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What Is Laser Eye Surgery?

Article Contents:

1. What is laser eye surgery?

2. What happens during laser eye surgery?

3. Does the laser hurt?

4. What happens after the surgery?

5. Health and suitability.

Patients often want to know, exactly what is laser eye surgery? It is a commonly performed surgery used to permanently correct problems with vision, for people who don’t want to wear glasses or contact lenses.

Over 40 million people have had laser eye surgery worldwide. It is a simple and highly effective treatment that is extremely safe.

Laser eye surgery works by reshaping the cornea, or surface of the eye using a laser, so that the image produced by the lens is in the right place, not in front of or behind the retina.

Before having laser eye sugery all patients must undergo an extensive eye examination which will ensure that they are suitable.  For your safety it is important that this initial eye exam, and the laser procedure itself, is carried out by an ophthalmic surgeon. This is a medical doctor with many additional years of training and experience. 

What Happens During The Surgery?

During laser eye surgery, a special type of cutting laser is used to precisely change the shape of your cornea (the dome-shaped clear tissue at the front of your eye) to improve vision.

First, anaesthetic drops are placed into the eye to ensure that the patient is comfortable during the procedure. To keep the eye open during the surgery, a lid speculum is placed over the eye. Once the patient is ready, a very small incision is made to the cornea, which is about a quarter of its depth.

This incision is a small box shape with an oblong flap that that remains attached along the side. While the flap is open, the laser is used to change the shape of the cornea, to whatever shape is required by the patient.

The surgeon will adjust the laser pulses so that the correct amount of reshaping occurs. As the tissues of the cornea meet the laser pulses, tiny parts of the cornea are vaporised. Once this process is complete, the flap is placed back and it adjusts to the new shape of the cornea.

Some patients report feeling a little bit of pressure during the procedure but no actual pain.

The laser surgery itself lasts less than one-minute for each eye and from entering the surgery to completion of both eyes your procedure will likely last no more than twenty minutes. You will then be asked to sit and relax for a few minutes after which the surgeon will quickly exam your eyes before letting you go home.

Does The Laser Hurt?

After many years of sucessfully treatments we have realised that many patients have the thought that laser eye surgery is a painful process because they believe a laser beam is red hot and could burn their eyes. However, quite the opposite is true, because the laser beam is actually cold.

Understandably, patients often ask whether the laser eye surgery hurts. The short answer is no. This is because anaesthetic drops are applied to the eye before the procedure and this has a numbing effect to ensure you feel no pain

After laser eye surgery, it is common for patients to feel a slight itching or in a few cases a burning sensation in your eyes, but this feeling should go away very quickly.

The level of discomfort you experience depends upon the type of laser eye surgery you’ve undergone, which in turn depends upon the eye condition being treated. However, any discomfort will not last more than a day or two and you should be enjoying improved vision very quickly.

All of this should be clearly explained to you by your surgeon before you come to the clinic for your laser eye surgery so that you feel as relaxed and informed on the day.

We encourage you to discuss any fears you have with your sugeon during your suitability examination. He fully understands that it is natural to be aprhensive and that successful surgery depends on your confidence in the process and being relaxed on the day and afterwards.

What Happens After The Surgery?

Immediately after the laser eye surgery your eyesight will be blurry for a few hours so you will need to have someone take you home afterwards. It is recommended that you relax for the rest of the day.

You will need to attend the clinic the next day for your first aftercare session. This will only last ten minutes or so and the surgeon will normally give you the green light to go back to work and to drive again after this.

To ensure you get the best results, your aftercare is just as important as the laser treatment itself. You will be given a tailored aftercare plan and your surgeon will be available at any time if you have any issues.

Generally you will have six consultations after your laser eye surgery. The first will be the day after, the next a week later, then a month later, three months after that and finally after another six months. This may vary depending on your treatment and the results of the surgery.

It is very important that you attend your aftercare appointments as recommended by your surgeon. All necessary aftercare is included in our pricing until you are officially discharged.

If, during an aftercare visit, it is deemed that a retreatment is necessary in order to improve your visual results, we will provide this for you with no additional charge.

A retreatment is required for around one in twenty patients and is normal for even the very best laser eye surgery clinics.

Health & Suitability

There are certain health conditions that can increase the risks associated with laser eye surgery or make the outcome less predictable. You may not be a suitable candidate for laser eye surgery if you have any of the following conditions:

  • Recent changes in vision. These changes can be caused by medications, pregnancy or aging.
  • Autoimmune diseases, for example rheumatoid arthritis
  • A weak immune system. This can be caused by certain medications.
  • Inflammation of the cornea, eye injuries or diseases. These include glaucoma or cataracts.

These will be all taken into consideration at your initial eye exam. If you have one or more of these conditions, you may still be suitable for laser eye surgery.

Contact Us

We offer personalised laser eye surgery to world-class standards, with low-cost, all inclusive transparent pricing that is the best value in Ireland. 

Prices include use of Wavefront technology and all aftercare. Call us for more information on 01-280 9248

Wavefront Explained

Wavefront is a measurement technology that can improve your treatment.

Wavefront allows your surgeon to measure aberrations in your cornea’s shape and texture. He can then customise the lasers to treat these.

This will improve results, including clarity of vision, ability to see at night, and ability to see contrasting colours. It also reduces side effects associated with traditional laser eye surgery.

You should always make sure that Wavefront technology is being offered and included in the price of laser eye surgery.