Laser Eye Surgery Concerns: Are These Misconceptions Holding You Back?

If you’re like many others, you probably find yourself a bit unnerved by the thought of surgery procedures. Laser Eye Surgery is certainly no exception and we at Eye & Laser Centre completely understand your concern.

The surprising reality is that Laser procedures are quite safe [1], simple and highly applicable to many unique eye conditions. There are many myths and misconceptions that surround Laser Eye Surgery - these are the cause of a great deal of skepticism and hesitation, and may be holding you back from a vastly improved quality of life.

The purpose of this article is to get to the bottom of some common worries and provide you with some reassurance, so that you can make an informed choice about correcting your vision. Let’s take a look at some of these common concerns and break them down in detail.

Can laser surgery have serious complications?

Laser Eye Surgery, in the right hands with the right technology,  is extremely safe [2]. Whilst no procedure is completely risk free, the relative risk of Laser treatments is very low. Most of the potential complications fall within the range of 1 in 1000 in terms of risk. The benefits, however, are extremely high for such a minimally-invasive procedure. You can rest assured you are in the hands of highly experienced surgeons using state-of-the-art technology at Eye & Laser Centre.

Is Laser Surgery painful?

You will be happy to know Laser Eye Surgery procedures are in fact almost completely pain and discomfort free. Your eyes will be numbed with anaesthetic drops and you may be given a mild sedative if necessary. The Laser itself is not hot and operates at a temperature close to that of warm water. Patients sometimes describe the sensation as a gentle pressure or vibration. More often than not, they simply feel nothing at all.

After your procedure, you may have some mild irritation - similar to if you had a foreign body under your eyelid. For most patients, these side effects will go away within a few hours or after taking a short nap.

Does Laser Surgery “Wear-Off”?

Long-term follow-up studies have shown that once the shape of your Cornea is modified to correct your vision, the change is permanent [3]. Your eyes, of course, are a living organ and can slowly change over time, just as the rest of your body does - studies show that this usually has a very minimal effect on the results of your Laser treatment.  Short-sightedness can also progress with time after a laser procedure.   You will however, have your unique situation reviewed at your initial consultation.

Can Laser Surgery make you blind?

Blindness from Laser Surgery is practically impossible [4]. To put it in perspective, the risk of blindness from Laser procedures can be compared to the risk of blindness from wearing contact lenses!

Despite the facts, this the biggest fear of those considering vision correction. Realistically in the hands of our experienced surgeons using the best technology, the risk of major complications is next to nil.

Can you be too old for Laser Surgery?

There is no upper age limit for Laser Eye Surgery. The important factor is that your eyes are in good enough health and are the correct type of prescription to qualify for the available treatments. Recovery times can sometimes lengthen for patients over 60 years old, however this will be reviewed by your specialist in your initial consultation.  There may be other procedures recommended if you are over 50 years old.

Can the Laser burn your eye?

To reassure you, there is no burning involved, and all our laser procedures are extremely safe and gentle. The Lasers used to perform surgeries operate at cool temperatures – similar to the temperature of a warm bath.

The excimer laser (as used in ASLA and LASIK) emits a cool beam of ultraviolet light to precisely remove corneal tissue.  It cannot penetrate through the transparent tissue of the cornea so is immediately absorbed when it hits water-containing tissues such as the cornea.  The femtosecond laser (as used in LASIK and SMILE) works not by melting or heating, but by applying ultra-fast pulses of energy to the corneal tissue, which causes the molecules to separate from each other without any damage to adjacent tissue.

The computer-guided laser can track eye movement with precision during the treatment and will shut down the nanosecond that any excessive eye movement is detected, meaning that you do not need to worry about accidental twitches or blinks.

Is Laser Surgery just for short-sighted conditions?

With today’s advancements in Laser Technology, there are now treatments for  a wide variety of eye conditions. Patients who are short-sighted, long-sighted, astigmatic or presbyopic (over 40 and dependant on reading glasses) can now potentially qualify for Laser Eye Surgery.

Is the recovery time for Laser Eye Surgery extensive?

Many people incorrectly assume that Laser Surgery procedures would result in a long time away from work. The surprising truth is that you’re often free to return to work as early as the next day! The procedures are far more convenient than people first think.  

We would however recommend that you take some time for rest and recovery - resuming normal activities in a day or two depending on the type of laser surgery performed.

Is my eyesight too bad for Laser Surgery?

If you currently wear glasses or contacts to correct your vision, chances are Laser Surgery will be able to help you. There are, of course, limits to the capabilities of the procedures, however this will be reviewed at your initial consultation to determine your eligibility. Laser Technology is advancing rapidly and helping an increasing number of people regain their vision every year.

Book a free consultation today - we are here to help!

Despite the myths, Laser Eye Surgery is far less scary than you might think. We do however understand the concerns and hesitations surrounding this procedure. For those wanting to make an informed choice about their vision, we recommend booking a free consultation to determine the options and eligibility for Laser Surgery.

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Our specialists and staff are here to help. We will be happy to discuss your concerns and answer any further questions you may have! Call us on 07 5555 0800 or book a Free Laser Eye Surgery Consultation to take the first step in correcting your vision today!

References:

[1] The UK Guide To Laser Surgery, Pg 12 - Professor Dan Reinstein, MD MA(Cantab) FRCSC DABO FRCOphth FEBO & Mr Glenn Carp MBBCh, FC Ophth (SA),  Lasik, PRK and quality of vision: a study of prognostic factors and a satisfaction survey - Saragoussi D, Saragoussi JJ; Saragoussi  J Fr Ophtalmol http://www.em-consulte.com/article/112864/alertePM

[2] The UK Guide To Laser Surgery, Pg 13 - Professor Dan Reinstein, MD MA(Cantab) FRCSC DABO FRCOphth FEBO & Mr Glenn Carp MBBCh, FC Ophth (SA)

[3] The UK Guide To Laser Surgery, Pg 13 - Professor Dan Reinstein, MD MA(Cantab) FRCSC DABO FRCOphth FEBO & Mr Glenn Carp MBBCh, FC Ophth (SA)

[4] The UK Guide To Laser Surgery, Pg 13 - Professor Dan Reinstein, MD MA(Cantab) FRCSC DABO FRCOphth FEBO & Mr Glenn Carp MBBCh, FC Ophth (SA)