FAQ - Before Treatment

Frequently asked questions - Beforehand

Will I be suitable for vision correction?

If you know your prescription, then you could use our free online vision correction suitability checker, which is designed to act as a guide for you. The only way to know for sure and to find the best eye surgery treatment for you is to attend a free consultation.

We have vision correction solutions for long-sight, short-sight, astigmatism, presbyopia (the age related need for reading glasses) and those with strong prescriptions.

Why do I need a consultation?

There are many factors that need to be considered when assessing your suitability for treatment, including your prescription and the health of your eyes, which are measured in great detail during your consultation. It is also your opportunity to find out answers to any questions you might have and ensure you fully understand the benefits and risks of vision correction treatment.

During your free eye surgery consultation, you will meet with your personal advisor who will answer any questions you might have throughout the consultation. Our specialist vision correction optometrists perform several tests on your eyes, producing electronic maps which precisely show the contours and irregularities on the outer surface.

You are then advised on your suitability for vision correction, and we will recommend which treatment will give you the best result.

Is there a waiting list for consultations?

We always do our best to fit you in as soon as possible at one of our vision correction clinics at a time and date to suit you.

We aim to offer you a consultation within a week of you contacting us, however sometimes we are busier than usual.

How long after the consultation can I have treatment?

You could have your treatment from 48 hours after your eye surgery consultation. The reason for this is that we believe you need time to digest all the information you will receive at your consultation to make an informed decision about your treatment.

When can I get it done?

Once you make the decision to go ahead with treatment, we can look for a treatment date and time that will suit you.

You can have vision correction treatment from 48 hours after your free eye surgery consultation.

What do I do next to get started?

Book a date to come and see us for consultation. It’s free, and there is no pressure and no obligation. Call one of our advisors on 0800 9888 237.

Can I talk to someone who has been treated?

Of course you can.

Simply call 0800 9888 237 and we will put you in touch with someone who has had laser eye surgery like yours, and who is enjoying life without contact lenses or glasses.

Alternatively, you can: Read comments from thousands of our other happy eye surgery customers.

Where can I go to have it done?

You can book your free eye surgery consultation at any of our clinics located throughout the UK We have 2 state-of-the-art IOL surgery facilities in London and Liverpool.

Find your nearest Ultralase laser eye surgery clinic.

How long will I need to take off work?

Your consultation can take up to 2 hours so that we’re able to accurately map and measure your eyes and make a recommendation to you about treatment based on the unique characteristics of your eyes. You can return to work after this, but you are unable to drive as we often need to use drops to dilate your pupils and this can make your vision blurry and slightly more light sensitive.

After your treatment, the time we recommend you take off depends upon your eye surgery treatment and your own recovery rate, but as a guide allow at least 24-48 hours, and it could be up to a week. This will be discussed with you at your free consultation.

Each aftercare appointment can take up to 15 minutes and depending on your treatment, there are 4-5 recommended aftercare appointments.

How soon can I be back on my PC/iPhone/iPad?

This depends on your eye surgery treatment and your own recovery rate, but allow at least 24-48 hours, and it could be up to a week. If you must use your PC, then remember to blink frequently and use the drops we provide.

Do the services (fire, police, armed forces etc.) recognise laser eye treatment?

The police will generally accept applications from people who have undergone laser eye surgery treatment after the elapse of 6-10 weeks, and provided there are no residual side-effects and other eyesight standards are met.

Laser eye surgery treatments are generally acceptable for current employees, but check with your superior beforehand.

Some fire brigades will make allowances for those with laser vision correction. In most cases, you will have to wait 6 months post-treatment before applying. Check with your local brigade. Laser eye surgery treatments are generally acceptable for current employees, but check with your superior beforehand.

Military policy states that while laser eye procedures are not generally prohibited among serving personnel or new recruits, there are rules covering its use. Please discuss your eye surgery with your superior.

I drive for a living, how long before I can get behind a wheel?

Everybody’s eyes are different, though most are suitable for vision correction treatment. The length of time will be confirmed at your aftercare treatment based on the speed of your progress, although it is typically around 2 days, and 1-2 weeks for Intraocular Lenses (IOL).

Can I fly after treatment?

We would recommend not flying for 1 week after your eye surgery treatment. This is due to the dry atmosphere inside an aeroplane. Please also bear in mind that we will schedule your aftercare appointments for 1 week and 1 month after treatment and we recommend that you attend these appointments.

I am a commercial pilot. Can I have laser eye surgery?

Yes you can, but be aware that the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) does not recommend laser eye treatments for pilots if the visual standards required for certification are to be met.

However, if you intend to go ahead, then there are stipulations, which it is best to understand by direct application to them.

I have always had good vision, but now I’ve reached the age where I need reading glasses. Can laser eye surgery help?

Laser eye surgery itself cannot prevent or delay the onset of presbyopia, the age-related need for reading glasses that affects most of us as we reach our mid-forties. However, help is at hand - we offer a range of treatments designed to address the effects of presbyopia.

I’ve been refused laser eye surgery in the past owing to the strength of my prescription. Have techniques moved on?

They have, and it is possible that you may be suitable for laser eye surgery now, however if you are not, we may be able to help with an advanced treatment called IOL (Intra Ocular Lens). With our range of eye surgery treatments, Ultralase is now able to correct the vision of around 90% of people in the UK, including many people found unsuitable in the past.

I have a really strong prescription. Can you help?

It is possible that we will be able to help with IOL (Intra Ocular Lens) treatment. With our range of treatments, Ultralase laser eye clinics are now able to correct the vision of around 90% of people we see for consultation.

Is there an upper or lower age limit for laser eye surgery?

Peoples’ prescriptions have usually stabilised by the age of 21 when the eye has completed its normal growth. However, vision correction may be an option from the age of 18, provided that the eyesight prescription has been stable for a minimum of 2 years. There is no upper age limit. However, please see the information about cataracts.

Can laser eye surgery cure cataracts?

People often start to develop cataracts when in their 60’s and 70’s, though this can vary. Laser eye surgery cannot cure this condition, however we do offer specific treatments for cataracts, which you can read more about here.

Is laser eye surgery available on the NHS or covered by private health insurance?

The Department of Health has stated that there are neither plans nor the resources to make laser eye surgery available on the NHS. It is also unlikely that those with private health insurance can reclaim their fees.

Should I bring someone with me?

We recommend that you do. Many people say that it’s helpful for a friend or partner to attend with them as it may be that they have questions of their own to ask. In addition, during your consultation we may use eye drops to dilate your pupils, which can cause your vision to become blurred for a few hours afterwards and so a friend of partner can accompany you home. You will not be able to drive yourself home.

How long does an eye surgery consultation take?

Your free eye surgery consultation will last around 2 hours. This is so that we’re able to accurately map and measure your eyes and make a recommendation to you about treatment based on their unique characteristics.