Do you get fed up with wearing glasses or contact lenses? Do you find the cost or inconvenience frustrating? If so, you aren’t alone. Having a refractive eye condition such as near or far-sightedness that requires you to rely on corrective lenses can be expensive and awkward. Perhaps you prefer to wear contact lenses, but the cost is beyond your budget or you find wearing or caring for them fiddly and difficult. Alternatively, you may wear glasses but may be disgruntled with remembering to take them out with you, or by being unable to participate in certain sports and see clearly at the same time, e.g. swimming.
Laser vision correction is a highly successful treatment that often serves as an alternative to relying on prescription eyewear or at least dramatically reduces your need for it. However, many people are nervous about the prospect of laser treatment for their eyes, and principally, whether or not the treatment will be painful and frightening. Let’s uncover the truth.
Often people are shocked to learn that laser vision correction is a painless process. The reason for this is because patients who opt for this treatment are given topical anesthetic in the form of eyedrops ahead of their procedure. This prevents any sort of pain or discomfort from occurring at any point of your laser eye surgery. If you are particularly anxious about the procedure, the topical anesthetic can be safely combined with a mild sedative which will calm and relax you enough for the procedure to be performed.
One of the most common questions that we are asked is about whether the lasers used in laser vision correction emit a burning heat that could not only be painful but also leave scarring. This isn’t actually right. The lasers used in laser vision correction use cold beam technology which has no heat involved.
Although you won’t feel any pain during your laser vision correction surgery, you may feel some slight pressure on or around your eye. This won’t hurt and is just a short sensation that is over very quickly.
All types of surgery, even those that are performed using laser technology, have at least a short recovery time. Some patients may experience mild discomfort in the first few days after their procedure, but it is possible to use over the counter pain medications to successfully manage any uncomfortable sensations that you experience.
Patients who opt for PRK rather than LASIK laser vision correction find that their epithelium, which is the outermost layer of the cornea that is removed to perform the surgery, regrows in its entirety which can reduce the risk of post-treatment complications that can potentially cause discomfort and other problems.