A Complete Guide to Laser Eye Surgery: Costs, Types and Much More
Laser eye surgery is surgical process which can treat some toughest eye vision conditions. But as it is not for everyone, you have to visit your eye specialist to check your eligibility. Certain environmental factors, lifestyles and medical conditions may not qualify your for the surgery.
Moreover, you should know about the procedure and its potential risks as well because it can’t fix certain eye issues too. Recovery is very much important for this surgery so you have to follow the surgeon’s instructions carefully. Read on to know about the laser eye surgery in details from this blog along its average price.
Ways in which laser eye surgery help the eye patients
Certain vision problems can be corrected with laser eye surgery. It includes:
- Nearsightedness or Myopia: The eyeballs become slight larger than the eyeballs of a normal eye. As a result, the eye possesses excessive refractive power hence light has to be focused before reaching it into the retina. You may get blurred vision for the faraway objects due to the improper focused of light.
- Farsightedness or Hyperopia: It is much identical to myopia excluding the focal points of the rays of light. It is behind the retina which is why nearby objects may be viewed translucent.
- Night sightedness: Another issue is night sightedness when both of the sights become blurred and distorted. It is more prominent if the light is much brighter in dark areas (especially for driving at night).
- Presbyopia: Naturally, the eye’s structure gets changed after 40. With aging certain changes occur to the eyes such as loss of flexibility of the lens. It can be only corrected with laser eye surgery and that has to be performed minutely.
Who are eligible for laser eye surgery?
To check your eligibility for the refractive distortions, you have to visit an ophthalmologist for complete eye check-up. On evaluating the eye condition several questions will be asked for determining whether you are suitable for the laser eye surgery in London or not. Conditions which can complicate the process are discussed below:
- Cataracts and Glaucoma
- Eyelid disorders or an eye injury
- Chronic dry eyes as it can increase due to the surgery
- Certain complexities affect the eyes like simplex herpes, uveitis and keratitis
- Large pupils- if the person possesses large pupil in low light then this surgery can affect with ghost images, haloes and glare in the vision
- Keratoconus is the condition that thins the cornea and declines the vision. Even if your family has a medical background with this you are not eligible as it can somehow affect the vision.
Laser eye surgery is also risky for the patient with severe refractory problems. Besides correcting the vision, it can deteriorate it even more. Moreover, if you possess overall proper vision then you are going to receive its benefits at all. Even the persons who are sportspersons have a high tendency of getting injury due to sport activities. Therefore, they are too not ideal candidates for this type of surgery.
Factors that can affect the suitability to perform laser eye surgery
Evaluation part is comprised of basic questions regarding lifestyle and health. Some medical complexities which can increase the risk of laser eye surgery are mentioned below:
- Weakened Immune System: It unable the body to fight off any condition or disease on its own. So, the body cannot heal on its own and becomes more susceptible to infection. It can lead to lupus, HIV, and various other autoimmune disorders. It can occur from over intake of immunosuppressive medications as well.
- Depression and several pains: Both of these can lead to high risk of post-operation pain and dry eyes due to which you may be disqualified from laser eye surgery.
- Unstable vision: People with myopia will experience this constant vision changes throughout the teenage period. Therefore, eye specialists will advise to wait till they get 18 before undergoing this surgery. Sometimes taking medication like steroids and pregnancy can cause temporary vision changes. It is considered as normal because of the release of hormone at the time of pregnancy. High sensitivity to light may be also experienced at this time which makes you unsuitable for the surgery.
- Diabetes: Diabetic patient will generally experience retinopathy (the condition affecting the eyes). This condition cannot be restored with laser eye surgery or may take long time period to get recovered fully. Flickering level of glucose will certainly make changes to the medications that can correct your vision rarely perfect.
Risks of performing laser eye surgery
Rarely there are complications of laser eye surgery. Even if you experience any it will get cleared within a couple of weeks or days. Its common side effects are short-term vision problem and dry eyes. There are only a few instances or prolonged problem of the surgery.
Surgery results in less production of tear that leads to dry eyes. It may persist for long 6 months that lead to improper vision. But normal development will be experienced soon afterwards. Eyedrops will be offered for easing the discomfort.
