It sounds so easy: The laser procedure only lasts 30 seconds; it is supposedly completely painless and on the very same day the eye should see sharply again. For 20 years now, doctors have been engraving the optical refractive power of the visual aid into the cornea using the explosive pulse of laser beams. If all goes well, the patient will not need spectacles any longer. That is in a perfect world – however, laser surgery is not completely risk free.
There are fundamental concerns patients planning to have laser eye surgery should consider:
No question: Laser methods have considerably improved over the past 20 years. Even so, the hope to be able to live without glasses is not always fulfilled. Refractive eye surgery cannot achieve accurate correction with zero dioptres, which is indeed possible with spectacles.
Another improvement that can only be achieved by spectacles or contact lenses is the ability to flexibly adapt to changing conditions. Patients should keep in mind that spectacles for presbyopia are possible as of the age of 40 to 45. People who suffer from this impairment and have undergone laser surgery will still need reading glasses.
Moreover, ametropia is not a stable factor. It can change and does in three percent of all cases over a period of several years. There is an increased risk, particularly among patients who were severely ametropic, of the impairment worsening again three years after the laser procedure. Furthermore, hormonal disorders and connective tissue diseases can make a person myopic again.
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