Medically reviewed on 17-August-2023
Medical technology has advanced at such a rate, the range of excellent vision correction options has increased rapidly over the past decade.
Optegra Medical Director for Vision Correction, Mr. Amir Hamid, states:
“From laser surgery to implantable contact lenses to Replacement Lens Exchange (RLE) there are so many solutions for poor vision. Even within laser eye surgery – the options include LASIK, LASEK, SMILE, Presbyond.
How do you know which to go for?! Well the good news is that the decision is not purely down to you. We are very much here to help and to guide you and we base this recommendation on very thorough eye tests and discussion about your requirements.”
After a thorough examination of your eyes – which is free of charge at Optegra
– you will have all the advice you need and your dedicated eye surgeon will recommend which of all these options is best suited to your individual eyes and vision requirements.
They will talk through how the procedure works, risks, costs, expected outcomes….so you will be fully informed to make a decision.
One factor which impacts on the surgeon’s recommendation, is your age. This is because our eyes change over the years. So for three people, aged 25, 55 and 75 years, even with the exact same prescription the recommended treatment would vary.
Let’s explore the broad options by age.
This is the ideal age group for laser eye surgery. Once your prescription has settled – usually by your early 20s. This quick and pain-free procedure – either LASIK, LASEK or SMILE – can provide decades of excellent vision.
Traditional methods are LASIK and LASEK.
LASIK is the most popular form of laser which creates a small flap which is gently lifted so that the cornea – surface of the eye – can be reshaped.
LASEK is best suited for patients with less serious eye focusing problems, and specifically patients with thin corneas or dry eyes who may not qualify to have LASIK.
People with dry eye are not good candidates for these traditional methods but are more suited to SMILE laser eye surgery – the latest, third generation surgery. Considered the ‘keyhole’ laser eye surgery, this least invasive version is also more suitable for those with a thinner than average cornea or an intolerance of contact lenses.
Laser eye surgery can correct short and long sightedness as well as astigmatism, where the shape of the eye affects vision.
However if your spectacles prescription is particularly high – for example over -10.00D, you may be better suited to Implantable Contact Lenses.
These work by placing a tiny, soft lens in your eye between your natural lens and iris, or between the iris and cornea. It is like wearing contact lenses inside your eye rather than on the surface. So much less hassle!
This is particularly suitable for those under 40 because the natural lens of the eye, and therefore the capacity for close-up vision, is retained.
These are the years when many of us notice that we are holding phones, newspapers and packaging further and further away in order to read the lettering clearly.
This is due to an age-related change in our eyes called Presbyopia, where the lens in the eye becomes less flexible and leads to a loss of focus on objects close by and leads to the need for reading glasses.
Presbyond is a version of laser eye surgery which is perfectly suitable for eyes at this stage because it corrects both eyes to allow for a full range of vision (distance, intermediate and near vision).
Age 55 – 70
Laser eye surgery is less suitable for this group because of age-related changes in your own lens which have reduced visual quality.
However, there is a fantastic option called Replacement Lens Exchange (RLE) – which involves the natural lens of the eye being replaced by a prescription lens, called an Intra Ocular Lens (IOL). This is exactly the same medical procedure as cataract eye surgery – which is the most commonly performed elective surgery in the UK – but RLE places a tailored prescription lens, rather than a standard lens.
This means you can be free of glasses and contact lenses, but also never have a cataract – as the natural lens of the eye has been replaced by an artificial one, which will last your lifetime.
Age 70 +
One in three adults naturally develop cataract, which is the age-related clouding of the natural lens of the eye.
And so for this age group, Cataract Refractive Surgery is often the best option for those who wish to be free of specs.
Just like RLE, the natural lens is removed – though in this case, that lens has already been diagnosed with a cataract – and it is replaced with a tailored, sophisticated IOL to give you perfect vision.
With all these options available, why put up with poor vision or the hassle of glasses and contact lenses?
Arrange a free consultation for Optegra’s specialists to help you and recommend the treatment most suitable for you.
By Author: Alex J Shortt
Mr Shortt is a leading ophthalmic surgeon and an expert in the fields of cornea, cataract and refractive surgery.