Can I Have Laser Eye Surgery if I Have Thin Corneas?

Making the decision to enquire about Laser Eye Surgery is the important first step on the road to clear vision. Every year in the UK alone, more than 100,000 people have Laser Eye Surgery and change their lives for the better. So, when you finally decide to ditch the glasses and contact lenses, there is one thing you don’t want to hear: “You’re not a good candidate for the procedure.”

But, there are a number of reasons this may be the case. One of the most common reasons people are told they are unsuitable for treatment is they have thin corneas.

It is unlikely you have ever thought about the thickness of your corneas before. But, in the average clinic, having thin corneas is considered a contraindication to Laser Eye Surgery and is often a hard and fast disqualification for the procedure.

However, as you may have realised by now, not all Laser Eye Surgery clinics are the same – and they certainly don’t all have the same capabilities. That is to say, while thinner corneas are still considered a risk factor no matter where you go, with the right technology and expertise, having thin corneas doesn’t have to mean you are unsuitable for treatment.

But why exactly does having thin corneas mean you may be unsuitable for Laser Eye Surgery?

Thin Corneas and Suitability for Laser Eye Surgery

Laser Eye Surgery corrects refractive errors such as myopia (short-sightedness), hyperopia (long-sightedness), astigmatism and presbyopia (ageing eyes) by changing the shape of the cornea. To achieve this, a laser is used to remove specific areas of corneal tissue from the eye. For this reason, patients need to have sufficiently thick corneas to allow for the removal of the required tissue.

As Mr. Glenn Carp explains in the video below, “Patients with thin corneas may not have sufficient corneal tissue to acquire the full shaping which we need to change the refraction and achieve the optimal results.”

Youtube video link

But as we said, this isn’t always the case. If a clinic does deem you unsuitable due to the thickness of your corneas, it is always worth getting a second opinion. Clinics that have access to the most up-to-date technology may – with the help of a fully comprehensive screening assessment – find that Laser Eye Surgery is an option for you after all.

How We Treat Patients with Thin Corneas

At London Vision Clinic, we offer one of the most comprehensive screening processes in the country. That’s because we understand the importance of gathering as much information about your eyes as possible to determine your suitability for treatment. The truth is that many clinics simply do not offer such a thorough assessment because it costs more and takes more time.

Our pre-operative assessment includes tests such as a very high-frequency ultrasound (VHFU) examination with the cutting-edge Artemis Insight 100 to rule out keratoconus. If you have thin corneas but do not have keratoconus, then it is likely that you’ll be eligible for a surface procedure such as PRK/LASEK.

It is only by conducting a comprehensive initial screening that a clinic can truly can determine if, and how well, your vision can be corrected based on the thickness of your cornea.

If you have been told you are unsuitable for Laser Eye Surgery because you have thin corneas, why not get in touch with one of our friendly clinic coordinators today or Book a Consultation to get a second opinion? After all, at London Vision Clinic, we are able to treat over 97% of the patients we see!