Feeling nervous about laser eye surgery?

Feeling nervous before laser eye surgery is completely normal. After all, your eyes are very sensitive and your vision is precious. Many people feel anxious about having laser eye surgery, but it’s important to remember that this is a routine procedure which has been carried out millions of times around the world. Optegra surgeons are all experienced, specialist ophthalmic consultants, who will guide you through the process and reassure you about any worries you might have.

To help put your mind at ease, read on below to discover the answers to some of the most common concerns about laser eye surgery.
 
 

Does laser eye surgery hurt?

One of the most common questions about laser eye surgery is whether or not it is painful. It is easy to imagine the worst when it comes to having surgery on your eyes, but in reality laser eye surgery is a completely painless procedure that involves no needles and only slight discomfort afterwards. A local anaesthetic is given in the form of eye drops, and a speculum is used to hold the eye open. This may cause some slight discomfort, but that will soon pass. 

After the surgery is over, your eyes will take some time to heal, which may cause discomfort in the days after surgery. This will soon improve, and can be managed with over-the-counter painkillers if necessary. However most forms of laser eye surgery have minimal discomfort and quick recovery times, including SMILE and LASIK treatments. Your surgeon will be able to advise on the best treatment option for you.  
 
 

What are the risks of laser eye surgery?

If you are nervous about having laser eye surgery, you may be worried about the potential risks of the procedure. However, the complication rate is actually less than 4%, and any complications that do occur can usually be resolved with further treatment. Laser eye surgery is one of the most common elective medical procedures in the world, and choosing an expert clinic such as Optegra is a good way to minimise the risks and ensure that you receive world-class care.

The potential risks of laser eye surgery include the following:

  • Your vision may not be completely perfect after the surgery

You may still have some degree of short- or long-sightedness. In some cases, this can be addressed by a ‘top-up procedure’ after a period of healing.

  • You could experience some glare or halo effect

Some patients experience some glare or ‘halo effect’ in the period immediately after having laser eye surgery. These side effects tend to reduce significantly in the first few weeks following treatment.

  • You could experience flap complications

Laser eye surgery procedures such as LASIK involve the creation of a flap in the outer layers of the cornea, and in some rare cases this doesn’t heal as it should. In the event that this takes place, further treatment can be provided to help resolve the problem. We also offer ReLEx SMILE surgery, which doesn’t involve a flap being created, thus eradicating any risk of flap complications.

  • You could get dry eyes

You might find that your eyes feel dry, itchy or uncomfortable after your treatment. Your surgeon will give you eye drops to help manage this, and you should find that this goes back to normal as your eyes heal.
 
At Optegra we offer comprehensive aftercare, and you can call us at any time if you have questions or concerns following your treatment.
 

What is laser eye surgery like?

If you’re wondering what to expect from laser eye surgery, you may find it useful to read up on the full details of the procedure, so you’ll be aware of exactly what will happen. If you’ve got any concerns, you can also ask your surgeon to take you through the steps that will happen before and during the procedure and ask any questions you may have.

The processes for each type of laser eye surgery are slightly different and your surgeon will recommend the treatment that’s best for you. Once you know which treatment you’ll be getting, you may find it useful to read up on what to expect from that particular treatment.

All in all, it is important to remember that laser eye surgery is a very common, low-risk procedure, and there is no need to be nervous.
 

Managing anxiety about laser eye surgery

Anxiety might be putting you off having laser eye surgery, but it’s important to remember that this is an opportunity for you to enjoy improved vision and freedom from glasses, and nothing should get in the way of that.

To help you manage your anxiety about having treatment, you may find some of the following tips useful:

  • Speak to your Optegra eye surgeon about your worries and ask them to talk you through the procedure. They will be happy to answer any questions you have.

  • Share your worries with friends and family, who will be able to listen and support you through the process.

  • Try doing some deep breathing exercises if you are feeling particularly anxious about your treatment, to help focus your thoughts.

  • Listen to some of your favourite music just before your surgery, as this has been shown to aid relaxation and create a positive mindset.

At Optegra, we’re dedicated to helping every patient get the most out of their treatment. To find out more, why not come along to an open evening at your nearest hospital? Our open evenings are free, and there’s no obligation to go ahead with treatment if you change your mind. You’ll also be able to hear from some of our friendly experts, and ask them any further questions which are on your mind. 
 

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