How Does Laser Eye Surgery Work?

8 February 2022

Our eyesight is truly one of our most precious possessions and if you’ve reached a time in your life where you feel that your vision is not as good as it used to be it can be worrying. It is also inconvenient and even unpleasant: having to squint to read small print or endure headaches caused by blurred vision can have a real negative effect on your day-to-day life.

The good news is you don’t need to suffer from poor eyesight. It is possible to regain both your vision, and your quality of life. And that’s thanks to laser eye surgery.

But as someone who is interested in finding out more about vision correction, you no doubt have many questions. In this article we’ll answer some of these questions to help you decide if laser eye surgery is right for you.

The laser eye surgery procedure

Laser eye surgery is a medical procedure that is quick, safe, and highly effective. At Optegra, we offer two different methods of vision correction: laser eye surgery and lens replacement surgery.

Although performed using different techniques, both methods have the common goal of correcting problems with your vision. Which procedure is right for you will depend on various facts such as your eyesight, your age, what you hope to achieve and the overall health of your eyes.

How does laser eye surgery work?

Laser eye surgery corrects issues with vision to reduce your reliance on contact lenses and glasses. These issues range from short-sightedness (myopia) to long-sightedness (hyperopia) to struggling to read text or see objects that are close by (presbyopia) to blurred vision over both short and long distances (astigmatism.)

The different types of procedure

Laser eye surgery is further broken down into three different types: LASIK, LASEK, and ReLEX SMILE. To answer the question, how does laser eye surgery work, we need to look at each of these methods separately. You can read more about each on their individual pages by clicking the links, but to summarise:

  • LASIK: the most well-known and popular laser eye surgery, LASIK effectively treats short-sightedness, long-sightedness, and astigmatism. No blades are used in the procedure, it only takes around 15 minutes per eye, and most patients will see results in just 24 hours.
  • LASEK: unlike LASIK, LASEK has a slightly longer recovery time and potentially a few days of discomfort after the procedure. However, patients with very thin or flat corneas are not usually suitable for LASIK therefore LASEK does offer a very good alternative.
  • ReLEX SMILE: whereas LASIK and LASEK surgeries create a flap in the eye, SMILE does not, meaning that post-op discomfort is minimal. It is also very fast, taking just minutes, and results in 80% better vision in a few hours, with 100% vision being achieved in just weeks.

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    How does the laser eye surgery procedure work?

    LASIK, LASEK and ReLEX SMILE are slightly different methods of vision correction, therefore the procedure for each varies.

    • LASIK: a femtosecond laser is used to send pulses to the cornea, producing tiny bubbles. This creates a flap which enables the surgeon to lift back the cornea’s outer layers to reveal the tissue below. The refractive error is then corrected using an excimer laser before the flap is replaced.
    • LASEK: instead of creating a flap, the outer layer of the cornea is loosened and folded back. The surface of the cornea is then reshaped to rectify the refractive error using an excimer laser. The outer layer of the cornea is returned to its position and a bandage contact lens is inserted to protect it during the healing process.
    •  ReLEX SMILE: a Zeiss VisuMax laser is used to send a series of pulses to the centre of the cornea, forming microscopic bubbles. These outline the tissue that needs to be removed to alter the shape of the cornea and correct the refractive error. The laser then creates a microscopic tunnel via which the surgeon removes the tissue.

    How does laser eye surgery work to correct poor vision?

    The laser eye surgery techniques used at Optegra to correct poor vision are bladeless and minimally invasive. We use state of the art lasers to reshape your eye’s cornea, adjusting its focus and correcting the defects that affect the eye’s ability to see clearly.

    What does laser eye surgery do?

    The benefits of laser eye surgery are many and varied. If you’re wondering what laser eye surgery is and how can it help you achieve better vision and a better quality of life, consider that:

    • You will have no, or far less, dependency on glasses or contact lenses
    • You will regain, or attain, clear, sharp vision
    • You can say goodbye to headaches caused by squinting to read small print
    • You will be able to play sports that aren’t suitable for wearing glasses

    What’s next?

    Now you know more about how laser eye surgery works, if you’d like to begin your journey to better eyesight, contact us now and we’d love to arrange your free consultation.


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