7 Misconceptions about Laser Eye Surgery

There are several common misconceptions about Laser Eye Surgery

Laser Eye Surgery can treat short-sightedness, long-sightedness, astigmatism, and now, the need for reading glasses (presbyopia).

It’s the most commonly performed surgical procedure in the world and has a history of over 35 million procedures since it was first introduced in 1987.

Statistically, it’s the safest medical procedure in the world.

Laser Eye Surgery offers minimal discomfort and fast recovery time, with most patients able to resume normal activities within 24 hours. Here we aim to dispel any confusion about the latest Laser Eye Surgery procedures.

Misconception 1: Complications are common and serious

Laser Eye Surgery is in fact a very safe procedure. 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 just a small compromise to your vision is in the order of 1 in 1,000.

Misconception 2: Laser Eye Surgery is only for short-sighted people

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

Eye assessment at the London Vision Clinic
A patient during an assessment at London Vision Clinic

Misconception 3: Laser Eye Surgery cannot help people aged 40+ who need reading glasses

This is a Laser Eye Surgery FAQ that many people are delighted to hear the answer to. The latest advances in laser technology allow for the correction of long and short-sightedness, with or without astigmatism, together with presbyopia for people who use reading glasses.

Misconception 4: The treatment is not permanent

Here at our eye clinic on Harley Street, London, questions surrounding how long Laser Eye Surgery lasts are often posed. Long-term follow-up studies have demonstrated that once the shape of your cornea is adjusted to correct your vision, the change is permanent. Of course, your eye is a living organ that 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 this effect to be very small. Once you reach the age of 50, your prescription will only change by an average of half a dioptre every decade.

Misconception 5: One 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. In fact, Laser Eye Surgery is the answer to vision correction for anyone — regardless of age — who has been deemed suitable for the procedure by a trusted surgeon.

Misconception 6: One can go blind because of Laser Eye Surgery

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. Realistically, the chance of going blind from Laser Eye Surgery in the hands of an expert surgeon using the best technology is virtually impossible.

To answer this question about Laser Eye Surgery — the procedure is safe, simple, and virtually painless.

Misconception 7: One could end up with worse vision than one started with

The answer to this common results-focused FAQ is clear: There is a incredibly small chance of leaving the clinic with worse vision than you came in with. But to be more specific, the situation is dependent on your level of vision before you have Laser Eye Surgery.

  • Vision without glasses/uncorrected vision loss: There is virtually no chance that after Laser Eye Surgery your vision would be worse than before surgery without glasses.
  • Vision with glasses/corrected visual acuity: Your maximum clarity with glasses before surgery is your best spectacle corrected visual acuity (BSCVA). In expert hands, the chance that the BSCVA will be reduced by even a small amount is in the order of 1 in 1,000.

Have any other doubts or concerns about Laser Eye Surgery? Come see us at our Harley Street clinic in London, or contact us.