Laser eye surgery is growing in popularity among people who require spectacles or contact lenses.
But what are the pros and cons of laser eye surgery? And is everyone suitable for treatment?
Before answering these questions, it is perhaps more pertinent to discuss what laser eye surgery is, and what options are available.
Essentially, the treatment involves re-shaping the cornea, depending on the problem. The latter could be one of 3 three things – nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism.
The two most popular options for treatment are LASIK and PRK surgery. LASIK surgery is Laser Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis while PRK is short for Photorefractive Keratectomy.
Both procedures basically do the same job. The real difference is the actual method. LASIK surgery involves creating a flap in the cornea, with the laser treatment being carried out under the flap. With PRK, the laser eye treatment is carried out on the surface of the cornea.
Whichever method is chosen also determines the length of time it takes for the eye to recover from surgery. For instance, recovery from LASIK treatment is quicker, which probably accounts for its greater popularity among consumers.
That said, LASIK is more prone to complications because of the creation of the above-mentioned flap. Therefore, not all patients are suitable for LASIK treatment and may be advised to have PRK instead.
Whichever method is chosen to correct vision, the cost is not cheap. It can cost hundreds of pounds for treatment on just one eye. Also, while many people will have greatly improved vision, perfect 20/20 vision is probably unlikely.
Further, although laser eye surgery is painless, patients can experience pain and discomfort during the period of recovery.
Interestingly, one aspect not readily realised is that although laser eye treatment can and improve eyesight tremendously, it doesn’t stop natural deterioration. Therefore, this is something older people should consider before embarking on treatment.
On the other hand, laser treatment is now used a lot among the old to remove cataracts. It won’t cure the problem, but it can help maintain good vision.
Finally, laser treatment is not suitable for everyone. It may not be appropriate for some patients who have a particular disorder which affects the eyesight. As such, before embarking on this procedure it is advisable to get professional advice.