Tags: eye surgery,laser eye surgery,lasik,
Laser eye surgery is a popular and relatively common procedure. As with many medical treatments and procedures, laser eye surgery first hit public prominence in part thanks to the number of celebrities who were using it. Today, laser eye surgery is widely accessible to the public and is often not an expensive means of correcting our eyesight. Here’s all you need to know about laser eye surgery.
Laser eye surgery, or laser corneal sculpting to use its medical term, involves reshaping the surface of the eye. Laser eye surgery can be used to correct a number of sight issues, including short and long sightedness, as well as being a solution for astigmatism, which is uneven curvature of the eye’s surface. During laser eye surgery, the focus is on the cornea, which is the transparent tissue that sits on the front of the eye and helps to focus our eyesight. When you undergo laser eye surgery, the laser is used to remove microscopic amounts of tissue from the cornea. The desired outcome
of any laser eye surgery is to restore normal eyesight without the patient needing to use contact lenses or glasses, although this is not always possible to do.
Two of the most commonly used types of laser eye surgery are PRK and LASIK.
There are numerous reasons why you might be considering laser eye surgery. These include:
You can’t wear contact lenses and don’t want to wear glasses, perhaps because you dislike how they make you look or because you feel uncomfortable wearing them Your job, a specific passion, or hobby means you cannot wear contact lenses or glasses You don’t want to wear contact lenses due to the inconvenience of needing to change and care for them on a regular basis
As well as thinking about the reasons for wanting to undergo laser eye surgery, you should also consider the following:
Both the PRK and LASIK eye surgery procedures have been outlined above. During the surgery, the laser used will vaporize the microscopic tissue of the cornea as required. The laser is pre-set by computer prior to surgery, and is set-up based on your own cornea so that it can be reshaped as required.
A local anesthetic is used to perform laser eye surgery, and takes the form of eyedrops. The total surgery time is between five and 10 minutes per eye, although the laser itself is usually active and working on your eye for less than a minute.
Immediately after laser eye surgery you can expect to feel some minor discomfort. You will be able to see, although not 100%, and you will need to be driven home by a friend, family member, or in a taxi. Potential Side Effects and Complications of Laser Eye Surgery Consumer advocacy group CHOICE states that around 5% of laser eye surgery patients will report problems following surgery.
The most common problems tend to occur in the first two to three weeks following surgery, and include:
Less common problems include:
Complications that threaten your eyesight are very rare, though in the first two days after surgery infection can occur, which can lead to scarring or even blindness in extreme cases. Infections are more commonly related to PRK surgery than to LASIK eye surgery. There is currently no data or evidence to highlight the long-term effect of removing corneal tissue given that laser eye surgery has only become available relatively recently. However, studies have failed to find any suggestion a laser eye surgery patient will suffer any long-term negative effects, and most complications or side effects are experienced within one year of having undergone the procedure.
The cost of your laser eye surgery will vary depending on the specific treatment required and the type of laser eye surgery you choose. Treatment typically ranges from $1,500 – $3,700 per eye in Australia, with $2,500 per eye the typically quoted average cost.
If you are considering going ahead with laser eye surgery, it is important to find a clinic and a surgeon that you feel comfortable with. We would suggest you use the following as a checklist when looking for a laser eye clinic and surgeon:
Ensure you are comfortable with the decision you make. If you feel uneasy about a particular clinic, don’t use them just because they might be the cheapest. Laser eye surgery can change your life, and you want to be comfortable and ensure it does so for the better.
Like any medical procedure, there are risks and potential complications with laser eye surgery. However, by following the advice of your surgeon, and ensuring you choose a clinic you are comfortable with and that has a proven reputation of providing successful treatment, you will reduce the level of riskattached. You should also remember that complication rates are historically
very low, meaning that laser eye surgery is a very safe, not to mention common, procedure.