Does SMILE Laser Eye Surgery hurt?

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

This is pretty much how it goes for most big events in your life, even those that do actually involve some level of pain.

It’s the anxiety of sitting and waiting to speak in front of a room full of people. The sleepless nights worrying about starting a new job. The anticipation and fear of knowing in a few months you’ll have surgery.

It’s ironic, really. We end up preoccupying ourselves with the negatives of an event so much that we make it much worse than it is. Instead of just a ten-minute talk or a 10-minute surgery, it becomes this great big monster that follows you around for days on end, teasing and tormenting you until the day finally comes and your imagination is put to rest.

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The solution seems obvious. But like a smoker returning to their cigarettes, we can’t help it — particularly when the mind is free to roam around the web and dig up any smidgen of support it can find to justify its grievances. Attention is power, and as we’re hardwired to focus on the negatives of a situation to avoid getting ourselves into too much danger, they receive an unbalanced proportion of our attention and become more powerful than the positives.

The result is, if we don’t consciously recognise this mechanism is at play and inform ourselves with the rational facts, we risk giving up control to our primitive instincts and loosing out on what is quite often an opportunity of a lifetime.

10-minutes of feeling literally nothing

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

While some of this is rational and useful — a few nerves are necessary to keep you alert — most is unnecessary and can even be detrimental if you should give in to the little voice in your head and 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, most likely derived from the presence of ‘laser’ in its name. 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, working by electrically stimulating gases such as fluorine, chlorine, and argon to create a pseudo molecule which, when ‘lasered’, produces light in the ultraviolet range.

This means you won’t even see the laser, never mind feel it, smell it, hear it, or anything else.

The most 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 SMILE, patients typically report feeling absolutely nothing during the whole procedure.

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, the treatment will be over before you knew it even began.

Does SMILE Laser Eye Surgery hurt?

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