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Addressing the Fears Associated With Laser Eye Surgery

Published on 6th July 2010

Laser eye surgery is a field that has changed the lives of many people over the past two decades. It has allowed many patients to be able to put down their contact lenses and eyeglasses for good. Still, there are many people that have fears about laser vision correction. If you learn more about the way the procedures are done and understand the possible complications you'll probably feel much better about getting laser eye treatment.

Of course, when many people envision having a laser pointed at their eye this can cause serious trepidation. It's important to understand the nature of the lasers that are used in this kind of surgery. The first part of the procedure will either use an instrument called a microkeratome or a femtosecond laser to create a flap on the outside of the eye. Both of these methods are very safe and the latter will give the surgeon a perfectly uniform flap that allows them to better access the cornea.

Once the flap has been created, a series of short pulses from an excimer laser will shape the cornea. Often, people are concerned that any movement of the eye will either render the procedure ineffective or possibly cause them blindness. There has never been a case reported of a patient that went blind from laser eye surgery. Small movements of the eye can also be tracked by the laser as a result of newer technologies and therefore the vast majority of procedures are completely successful.

Many people don't like the idea of being awake during the procedure. You may be aware of the fact that you are not unconscious while this is going on. It is nothing to worry about, as it is not a painful process and most people only describe a mild sense of discomfort. The ophthalmologist can also give you a mild sedative if your anxiety determines that it is needed.

Understanding how the process works and knowing the success rates of laser eye surgery will make you much more likely to seek out treatment. You may find that it improves the quality of your life immensely.

All eye surgical procedures carry a level of risk including not obtaining the desired outcome, through to varying levels of visual loss. Your eye surgeon will discuss the risks and benefits, including ones specific to your circumstances, at the time of your pre-operative consultation.