Can I Have Laser Eye Surgery?
Answer a few simple questions about your prescription and lifestyle to find out if you are suitable for Laser Eye Surgery.
Can I get laser eye surgery?
There are many factors which can determine whether or not you can have laser eye surgery. However, you can check your suitability by answering the following questions:
- Are you over 18 years old?
- Are your eyes healthy?
- Can you see well with your glasses?
If you responded 'yes' to all of the above then you are 95% likely to be suitable for treatment.
At Optimax, we can offer laser eye surgery for short-sightedness, long-sightedness and astigmatism. By booking a free consultation, requesting an information pack or asking us to call you back at a convenient time, you’ll soon be able to find out if you meet the criteria for the procedure.
Check Your Prescription
Please fill in your prescription details. Don't worry if many of the boxes are empty. Axis is not required.
Can laser eye surgery fix long-sightedness?
Yes. Long-sightedness − also known as hyperopia − is when the focusing power of your eyes is too weak. This means that you can better see objects further away than those which are closer by. Our top-of-the-range Schwind lasers have proven successful at treating long-sightedness, far beyond most other models on the market.
Can I have laser eye surgery for short-sightedness?
Yes. Short-sightedness − or myopia − occurs when the focusing power of your eyes is too strong, meaning objects up close appear more clearly than those which are far away. It tends to develop through your childhood and teenage years, affecting around a quarter of the population, but laser treatment for short sight is a simple and effective procedure.
Can I get laser eye surgery to treat astigmatism?
Yes. This occurs when the shape of the eye is irregular − like a rugby ball rather than a football. It means you can only partially focus on an object, while blurring occurs over all distances. We can treat astigmatism at the same time as correcting your prescription and unlike some companies, we do not charge extra for this.
Who is not suitable for laser eye surgery?
For a lot of patients, laser eye surgery is appropriate. However, it tends to be more suitable for those under the age of 45 and there are instances where you will not be considered eligible. For example, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, the surgery is not suitable because fluctuating hormones can affect a person’s vision.
And we do not recommend laser eye surgery for long-sighted patients under the age of 35 as, due to age-related eye changes, we cannot guarantee satisfactory long-term results.
Alternative options for those who are not suitable for laser eye surgery
There are some different conditions which the laser cannot treat. If your reading glasses prescription is +1, +1.5, or +2, you may be suitable for Monovision laser eye surgery. However, if you’re not found suitable due to a high prescription, being long-sighted or having thin corneas, you are more likely to be eligible for lens surgery. We have multiple lens treatment options available, which you can read about here.
If your prescription falls outside the treatment range for LASIK or LASEK laser eye surgery, then Implantable Contact Lenses (ICL) or Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) are an option available to you. These are implantable lenses that are used for correcting very high prescriptions of short sight, long sight and astigmatism.
Implantable Contact Lenses
A reversible procedure that sees an artificial lens placed in front of the natural lens. This treatment is generally recommended for people under 40 who do not require reading glasses.
Refractive Lens Exchange
Also known as lens replacement surgery, this procedure is the same as cataract surgery and involves removing your eye’s natural lens and replacing it with another. It is usually more suited to patients above the age of 40 and can correct the need for reading glasses.
Can I have laser eye surgery if I have a medical condition?
The following medical conditions may preclude you from treatment (which can only be confirmed on consultation):
- Blepharitis (eye infections) − your eyes need to be clear of infection
- Increased internal eye pressure − eye pressure needs to be under control
- Dry eyes, epilepsy, MS − depending on the status of the condition
- Diabetes − OK if well-controlled with healthy retinas
- Very large pupils with high correction
- Your prescription is low (under 0.75) and you do not have astigmatism
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding please wait three months after weaning before coming in for a consultation.
