Frequently Asked Questions

Laser Eye Surgery Questions


Q. Is Laser Eye Surgery painful?

A. No, none of the procedures we perform is painful.  We anaesthetise your eyes using an anaesthetic eye drop, which will completely numb the eyes.  You will not feel any pain through the whole procedure.  Post surgery recovery is also very quick and easy for most of the procedures, with very little, if any, pain experienced.  This will be discussed in length at your free consultation.


Q. Can they put you to sleep for Laser Eye Surgery?

A. We would not perform laser eye surgery under general anaesthetic so you do have to be awake during the procedure.  Surgery itself is very quick taking 15 minutes total so the use of a general anaesthetic would only create additional complications that are unnecessary. The surgeon will also need you to control your own eye movements and listen to instructions.  You can take a mild sedative to help you relax but you must remain fully lucid.


Q. Can you work out after Lasik eye surgery?

A. We would advise not to do any exercise for the first week after surgery.  From the second week you can start to do gentle exercises but please try to avoid any strenuous exercises until at least the 4th week.  From 2 weeks please also wear headbands to prevent any sweat from getting into your eyes.


Q. How long does it take to do Laser Eye Surgery?

A. The Laser Eye Surgery itself only takes up to 15 minutes in total to treat both eyes.  Consultation takes 1.5 hours on average and you will be in the clinic on the surgery day for around 2-3 hours.


Q. How old do you have to be to have Laser Eye Surgery?

A. For laser eye surgery, the minimum age is 18 and the maximum age is 70. For the alternative lens replacement surgery there is no upper age limit so we would be able to offer you treatment depending on your eye condition.  To be able to give a more definitive answer we would need to see your full glasses prescription.


Q. How long does it take to recover from Laser Eye Surgery?

A. Lasik patients usually go back to work the next day. Epi-lasek and ICL patients usually need three days off and occasionally up to a week, please call customer service on 0800 093 1110 to discuss all our treatments.


Q. Can you drive after Laser Eye Surgery?

A. For most patients, after LASIK treatment they can drive as soon as the next day. After LASIK, you need to attend a next day aftercare appointment. During this appointment, we will assess your level of sight and confirm if you are safe to drive. As always, you should still only ever drive if you feel comfortable and only after you have been given the all clear. Some patients are slower healers, and may take a few more days to recover, before they can drive. When discussing recovery after surgery we can only ever discuss generally, as we cannot confirm definitively, when you will recover from surgery.


Q. Who qualifies for Laser Eye Surgery?

A. You will probably be suitable if you are in good health, have healthy eyes and can see well with glasses.


Q. What is the success rate of Laser Eye Surgery?

A. Laser eye surgery is the one of the safest and most commonly performed surgeries in UK. Over 99% of Optimax laser patients achieve driving standard vision or better.


Q. Can I watch TV after Laser Eye Surgery?

A. We recommend avoiding all activities requiring visual concentration in the days following surgery, including TV, computer use and reading, as light sensitivity may make these activities uncomfortable.


Q. How long does Laser Eye Surgery last for?

A. Laser eye surgery is a permanent correction, however it will not eliminate the age-related requirement for reading glasses in later life.


Q. What kind of anaesthetic is used for Laser Eye Surgery?

A. Anaesthetic drops are applied to the eye prior to surgery, making treatment painless and stress-free.


Q. How much does Laser Eye Surgery improve vision?

A. The contrast between your quality of vision before and after surgery will depend on your present level of vision. In many cases, patients describe a dramatic improvement in their overall vision after surgery.


Q. Can you blink during Laser Eye Surgery?

A. Before treatment, your eye will be gently held open and anaesthetic drops applied. Our state-of-the-art technology tracks even the smallest movement of the eye and corrects the laser accordingly. Any larger movements will cause the laser to temporarily stop, and it will start again when the eye is confirmed to be back in position. Treatment is completed in a matter of seconds and patients are often amazed at how quick the whole procedure is.


Q. Is Laser Eye Surgery safe?

A. It is estimated that over two million treatments are carried out annually worldwide. Excellent research combined with low incidence of serious side effects, eminent Ophthalmologists now routinely perform laser eye surgery in every developed country.
With LASEK the laser does not penetrate beyond the surface of the eye and cannot affect any other part of it. LASIK is recommended for higher prescription levels and, being a surgical treatment, carries more risk of complication. Approximately 98% of our patients no longer wear glasses (for driving standard vision). The remainder should benefit from a reduction in spectacle strength. Satisfaction levels are very high and over half of our new patients come to us through the recommendation of existing patients.


Q. I had laser surgery around 10 years ago, is it possible to have it done again?

A. This is possible however we will need to assess your suitability at an appointment.


Q. I am 50 and currently wear varifocal contact lenses and I'm interested to know if laser surgery can correct both to a point where I would not have to wear glasses or contacts as my eyes are very tired and irritable by the end of a working day.

