils. This is done by using dilating eye drops which prevent your pupil from closing down, allowing a detailed examination of the retina to take place. All of these tests, including the eye drops, are pain free.

Your results
Following these clinical examinations, your Optometrist will interpret the results and compare them with the International Medical Advisory Board approved Clinical Suitability Guidelines. These are a set of parameters that confirm who should be referred on to a surgeon for a surgical procedure such as laser eye surgery. Everyone’s eyes are different and therefore not everyone will be a suitable candidate for this optional procedure. There are some health and eye conditions that are contraindicated (i.e. prevent us from proceeding with the surgery) as well as some eye prescriptions that are better served by a different procedure.

For patients suitable for laser eye surgery, the Optometrist will discuss the procedure in detail. They will cover both the benefits and the risks of the procedure. As we can all understand, all medical procedures have benefits and risks. However, with laser eye surgery the risks are very low. The risk of developing an infection, for example, is greater with frequent wear or extended wear of a soft contact lens than a laser eye surgery procedure.

Your optometrist will also make a recommendation of the best procedure for you. This recommendation is based upon a collective analysis of clinical outcomes, peer review articles, the optometrist’s personal experience and last but by no means least your personal feedback.

The final decision on your suitability for surgery rests with your treating ophthalmic surgeon. The majority of patients are suitable for laser eye surgery, but you may find you are best suited for lens surgery. If you are not suitable for eye surgery, Optical Express can also offer a great selection of glasses and contact lenses.

Any questions you have in respect to this prospective future treatment are of course answered and you should feel free to ask any question during the discussion phase of the consultation. Some patients consider what questions they wish to ask ahead of the procedure and this is worthwhile doing as the consultation is your opportunity to spend time with the optometrist and it is worth getting as much information from it as possible.

Book your free laser eye surgery consultation now or read about how the treatment has transformed our patient’s lives.

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