Laser Eye Surgery FAQ

For those people considering having laser eye surgery, you are likely to have a number of questions about the procedure. The most common things people want to know are as follows:

  • Are there any age restrictions to laser eye surgery? In theory, there is no upper age limit to laser eye surgery but very few people aged over 70 years old will have the procedure. Once you get over 70 years old then you are likely to start developing cataracts which will mean you are no longer suitable for laser eye surgery. With regards to a lower age limit, the youngest anyone can have laser eye surgery is aged 18 years old but in reality, it is very rare that someone this young would have the treatment. To be suitable for laser eye surgery your prescription has to be stable and at 18 years old it is still likely to be getting worse. Most people wait until they are at least 21 before they have laser eye surgery.
  • Should I expect any pain during laser eye surgery? Most people report only minor discomfort during the procedure and this is typically caused by the instrument that is used to prevent you from blinking during the surgery. The vast majority of people find the procedure to be completely painless. You can expect some discomfort for a minimum of 24 hours after the surgery and this will be longer for Lasek eye surgery. The following guide goes into more detail about this: Is laser eye surgery painful?
  • Are Lasik and Lasek the same thing? Both are types of laser eye surgery but they refer to slightly different techniques. Following Lasik, you will only experience mild discomfort and most people can return to work etc. within 48 hours of the surgery. Following Lasek however, you will probably need at least 1 week off work and you are likely to experience more pain during this period.
  • Will there be a needle used during laser eye surgery: No injections are required for laser eye surgery and your eyes are anaesthetised using eye drops only. Laser eye surgery is never carried out under a general anaesthetic.
  • How long does laser eye surgery take? Laser eye surgery will only take around 20 minutes in total and that is to do both eyes. The actual lasering of the eye normally takes less than 1 minute.
  • Are there any risks? As with all surgical procedures, there are risks involved. You can read more about this by clicking the following link: What are the risks of laser eye surgery?
  • Can laser eye surgery be repeated? Yes, it can be repeated and you can read more about this here.
  • How long will it be before I can go back to work after laser eye surgery? This will depend on whether you are having Lasik or Lasek. Following Lasek you will need to allow for at least 1 week off work. Following Lasik, most people can return to work within 48 hours.

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