Laser eye surgery is a popular procedure for those with poor eye sight. The procedure reshapes the transparent layer at the front of the eye (the cornea) using an excimer laser.
Laser eye surgery is a popular procedure for those with poor eye sight. The procedure reshapes the transparent layer at the front of the eye (the cornea) using an excimer laser. Different techniques within the field of laser eye surgery are used to correct short sight (myopia), long sight (hypermetropia) and astigmatism.
The actual procedure will depend on the type of treatment:
LASIK (laser in situ keratomileusis)
A common and popular procedure in the UK, laser in situ keratomileusis has been used to correct long-sightedness and short-sightedness for around twenty years. It can not be used on some patients who require a high prescription to correct poor eye-sight prior to surgery. For those who are good candidates for a LASIK procedure, the surgeon will reshape the surface of the cornea after cutting across the surface of the eye and raising a flap of tissue.
LASEK (laser epithelial keratomileusis)
LASEK has a number of things in common with the PRK (below) approach to laser eye surgery. However, when LASEK is performed, the surgeon will use the surface layer of the cornea as a flap. This approach to vision correction is thought to prevent complications and speed up the healing process.
PRK (photorefractive keratectomy)
PRK was used for around ten years before LASIK treatments were made widely available. With the introduction of LASIK and LASEK, PRK is now typically reserved for patients with low prescriptions. The procedure itself involves the cornea being reshaped by the excimer laser – without any tissue being cut.
Wavefront-guided LASIK is a tailor-made version of LASIK that reduces natural irregularities in the eye, yet also corrects eyesight at the same time.
The level of results achieved are what have made this procedure so popular. 98 per cent of patients achieve an unaided driving standard after their laser eye operation. Moderate eyesight correction surgery levels sit at a 95% success rate, while those who experienced severe levels of eyesight correction achieve 90 per cent success. Long sight results achieve 80 per cent success – both to driving standard.
You may need to use artificial tears to alleviate dry eyes for a few months after your laser eye surgery is performed. Some patients report seeing a glare or a halo from lights when driving at night for a few months after treatment is performed. This risk is heightened if a high degree of long or short-sightedness is corrected.
Costs vary depending on the prescription and level of treatment needed, however the procedure starts from around £1,500 per eye.