The Growth of Laser Eye Surgery
Just a few years ago, the outlook for Laser Eye Surgery looked somewhat bleak.
Consumer watchdog Which? published a report highlighting deep and widespread problems among clinics, from inadequate advice and hot-air promises to deceiving prices and wildly unrealistic claims.
But the report was fair and comprehensive. And whereas it did reveal this is the case for some Laser Eye Surgery clinics, it also clearly showed it wasn’t a reflection of the whole landscape, particularly the many private and independent clinics that do just and honourable work.
So rather than putting people off the idea of Laser Eye Surgery, they instead took heed and became much better informed. As a result, Laser Eye Surgery — thankfully for the thousands who work in the industry and the millions who can benefit from the treatment — has only grown stronger and better.
A new report (this time not by Which?) has revealed just how much the industry is booming. The Global LASIK Eye Surgery Market Research Report shows that the market is set to continue its astonishing growth year on year until at least 2022. Interestingly, it also reveals what exactly is driving all this growth.
Who’s having all the Laser Eye Surgery?
Today, all types of people of all ages have Laser Eye Surgery — for all sorts of reasons.
It’s true that Laser Eye Surgery still cannot treat people of every single age and prescription, but with advancing technology and expertise, these boundaries are becoming ever thinner.
The kinds of people having Laser Eye Surgery range from a 21-year-old athlete having ReLEx SMILE so they don’t have to wear contacts when training and competing, to a 70-year-old grandmother having PRESBYOND® Laser Blended Vision to help her read bedtime stories to her grandchildren without strain and discomfort.
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This being said, there is no upper age limit. Patients cannot be younger than 18-years-old, however, as at this age their eyes are still developing.
With a higher number of Laser Eye Surgery clinics than probably anywhere else in the world, LASIK is by far most common in North America. The UK, however, with its Laser Eye Surgery hub Harley Street, performs an impressive amount of treatments for its size — hundreds of thousands every year.
Out of anywhere, though, the report showed that in the coming years, the Asia-Pacific region is expected to see the fastest growth in Laser Eye Surgery.
Why are people having Laser Eye Surgery?
Since researchers first started recording instances of myopia in the 50s, the prevalence of the refractive error has increased at an astonishing rate. Today, it’s still increasing — estimates predict that a third of the world’s population will suffer from myopia, also known as shortsightedness, by 2020.
It’s no surprise, then, that more people are having Laser Eye Surgery to treat myopia than ever before. But the popularity of the treatment isn’t just because everyone now spends most their time staring at screens and eyesight has become worse, it’s also because Laser Eye Surgery has become much, much better.
One of the major reasons for this is recent innovations in technology. Technology plays a part in all stages of Laser Eye Surgery, and so the treatment is always improving — especially during the screening and assessment stage.
The assessment stage of Laser Eye Surgery is often said to be the most important part of the treatment. This is because the greater detail in which a clinic can measure and understand your eyes, the lower the risk and the greater the results.
Today, surgeons use technology such as a wavefront aberrometer to map the tiny, unique imperfections in the way your eye focuses light. Some clinics even have use of the Artemis Insight 100, the world’s most accurate corneal scanner, which allows them to map the individual layers of corneal tissue to the nearest micron (1,000th of a millimetre).
Add to that the MEL90 laser, with its pioneering semi-automatic delivery and ultra-fast response time to track the eye with unrivalled speed and accuracy, and the Laser Eye Surgery procedure is safer and more effective than ever.
All this means that, in 2019, Laser Eye Surgery is one of the world’s leading surgeries. Over thirty million people around the world have already been successfully relieved of their refractive errors, and with the way things are going, the treatment is only going to get even better.