At Home with Chris Jessen 2018 - 122

Get rid of your

GLASSES
ould you like a sharper
view of the world
without having to wear
glasses or contact lenses?
You're not alone. Every
year, hundreds of thousands of people
in the UK undergo corrective laser eye
surgery to give them 20/20 vision.
But what does it involve?

SURGERY EXPLAINED
Laser eye surgery, also called refractive
surgery, uses a computer-controlled
ultraviolet laser to reshape the cornea
- the outer, clear round structure that
covers the coloured part of the eye
(iris) and pupil - to correct focusing
problems. For people with short sight,
for instance, the laser is set to reduce
the thickness of the cornea so the eye
can bring images into focus properly.
Costs can vary considerably so
it pays to shop around. Be aware
that the 'from' prices quoted on
many websites, which often don't
include necessary add-ons such as
prescription eye drops which can
bump up the headline price given.
Ask for an all-in costs estimate to
avoid any nasty surprises.
While the procedures listed below
are all relatively painless (with the
help of anaesthetic eye drops) they
can be life-changing. Read on to
find out more...

LASIK

COST: £1,100- £1,700 per eye.

Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis is
the most common type of laser

treatment. It involves creating a flap
in the cornea and peeling it back to
expose the stromal layer. The cornea is
then reshaped with a laser beam and
the flap replaced. The procedure isn't
painful and takes around 10-15
minutes from start to finish.
DOWNTIME? It's usual to return to
functional vision within 48 hours of
surgery, though you could notice an
improvement immediately. You may
experience discomfort for a few hours,
or even some irritation in the eye for a
day or two after the operation and will
need to use steroid eye drops for about
a week. You may also need to wear a
temporary contact lens. Vision can
take up to two weeks to fully stabilise.

LASEK

COST: £1,200- £1,800 per eye.

With laser-assisted epithelial
keratomileusis, the epithelium (the
thin layer of cells that cover the
cornea) is peeled back, exposing the
Bowman's layer. This is then reshaped
with a laser beam and the epithelium
is replaced. LASEK leaves the cornea
extremely stable because it doesn't
involve the creation of a flap. This
means that unlike LASIK, LASEK
is a suitable treatment for patients
with thin corneas.
DOWNTIME? You may experience
discomfort for a few days and you
will need to use steroid eye drops
for several weeks. Functional vision
should be recovered one to two weeks
after surgery and will take a little
longer still to fully stabilize.

122 | FEBRUARY 2018 www.athomemagazine.co.uk

WAVEFRONT

COST: WITH LASEK: £1,495-

£2,450 per eye.
WITH LASIK: £1,695-£3,250
per eye.
The most advanced form of laser
vision correction, Wavefront uses
the cutting-edge technology to
enhance the accuracy of LASIK and
LASEK procedures for even better
results. It achieves a higher percentage
of 20:20 or better results better night
vision and a lower chance of requiring
retreating (always a risk with laser eye
surgery). Special software creates an
accurate and detailed 'map' of the eye
through sensors that measure your
focus at multiple locations, giving
more precise details of imperfections
than a standard sight test. The map
is then loaded into the computer
that controls the laser to enable it to
reshape the cornea exactly to the
patient's specific requirements.
DOWNTIME: Recovery tends to be
speedier than with standard Lasik or
Lasek. Visual improvement is often
immediate and there is little or no
discomfort. Most patients can return
to normal lifestyle the next day, free
of contacts or glasses.

PRK

COST: From around £1,100 per eye.

Dating back to the 1980s,
Photorefractive Keratoctom surgery
was the first type of laser eye surgery
available for vision correction and was
the standard method used for many
years. It involves the removal of the

WORDS: TRISH LESSLIE, IMAGES: GETTY IMAGES

W

DITCH YOUR SPECS OR CONTACT LENSES
WITH LASER EYE SURGERY



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