Thanks to laser eye surgery millions of people throughout the world now no longer have to wear their glasses or contact lenses. As the technology has improved over the last 20 years the chances of achieving 20:20 vision has significantly increased.
Most laser eye surgery clinics will publish their results relating to the following 2 visual standards:
- An assessment of the number of patients that achieve 6/6 vision or better:(20/20 vision is the American term for 6/6). This is considered perfect vision for adults.
An assessment of the number of patients that achieve 6/12 vision or better: This is the driving vision standard. 6/12 vision is 2 lines above the 6/6 vision line on the opticians letter chart.
Average Laser Eye Surgery Results
|Your prescription before Laser Eye Surgery:||Expected Vision after Laser Eye Surgery:|
Low to Moderate Myopia(-0.50 to -5.00)
6/12 ~ 100% 6/6 ~ 97.5%
Moderate to High Myopia(-5.00 to -9.00)
6/12 ~ 99.9% 6/6 ~ 96%
Low to Moderate Hypermetropia(+0.50 to +3.00)
6/12 ~ 98% 6/6 ~ 92%
*These results are the average taken from 5 leading laser eye surgery clinics in the UK: Optimax, Ultralase, Optical Express, London Vision Clinic and Focus Laser Vision. The results are subject to change on updated audited statistics.
** These results relate to Femto-LASIK with Wavefront. Femto-LASIK signifies that the flap is created with a femtosecond laser rather than a mechanical blade. Intralase is an example of a femtosecond laser as is Z-LASIK and Technolas Perfect Vision. To read more about femtosecond LASIK you can click here
*** Results may be slightly lower for standard LASIK or LASEK eye surgery procedures.
6/12 is equivalent to UK minimum driving test standard of vision.
6/6 is equivalent to 20/20 vision.
Additional Points About Laser Eye Surgery Results:
- Vision fluctuates after surgery: Vision typically improves over the days and weeks following the treatment and most laser eye surgery results will not be at their best until at least one month following surgery. This is especially the case following LASEK surgery where the recovery period is significantly longer when compared with LASIK. The vision also takes longer to settle for higher prescriptions as there is a longer healing time required.
- Better results with lower prescriptions: The higher your prescription the less chance you have of achieving perfect vision. This is especially true of long sighted prescriptions where the chances of achieving 20:20 vision reduces sharply with prescriptions over +3.00 Dioptres.
- Better results with short sighted prescriptions: Short sighted prescriptions achieve better results than longsighted prescriptions and this is the same for low or high prescriptions. In addition to this, long sighed prescriptions show a much higher chance of regression than short sighted prescriptions and this is especially true if the correction is over +3.00 Dioptres.
- 100% of patients achieve the driving standard of vision following laser eye surgery.
- Better results with Wavefront: Results with Wavefront laser eye surgery are generally better than they are with a standard correction, although this is less so the case nowadays owing to how much the lasers have improved. The reason for this is that the acquired Wavefront data has been used in the development of the latest lasers and the laser ablation profiles have been changed to reflect this. This means that in many cases the results of laser eye surgery can be just as good with standard treatment as they are with Wavefront surgery. For more information on Wavefront you can click here.
Final Factors To Consider With Laser Eye Surgery Results:
- When comparing the laser eye surgery results from one clinic to another it is important to ensure you are comparing like with like. If one clinic’s results relate to Intralase Wavefront LASIK and the other to standard LASIK then this is not a fair comparison.
- It is also important when you ask for the results that they relate to the exact same procedure and prescription that is relevant to you. Often clinics publish results relating to the most expensive and most accurate laser eye surgery procedure and also only for mild prescriptions. So if your prescription is -8.00 and you are having standard LASIK, then be sure to ask your surgeon what their expected laser eye surgery results are for that exact scenario.
- Most surgeons should be able to provide you with their own personal laser eye surgery results showing what percentage of their patients achieved 6/6 and 6/12 vision for the various different procedures and prescriptions.