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What conditions may prevent me from having laser eye surgery?

Laser eye surgery London

If you are looking for a laser eye clinic in London, then the London Vision Clinic should be on your shortlist.


That may seem like a strong statement, but the London Vision Clinic emphasises that, in expert hands, laser eye surgery can be an extremely safe, life enhancing experience.


More than 100,000 laser eye surgery procedures will be done in the UK this year. Read the guide to Laser Eye Surgery to help make the right choice for your eyesight.

Contact London Vision Clinic

The following list includes conditions or circumstances that prospective patients commonly ask

about when discussing their suitability for laser eye surgery.


Condition or circumstance and can the person have laser eye surgery?


Older than 60?

Yes, there is no upper age limit for laser surgery, as long as your eyes are healthy. Some older patients experience a longer healing period after laser surgery, but this can be discussed at your initial screening.


Pregnant or breastfeeding?

Yes, but laser treatment is inadvisable until 4 weeks after breastfeeding is complete. Increased hormonal activity during pregnancy and breastfeeding can affect visual outcome and increase the need for enhancement surgery. The drugs used in consultation and post treatment can pass across to the baby although are not harmful to the unborn child.


Taking prescription drugs?

Yes, you should indicate what drugs you are taking be they prescription or not when you are having an initial screening. Laser eye surgery may be contraindicated while taking certain medications but this is rare.


Younger than 21?

Yes, however the lowest age of consent without adult involvemen is 18.


Have amblyopia (lazy eye)?

Yes. Laser eye surgery cannot specifically treat a lazy eye, In general it cannot make that eye see clearer than glasses, when there is a focussing error in that eye. This does not mean that you are unsuitable for laser eye surgery. Many patients with a lazy eye(s) have had very successful

outcomes after laser surgery. Laser eye surgery can focus the vision in both eyes fully so that you can see much clearer without glasses.


Occasionally spectacles are not prescribed to fully correct the vision in a lazy eye because the difference in the prescriptions between the two eyes would be too difficult to tolerate. Laser eye surgery can often fully focus the vision in a lazy eye and achieve better vision than achieved with

uncorrected spectacles. By fully correcting the vision in the lazy eye it alsohas the benefit of improving the peripheral (side) vision in the lazy eye.


If you have a prescription, contact a patient education consultant to discuss this over the telephone; however a final determination cannot be made without an initial screening.


Have astigmatism?

Yes, laser eye surgery has been used to treat astigmatism since 1994.


Have a cataract?

Yes. Whilst, laser eye treatment does not correct this problem, if the cataract is only mild and not significantly affecting the vision laser eye surgery is a safer and more effective treatment to correct the vision. Should the cataract worsen you can still have successful cataract surgery after laser

eye surgery. Often laser eye surgery is used in conjunction with cataract surgery to treat astigmatism or fine tune any residual focussing error in the eyes. It can also be used to provide “blended vision” so people can see at distance and read without spectacles.


Have a collageh vascular disease?

Yes, you should indicate this when you are having an initial screening.


Have a compromised immune system?

Perhaps. We assess this on a case by case basis and will provide you witt an answer at the initial screening.


Have a connective tissue disorder (i.e.rheumatoid arthritis)?

Perhaps. These conditions can be associated with altered healing response by the body, and therefore present a slightly higher risk of complications after laser treatment. There is a possibility that you may be suitable if the connective tissue disorder is controlled. We assess this on a case by case

basis and will provide you with an answer at the initial screening.


Have had a detached retina?

Yes, although it depends on the severity of your condition. Laser eye surgery does not treat a detached retina.


Have dry eyes?

Perhaps. Your suitability for laser eye surgery depends on the cause and severity of the dry eye. A surface treatment (PRK / LASEK) may be recommended for cases of moderate dry eye. If you have significantly dry eyes without contact lenses you may be better suited for an intra-ocular procedure to correct your vision however this is a rare indication for this form of surgery.


Have epilepsy?



Have glaucoma?

Yes. Laser refractive eye treatment is not a treatment for glaucoma and your surgeon will work in conjunction with your glaucoma specialist to ensure your glaucoma management is not affected by laser refractive surgery.


Have hepatitis C?

Yes, you should indicate this when you have your initial screening.


Have HIV?

Yes, you should indicate this when you have your initial screening.


Have had or have herpes infection of the eye?

Yes, but only if there has not been a reoccurrence of the infection for at least 12 months prior to having the procedure.


Have diabetes?

Yes, if the diabetes is controlled and you don’t have any signs of active diabetic retinopathy. To be sure, you’ll need to be examined for this at your initial screening.


Have had iritis?

Perhaps. Iritis is a condition whereby the iris becomes inflamed. Suitability for laser eye treatment is only likely if there has not been a reoccurrence in the 12 months preceding treatment. We assess this on a case by case basis and will provide you with an answer at the initial screening.


Have keloid scarring?



Have keratoconus?

No. Keratoconus is progressive disease that results in the thinning of the cornea, therefore removing corneal tissue with laser treatment is inadvisable as it will further destabilize the shape of the cornea. However, London Vision Clinic can successfully stabilise the keratoconus or protect patients from further progression, through a corneal cross-linking treatment.


Have large pupils?

Yes. With our custom programmed treatments we have now successful treated patients with very large pupils without inducing night vision disturbances (which would have previously disqualified patients with very large pupils).


Have macular degeneration?

Yes, although it depends on the severity of your condition. Laser eye surgery does not treat macular degeneration. If your central vision is significantly depressed as a result of macular degeneration laser

eye surgery may provide little improvement to you uncorrected central vision although it is likely to improve you uncorrected peripheral vision.


Have night vision disturbances?

Yes. Some clinics have the technology and expertise to correct these problems.


Have nystagmus (involuntary eye movements)?

Yes. Laser eye surgery will not treat the nystagmus, but can be safely

performed with the use of sensitive eye tracking systems fitted to most

modern lasers.


Have one good eye?



Have prism?

Yes, although you may still need prism glasses if you have double vision with contact lenses or without the prism in your spectacles.


Have squint?

Yes. Squint is another name for strabismus.


Have strabismus?

Yes. However, laser eye surgery techniques alone will not resolve a strabismus problem unless the strabismus is a fully accommodative squint. This is seen in some long-sighted people whose eye turns in without their glasses or contact lenses but is perfectly straight with glasses or contact lenses. Refractive surgery attempts to change the refractive error of each eye individually. Strabismus is not automatically a contraindication for LASIK or PRK / LASEK, however there are several considerations that need to be evaluated before making a decision about refractive surgery. If amblyopia - or lazy eye - has developed due to strabismus, refractive surgery is unlikely to be able to restore vision beyond that which is attainable with corrective lenses, i.e. glasses or contact lenses.


Have systemic lupus erythematosus?

Yes, if well controlled. Your surgeon will assess your suitability on a case by case basis.


Have thin corneas?

Perhaps. If you have been turned down for laser surgery due to corneal thickness, it is worth having a complete preoperative assessment with us, including a VHFU examination with the Artemis, to rule out keratoconus. If you have thin corneas, but do not have keratoconus, a surface procedure (PRK / LASEK) will likely be recommended or you may require an intra-ocular procedure.


Have uncontrolled diabetes?

No, patients with uncontrolled diabetes are not suitable for laser eye surgery.

Get a quote

Get a quote for laser eye treatment

If you are looking for a quote for laser eye surgery, or want more information about treatment in your local area, you can complete the Laser Eye Surgery Enquiry Form. Your enquiry will be forwarded to a maximum of three clinics or providers of laser eye treatment who partner with the Private Healthcare UK web site.