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Seven Common Misconceptions about Laser Eye Surgery

Laser Eye Surgery is the most commonly performed elective procedure in the world, yet misconceptions remain…

Almost four decades on from when Laser Eye Surgery was first introduced, the procedure has now been performed tens of millions of times all around the world. That’s tens of millions of people who have had their short-sightedness, long-sightedness, astigmatism, and need for reading glasses (presbyopia) successfully treated!

What’s more, statistically, Laser Eye Surgery is the safest medical procedure available. It offers minimal discomfort and fast recovery times with most patients able to resume normal activities within just 24 hours.

And yet, despite these impressive stats, several misconceptions continue to circulate. Below, we address seven of the most common misconceptions about Laser Eye Surgery with an aim to dispel any confusion about the latest Laser Eye Surgery procedures.

Misconception 1: “Complications are common and serious”

As we mentioned above, Laser Eye Surgery is, in fact, a very safe procedure. OF course, it is important to remember that no surgical procedure is completely without risk – and Laser Eye Surgery is no exception. It is important to be aware of all potential risks relating to your procedure. Your surgeon will discuss all possible outcomes with you during your consultation and screening process.

Nonetheless, the relative risk associated with the procedure is extremely low when compared with the potential benefits. In fact, when performed by an expert surgeon with the help of the most up-to-date technology, the chances of experiencing even a small compromise to your vision are around 1 in 1,000.

Misconception 2: “Laser Eye Surgery can only treat short-sightedness”

In the early days of Laser Eye Surgery, treatment was largely focused on correcting short-sightedness (myopia). However, since then, Laser Eye Surgery has been in a near-constant state of innovation and development.

As a result, Laser Eye Surgery can help patients with all four of the most common refractive errors (myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, and presbyopia) to achieve extremely impressive results.

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

Misconception 3: “Laser Eye Surgery can’t help people over 40 who need reading glasses”

This is possibly one of the most persistent misconceptions about Laser Eye Surgery and is often one that people are delighted to hear rebuffed. Presbyopia typically develops at around the age of 40. Thankfully, Laser Eye Surgery absolutely can banish the need for reading glasses.

Since 2005, PRESBYOND Laser Blended Vision has been able to treat presbyopia for people who require reading glasses. What’s more, it can be performed alongside the treatment of short-sightedness, long-sightedness, and astigmatism.

Misconception 4: “The results of Laser Eye Surgery are not permanent”

Here at London Vision Clinic, we get a lot of questions about how long the results of Laser Eye Surgery last. Many people still believe that the results of Laser Eye Surgery somehow reverse themselves after a few years. But this isn’t the case at all.

Long-term follow-up studies of Laser Eye Surgery outcomes have demonstrated that the changes made during the procedure are permanent. However, it is important to consider the natural ageing of the eyes that continues despite Laser Eye Surgery treatment.

As we get older, everyone’s eyes change, to some degree, even if we have never needed glasses. Studies have suggested, however, that these effects are generally very small. Once you reach the age of 50, it is estimated that your prescription will only change by an average of half a dioptre every decade.

Misconception 5: “I’m too old to have Laser Eye Surgery”

Many people assume that Laser Eye Surgery is a young person’s game but, in actual fact, there is no upper age limit to undergo the procedure – as long as your eyes are healthy. People of all ages (over 18 years) are generally eligible for Laser Eye Surgery, given they are in overall good health, have a treatable prescription, and are deemed suitable by an experienced surgeon.

Misconception 6: “Laser Eye Surgery can cause blindness”

Technically, Laser Eye Surgery does carry an exceedingly small risk of causing blindness; however, this is far smaller than the risk posed by wearing monthly contact lenses for one year. This extremely small risk factor is generally perceived as reasonable when compared with the potential benefits of the procedure.

Realistically, the chances of a patient going blind having undergone treatment with an expert surgeon using the best available technology is virtually non-existent – potentially in the region of 1 in five million! Still, you should always be fully aware of all the potential risks before undergoing surgery.

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

The answer to this common results-focused FAQ is clear: It is extremely unlikely that your vision without glasses (your uncorrected vision) will be worse after surgery than before. However, the real risk of this happening is dependent on your level of vision before you underwent the procedure.

For example, there is virtually no chance that your vision will be worse after surgery than your vision without glasses before. Furthermore, the chance that your corrected distance visual acuity (CDVA) will be reduced by even a small amount is around 1 in 1,000 – that’s 0.1% per eye.

All potential risks regarding your particular treatment and prescription will be thoroughly explained to you at your screening appointments.

If you have any further doubts or concerns about Laser Eye Surgery, get in touch with one of our friendly clinic coordinators – they are always happy to help! Alternatively, Book a Consultation to determine your suitability for treatment.