Health and Lifestyle

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All About Laser Eye Surgery: Tips from the Experts

Laser Eye Surgery is aimed at correcting an individual’s impaired eyesight or vision and should be performed only by a licensed ophthalmologist. Believed to be the most preferable alternative to wearing eye contact lenses and glasses, Laser Eye Surgery today is able to effectively cure or correct astigmatism, farsightedness, and nearsightedness. Over the past decade, corrective laser eye surgery has become a popular option for patients who require contact lenses or glasses, with more than one million patients opting for this procedure in the UK from 2004 – 2009.

The popularity of Laser Eye Surgery can be put down to its effectiveness and accuracy. Because the procedure can be done safely and quickly, with the patient experiencing very minimum discomfort, it can be an option for all ages and personalities, even if you are scared of “going under the knife”.

The Development of Laser Eye Surgery

The main technique behind Laser eye surgery was first invented by Dr. Jose Barraquer (Colombia), who around 1960 developed the first microkeratome. This was used to cut thin flaps in the cornea of the eye and alter its shape – a procedure he termed keratomileusis. This procedure was then developed and pioneered by the world-leading Barraquer Clinic, based in Bogota, Colombia. After decades of technological advancements and development, Laser eye surgery was first performed on patients in the USA by Drs. Stephen Brint and Stephen Slade. Today, laser eye surgery is a common procedure that many individuals undergo to improve or correct their eyesight.

The Cost of Laser Eye Surgery

Numerous individuals are curious about the cost of Laser Eye treatment as this procedure not covered by health insurance. Costs of Laser eye surgery can vary from region to region and for a number of factors including the country you want the surgery to be performed, the reputation and level of experience the surgeon you have chosen, the technology used during the surgery, and the degree of your refractive error. As a result of these factors, it is hard to say exactly how much your laser eye treatment should cost and if you are being ripped off or being offered a fair price. To give a rough idea, laser eye surgery can cost anywhere between 1000 and 3000 US Dollars per eye.

While we recommend you shop around for the best price, it is highly advised that you do not choose your surgeon simply based on the price he is offering you. Although price should play a role in your decision, in order of priority, you should first choose a surgeon based on his experience, his reputation, the reputation of the clinic, the number of satisfied patients, the technology that he/she will use and then the cost. At the end of the day, there would be no amount of money you could pay to retrieve your eyesight.

Preparing for Laser Eye Surgery

Patients who normally wear soft contact lenses on a daily basis are instructed to stop wearing them seven to ten days prior to the surgery. Those wearing hard contact lenses should stop wearing them for a minimum of seven weeks prior to the surgery.

Before the surgery, the surfaces of the patient's corneas are examined by the ophthalmologist with a computer-controlled scanning device to determine their precise shape. Using low-powered lasers, the computer formulates a topographic map of the eye’s cornea. This process also detects astigmatism and any additional irregularities in the shape of the cornea. Using this data, the surgeon is able to calculate the amount and locations of corneal tissue that need to be removed during the operation. The patient is normally prescribed an antibiotic to start taking beforehand, to minimize the risk of infection after the laser eye procedure.

During Laser Eye Surgery

The operation is performed with the patient awake and mobile. Nevertheless, the patient typically is given a mild sedative (including Valium or diazepam as an example) and anesthetic eye drops to numb the eye area. This is to make the patient more relaxed and comfortable during the procedure.


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