Do Laser Eye Surgery Results Differ Between Prescriptions?

In recent years, advancements in Laser Eye Surgery have meant that more people than ever before may be eligible for the procedure, allowing them to wave goodbye to glasses and contact lenses. This is largely thanks to developments in Laser Eye Surgery technology as well as the expertise of surgeons. But while the procedure is successful in the vast majority of patients, there may be some factors that can play a role in the outcomes. For example, do Laser Eye Surgery results vary between prescriptions? Let’s find out.

An effective treatment, even for higher prescriptions

In past decades, Laser Eye Surgery was limited in its capacity to correct certain refractive errors and prescriptions. The earliest procedures, which were carried out in the 1980s, focused solely on myopia (short-sightedness) as this was considered the most straightforward error to correct. However, as our understanding of refractive surgery continued to develop, surgeons were soon able to treat hyperopia (long-sightedness), astigmatism, and eventually presbyopia (reading vision).

This progression in the safety and efficacy of Laser Eye Surgery also continued in the height of the prescriptions it is able to treat. For many years, patients with higher prescriptions were deemed unsuitable for Laser Eye Surgery – a trend that persists in many clinics today. However, in recent years, the best clinics have been able to successfully treat patients with very high prescriptions.

For example, a typical Laser Eye Surgery clinic will qualify patients for LASIK treatment if they have short-sightedness (myopia) prescriptions from -0.5 D to -8.0 D, although patients at the high end of this range will also need to have thick and healthy corneas. In contrast, at London Vision Clinic, we are usually able to treat patients with prescriptions above -10.0 D thanks to the most up-to-date technology and the innovation of ReLEx SMILE treatment.

When it comes to long-sightedness (hyperopia), most clinics have a limit of somewhere between +3.0 D and 4.0D. Clinics with access to leading technology and expertise (like London Vision Clinic), however, can treat hyperopic prescriptions up to +7.0 D.

Laser Eye Surgery results in higher prescriptions

As you can see, today, even patients with very high prescriptions may be eligible for Laser Eye Surgery treatment. However, there is a slight increase in variability in the healing process when it comes to higher prescriptions. As one of our leading surgeons, Mr Glenn Carp explains in the video below, patients with higher prescriptions may require further enhancements in the future to fine-tune their vision.

Youtube video link

In general, the efficacy of Laser Eye Surgery decreases as prescriptions increase. While results at London Vision Clinic are not as dramatic as the norm, this trend is seen across all clinics. It is therefore important for patients to consider the clinic’s results and outcomes when treating patients with a similar prescription to their own. For example, a clinic’s general results for short- or long-sightedness may not be relevant and are often biased towards lower prescriptions.

High-Profile Treatments for Higher Prescriptions

Laser Eye Surgery works by removing a pre-determined portion of tissue from the corneal bed. This changes the way light is directed into the eye, allowing it to be focused more effectively on the retina. While this technique is the same across all prescriptions, patients with higher prescriptions require more tissue to be removed. For this reason, results can vary more significantly.

To mitigate this effect, we can plan high-profile treatments for our patients who have higher prescriptions. High-profile treatments are akin to taking two attempts to reach a target instead of one. With one attempt, there is always the chance that we may overshoot or fall short of our target. Planning the treatment in two stages enables us to optimise safety and results for patients with higher prescriptions.

High-profile procedures require more planning and take longer to perform. As a result, they are priced higher than our standard treatment. Nonetheless, when presented with this option, the vast majority of our patients decide it is best for them.

If you’d like to learn more about your suitability for Laser Eye Surgery at London Vision Clinic, get in touch with one of our friendly clinic coordinators today. Alternatively, Book a Consultation using the form below to start your journey to clear vision.

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