You are probably not suitable if you suffer from:
- Rheumatoid arthritis, SLE, lupus
- Macular degeneration
- Crohn's or collagen disease
- Crohn's or collagen disease
- Blindness in one eye or partial sightedness
- Herpes of the eye
- Corneal dystrophy
- A squint or prism which is not corrected by contact lenses
As results are not guaranteed, we cannot treat people who have great difficulty in finding glasses to correct their eyesight, nor those with an obsessive nature or those who suffer from acute depression.
Plus and Minus Signs
A minus sign (or dash above a number) means you are short sighted. A plus sign means you are long sighted. CYL means you have astigmatism. Axis is the angle of your astigmatism and is not related to suitability.
If you are unsure of your exact prescription please use the table below to see the type of surgery that could be suitable for you:
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√ Treatable Prescriptions - ? Please come in for a consultation to determine your suitability.
*We treat long sighted patients over the age of 35 years.
If your reading glasses prescription is +1, +1.5, or +2, you may be suitable for Monovision Laser Eye Surgery.
We do not recommend Laser Eye Surgery for long-sighted patients under the age of 35 as, due to age-related eye changes. We cannot guarantee satisfactory long-term results. However, if you’re not found suitable due to a high prescription, being long-sighted or having thin corneas, you are more likely to be eligible for Lens Surgery. We have multiple lens treatment options available, which you can read about here.
Understanding Your Prescription
A glasses or lenses prescription is usually shown as a series of numbers in boxes. For Example:
OD and OS
OD (oculus dextrum) indicates that the readings are for your right eye. OS (oculus sinistrum) refers to your left eye.
The SPH (Sphere) box shows a measurement of how long sighted (hyperopic) or short sighted (myopic) you are.
If you are short sighted, the SPH value will have a minus (-) sign before it.
If you are long sighted, the SPH value will have a plus (+) sign before it.
D, CYL and AXIS
The (D) stands for dioptres which is the standard measurement that is used. If the SPH value is between 0 and 3.0D then you have a mild prescription. 3.0 to 6.0D is moderate and 6.0D and above is a high prescription.
The CYL (Cylinder) box shows the strength of any astigmatism. An eye with astigmatism will not be perfectly spherical and will be like a rugby ball in shape. Astigmatism can be plus (+) or minus (-) and is also measured in dioptres.
The AXIS box shows the orientation of the cylinder (from 0-180 degrees). At Optimax we add the Sphere and Cylinder together and use this figure to determine suitability for treatment. For example a prescription of -3.00 Sph and -1.50 Cyl becomes -4.50.
Some prescriptions also have extra information such as "VA", "Rdg add" and "Near VA".
"VA" stands for visual acuity. This indicates the standard of vision (for each eye) when corrected and is often presented as a fraction. This is where the term "20/20 vision" comes from, which means a person can see detail from 20 feet away the same as a person with normal eyesight would see from 20 feet. If you had 20/40 vision you could see detail from 20 feet away the same as a person with normal eyesight would see it from 40 feet away. VA can also be converted to a decimal so that 20/20 is 1.0 and 20/40 is 0.5. VA is usually measured by a Snellen chart which shows different letters that get smaller as you read down the chart. The further down the chart you can read, the better your visual acuity.
"Rdg add" (reading addition) shows the additional positive power that is needed to enable the eyes to focus for close work. This is usually only needed for patients over 40-45, since focusing ability declines as we get older (presbyopia). If a reading addition is stated, this means you need different spectacle prescriptions for reading and for distance.
"Near VA" represents the smallest sized print that can be read with the prescription. This is usually written as Nx where x is a number representing the print size. N5 is the smallest sized type that you will normally find and N8 is approximately the size of normal newsprint.
Ask Optimax about your suitability for laser eye surgery
Whether you’re seeking laser eye surgery for short-sightedness, long-sightedness, astigmatism, or you just want an answer to the question ‘Can I have laser eye surgery?’ then we can help you. Simply book a free consultation, ask us to call you back or request an information pack free of charge, and you’ll soon see why we come so highly recommended.