Afraid of Laser Eye Surgery


Laser Eye Surgery assessment

The first feeling I had when I heard the term Laser Eye Surgery was fear.

Before obtaining all the facts, the words ‘laser’ and ‘eyes’ in the same sentence were enough to invoke some vivid and unpleasant imagery.

Unbeknown to me, this immediate gut reaction was effective for many years in keeping the idea of ever having Laser Eye Surgery far from being a possibility.

This happens much more often than we know: we take a back seat and allow our gut reactions to dictate what we do and don’t do. They, of course, have their time and place, such as in fight or flight situations, but why do we use them so often for less threatening and day-to-day decisions?

If we look at it from a biological perspective, our bodies are always trying to save energy and prolong our survival. That means it likes us to make automatic decisions that don’t involve energy-sapping conscious thought, and also works to steer us away from anything that could potentially cause pain, anxiety, or discomfort.

Lasers in my eyes? No thank you. And without even knowing it the door of Laser Eye Surgery has been slammed shut.

We are naturally overcautious beings. And without intervening and giving ourselves a little push now and again it’s easy for us to get stuck, relying on safe gut decisions to ensure our survival and quality of life.

But there’s a big difference between just surviving and getting out there and living. To make measured decisions that increase our quality of life; we need to switch from gut reactions to conscious thought.

Understanding what’s involved, calculating risks, and having time to mull everything over is what fear hates most. Or in other words, whereas a lack of knowledge about something leads to increased fear, knowledge and understanding about the thing in question leads to decreased fear.

So whether or not this is your first time researching Laser Eye Surgery or you’re still looking for that piece of information to dispel your fear for good, our aim is to shed some light on the surgery and arm you with the cold hard facts.

Let’s take a look at a few common gut reactions to Laser Eye Surgery and take them apart one by one.

Laser Eye Surgery complications are common and serious

The huge benefits of Laser Eye Surgery compared to its low level of complications and side effects make it one of the lowest-risk surgical procedures around. In fact, when in the hands of an expert surgeon using the latest technology, the chance of even a small complication arising that could not be fully corrected by the surgeon is around 1 in 30,000.

Laser Eye Surgery is painful

Laser Eye Surgery is a pain-free procedure. The only discomfort some people will encounter is in the healing stages, which even then can be managed by lubricated eye drops.

I could go blind from Laser Eye Surgery

Essentially, no. Technically there is an exceedingly small risk of blindness with laser eye surgery but it is lower than the risk of wearing monthly contact lenses for one year, so a risk that everyone seems to accept as perfectly reasonable.

I could end up with worse vision than before having Laser Eye Surgery

If you haven’t previously worn glasses, there is virtually no chance you could leave the clinic with worse vision that when you walked in. If you have worn glasses, there is a small chance your best spectacle-corrected visual acuity (BSCVA) could be reduced following surgery.

If you’d like to find out more about the risks of Laser Eye Surgery, or book a consultation at London Vision Clinic, leave us a comment or give us a call us on 020 7224 1005.

For 2017, we have updated this article to ‘Quick guide: Laser Eye Surgery and anxiety’