For many of us, having perfect eyesight is something we take for granted – our vision has always been clear, so we’ve no real appreciation of how it might affect our lives if we were to suffer from a stigmatism of some kind.
For those living with short or long-sightedness, however, things can be very different and we have to contend with wearing glasses or contact lenses in order to correct our vision and enable us to see clearly.
There is another alternative, though, in the form of laser eye surgery – a permanent procedure that corrects your eyesight via the use of a laser, which reshapes your cornea (the transparent part at the front of your eye which covers the iris and pupil).
However, there are a certain number of misconceptions around laser eye surgery, which may be putting people off from having the operation, so we’re here to bust five common myths and focus on the facts.
- “Doesn’t laser eye surgery hurt?”
No, your eyes are treated with anaesthetic drops prior to the surgery, so you shouldn’t feel the laser. Some people do experience a small, non-painful sensation during the operation but the vast majority don’t feel a thing. Once the surgery has been completed, the clinic ought to provide you with drops to keep your eyes hydrated and help them recover.
- “Isn’t it really expensive?”
Of course, that depends on your definition of the word expensive, but laser eye surgery is actually reasonably priced for a procedure that can have such a dramatically positive effect on your life. Providers such as Optimax, for example, charge £1,795 per eye regardless of your prescription, as well as offering interest free credit for up to two years, so you can spread the payment over time.
- “Isn’t it risky?”
As one of the most commonly performed procedures in the UK, laser eye surgery is also one of the safest. A recent study from the Royal College of Ophthalmologists found that 95% of people were satisfied with the results, while the overwhelming majority achieve at least the vision required for driving.
- “What if I blink or move my eyes?”
Don’t worry, it shouldn’t be possible for you to do this. An eyelid holder will be put in place for the duration of the operation, preventing you from blinking or moving your eyes. Furthermore, lasers will shut off automatically if they detect any movement, so it needn’t be a concern.
- “Won’t I be in surgery for hours?”
No, the procedure itself only lasts a matter of minutes. However, it’s worth being aware that you may be in the clinic for longer, as time is taken to speak with the doctors regarding pre and post-surgery treatment.