For many with poor eyesight, laser eye surgery offers something of a light at the end of the tunnel. An opportunity to turn back time and get your vision back to the days when it was 20/20 and you didn’t have to worry yourself with glasses and contact lenses, and when you could read the paper without having to hold it at arm’s length. This is particularly crucial for those whose careers rely on their eyesight, or those who suffer from serious eye conditions that badly affect their ability to live day-to-day.
However this can offer false hope for some people as laser eye surgery is not suitable for everyone and you might discover that you are unable to benefit from the procedure. Laser eye surgery is a process that alters the shape of the lens in the eye, and while this will help many cases of long-sightedness and short-sightedness it will not always be relevant to the cause of the problem. At the same time some people will be unsuitable for laser eye surgery due to health conditions or due to complications with the condition of their eyesight.
Types of Laser Eye Surgery
The first thing to bear in mind is that there are actually more than one type of laser eye surgery which means more people will be suitable for at least one form of the procedure. These are:
Which involves cutting open the top layer of the eye in order to work on the lens. This is actually the least painful method and will normally only take 24 hours-48 hours to heal and see results.
LASEK meanwhile involves using lasers in order to alter the shape of the lens with no need for surgery. This has a slightly longer recovery period. This is the most authentic form of ‘laser eye surgery’ as it involves a laser, though the term is often used to describe all kinds of corrective surgery.
Implantable Contact Lenses or ICLs
Here a new lens is implanted into the eye which serves the job of the contact lens but on a permanent basis. This means that for most people who can get benefit from contact lenses – ICLs will offer some form of correction.
Is Laser Eye Surgery Suitable for You?
So the question that remains is whether one of these forms of laser eye surgery is suitable for you. Today any level of prescription can be treated with eye surgery meaning that the severity of your sight problems will not affect your suitability. However on the other hand you may find that you are refused surgery if you only need a very low level of correction, as this can be seen as unnecessary surgery. -0.75 dioptre and less will generally be seen as unnecessary unless combined with astigmatism. Laser eye surgery will generally not be effective on problems caused by eye diseases.
Similarly laser eye surgery will not be used on those with a lazy eye, who are partially sighted, or who are blind in one eye. It is not useful for those who are completely blind, and those with kerataconus may benefit slightly from ICLs but it is unlikely to completely fix the problem – only offer partial improvement.
Eye surgery is also not recommended for those whose eyes are still changing as they will likely need the treatment again soon after rendering it pointless. Generally eye surgery will only be used for those whose eyesight has not changed for the past year. Some groups might also be considered too vulnerable for laser eye surgery. This will include those with bad epilepsy, pregnant women, mothers who are still breast feeding and those with depression.
The best way to find out whether you can benefit from eye surgery however is to get consultation which is normally offered free. This way you can discuss with experts your eligibility as well as which option is best suited to your condition.