A patient’s guide to Laser Eye Surgery
Navigating your way through the Laser Eye Surgery landscape can be a difficult task on your own.
The enticing discounts and time-limited offers, the new and ever elaborate sounding techniques, the unnecessarily complicated language and abbreviations; and all this even before setting foot inside a clinic.
Even if you’re just looking to learn a little bit more about the surgery, discover if you’re suitable for treatment, or simply find an honest and reliable clinic, it can be really frustrating.
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Does it have to be so complicated?
Just like in any market where there’s high demand and strong competition, high street Laser Eye Surgery providers have honed their individual marketing tactics to ensure they get you, the potential customer, through the door and into the operating chair.
The main aim of these clinics is not to provide patients with the most transparent and balanced information, but rather to make themselves stand out from the crowd and bring in as many sales as possible.
Unfortunately, this does make exploring the Laser Eye Surgery market somewhat confusing, and can also mean patients don’t always receive the best quality treatment.
But the fact is, getting on top of Laser Eye Surgery doesn’t have be so difficult.
Let’s take as an example the automobile market. In the same way that nipping down to your local second-hand car dealer and picking up the best offer may leave you dissatisfied, heading into the Laser Eye Surgery market unguided can leave you with similarly poor results. But instead of driving out the gates with a dodgy motor that may need a few adjustments here and there, you’re left with faulty vision and potentially a lifetime of issues.
We aim to help prevent this from happening with our short but comprehensive guide to Laser Eye Surgery. The guide covers the three main steps in every patient’s journey: suitability, finding the right treatment, and choosing the right clinic.
As we often talk about these areas on our blog, each section will link to existing articles, videos, and resources which expand further on the details. However, if you’re simply looking for an introduction to Laser Eye Surgery and to get to grips with the basics, then look no further than this guide.
Let’s dive in with the first step in your Laser Eye Surgery journey: suitability.
1. Are you a good candidate for Laser Eye Surgery?
This is the best place to begin your journey. Doing so not only allows you to quickly bust the many myths and outdated beliefs surrounding suitability, but also see if it is the right time in your life to have surgery.
One of the requirements for Laser Eye Surgery is having a stable prescription. That means teenagers and young adults, people on certain medication, and people with fluctuating hormones due to conditions like diabetes (if unstable), may be ineligible for surgery—at least temporarily. This also includes women who are pregnant or nursing—due to the affect of hormonal imbalances on visual acuteness—and if your eye or overall health is poor.
The important thing to remember is that the conditions mentioned above are only temporary barriers to surgery, and when you come of age, or return back to adequate health, the chances are you’ll be suitable for treatment. With today’s technology and expert surgeons, Laser Eye Surgery is able to treat a diverse range of eye problems including ageing eyes, high prescriptions, and thinner corneas.
2. Which laser eye treatment is for you?
Once you know you’re eligible for surgery, you’re in a good position to find out more about the different Laser Eye Surgery techniques. We’ve put together a list of the four common eye conditions along with their corresponding treatments in order to give you a better idea of what you may need.
Myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism
PRK/LASEK, LASIK and ReLEx SMILE are all slight variations of the same treatment which are commonly used to correct Myopia (short-sightedness), hyperopia (long-sightedness), Presbyopia (ageing eyes), and astigmatism
Laser Blended Vision is a revolutionary technique which can reduce, and even eliminate, the need for reading glasses, bifocals, or varifocals for many years.
High prescriptions and drier eyes
ReLEx SMILE is a recent advancement in Laser Eye Surgery which allows conditions that were previously deemed untreatable—like high prescriptions and drier eyes—to be effectively treated.
3. Choosing the right surgeon and clinic
With so many clinics and surgeons to choose from, many find this part of the Laser Eye Surgery process to be the most troublesome.
It can save a lot of time and effort if you first identify what’s the most important thing you are looking for. Is it a cheap deal that’s easy on the wallet? Or is it a good level of care, safety, and performance?
Once you’ve assessed your priorities it’s then much easier to separate between the range of high street providers, independent clinics, and private hospitals that offer Laser Eye Surgery. Whereas high street chains have more of a focus on low-cost care rather than quality, the latter two take a more personalised and holistic approach to ensure only the best results and highest patient satisfaction.
Choosing a Laser Eye Surgeon can be a little more tricky. This is mainly due to the fact that to become one you don’t need to have specialised qualifications—being a qualified doctor (General Medical Council (GMC) registered physician) is sufficient.
This makes it paramount to check your surgeon has—at the very least—had formal refractive surgery training, along with experience treating similar prescriptions to yours. Read more about how to choose a Laser Eye Surgeon here.
If you’d like to book a consultation at London Vision Clinic or find out more about Laser Eye Surgery, leave us a comment or give us a call us on 020 7224 1005.