Laser Eye Surgery: Exact treatment method or high-risk procedure?

by craftmin | July 16, 2018

Many people suffer from defective vision. While some people only have to reach for their glasses when reading, others are permanently dependent on visual aids in order to be able to cope smoothly with everyday life. If you do not want to wear glasses for aesthetic or practical reasons, contact lenses are often used. However, even these are not always the optimal solution: high-quality lenses are relatively expensive, not suitable for every occasion such as sauna or swimming and require daily cleaning and care. In addition, not everyone can tolerate contact lenses well and the application can lead to dry eyes and eye irritation.

Laser vision correction is an alternative. Using various procedures, precise corrections of short-sightedness or farsightedness can be made in one operation. More and more people in Germany are using this method. Even if laser vision correction promises long-lasting and accurate results, there are some important points to consider carefully and do not let the procedure be performed without consideration. After all, the eyes are our most important sensory organs.


Laser Eye Surgery (LASIK) yes or no? For whom is laser vision correction suitable?

Eye lasers can be used for both farsightedness and nearsightedness. The treatment is suitable for refractive errors down to a value of -8 dioptres or +4 dioptres. Nowadays, corneal curvatures can also be corrected by laser vision correction. However, this only applies to a less pronounced ametropia. Under certain circumstances, a second operation may also be necessary. The cornea must be thick enough to perform laser vision correction, otherwise the procedure poses a risk to eye health.

Eye lasers can be performed at the age of majority. It is particularly recommended at an age of 30 to 50 years, as visual acuity usually does not change much during this period. Persons with serious diseases such as rheumatism or diabetes are excluded from operations.


There are a few things to consider before Laser Eye Surgery (LASIK)

Since Laser Eye Surgery (LASIK) is not a medically necessary operation, the advantages and disadvantages should be well balanced and risk factors should be considered. Even if eye lasers are routinely performed in special clinics, complications can always occur, especially if inflammations and scarring of the cornea occur. A relatively high proportion of patients complain about dry eyes and increased sensitivity to light and glare in the first days after surgery. A foreign body sensation in the eye also frequently occurs especially in the early stages after Laser Eye Surgery (LASIK). Moreover, the exact correction of visual acuity is not always successful at the first go and subsequent operations may be necessary.


It should also not be neglected that in many patients the values of visual acuity continue to change in the years following laser vision correction and that in later life presbyopia often sets in. These visual impairments are not compensated by the previous laser vision correction and can sooner or later lead to the necessity of wearing glasses again.

Furthermore, it should be borne in mind that laser technology has only been used for eye correction for about twenty years. There are therefore no long-term results that go beyond this period.


What has to be considered before and after the eye surgery?

Before you have your eyes lasered, a detailed examination and a consultation with your doctor should take place. If you do not feel well looked after and advised at this point, you should consider moving to another laser center or doctor.

Soft contact lenses must not be worn for one week and hard lenses for three weeks before laser vision correction as preparation for the operation. Eye drops must also be used for a few days. The operation is usually performed under local anesthesia of the cornea. Various methods are available for laser vision correction. The procedure differs depending on the laser technology, but ultimately in all methods a part of the cornea is removed in order to correct the concentration of incident light rays. The laser process is practically painless, only keeping the eyes open can be perceived as unpleasant.

A protective contact lens can be worn for a few days after the operation. The eyes should never be rubbed at the beginning, so it is recommended to wear an eye patch at night. Eye drops must also be used during aftercare. Smoky and dusty environments, car ventilation and air conditioning should be avoided in the first few weeks and sport should be avoided. In the following year your ophthalmologist will perform several follow-up examinations.


How much does Laser Eye Surgery (LASIK) cost?

The cost of laser vision correction can vary from clinic to clinic, according to the surgical method and the course of the operation. As a rule, the operation itself as well as consultation, preliminary examination and follow-up treatment are invoiced. Costs of at least 2000 euros per eye are to be expected. As a rule, statutory health insurance companies do not cover the costs of laser vision correction, but the treatment can be deducted from tax as an extraordinary burden. If you succeed in correcting your visual acuity, you can do without glasses or contact lenses and save part of the costs. If the operation is successful and the result lasts for a long time, laser vision correction can be worthwhile – not necessarily financially, but for individual well-being.