1. What can you expect from laser eye surgery?
Laser vision correction is safe and effective. Most people are extremely happy with their results and wish they had done it years ago.
However you should be aware that like any innovative surgery, the result is not always totally predictable. Even using the most state of the art technology and lasers, we cannot guarantee everyone will walk away with perfect vision afterwards. While most people will be able to function without glasses, some with high prescriptions may need to wear glasses for certain occasions, such as driving at night.
Healing time can also vary person to person, though in general recovery will only be 1 to 2 days.
2. Are you suitable for laser eye surgery?
Not everybody can have, or should have, laser eye correction.
You may not be suitable if your prescription is out of the range that can be corrected, or if your corneas are too thin.
There could also be other issues with your eyes that may mean you should not go ahead with the treatment, such as: severe dry eye, glaucoma, or retinal problems. If there is any sign of cataract then it is not sensible to have laser vision correction.
The surgery also may not be able to achieve what you want it to do. You should have a reasonable expectation of what results can be achieved.
A free assessment with our laser consultant will answer these questions, specific to you.
3. How long does it last?
The effect of the laser vision correction surgery does not wear off, but your eyes can continue to change with age. After the procedure, it takes around 3 months or more for your vision to completely stabilise. However you’ll notice the most change within the first month.
If your eyes do change then it may mean that glasses, or another laser treatment, are necessary years down the track. This is less likely for older people and those with lower levels of nearsightedness.
Near vision usually starts to deteriorate in mid-to-late 40’s. When that starts it will be necessary to use glasses for near vision in some circumstances and the need for these will gradually increase as you get older.
4. Are the post operative consultations covered by the surgery fee?
Your follow up visits are covered for the first month, but after this time visits with the Ophthalmologist will be charged as normal.
5. What are the potential risks of laser eye surgery?
SMILE, LASIK and PRK are surgical procedures and as such have some associated risks and potential complications. You should be aware of these risks before going ahead with the treatment. The good news is, with improved technology, complications that can affect your vision are very uncommon.
Complications that may occur include:
- Over correction and under correction
- Haloes and night glare
- Loss of best corrected vision
- Epithelial ingrowth
- Dry eyes
- Diffuse lamellar keratitis (DLK)
- Corneal ectasia
Our surgeons are all trained corneal specialists who have the expertise and experience to deal with any complications that may arise. These risks will be discussed with you in detail at your consultation.
6. How do I prepare for surgery?
The doctor and team will prepare the laser measurements specific to your eyes and have everything set up before you are brought through to the laser suite. You should eat a light breakfast and wear warm comfortable clothing.
7. When can I drive again?
We recommend you do not drive to your follow-up appointment the next day. Your vision will be checked and the surgeon will advise you when you can drive. Usually you can drive as soon as you are comfortable with your vision outside in bright light and can judge speed and distances accurately. This may take a day or two after surgery.
8. When can I go back to work?
Most people require two days off work: the day of surgery and the day after. Some people may require longer, depending on their occupation. You can return to work as soon as you feel comfortable with your vision. It may take some time, (a few weeks) to feel completely comfortable with prolonged reading or computer use. Excessive computer work or near work, especially in air-conditioning, may make your eyes more sensitive. You may find that you tire more quickly, or cannot concentrate for as long as usual, while you are getting used to the changes in vision. It is more likely that it will take longer to adjust for those in the presbyopic age group (older than 40 years).
9. What about washing my face, showering and washing my hair?
It is best to keep your eyes closed when showering and washing your hair and face for at least 1 week.
10. When can I wear eye makeup?
Do not use any eye makeup for at least 2 weeks after surgery. Try to avoid using makeup on the eyelids and lid margins for longer. When using eye makeup again try to use the hypo-allergenic type.