How to manage anxiety before laser eye surgery

30 March 2021

Author: Kate Green

anxiety laser eye surgery

Knowing what to expect with laser eye surgery


Laser eye surgery is a big decision and it’s important that you feel fully prepared and ready for treatment before your surgery day arrives. Knowing what to expect is a big part of feeling calm and confident, which is why we’ve shared details about the patient journey on our website here. You will also be given every piece of relevant literature before you commit to having laser eye surgery at Optimax, from patient testimonials and your personalised EyePredict report, to details about risks that come with the procedure, and any potential side effects.


Read more: 6 ways Optimax are ensuring patient and staff safety during COVID-19


Are you suitable for laser eye surgery?


First and foremost, our optometrists at Optimax will never put somebody forward for treatment if they feel that it isn’t the best option for them. In fact, some people who have visited other laser eye surgery providers and were told they were suitable for surgery there don’t meet our treatment requirements. We check several different elements of your eye health at your initial consultation, from eye dryness and pressure, to corneal thickness and pupil size. If even one of these doesn’t meet our safety standards, we won’t recommend you for treatment. These stringent measures should set your mind at ease – we want you to have a good visual result just as much as you do!


Meeting your surgeon before laser eye surgery


Prior to your treatment, following your first consultation, you will also come in for a surgeon assessment. This is where you will meet your surgeon and have a chance to ask them any questions you might have. They’ll also examine your eyes themselves to ensure that they are in agreement with the optometrist that treatment is the right option for you. We know that meeting the surgeon before surgery day is something that many patients need in order to remove some of the nervousness around surgery.


By the time you come in for treatment, you will likely already be familiar with the clinic staff, having attended your previous two appointments with us. However, we don’t underestimate the importance of a friendly face on surgery day, so your surgeon assessment appointment serves not only as a medical check, but also as an introduction to the person who will be giving you your new vision!


Taking a mild sedative before laser eye surgery


From time to time, we have some patients ask us whether they can be “put to sleep” for the procedure. Simply, the answer is no – when you sleep, your eyes typically roll back with just the whites of your eyes visible. For laser eye surgery, your eyes need to face forward for the surgeon to apply the laser to the right part of the eye, in order to correct your vision. Whilst you need to be awake during treatment, we always administer numbing eye drops to ensure that you don’t feel any discomfort during the procedure. Some patients say they feel a slight pressure on their eye, but lots of patients say they feel nothing at all.


If you’re feeling particularly nervous about your laser eye surgery, we recommend visiting your GP and asking them to prescribe you a mild sedative. This can help you feel more relaxed on the day and aid your overall recovery process. Please speak to your patient advisor at your initial Optimax consultation appointment if you would like to hear more about how a mild sedative can help your overall vision correction journey.


Ask us anything!


If you are feeling slightly apprehensive about any part of your eye surgery at Optimax, you are more than welcome to ask us any questions you might have. You can send us an email to, speak to an advisor on the phone by calling 0800 093 1110, or pop us a quick message on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. We’ll be more than happy to help alleviate any concerns or answer any questions, no matter how big or small.


We look forward to seeing you in your local clinic soon!

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