If the problem persists, special ducts will be installed in the tear ducts for keeping the eyes lubricated in the long haul. Unintended effects like haloes and glares are experienced they have to undergo eye test again. Accordingly, the degree of the surgery is reduced to some extent.
It will consume a few weeks for restoring the normal vision. Sometimes if not adequate amount of corneal tissue is removed it can also keep the vision unclear. For this case, another surgery will be performed after a year to correct the vision by removing sufficient tissues.
Overcorrection is yet the toughest to fix as excessive number of tissues have been removed already. Astigmatism results if the tissues are removed inconsistently and potential laser eye surgery risk. It can be corrected only with the use of contact lenses of prescription glasses.
What actually happens during the surgery?
During operation, a hinged and very thin flap is developed in front of the cornea for lifting easily for reshaping the cornea. Once the process gets completed, it is reverted back to its original position just like a natural bandage. In case flap can’t be created in proper way, it will not get attach to the eye’s surface naturally.
Moreover, over time you can see the formation of small wrinkles known as striae. Though these are rare yet can affect and distort the vision. As per survey, it has been correcting most complicated eye cases successfully. Only a few percentages of patients can be found who lost their vision from the surgery especially its sharpness and clarity.
Only improper resetting of the flap can result in infection with excess tear production. Otherwise, the eye will get healed within a short period of time.
Surgery and its recovery
The time period needs for recovery from the laser eye surgery is depended on the patient itself. Some patients start experiencing it within 2 days some take more time to experience recovery. Surgical extent, eyesight nature and surgeon’s skill are also contributing aspects as well in determining the time period.
But within 7 days you will get adapted with the improvised vision without any side effects. Rarely, full recovery may take 6 months for some patients at the same time. Transportation must be made prior to the surgery so that you can return home from the laser eye surgery clinic without being hassled.
It is always advisable to take proper rest and abstain from doing any sort of activities to promote the proper healing of the eyes. You should take assistance of the relatives to perform certain inevitable tasks till the restoration of the vision. For the first initial days, obviously there will be pain. You may experience mild irritation too at the same time.
Much similar to an eyepatch (small shield) will be provided by the eye specialist for protecting your eye from infection. While wearing this, you can drop the idea of rubbing the eye which can be dangerous. For the first initial days, slight blurred vision and light sensitivity is also common. Follow-up visit is arranged within 48 hours of the operation.
During the first follow-up appointment, eyes will be examined well along with vision test. If requires, eye drops will be prescribed by the specialist for the prevention against infection and inflammation. But you should entirely refrain from wearing contact lenses.
Full recovery and corrected vision
Maximum 6 months time will need to get recovered fully from the laser eye surgery. In this course of time, several vision fluctuations are much likely to experience along with afterimages and blurriness. But vision will improved too in the meantime. You should make the follow-up appointments to visit the ophthalmologist for checking your recovery progress.
It is highly advised not to avoid such crucial visits. Near about a month will need to achieve the best vision after operation. However, it too varies on the basis of certain other factors. If it is about 6-month recovery period, your eye specialist will instruct you what you should do and don’t so that the eye gets healed completely.
You have to spend as much less time as you can on your Smartphone, computer and TV. Even high- contact sports activities should be avoided to protect the eyes from further injury.
Various kinds of laser eye surgery
There are a number of laser eye surgery options for the patients out there! On the basis of corneal shape, lifestyle, age and present eyesight the right eye surgery is determined for improving your eyesight.
One of the most usual is LASIK, acronym of laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis. It makes the corneal tissue change for bringing light rays in the retina. It is designed for correcting certain eye issues like myopia, astigmatism and hyperopia.
In this procedure, flap will be created exterior layer of corner so that underlying tissue can be accessed. It is usually done by the digital imaging technology by which the surgeons correct the vision.
Another type is PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy) that helps in reshaping of the cornea on own by using a laser. It can correct mild to moderate myopia, astigmatism or hyperopia levels.
