Vision is created when light rays that travel through the eye are refracted (bent) by the cornea and lens and redirected to the retina. Then, the retina turns light into signals that travel to the brain and become images. When the cornea or lens cannot refract light properly, people develop refractive errors in their vision.
Laser vision correction surgery treats vision problems caused by refractive errors, such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. Laser vision correction surgery allows doctors to change the shape of the patient’s cornea, which improves the way light rays are focused on the retina, thus improving the overall sight.
Dr. Miguel Morcillo, Consultant Ophthalmologist, specialised in Cornea, Cataract, and Refractive Surgery (Vision Correction – LASIK, LASEK, TransPRK, multifocal IOLs, EDOF IOLs. Phakic IOLs) at Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai with more than 25 years of experience, answers commonly asked questions about laser vision correction to help you find out if the procedure is right for you.
How to know if laser corrective surgery is right for you?
The first thing a patient should do if they are considering laser corrective surgery is to consult an experienced surgeon working in a distinguished facility, with the latest screening equipment and the most advanced technology to perform the procedures.
Ophthalmologists should examine each patients’ eyes thoroughly and review their medical history to ensure they are appropriate candidates for the surgery. Accordingly, the ophthalmologist can advise if you are a good candidate for laser correction surgery and which treatment option is best for you.
Who is the best/worst candidates for laser correction?
Laser corrections candidates must meet certain requirements before undergoing the procedure. These include being at a suitable age for the procedure, having a refractive error that can be treated with laser surgery, having a thick enough cornea, stability of the refraction and overall good eye health.
Patients who are not good candidates for laser correction include people with unstable (changing) refractive errors, extreme levels of myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism, severe dry eye, corneas that are too thin, cornea abrasions or disease, keratoconus (cone-shaped cornea), advanced glaucoma, pregnant or nursing women, and patients with other uncontrolled diseases that affect the eye. In some cases, no refractive surgery is possible but in others, alternative procedures can be performed, as intraocular lenses.
To determine whether you are a good candidate for laser correction, your ophthalmologist will examine your eyes. An examination of the overall health of your eyes, measurements of your cornea, pupil size, and your refractive error will be key in helping your ophthalmologist determine the best treatment option for you.
Which technique is used the most in the UAE, GCC or Middle East? Why?
The procedure that is most used in the region is hard to pin down because the right procedure for each patient is unique to their medical profile and not based on geographical locations. Therefore, it is essential for patients to have comprehensive eye exam so that they receive the best treatment for their condition.
When should a patient receive laser vision correction treatment?
While the surgery is approved for patients 18 years or older, we suggest patients wait until their vision is more likely to have stopped changing, as ideally, the candidate’s eye prescription should remain relatively unchanged within a year.
How long does it take for the patient to recover after the procedure?
Laser correction surgery is very fast and painless. The postoperative recovery after a Lasik generally takes 6 to 12 hours, but it varies by patient, depending on several factors. Most patients see clearly within 24 hours after vision correction surgery, but others take two to five days to recover. Usually, the stability of the result arrives after 1 to 3 months but It can take up to 6 months to be fully recovered from your laser eye surgery treatment. In that time, patients will have attended a number of aftercare appointments to ensure their vision is optimal.
At Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai, we use the most advanced technology for laser refractive surgery for vision correction, providing improved performance for patients in terms of speed, precision, safety, comfort, and often allowing faster visual recovery.
Are there any precautions that patients need to take for any of the techniques?
Laser eye correction is safe, and complications are rare, as long as you are in expert hands.
There are two main types of surgery – LASIK and LASEK/PRK. Traditional LASIK includes the use of Microkeratome (blade) to create the flap in the LASIK procedure, however, technology such as IntraLase (femtosecond laser) procedures are safer and more accurate. To minimize risk, opting for, advanced blade-free procedures, can make the surgery much more precise, effective.
To get the best results, any candidate for refractive surgery should have a clear understanding of the procedure and what outcomes to expect through discussions with an experienced doctor.