Does SMILE Laser Eye Surgery hurt?

In our experience, the worst part of Laser Eye Surgery always comes before the treatment.

This might sound surprising at first. After all, Laser Eye Surgery involves lasers and your eyes.

However, it’s pretty much the same story for most big events in our lives. Even those that do actually involve some discomfort and pain — which Laser Eye Surgery doesn’t.

It’s the anxiety of sitting and waiting to speak in front of a crowd. It’s the sleepless nights worrying about the first day on a new job. It’s the anticipation of knowing in a few months you’ll have surgery.

It’s ironic, really. We preoccupy ourselves with the negatives of an event so much that it develops into something much worse than expected.

Instead of just a fifteen-minute talk or a ten-minute surgery, it becomes this great big monster that follows you around for days or weeks on end, teasing and tormenting you until the day finally comes and your imagination is put to rest.

The solution seems obvious. Don’t worry. Keep Calm And Carry On. But it’s much harder in practice, particularly when we’re free to roam the web and dig up any smidgen of support we can find to justify and magnify our grievances.

Attention is power. And as we’re hardwired to focus on the negatives of situations to avoid getting ourselves into too much danger, we give anything that could support this pursuit an unbalanced proportion of our attention.

It might sound strange to get a lecture from a Laser Eye Surgery clinic on attention and anxiety. But after having cared for and treated thousands of patients, we would consider ourselves somewhat experts on the matter.

What we see time and time again is that too many people allow themselves to get caught up in misinformation and worry and end up not having the procedure out of fear. And yet, after just a few minutes talking to an expert, arming themselves with the facts on Laser Eye Surgery, and recognising that a little bit of fear is okay, patients can go on to happily experience a pain-free and life-changing treatment.

10-minutes of feeling literally nothing

As it deals with such an important part of the body, it’s not surprising to experience some fear and anxiety in the days leading up to Laser Eye Surgery.

While some of this is rational and useful — a few nerves are necessary to keep us on our toes — most is unnecessary and can even be detrimental if you should decide not to go ahead with the treatment.

One of the most common irrational Laser Eye Surgery fears is of experiencing pain during the treatment. This is most likely derived from the presence of ‘laser’ in the treatment’s name, as well a few early accounts from decades ago when the treatment was still young.

First and foremost, contrary to what you may have seen in the movies, not all lasers are hot and used for Jedi space battles. The laser used in Laser Eye Surgery is actually “cold”, meaning it works by electrically stimulating gases such as fluorine, chlorine, and argon, to create a pseudo molecule which, when ‘lasered’, produces light in the ultraviolet range.

As Laser Eye Surgery uses cold lasers, this means you won’t see the laser, never mind feel it, smell it, hear it, or anything else.

The most that patients report feeling during Laser Eye Surgery is a slight sensation of pressure on the eye, but even that is largely omitted by the numbing eye drops. And in ReLEx SMILE, the revolutionary treatment that turns Laser Eye Surgery into a key-hole procedure, patients typically report feeling absolutely nothing during the whole thing.

The fact is, at swifter than the time it takes to make a cup of tea, and with the surgeon speaking to you the whole way through, SMILE will be over before you know it.

Laser Eye Surgery is a big decision and a scary prospect. But that shouldn’t mean it can’t be an exciting and enjoyable experience. Arm yourself with the facts, get your information from the experts, and allow yourself to revel in the freedom of clear and frameless vision.