LASEK, also known as Laser Epithelial Keratomileusis is much identical to PRK. It also reshapes the cornea by creating and replacing the flap. In the end, a soft contact lens is attached and left to heal naturally.
ALK or Automated Lamellar Keratoplasty is incredible for correcting some degree of hyperopia and severe myopia. Now, it is greatly substituted by LASIK. Typically, the sublayer of the cornea is cut for reshaping and fixing the issue.
RLE or Refractive Lens Exchange is the process for correcting cataracts. A tiny cut is made for removal of the natural lens of the eye at the very corneal edge. It is replaced with the help of the plastic, silicone and synthetic lens.
Refractive lens replacement or clear lens extraction also corrects extreme myopia or hyperopia. Even the patients with dry eyes, small eye issues and thin corneas can be corrected as well.
EpiLASIK is the procedure for separation and replacing of the thing corneal layer. PRELEX (Presbyopic Lens Exchange) is the procedure in which rigid natural lens is replaced by a flexible as well as multifocal lens.
In Intacs or ICR (Intracorneal Ring Segments) 2 crescent-shaped rings made of plastic are inserted at the outermost corneal edge for flattening. It enables the light rays for focussing in the retina. It is widely preferred for treating myopia.
Preparation for laser eye surgery
At first, you have to visit an eye specialist for examining your eye health. On assessing your vision condition, primary medical care will be provided to observe if there is any progress without performing surgery. If there isn’t any, the surgeon will determine the right eye surgery for you to correct the vision problem.
It is done by inquiring about general health condition, medical history of the family and lifestyle. You will be recommended to switch to spectacles for a specific time period in case you are comfortable to use contact lenses. It will maintain the proper corneal shape so that surgery can be performed aptly.
Exact measurements of corneal thickness will be taken to perform the surgery along with pupil dilation and eye pressure. Certain prescription and vision tests will be conducted so that precise information can be obtained for successful operation.
On the basis of the lenses type, your ophthalmologist will disclose the time when you stop using them. For soft contact lenses it must be stopped a week prior to the surgery and for hard contact lenses it must be a month ago. Try to keep the face and eyes clean absolutely for the prevention against infections.
It means you are not supposed to use any kinds of lotions, makeup, perfumes and creams prior to 2 days of surgery. After surgery, you should ask your ophthalmologist when you can use them again!
How much will you have to pay for laser eye surgery?
A few years ago the most common query of the people before performing laser eye surgery its total expense. Till today, it’s not so simple to answer as a number of contributing factors are there which hike the price of the surgery.
Furthermore, the level of service offers by the clinic is an important aspect as well. It is so; because varied technologies are used in the operation for maintaining the highest standard of quality. Other aspects are;
- The required correction level- The cost will be naturally high if the patient has highly blurred vision along with other medical complexities.
- Laser technology- The price of cutting instruments and types of laser used is always charged from the patients. Only your eye surgeon can disclose how much it will impact on the entire bill to perform the procedure.
- Surgeon’s skills and experience- Highly experienced and in-demand surgeons will obviously charge mire to correct your vision with the laser eye surgery.
But, it can be concluded that the price of laser eye surgery including postoperative and preoperative care is much affordable a few years back. Even some eye clinics are there which offer follow-up treatments at much affordable price as well.
However it is not recommended to settle for a feasible surgeon to undergo the operation as they may not be so experienced or skilled. This may end up with much worsening of your eye condition that will lead you to pay more in the future.
Thus, it is better to look for the quality service at an affordable price. Furthermore, if there is something better with slightly higher price than your budget you should go for it without a second thought. Even you can ask your surgeon regarding the inclusion in the total cost of the surgery.
Moreover, you have the right to know about the features of the technology they are going to use for correcting your vision as well. Prior to the surgery, inquire about the number of follow-up visits, prices and covers, prescribed medications and other important pieces of information. According, you have to take the final decision and sign the consent form to undergo the operation.
Initial consultation is a must to undergo any sort of eye surgery. Therefore, you are advised to book an appointment at the Optimal Vision, a reliable eye clinic in London for your check-up. On the basis of your vision issue and eye health condition right solution will be offered on time for long-term.