The popularity of laser eye surgery has seen a huge surge over the last 20 years or more, with over 100,000 people in the UK alone opting to have the procedure annually. And with the promise of near-perfect eyesight after the surgery, it’s not difficult to fathom why this relatively quick, 10-minute procedure has become an attractive prospect for an increasing number of people with poor eyesight.
But is laser eye surgery right for everyone?
Laser eye surgery in focus
Before we answer the question of whether laser eye surgery is for everyone or not, it’s important for those considering the treatment to understand the procedure a little more fully before they go ahead with the procedure.
As surgical procedures go, laser eye surgery really is quite straightforward. In a process that generally takes under ten minutes, anaesthetic eye drops are placed into the eye, before the surgeon to makes an incision, creating a flap in the cornea. After the hinged flap is folded backwards, the surgeon applies the laser to remove part of the exposed cornea. The pulses from the laser reshape the cornea and the surgeon then replaces the hinged flap.
The procedure itself is quick and painless, with the recovery process taking, on average, a day or two although some patients have been known to recover in a matter of hours, while others may take up to seven days.
Are you suitable for laser eye surgery?
In short, if you have poor vision, there’s a good chance that you are suitable for the procedure. Indeed, while laser eye surgery was once the preserve of only the fortunate few, research indicates that up to 85 per cent of those with poor vision are now likely to be suitable for laser eye surgery, with patient numbers increasing on an annual basis.
While laser eye surgery is a procedure that is becoming suitable for an increasing number of people, there are, however, a number of reasons, health-related and otherwise, which may mean that you aren’t suitable.
During pregnancy, women experience a dramatic shift to their normal hormonal profile. And it is this shift that can adversely affect their vision. Research indicates that the hormonal changes that women experience during pregnancy can continue throughout the breastfeeding stage after giving birth, which is why surgeons tend to recommend that pregnant women and new mothers should wait until their eyesight stabilises before considering laser eye surgery
People under the age of 25
Laser eye surgery has become extremely popular among younger people. If you are under the age of 25, however, you may not suitable for laser eye surgery. The simple reason for this is that most people’s eyes are still changing up until the age of 25. And with a variable prescription, it’s difficult for surgeons to assess whether a candidate is suitable for the procedure. As a rule, clinics will advise you to wait until your eyesight has stabilised before having treatment.
Those with existing health conditions
Those with existing health conditions can also prove unsuitable for laser eye surgery, especially those with conditions that impact adversely upon the body’s healing process.
If you suffer from immunodeficiency diseases, such as diabetes, HIV and arthritis, it’s imperative to disclose this information to your consultant before proceeding, as they will be able to advise you as to whether or not you should proceed with laser eye surgery.
Considering your options
Laser eye surgery may be a quick and painless procedure that has a reputation for safety, but as with any surgical procedure, there are some small associated risks. Symptoms such as dry eye syndrome, halos, double vision, infections and headaches are some of the possible side-effects, although most can be eliminated with additional treatment.
While it’s good to educate yourself regarding laser eye surgery, if you are keen to go ahead with the procedure then it’s best to consult a professional. To get more info about laser eye surgery and to discuss your visual requirements, contact a specialist today.