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Frequently Asked Questions - Laser Eye Surgery

You may have many questions around laser eye treatment, so before you go ahead and book your free consultation, take a look at some frequently asked questions that you may have had.

Will I be suitable for laser eye surgery?

Once you have attended a consultation, we will be able to sit down with you and discuss exactly what you may be suitable for and what your options may be.
We are able to provide vision correction solutions for long-sight, short-sight, astigmatism, presbyopia, and are able to look at what we do to help our patients with a very strong prescription.

Are there risks with laser eye treatment?

Like with anything in life, there are risks when it comes to laser eye surgery. However, complications are incredibly rare and these will be discussed in your consultation, as well as highlighted in the consent form (which you will be given prior to treatment). Take a look at our Safety and Risks section to learn more. 
Annually, an estimated two million treatments of laser eye surgery are performed globally, with 650,000 procedures having been performed within the Eye Hospitals Group since 1991. It is important to note that the laser is a cold beam, and does not penetrate beyond the surface of your eye or anywhere around it.
Over 98% of our patients no longer where prescription glasses for driving standard vision, and more than half of our patients come through to us via recommendations from their friends or family.

What happens in the consultation?

Once you arrive for your consultation, you will meet your personal advisor and the optometrist, who will both be taking you through the process, from carrying out the eye examinations to having a discussion about what your options are.
You may be familiar with some of the equipment and tests that we will need to carry out at your consultation, because you may have had to use them at the opticians.
With these test results, we can build up a personalised treatment plan in accordance to what will suit your needs. You will then have the time to sit down and discuss, in detail, what you would like to move forward with, alongside any other questions that you may have.
Your consultation will last around 2 hours.

Please remember the following:
  • Depending on what contact lenses you wear, you will need to remove these a few days prior to your consultation.
  • You will be unable to drive after your consultation.
  • Your consultation will be free of charge, however we do require a £10 holding fee for a weekday or a £30 holding fee for a Saturday appointment, which is refunded back to you straight after you attend the consultation.

There is no obligation to move forward with treatment after the consultation. We encourage you to take as much time as you need to make a decision in regards to what you would like to do from there on.

Does laser eye surgery hurt?

Laser eye surgery treatment does not hurt! You are given anaesthetic eye drops before and during the procedure to ensure you do not feel anything. During the days following the surgery, you may feel mild discomfort, however your surgeon will provide you with drops to ease this and you will be able to take over the counter painkillers also.

Which would be best for me? LASIK or LASEK?

Your suitability will be determined once you have attended your consultation, and it varies, particularly depending on your lifestyle!
LASIK allows your to get back to normal quicker than LASEK, however bilateral LASEK treatment is given to patients with a lower prescription (-4.50 or below), since it is safer and will achieve the same long term results.
Please remember that there is no blade involved in either laser eye surgery procedure, but recovery may be a little longer in regards to LASEK.
  • We recommend LASIK treatment for all prescriptions of -6.0 and above and up to +4.0
  • LASIK laser eye surgery can be given to both eyes on the same day, in most cases.
  • We recommend LASEK laser eye surgery for prescriptions above -6.0, where there may be more thinning of the cornea.
  • LASIK eye surgery can be given for all prescriptions -10.0 and under.

What will my eyes look like after laser eye treatment?

Post surgery, you will not be able to see much difference to your eye compared to what it looked like before - specialised equipment will only be able to see the change!
If you have undergone LASIK treatment, your eyes will look relatively normal, aside from some redness that comes with the procedure. In some cases, you may experience some red spotting, however this will disappear two to three weeks after treatment.
If you have undergone LASEK treatment, your doctor will advise you on when it will be safe to remove the eye pad. Your treated eye may be slightly puffy or weepy, but this should ease after about 48 hours. You may notice that your pupils may look slightly enlarged when you have administered eye drops or ointment.

When will I be able to drive?

Your vision may be affected for a few days post-treatment, however once you have attended your aftercare appointments, the clinic staff will advise you on the quality of your vision in regards to driving standard levels. We do, however, stress that you should only drive when you feel most comfortable. For LASEK, we recommend that you wait at least 7-14 days, LASIK should be OK within 24-48 hours, and Implantable contact lenses, should wait up to two weeks.
Sport recovery periods

Am I able to play sports?

Once you have attended your aftercare appointments and the optometrist has assessed your eyes, you may resume all activities. If you have undergone LASIK treatment, you should avoid contact sports for at least three months. Please wear sunglasses for around one week after treatment and avoid dusty and dirty environments during the first seven days post treatment.
If you have undergone LASEK treatment, please try to avoid harsh sunlight for at least four weeks if you are taking part in outdoor sports, because the UV light may create a haze.

What will my results be if I go through laser treatment?

At Ultralase and Optimax, 98% of our patients achieve driving standard vision after treatment. This is 10/20 and described as reading the fifth line on the Snellen Chart. Our aim is to reach 20/20 or better for your vision, which is the seventh line of the Snellen Chart. For LASEK and LASIK, the final results for up to -6D, there is no difference. With long sight results, our patients have a 80% success for achieving driving standard.

Will results be permanent?

Results from laser eye surgery vary from person to person. However we must stress that due to the natural deterioration of the eye, everyone will need some form of reading glasses between 40-45, as presbyopia begins to kick in as we get older. If you consider Implantable Contact Lenses, this is permanent, however if there was any need to get this removed, there is the option depending on what lens has been used.

Will I need glasses in the future?

You should not need glasses for distance vision purposes once you have had laser treatment, however we cannot guarantee that your eyes will not naturally deteriorate later in life. As we have discussed above, when we reach the age of around 45, we all need some form of reading glasses. This is due to the natural ageing of the eye, however this will be discussed with you at your consultation.