Laser eye surgery can be an expensive treatment and therefore people often want to know if it can be performed for free on the NHS? Whilst some types of laser eye treatment are free on the NHS the type which corrects your vision is not. The following are the types of laser treatment that can be carried out under the NHS:
- Diabetic retinopathy: This refers to damage to the blood vessels of the retina caused by poor blood sugar control. Diabetic retinopathy is often treated by laser although this is a different type of laser to what is used to correct your vision.
- Wet macular degeneration: A laser can be used in certain instances of wet macular degeneration.
- Post cataract surgery: A laser is sometimes needed if the cataract grows back.
All of the above are examples of laser treatment but are different from that which corrects your eyesight. The NHS state that they will carry out laser treatment on people who ”if they did not have treatment could end up with the loss of vision.” Carrying out laser eye surgery on people who have a visual prescription is not deemed essential as these people have alternatives such as glasses and contact lenses which will enable them to see clearly.
This is not to say that the NHS will not change their stance on this in the future and start performing laser eye surgery on the NHS. But for the time being this particular treatment is very much privately funded. For more information on laser eye surgery, you can click here.