When life gets busy, it can seem difficult to find the right time to have laser eye surgery
. Whether you're busy at work, rushed off your feet with the family or keep finding something that gets in the way, it's easy to make excuses and put off your surgery until another day.
Contrary to some of the misconceptions out there, laser eye surgery treatment and the recovery period afterwards are remarkably quick, so no matter how busy your lifestyle is, you'll be back to normal in no time.
Upgrading your eyesight with laser eye surgery doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, apart from one or two distinct periods in life or certain conditions, it’s usually a good time to have laser eye surgery. As a general rule, the sooner you have laser eye surgery the better, as you'll have more time to enjoy the benefits!
When not to have laser eye surgery
If you’re pregnant
The body undergoes a huge amount of change during pregnancy, with hormones in constant flux. This can affect your eyesight, with many pregnant women experiencing a change in eyesight during the nine month term. This affects your prescription, making it a bad time to undergo treatment. It can also be a time when dry eyes occur, another reason why it’s not a good time for surgery.
When you're too young
If you're under the age of 18 then your eyes are still growing and developing, so it's too soon for treatment. Some people's eyes still develop into their 20s, so here at Optegra we recommend you don't have treatment until you're at least 21. Your eyesight needs to have been stable for at least a year prior to surgery.
If you have dry eyes
One of the major side effects of laser eye surgery is dry eyes, the effects of which reduce in the weeks after surgery. However, if you're already experiencing this, then it might not be the right time for treatment.
When is a good time for laser eye surgery?
OK, here’s the good news. If none of the above conditions apply, then it’s probably a good time for treatment. If your eyesight is getting worse or you’re tired of changing glasses or putting in your lenses, this simple and permanent surgery could be the solution.
Treatment takes as little as three to four minutes for each eye and you can be in and out in a morning or afternoon. You’re not legally allowed to drive on the same day so you’ll need some help getting home, but when you wake up in the morning, you’ll be fine to get behind the wheel. Most patients are back at work the next day.
Just because the word surgery is used, it’s easy to assume it involves time missed from work and weeks of bed bound recovery. But the truth is very different. In fact, in the ten minutes after treatment, your eyes will already have started healing and will continue to improve for the next three to six months. In as little as a few days, you will start to notice the improvement.
The side effects
Of course, there are some side effects of laser eye surgery. Dry eyes are the most commonly experienced, but you may also notice some blurring, glare or halo effects in the first couple of weeks. These are usually mild but if they persist, speak to your surgeon. They do mean you may need to take extra care when driving at night and may still need to use glasses when reading or doing certain other tasks.
What to think about
If you are returning to work immediately, then there are a few things you need to bear in mind. Staring at screens for long periods can disrupt your vision and put unnecessary strain on your eyes. This can hinder the healing process, so try to take regular breaks to give your eyes a rest.
Try to avoid strenuous exercise for the first few weeks too, especially anything that could involve sweat running into your eyes. Rubbing your eyes can also be damaging as it can interfere with the healing of the cornea. But as time goes on after surgery, your life should return completely to normal. For more guidance, take a look at our blog post on getting back to normal after laser eye surgery.
All in all, if our ophthalmic surgeons find that you are a suitable candidate for surgery, then there is no better time to do it than now. Upgrading your eyesight could be the best thing you do this year, reducing your dependence on glasses and lenses, and helping you get the most out of life.
To find out more, book your free consultation with one of our highly trained surgeons or drop into one of our open evenings at your nearest Optegra clinic.