‘Refractive eye surgery’ describes an eye surgery that relieves the need for glasses or contact lenses in order to correct near or farsightedness. More basic forms of refractive surgery have been around since before the 1980’s and there has been a whole range of developments since the inception of laser based procedures. Understanding the different surgerys can be confusing and so this article should help you better understand the common types of refractive surgery and whether you may be a candidate for them.
How does laser eye surgery work?
The best way to think about modern laser eye surgeries is to think of a contact lens being ‘etched’ onto the front surface of the eye, the cornea. A laser ablates the cornea in a pattern similar to what a contact lens would look like to achieve light focussing on the retina.
Does it hurt?
The surgery itself is performed under topical anaesthesia, so the patient is awake, but cannot feel anything. There are several different types of laser surgery and the recovery periods vary. The most common surgeries used today may mean a patient has blurry vision and eye discomfort for a few days or less, this is managed by a regime of eye drops for approximately 1 month following the surgery. A few days of discomfort is all it takes for almost a life-time of clear vision!
Is it safe? What are the side effects?
Lasering the front of your eye may seem drastic, but did you know that the cornea is one of the quickest healing parts of the body. Lasers are used instead of traditional blades in order to reduce the risks of infection and to speed up healing time. Multiple large research studies have found laser eye surgery to be safe and effective.
The most common side effects after surgery are short lived, and include: dry eyes, glare and halos, light sensitivity. The chances of a serious long term problem with vision is extremely low. The Stoneygate Eye hospital performs extensive diagnostic testing before determining if an individual is a suitable candidate for surgery and will never perform surgery if we believe it is against the patient’s best interests.
How long does the treatment last for? Will I ever need glasses again?
In many cases, the treatment is effective for 10 years or more. There are many individual factors that determine how long laser surgery’s effects will last for, the main one is normal ageing. In particular, our eyesight often changes in our 40’s and 50’s. The closer someone is to this age, the shorter the duration of the effective treatment may be. Most patients will need glasses, particularly for reading, at some point even if they have had laser surgery.
There are still options for individuals close to or already in their 40’s, so don’t be downhearted! The Stoneygate Eye Hospital recommends that everyone undergo a detailed consultation to assess your individual needs.
How do I know if I’m eligible for surgery?
If you’re interested in becoming free of your spectacles or contact lenses and:
● Are aged 18-40 years old
● Have a stable glasses prescription for at least 2 years
● Are not long-sighted (‘plus prescription’) over +2.50
● Have healthy eyes
Then you may be the ideal candidate for laser refractive surgery. A detailed consultation with full diagnostic tests would still be required to ensure surgery is the right option for you. If you are unsure if you meet the criteria above, do not worry! Your optometrist or optician may be able to help or simply come along with details of your prescriptions and allow one of our team to provide you with all the options.
Can I book a consultation?
YES! A no obligation consultation for laser eye surgery is free at the Stoneygate Hospital.
Mr Savant is the Medical Director of the Stoneygate Eye Hospital and a highly proclaimed corneal surgeon. He has many years of experience performing refractive surgeries and has refined an efficient consultation process, including thorough diagnostic scans and optometrist’s assessment, centred around you.
Satisfaction rates for laser eye surgery are the highest of any elective surgery, and the Stoneygate Eye Hospital is proud to achieve 4.9/5 stars from our patient reviews.
Please give our lovely team a call to schedule your consultation appointment on:
0116 270 8033