It’s one of the most discussed questions about Laser Eye Surgery.
Often accompanied by other queries like will I need a general anaesthetic or sedative during treatment? Or can I take a sedative or tranquillizer before surgery?
And yet, all these concerns stem from the same deep-seated Laser Eye Surgery myth.
It’s a myth that pervaded public thought and settled in the back of our minds years ago, possibly due to the unfortunate pairing of the words ‘laser’ and ‘eye’, and not helped by tabloid scare stories documenting rare mishaps under the watch of underqualified surgeons.
The myth is that Laser Eye Surgery is painful.
Dispelling the pain myth
Mr Glenn Carp, expert laser eye surgeon at London Vision Clinic, discusses pain and soreness post surgery.
It’s unsurprising that people aren’t overjoyed by the idea of having Laser Eye Surgery. However, the notion that there’s pain involved at any point in the process is largely misguided.
For starters, the procedure itself is completely pain-free. Anaesthetic eye drops placed are on the surface of the eye at the start of the treatment and are topped up throughout the treatment. The anaesthetic effect will last for approximately 30minutes from the time each drop is installed. This is more than enough time and pain-management to perform the minimally invasive and rapid process of reshaping the cornea as the treatment usually takes 12 minutes for both eyes to be completed.
If opting for LASIK, at worst you may feel a slight pressure sensation when the surgeon creates the corneal flap. But the majority of patients report the procedure to be without any feeling or discomfort whatsoever — exactly how it should be.
The only caveat here is that you’re in the hands of a fully qualified and experienced laser eye surgeon. Due to the lenient regulations of the Laser Eye Surgery industry, there are currently no requirements for surgeons to reach a certain standard of training. This makes it paramount to learn how to choose a good Laser Eye Surgery clinic before having surgery.
Due to the minimally invasive nature of the surgery, recovery following the procedure is quick and uneventful. For LASIK patients, there may be slight discomfort and irritation in the first few hours as the corneal flap heals, but nothing that can’t be managed by pain relief eye drops.
As Mr Carp touches on in the video above, recovering from Laser Eye Surgery is nothing to worry about. It is important to mention, however, that much like the majority of surgeries, there are a number of side effects that can occur. In the case of Laser Eye Surgery, these are mild, few in number, and affect only a small group of patients.
In the event you experience side effects like light sensitivity, halos and starbursts, and dry eyes, you can rest assured they are a normal and fleeting part of the eye’s natural healing process. In the right hands and with the proper aftercare regime, these effects are easily managed and pose little more than a tiny speed bump on your road to clear and comfortable vision.