If you are between the ages of 18 and 50, suffer from long-sightedness, short-sightedness and/or astigmatism and your prescription has remained the same over the past 12 months, you are most likely suitable for laser eye surgery. Other considerations include the general health of your eye, degree of refractive error, whether or not you have a history of eye problems (dry eye, scarring or thinning of the cornea) or if you have previously had a serious eye injury.
The surgeon should also take into account your general health and any medications you are currently taking. No reputable surgeon would perform laser eye surgery during pregnancy.
Once you have had the initial examination to determine which procedure is most suitable for you, you will be provided with the full cost. As a rough guide, laser vision correction can cost between $2600 to $3400 per eye.
Medicare does not rebate any of the cost of laser eye surgery. Medibank members with selected extras and packaged covers will receive 15% off surgical fees if they have their procedure at Vision Eye Institute. More about Medibank offer.
LASIK, ASLA and the newest procedure, SMILE, permanently reshape the cornea. Most people retain this corrected vision; however, some patients may require a follow-up treatment. It’s important to be aware that presbyopia can develop around 45 to 50 years of age – this disorder is related to the lens of the eye, not the cornea.
Laser eye surgery isn’t painful. If you are having LASIK, you may feel slight pressure during the first step of the procedure. During the second part, you may feel a slight sensation as the excimer laser moves across the cornea, but again you will not feel any pain. Click here for more info.
During laser eye surgery, a device is fitted over your eye and holds it in place. This ensures that you cannot move your eye during this part of the procedure.
The highly sophisticated excimer laser is designed with an infrared eye-tracker that measures your eye movements during surgery. Even the smallest move will be detected and the laser will compensate for this movement.
Many people are surprised that they are able to see distant objects, such as a clock on the wall, as they are leaving the laser suite . The day after LASIK, most people are able to legally drive without the use of glasses or contact lenses.
ASLA ultimately provides the same outcome as LASIK; however the recovery time is longer. It is not unusual for vision to fluctuate for up to a month before it settles.
Most people can resume their normal routine the day after having LASIK. However, we recommend avoiding swimming and contact sports for a month. ASLA requires a longer recovery time.
Like any surgical procedure, laser eye surgery carries some risks. While these are rare, they are potentially serious and should be discussed with your surgeon.
You will be in the clinic for around 2 hours and the laser suite for no more than 30 minutes.
No – the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy cause the body to retain more fluid, which can cause swelling of the cornea of the eye. Find out more here.
It’s better to wait until you’ve stopped breastfeeding before having laser eye surgery, as you may be prescribed various medications (e.g. antibiotics, steroid eye drops, pain relief) that could pass into your breastmilk.
You will need to have finished your course of post-operative eye drops before trying to conceive as there is a risk, albeit minimal, of systemic absorption of the medication. This means waiting at least three weeks after your surgery.
After LASIK, some people will experience dry eyes and minor discomfort – you will be given drops to help with this.
ASLA patients may feel some level of pain and discomfort – again, you will be given drops and pain relief medication before you leave the clinic.
You may experience sensitivity to light and see halos at night – this should eventually pass.
Our doctors are Australian pioneers in laser vision correction, who are regularly asked to participate in international trials because of their respected position within the industry. As the largest provider of ophthalmic services in the country, we are able to ensure that our laser clinics have the latest state-of-the-art technology. Learn more.
A cataract isn’t a growth. It’s when the natural lens of the eye opacifies, usually due to the ageing process. More information on cataracts.
You may find that colours dull and your vision gradually becomes cloudy.
The natural lens of the eye is broken up, removed, and replaced with an artificial lens. The new femtosecond laser now performs some of the important manual parts of surgery with great precision and accuracy. Learn more here.
The procedure itself takes around 30 minutes and you will be required to stay at the day surgery for approximately 3 hours. Only one eye at a time will be operated on, with the second cataract surgery procedure being scheduled 1-2 weeks after the first.
While your vision will immediately improve after cataract surgery, it will take around 4 weeks to fully settle down.
No. Our surgeons perform cataract surgery on one eye first, then wait for 1- 2weeks before performing the procedure on the second eye.
Glaucoma is the term given to a group of eye diseases that involve permanent damage to the optic nerve. It will lead to vision loss if not treated. More on glaucoma.
In the first instance, glaucoma is asymptomatic. The problem with this is that you can permanently lose part of your vision before the disease is diagnosed. This is why ophthalmologists and optometrists recommend regular testing – every two years once you turn 40.
The risk of glaucoma increases with age. If someone in your family has had the disease, you will also be at greater risk.
In most cases, daily eye drops will stop the progression of glaucoma. If the disease does advance, laser and/or glaucoma surgery may be required.
Macular degeneration, also called age related macular degeneration or ARMD, is a condition where the portion of the retina that is responsible for detailed vision such as reading or recognising faces (called the macula) is damaged. There are two forms of macular degeneration – wet macular degeneration and dry macular degeneration.
People can self-test using an Amsler grid at home. An ophthalmologist can further test with an extensive examination that includes looking at the back of the eye and a non-invasive OCT scan.
Currently there is no treatment for the dry form of macular degeneration. Wet macular degeneration can be treated with a regular schedule of intravitreal injections. Ultraviolet protection (with wrap-around sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat), a diet rich in anti-oxidants (leafy green and red/yellow vegetables, corn, eggs and fish) and not smoking all help to reduce the risk of AMD progressing. Read more about treatments.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.