Wearing glasses suits some people but for others it does not work and can just be inconvenient. There are surgical options that can help.
Who is suitable?
If you are between the ages of 18 and 50, suffer from long-sightedness, short-sightedness and/or astigmatism and your prescription has remained the same over the past 12 months, you are most likely suitable for laser eye surgery. Other factors include the general health of your eye, the degree of refractive error, whether or not you have had a history of eye problems (dry eye, scarring or thinning of the cornea) or if you have previously had a serious eye injury.
Is a laser vision correction procedure permanent?
The surgery permanently reshapes the cornea. Occasionally people may need a follow up treatment, however the majority retain their new corrected vision. When a person reaches the age of 45-50, they start developing what’s called presbyopia. This disorder is related to the lens of the eye and not the cornea.
What will I feel during laser eye surgery?
Laser eye surgery isn’t painful. You may feel a slight pressure during the first step of the procedure. During the second part you may feel a slight sensation, but again you will not feel any pain.
What happens if I blink?
During laser eye surgery, a device is fitted over your eye and holds it in place. This ensures that you cannot move your eye during this part of the procedure.
What will my vision be like after laser eye surgery?
Many people are surprised that even as they are leaving the laser suite they are able to see distant objects such as a clock on the wall. The day after, most people are able to legally drive without the use of glasses or contact lenses. It is not unusual that vision will fluctuate for up to a month before it settles.
How soon can I play sport after my procedure?
Most people can resume their normal routine the day after. However, you are recommended to avoid swimming and contact sports for a month.
What are the side effects of a laser vision correction procedure?
Some people will experience dry eyes and minor discomfort – you will be given drops to help with this. Some patients will feel some levels of pain – again, you will be given drops and pain relief medication before you leave the clinic.
You may experience sensitivity to light and see haloes at night. This should eventually pass
Can I go blind?
Laser eye surgery is a surgical procedure with rare but potentially serious side effects. These need to be discussed with your surgeon.
How long does a laser vision correction procedure take?
You will be in clinic for around 2 hours and the laser suite for no more than 30 minutes.
I am pregnant– can I have laser eye surgery?
No– the hormonal changes that occur during this time lead to the body retaining more fluid, which can cause swelling of the cornea of the eye.
Can I have a vision correction procedure while breastfeeding?
It’s better to wait until you’ve stopped breastfeeding before having laser eye surgery, both before and following the procedure, you would be prescribed antibiotics and steroid eye drops, as well as some pain relief medication. As a new mother, common sense says that you don’t want to expose your newborn to any of these through nursing.
How much does laser eye surgery cost?
Once you have had your initial examination, which determines which procedure you will have, you will be given the full costings.
Will my health fund cover any of my cost?
Medicare does not refund any of the cost of a laser eye surgery procedure. Check with your individual private health cover to see if they will cover the cost for you. If you are out of pocket this is where a Surgery Payment Plan can help.