Top 10 patient questions about laser eye surgery
12 July 2022
Laser eye surgery FAQs
We know opting for laser eye surgery or lens treatment is a big decision and you’ll likely have plenty of questions before you commit to surgery. To help set your mind at ease, and hopefully to clear up any queries you have, we’re answering 10 of the most commonly asked questions from our patients. You can also read more FAQs here which cover most areas related to laser treatment.
1. How much does it cost?
At Optimax, we have fixed prices for all our procedures. This means that we don’t vary our prices according to your prescription – simply because it doesn’t actually cost us as a company anything more to treat higher prescriptions! For laser eye surgery, all our patients pay a fixed price of £1,995 per eye. This includes your surgery, aftercare appointments, and a lifetime aftercare guarantee. We also offer payment plans, including interest free options, which you can read more about here.
2. Does it hurt?
We administer numbing eye drops before the procedure to ensure that you do not feel any pain whilst in the treatment room. Most patients report feeling a slight pressure on their eye during the procedure, but some patients say they don’t feel anything at all! In the days following the procedure, you might experience some discomfort as your eyes heal. This is best described as a grit-like sensation but most people manage this with soothing eye drops and are back at work within a week.
3. How long is the recovery process?
The recovery process depends on whether you opt for LASIK or LASEK treatment. LASIK is known for its quick recovery time as the healing process is fast. In fact, some of our LASIK patients were even back to work the next day after treatment. However, if you work with digital screens, you may need a little longer at home to allow your eyes to rest. For LASEK patients, the recovery process can take around a week as the eye needs to heal more than it does after LASIK.
4. What actually happens in laser eye surgery?
Laser eye surgery is a very quick procedure for which you’ll be in the treatment room for around 20 minutes. After putting numbing eye drops in your eye, the surgeon will remove the top layer of your eye in order to access the part of the cornea which needs to be lasered. The removal of the outermost layer of your cornea can be done in two ways at Optimax, which is where the two types of laser eye surgery, LASIK and LASEK, come in.
For LASIK procedures, a laser is used to create a flap which is then lifted, before a second laser is applied to the middle layer of the cornea. The flap is then replaced and naturally heals very quickly. For LASEK treatment, the surgeon applies a dilute alcohol solution to the eye which softens the top layer of the cornea. These cells can then be moved aside in order to apply the laser to eye part of the eye underneath. The cells are gently replaced after surgery and a ‘bandage contact lens’ is inserted into the eye to help it heal. You can read more about the differences between LASIK and LASEK here.
5. Can you operate on both eyes at once?
Yes, we treat both eyes on the same day in the same sitting. You surgeon will perform the treatments on each of your eyes, one after the other. If you would prefer to have one eye treated and see how the recovery and results go, before committing to the second eye, then we can accommodate that too.
6. Can I be put to sleep for the procedure?
Unfortunately, all patients need to be fully awake for the procedure. This is because when you sleep, your eyes roll back slightly. For eye surgery, your eyes need to be forward-facing in order for the surgeon to access them. If you’re feeling nervous about the treatment, we recommend visiting your GP and explaining that you are due to have laser eye surgery. They can prescribe you a mild sedative to help you feel calmer on the day of treatment.
7. Is my prescription suitable?
We can treat a range of prescriptions for both short-sight and long-sight, including astigmatism too. If you’re short-sighted, your prescription needs to be within -1 and -10 to have laser eye surgery. For long-sight, you need to have a prescription between +1 and +6. We can treat up to 6 for astigmatism, and your prescription should have been stable for at least a year – ideally two or more – before you have laser eye surgery. You can read more about suitability on our website here.
8. What’s the age limit?
For laser eye surgery, we have a minimum age of 18 years old. This is because your prescription can change a lot during your teenage years and early twenties. If your prescription changes after you’ve had laser treatment, it can mean that your visual results don’t last, and patients aged 18+ generally have more stable prescriptions than younger teenagers. We don’t have an upper age limit for laser eye surgery, but patients aged 45+ might find that they’re more suitable for lens surgery or cataract treatment.
9. Will this remove the need for reading glasses?
No, laser eye surgery cannot prevent the need for reading glasses later in life. This is because laser eye surgery treats corneal imperfections, as we discussed above. The laser smooths out bumps on the cornea to provide better vision, but corneal changes aren’t responsible for the need for reading glasses. This is because the lens in the eye which helps you to focus on small print stiffens with age, becoming less flexible and making it harder to see close-up details. To treat the need for reading glasses, you might be more suited to lens surgery.
10. What if I need laser eye surgery again?
The changes to your eye from laser eye surgery are permanent. However, as we discussed above in our suitability FAQ, if your prescription changes after you’ve had treatment, you may find that your vision regresses. This is why it’s best to wait until your prescription is stable before you have treatment. However, we do offer a Lifetime Aftercare Guarantee to our patients, which includes free re-treatment if required. You can read more about our guarantee here.
If you have any further questions which haven’t been answered here, please feel free to give us a call on 0800 093 1110 or drop an email to email@example.com. We’re more than happy to help and our customer service team will be able to advise you on all steps of the laser eye surgery process.
Prices are correct at time of writing. Please visit our treatment cost page for our most up-to-date prices.
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