Which Laser Eye Surgery treatment is right for you?
If you’re thinking about having Laser Eye Surgery, there’s no doubt you will have encountered many new words and acronyms, which at first glance, don’t seem to make a whole lot of sense.
PRK, LASIK, femtosecond lasers, myopia, hyperopia, presbyopia, ReLEx SMILE; these are just a sample of the common language used in the world of Laser Eye Surgery. Without question, it’s understandable to be overwhelmed by it all.
That feeling couldn’t be more genuine when choosing which vision correction treatment is right for you. But before we get into that, it’s first essential to make sure you have done the necessary research in choosing which clinic you are going with.
Many clinics have certain specialities and do not all produce the same results. For example, if you have a very high prescription, some clinics may tell you that you require synthetic lens implants. But, for instance, here at London Vision Clinic we have developed safe and highly effective Laser Eye Surgery techniques, especially for such cases.
Choosing your vision correction treatment
Once you’ve found a good laser eye clinic, the next step should always be to go in for an initial eye assessment with an ophthalmologist. The more thorough the consultation, the better, as one of the most important aspects of Laser Eye Surgery is making an accurate and detailed assessment of your refractive errors.
The surgeon will then determine how they can best correct your vision, and present you with a personalised treatment plan. At London Vision Clinic, a whopping 96% of our patients are treated with LASIK or ReLEx SMILE surgery, with a small percentage opting for PRK/LASEK.
Let’s look at each type of Laser Eye Surgery and the conditions they are commonly used to treat.
LASIK is the most common form of Laser Eye Surgery. It is a type of refractive surgery known as a ‘surface treatment’ like PRK/LASEK. It differs, however, in that the outer layer of the cornea is not removed, but rather an ultra-thin flap is created in it to expose the corneal bed. This not only means less risk, but less time spent in both surgery and recovery.
LASIK can treat a vast range of conditions, from short-sightedness (myopia) and long-sightedness (hyperopia), to irregularly shaped corneas (astigmatism), and even ageing eyes (presbyopia). You may have heard that presbyopia is only treatable with surgical lens implants, or intraocular lens implants (IOLs), but here at London Vision Clinic, we have been successfully treating patients for over 10 years with our revolutionary treatment, PRESBYOND® Laser Blended Vision.
ReLEx SMILE is a new laser eye treatment, first offered here in the UK at our clinic on Harley Street. The procedure is a new generation of minimally invasive, ‘flapless’ surgery, which offers significant advantages over LASIK and PRK/LASEK.
ReLEx SMILE is popular among our patients for many reasons. Firstly, it allows us to treat higher myopic prescriptions than previously deemed possible. Secondly, as the procedure is flap-less, it can be performed in only a matter of minutes and can eliminate the chances of post-operative discomfort and dry eye. Lastly, it offers a higher comfort level as there is no need for the patient to change position during the surgery.
PRK/LASIK, first introduced in the 1980s, is a type of vision correction treatment in which the corneal bed is exposed by first removing the outer surface (epithelium). To aid in regrowing the cells on the cornea’s surface, the surgeon places a soft contact lens over the eye. This process can take 3-5 days, during which a bit of discomfort and blurred vision is experienced.
PRK/LASEK has successfully treated millions of patients over the past few decades and is most suited for patients with unusually thin or flat corneas and when LASIK is deemed inappropriate.