A. The laser treatment we offer to correct both distance and reading prescriptions is Monovision. This involves correcting one eye for reading and your dominant eye for distance. If you are unsuitable for Monovision, the alternative is lens replacement treatment. This isn't a type of laser treatment. This involves taking the natural lens from behind the eye and replacing it with an artificial, prescription lens. This corrects both distance and reading prescriptions in both eyes.


Q. I have my 1 week check up after lasek surgery. Do they use dilation during the check up?

A. No, we will not use dilation drops in any of your aftercare appointments.  If the circumstance ever occurred where we needed to use them, you will be notified and a separate appointment will be set up, so you can plan your travel accordingly.


Q. Can I use eye mist after surgery?

A. For the first month or so, we would recommend you used the eye drops provided for hydration, but yes, after about 2-3 months you can use the eye mist.


Q. I am a Type 2 diabetic, can I still have laser eye surgery?

A. It is possible to have laser eye surgery if you have type 2 diabetes, provided you are not using insulin and you have no signs of retinopathy or retinal damage.


Q. I wear glasses and have been diagnosed as long and short sighted. Can laser surgery sort both conditions for me? I am 55 years of age.

A. It will depend on the overall prescription and correction necessary, but there are laser-eye-surgery options that are able to correct both distance and reading, called monovision or PresbyMAX. If laser eye surgery is not an effective solution, the alternative is Intra-Ocular Lens surgery using the replacement lens (RLE - Refractive Lens Exchange).


Q. Does laser eye surgery work if you wear bifocal glasses to enable you to be free of glasses?

A. It will depend on the overall prescription and correction necessary, but there are laser-eye-surgery options that are able to correct both distance and reading, called monovision or PresbyMAX. If laser eye surgery is not an effective solution, the alternative is Intra-Ocular Lens surgery using the replacement lens (RLE - Refractive Lens Exchange).


Q. I suffer from Blepheritis Condition, is laser treatment suitable for me?

A. It is still possible to consider you for laser eye surgery with blepharitis. It is subject to consultation, as we need to examine the condition of the cornea.  If the condition is suitable, we can proceed with surgery as long as the eye is clear.


Q. I have an astigmatism in my left eye but I'm also very short sighted. I recently had a brain aneurysm which ruptured this has caused me to have lost some of my peripheral vision. Can this be helped by laser treatment?

A. Laser eye surgery would not be able to help restore peripheral vision.  The surgery is refraction surgery to remove the need for glasses due to long or short sight.  The correction can only offer similar to what glasses / contacts achieve in terms of vision.


Q. Is it normal to still have slight blurred vision 36 hours after having Lasek wavefront?

A. LASEK has a slower recovery lasting 3-5 days so yes it can be normal for the sight to be slightly blurry during this period.  As the eye heals the sight will improve and over the week you should start to notice an improvement.


Q.  I know the timeframes for being able to wear eye makeup after surgery but just wondered if there are any guidelines for being able to have my eyelashes tinted/permed?

A. They are about the same and you should avoid tinting your eyelashes for at least 2 weeks post surgery so you should be ok now to have them done.


Q.  I can't have anything touching my eyes as I blink and am a wimp. I can't even put eye drops in, will I still be able to have surgery?

A. Yes you will still be able to have the surgery.  During the consultation we will not touch your eyes but drops may need to be administered.  The optometrists are very good at putting in drops even where you struggle keeping your eyes open.  During the surgery we will use a sort of speculum, aptly named eye lid holder.  This is designed to keep the eyes open during surgery so you cannot interfere with the surgery.  It feels very comfortable and your eyes are completely numbed so you will not feel anything during the procedure.  During the recovery you will need to apply drops.  Where find it difficult to keep your eyes open we do have techniques you can use to apply the drops without having to open the eyes fully so we can get around this reasonably easily.


Q.  Can you have laser eye surgery while pregnant?

A. Laser eye surgery is not recommended while you are pregnant due to changes in your body as a result of the pregnancy, as this can lead to changes in the eyes.  The advice is to wait for 3 months after you have given birth or stopped breastfeeding to allow time for your body to settle before we proceed with surgery.


Q. I am booked in tomorrow for laser eye surgery I was wondering if I would be able to use my mp3 player whilst having it done?

A. You will not be allowed to use an Ipod within the treatment room. The doctor will need to speak with you during the process and it would be best not to have any distractions. The treatment is only 20 minutes for both eyes and it will be over before you know it.


Q.  Can you have the consultation & treatment done on the same day?

A. Yes, this is possible at some of our Clinics. We will need to establish which Clinic is your nearest so we can see if this can be arranged for you.