Common Misconceptions

1. Complications are common and serious

Laser eye surgery is very safe.

Of course, no procedure is entirely without some level of risk – the point is that the relative risk of laser eye surgery is extremely low when compared to the relative benefits.

In the hands of an expert surgeon using the best technology, the chances of even a small compromise to the vision is in the order of 0.1% for the majority of patients.

For those with higher prescriptions, the risk may be higher, and this will be indicated at your screening appointment if it applies to you.

2. Laser eye surgery is painful

Laser eye surgery itself is quick and pain-free.

With LASIK and ReLEx SMILE, you may feel a moment’s pressure early in the procedure. You may also experience some mild discomfort or irritation for up to 24 hours after the surgery, but this is usually relieved with artificial tears and pain-relief eye drops (which any good clinic should provide free of charge).

3. Laser eye surgery is only for shortsighted people

With today’s technology, patients who are short or long-sighted, presbyopic or astigmatic can be treated.

4. Laser eye surgery cannot help people aged 40+ who need reading glasses

For over a decade, PRESBYOND® Laser Blended Vision laser eye surgery has been used to correct presbyopia (ageing eyes).

No procedure is able to fully restore the eye’s zooming mechanisms to enable perfect distance and perfect near vision in both eyes simultaneously.

PRESBYOND® Laser Blended Vision is a form of LASIK laser eye surgery, where one eye is corrected mainly for distance vision and a little up close, while the other eye is corrected mainly for close vision and a little at distance.

The brain learns to combine the two images, giving clear vision at near, intermediate and far distances.

PRESBYOND® Laser Blended Vision is not to be confused with monovision (which uses contact lenses or older laser systems to correct one eye for distance and the other for near, and which some patients find difficult to tolerate).

Studies have shown that over 97% of presbyopic patients are suitable for PRESBYOND® Laser Blended Vision treatment. The aim of PRESBYOND® Laser Blended Vision is to maximise independence from glasses, but you may still need to use glasses in some situations.

5. The treatment is not permanent

Long-term follow-up studies have demonstrated that once the shape of your cornea is changed to correct your vision, the change is permanent.

Of course, your eye is a living organ and alters over the years, just as the rest of your body does. Everyone’s eyes change to some degree, even if they have never needed glasses.

However, studies have shown that changes after surgery tend to be very small, and develop very slowly. Once you reach the age of 50, your prescription will only change by an average of half a dioptre every decade.

6. You can be too old for laser eye surgery

Technically, there is no upper age limit for laser eye surgery as long as the eye is healthy.

7. You can go blind

This is practically impossible.

Realistically, the chance of going blind from laser eye surgery in the hands of an expert surgeon using the best technology is almost too small to measure – probably in the region of 1 in 5 million.

8. You could end up with worse vision than you started with

This point deals with two issues:

  • Your vision without glasses – uncorrected vision loss: There is virtually no chance that your vision without glasses after laser eye surgery would be worse than without glasses for the specific tasks that you needed them for before surgery.
  • Your vision with glasses – loss of corrected distance visual acuity: Your maximum clarity with glasses before surgery is known as your ‘corrected distance visual acuity’ (CDVA). In expert hands, the chance of your CDVA being reduced by even a small amount is around 1 in 1,000 (0.1%) per eye for the majority of patients. For those with higher prescriptions, the risk may be higher, and this will be indicated at your screening appointment if it applies to you.