Is it worth getting Laser Eye Surgery?
There’s no shortage of reasons why someone might want to have Laser Eye Surgery.
Some of them are incredibly deep and meaningful: A guy who’s having his second child and wants to be able to help roll or wake up in the middle of the night without worrying about finding his glasses.
But most reasons are pretty mundane and simple: Just being able to wake up in the morning and not have to search the house or vulnerably edge your way across the landing to the bathroom to put in your contact lenses.
Whatever your reasons, they’re likely a mix of work and leisure, professional and pleasure, because vision doesn’t affect just one aspect of your life.
That’s why you can be thinking about having Laser Eye Surgery for years. Mentally totting up all the little benefits, along with recommendations from friends, and periodically weighing it all up to see if it’s worth it. But this process can literally go on forever. Because what we’re looking for is the answer to be as clear and simple as yes, Laser Eye Surgery is 100 percent the right thing to do. All while knowing deep down that it’s always going to be a little more nuanced and personal than that.
A better question to ask then would be: Is Laser Eye Surgery right for me, right now? To answer that, we need to have a closer look at who the treatment is for as well as the risks and benefits.
Who is Laser Eye Surgery for anyway?
Everyone has to meet certain criteria before being considered a candidate for Laser Eye Surgery. These strict criteria ensure you’ll achieve the best possible outcome.
A few of these criteria include healthy eyes, being at least 21 years old, and not currently pregnant or nursing.
It is during a comprehensive screening process that the clinic will assess such factors and let you know the chances of achieving your best vision possible.
However, even if you meet such conditions, Laser Eye Surgery may not be the clear, number one choice over glasses or contacts. For instance, Laser Eye Surgery might not be worth it if you:
- Have a very high prescription: If you have a high prescription such as extreme near-sightedness, then at some clinics it may not be safe — or possible — to treat you. Today, ReLEx SMILEis an alternative option in such cases, but it isn’t available at every clinic.
- Already have decent eyesight: If you have fairly good overall vision, and you only need to use glasses or contacts some of the time, then investing in the treatment may not be worth it.
- Are experiencing age-related changes: It’s no secret that pretty much everyone will start to experience a gradual decline in reading vision in their mid to late 40s. If these changes are happening or are on the horizon, then it may be worth waiting to have a treatment such as PRESBYOND® Laser Blended Vision.
- Participate in high impact sports: Although Laser Eye Surgery offers many advantages to sportspeople, even those who do sports such as martial arts and rugby, if you are particularly prone to blows to the face and eyes, then it is worth looking more closely at the risks of LASIK compared to SMILE.
What’s the risk of Laser Eye Surgery?
Risk is a sensitive topic in Laser Eye Surgery. But the fact is, Laser Eye Surgery is a surgical procedure and therefore does comes with an element of risk.
That being said, the industry is continually advancing that element of risk is much lower than most people think.
It’s for these reasons that when you talk about the risks of Laser Eye Surgery, it’s tricky to talk about it on a general basis. For instance, here at London Vision Clinic, we have an extremely low complication rate. In general, though, there is a very small possibility a complication could arise from the procedure.
The rare chance of a complication shouldn’t put you off Laser Eye Surgery. The likelihood of complications can be greatly diminished by factors such as the thoroughness of preoperative testing, the expertise of the surgeon, available technology, and the quality of follow-up care.
Risk, then, is not fixed but something you and the clinic can take active steps to manage. With that in mind, here are a few steps you can take in assessing what the risks of Laser Eye Surgery are for you:
- Talk to an expert: No website, tabloid article, or friend beats talking to an expert in person about risks. They’ll be able to explain everything that is done to minimise risk and their experience in handling both foreseen or unforeseen complications or side effects during and after treatment.
- Understand the possibilities: It can be natural to want to shy away from knowing what could happen in the worst-case scenarios. But actually familiarising yourself with every possible outcome helps you better understand the procedure. Especially as the relative chance of something going wrong in your case is likely to be even too low to measure.
- Weighing up the cost/benefit: All surgery has an element of risk, and so although this risk can be greatly reduced by choosing the right clinic, you still have to take a small, brave leap to be able to reap the rewards. When it comes down to it, many people find that a safe, five-minute procedure for clear and unhindered vision is worth it.
So what’s the benefit of Laser Eye Surgery?
The benefits of Laser Eye Surgery can be summed up in a few words: better vision. But what does better vision actually mean and look like?
As mentioned above, for one person, better vision maybe never having to poke contact lenses into their eyes ever again. For another, it may be playing with their kids without the fear of breaking their glasses. And yet for another, it might mean reducing their risk of contracting a painful and sight-threatening eye infection from contact lenses.
Whilst better vision can mean something different to everyone, there are certain benefits it brings to everyone:
- Immediate vision improvement: Even as soon as sitting up after the treatment, most patients notice an improvement in their vision.
- Reduced chance of eye infections: Not everyone thinks about how Laser Eye Surgery reduces their risk of eye disease and infection — unless you are one of the many people who’ve experienced a contact lens-related infection. Such infections can quickly lead to something serious and even put you at risk of losing your vision. Therefore, the risk of infection from wearing contact lenses far exceeds the risks of Laser Eye Surgery.
- Simply better vision: It is easy to underestimate the impact of living with naturally greater visual acuity. Laser Eye Surgery can make you feel free and confident to explore new places, try new activities, and meet new people. Better vision is the first step to a better life.
When asking the question, “Is Laser Eye Surgery worth it?” you should be wary of anyone who bluntly says “yes” or “no”. Laser Eye Surgery is a life-changing treatment and a decision that shouldn’t be cast aside or snapped up too quickly, but considered with precision and care. Luckily, there are experts who have your best interests at heart and with whom you can have that exact conversation.
To find out more about Laser Eye Surgery and discover if it is right for you, leave a comment below or get in touch with our friendly team of clinic coordinators today.