Laser eye surgery
Compare clinics across Australia for laser eye surgery.
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Compare laser eye surgeries in Australia
What is laser eye surgery?
Laser eye surgery corrects a range of problems like short- or long-sightedness, astigmatism and other common eye issues. Laser eye surgery uses a beam of light to re-shape the eye's surface. Successful laser eye surgery can remove the need for glasses or contact lenses, but there are risks to consider.
Laser eye surgery is pretty quick, between 5 and 10 minutes per eye. It's typically performed by a specialist eye surgeon called an ophthalmologist, generally at a private clinic. Your GP or optometrist may be able to recommend a good clinic in your area, though it's a good idea to research and compare a number of different clinics.
What types of laser eye surgery are there?
There are a range of different types of laser eye surgery - your 0ophthalmologist will tell you which is most suitable for you. Here are some of the more typical options.
LASIK eye surgery
The majority of laser eye surgery patients will need Laser-assisted in situ Keratomileusis (LASIK). This procedure re-shapes an eye's cornea using a computer-guided laser to treat short- and long-sightedness and astigmatism.
- Fast healing time; patients may resume most daily activities the following day.
- Relatively painless.
- Most frequently performed laser eye surgery.
- Slightly increased risk of surgical complications due to the creation of a flap in the top layer of the cornea, which can become damaged during surgery.
- In rare cases, LASIK can cause ectasia, a bulging or thinning of the cornea resulting in vision problems.
- Not suitable for those with dry eyes
ASLA eye surgery
Advanced Surface Laser Ablation (ASLA) is also used to correct short-sightedness, long-sightedness and astigmatism. It's usually reserved for those with thin corneas or patients who have other conditions which aren't suitable for LASIK treatments. This process removes surface cells from a cornea using a topical solution to soften the top layer of corneal cells, allowing them to be easily removed.
- Can be used on those whose thin/irregularly shaped corneas and/or dry eyes make them unsuitable for LASIK.
- More pain is reported than during LASIK.
- Long recovery time - often several weeks.
- Expect fluctuating vision during the healing process.
ICL eye surgery
The surgeon creates a custom ICL, or thin clear lens similar to a contact lens. The lens is then surgically implanted directly into the eye, rather than sitting on the eye like a normal contact lens. This type of procedure may be offered to patients with high prescriptions whose cornea is lacking the thickness for a safe treatment with those listed above.
- Can be appropriate for those who are unsuited for LASIK, especially those with thin corneas.
- Can be reversible.
- The lens can become damaged or dislodged if rubbed vigorously.
- More expensive than other methods, as the lens is custom-made to suit each eye.
Pros and cons of laser eye surgery
- Satisfaction. According to The UK Royal College of Ophthalmologists, more than 95% of patients are satisfied with the outcome of their laser eye surgery.
- Cost savings. Though laser eye surgery isn't cheap, neither is paying for a yearly supply of contacts and getting a new pair of glasses every couple of years. So, investing in laser eye surgery can help you save in the future.
- Flexibility. Laser eye surgery can give you the chance to live your life without worrying about your glasses breaking or your contacts drying out.
- Physical activity. It may be easier to participate in physical activities, and you might even find your athletic performance improves when you no longer have glasses or contacts holding you back.
- Safety. Don't underestimate the importance of not having to spend time searching for your glasses or contacts in an emergency.
- Eye health. Many organisations have voiced concerns over the risks associated with long term contact lens usage, which can increase the risks of eye infection and eye dryness.
- Dry eyes. LASIK is most likely to cause this side-effect, so if you're prone to dry eyes your surgeon will most likely recommend another procedure.
- Undercorrection or overcorrection. The undercorrection or overcorrection of corneal tissue may require an additional corrective procedure after healing.
- Visual regression. This might include poor night vision, light sensitivity, glare, and halos around light. The regression will usually resolve itself as the eye heals, but some patients experience lasting effects.
- Corneal abrasion. Corneal abrasions are more commonly a side-effect of procedures that use micro-scalpels, or microkeratome. The chance of corneal abrasion during a laser-only treatment are rare.
- Infection. As with all surgeries there is a chance of infection, although there's also a risk of infection associated with contact use.
- Corneal ectasia. This is bulging of the cornea, leading to blurred vision. People with abnormal corneal shapes are most at risk for ectasia, and it's most common after LASIK.
How much does laser eye surgery cost?
The cost of laser eye surgery varies from provider to provider, as well as by surgery type. Here are some of the typical costs for common laser eye surgery operations.
|Procedure||Average price per-eye|
Many potential laser eye surgery candidates find the cost to be prohibitive. While spending thousands on laser eye surgery might seem unnerving, in the long term it can be significantly cheaper than a lifetime of contact use and about on par with the price of average lifetime glasses use.
Many clinics offer payment plans so you won't have to worry about draining your savings to pay for the entire procedure upfront. Others offer a free assessment to determine your suitability for laser eye surgery and answer any questions you may have.
Health insurance for laser eye surgery
Health insurance cover for laser eye surgery is available with some top-level extras policies. It's not a standard inclusion on extras policies, so you will need to find a specific policy that covers it. Here are several extras policies from Finder partners that do include cover for laser eye surgery.
|Fund||Laser Eye Surgery||Limit||Monthly Price||Apply|
|$600 per eye||$53.90||Get quote|
|$900 per eye||$87.10||Get quote|
|$500 per eye||$91.30||Get quote|
*Quotes are based on single individual with less than $90,000 income and living in Sydney.
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