Irrational Laser Eye Surgery fears
Almost everyone has an irrational fear or two. Maybe you’re terrified of spiders. Or you dread going to the dentist. Maybe you can’t stand being in small spaces. Or you run a mile when you see a mouse. For me, even the thought of being in a crowd of people is enough to send my heart rate through the roof. Most of these irrational fears form in our early childhood, generally due to a particularly stressful situation or experience, or as a reflection of the fears of a parent or family member. But some of them don’t form until later in life. When this happens, it’s usually due to having a lack of knowledge about a subject, being misinformed, or being influenced by myths and scaremongering. On the whole, irrational fears are largely trivial and minor. But they do get more serious when they start causing you a great deal of anxiety, interfering with life-changing decisions and affecting the quality of your day-to-day living. Too many great candidates still disregard Laser Eye Surgery on the basis of irrational fears. Here are some of the most common to ensure you don’t fall into their trap and miss out on a life of greater vision.
Being awake during the surgery
Surgery is often associated with a state of controlled unconsciousness induced by general anaesthetics. This is the case for many surgeries as it’s considered safer and more comfortable to be unaware when the procedure is being carried out. But in the case of Laser Eye Surgery, being fully conscious and aware during the procedure does not put the patient at risk. This is important to be clear on, as surveys have shown that the fear of being awake during Laser Eye Surgery is one of the most common reasons people decide against treatment. Laser Eye Surgery doesn’t warrant the use of general anaesthetics as it is a simple, minimally invasive procedure which employs technology like eye-tracking to safeguard against any hiccups, coughs or sneezes during surgery.
Fear of pain
Leading on from the last Laser Eye Surgery fear comes another of the most common among public thought: the fear of pain. As you are fully awake during the procedure, you may expect to experience pain as the surgeon does their work. The fact is, you’ll feel virtually nothing as anaesthetic eye drops are applied to the eye prior to surgery. This means you’ll feel no pain whatsoever—if anything just a slight sensation of pressure.
Fear of complications
We always think we’ll be the unlucky one, the one who falls off the operating table or appears from the surgery with an eye patch. However, with the wealth of knowledge available today, the expertise of laser eye surgeons, and the capabilities of modern technology, it’s becoming ever more unlikely that such chance events will happen. If we take a general estimate of the chance of a laser eye surgeon being faced with a situation which they could not satisfactorily correct, it’d be around 1 in 30,000. As we mentioned, knowledge, expertise, and technology play a prominent role in these odds and therefore finding a clinic who place importance on these values is highly significant. Still worried your going to be the one who will look away or sneeze mid-procedure? Check out this short video.
Fear of going blind
Fears don’t get much bigger than the fear of going blind as a result of Laser Eye Surgery. Our eyesight is one of our most precious senses, and so when it comes to the chance of losing it, there’s no room for messing around with second-rate clinics, i.e., insufficient testing, limited experience, and rushed procedures. 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.
Have other doubts or concerns on your mind? Contact one of our Patient Care Coordinators or find out more about the risks of Laser Eye Surgery.
For 2017, we have updated this article to ‘Quick guide: Laser Eye Surgery and anxiety’