The Ultimate Guide to Eye Surgery By Laser

eye surgery by laser

If you’ve struggled with glasses or contact lenses for a while, you may have considered eye surgery by laser a potential solution. And with good reason! Laser eye surgery has become incredibly popular in recent years, offering a permanent solution to common vision problems like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. But with so many different types of laser eye surgery available, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. That’s why we’ve put together the ultimate guide to laser eye surgery, covering everything you need to know before deciding to undergo the procedure. We’ve got you covered, from the different types of surgery available to the risks and benefits to what to expect during recovery. So if you’re ready to say goodbye to your glasses and contacts for good, keep reading to learn all about laser eye surgery!

Types of Laser Eye Surgery

Laser eye surgery is a procedure that uses lasers to reshape the cornea, which is the clear front part of the eye. It is a quick and painless procedure that can be performed in as little as 15 minutes. There are two primary types of laser eye surgery:


LASIK (Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis) is the most commonly performed type of laser eye surgery. During LASIK, a flap is created in the cornea using a microkeratome or femtosecond laser. The flap is lifted, and the laser is used to reshape the cornea. The flap is then replaced, acting as a natural bandage. LASIK is suitable for those with mild to moderate myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism.


PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy) is a type of laser eye surgery that involves removing the outer layer of the cornea (epithelium) before reshaping it using a laser. Unlike LASIK, there is no flap created during PRK. Instead, a contact lens is placed over the eye to promote healing. PRK is suitable for those with mild to moderate myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism.

Am I a Good Candidate for Laser Eye Surgery?

Not everyone is a good candidate for laser eye surgery. A thorough eye examination by a qualified eye surgeon is necessary to determine your suitability for the procedure. Generally, candidates for laser eye surgery:

– Must be at least 18 years old (this age fully develops the eyes)

– Must have a stable prescription for at least 12 months

– Must not have any eye infections or diseases

– Must not be pregnant or nursing

– Must have a stable overall health condition

You may not be eligible for LASIK if you have a history of dry eyes, thin corneas, or large pupils. In such cases, PRK may be a better option.

Preparing for Laser Eye Surgery

Before laser eye surgery, you must undergo a thorough eye examination to assess your suitability. You must also stop wearing contact lenses at least two weeks before the surgery to allow your cornea to return to its natural shape. This ensures accurate measurements are taken during the eye examination.

You must arrange for someone to drive you home on the day of the surgery, as you may feel blurry or disorientated after the procedure.

What to Expect During Laser Eye Surgery

Laser eye surgery is a quick and painless procedure that usually takes between 15 and 30 minutes. You will be given anesthetic eye drops to numb your eyes so you won’t feel any pain during the surgery. During the procedure, you will be asked to look at a fixed light point while the laser reshapes your cornea.

After the surgery, you may experience discomfort, itching, or burning in your eyes. This is normal and can be relieved using eye drops prescribed by your surgeon.

Recovery After Laser Eye Surgery

Recovery time after laser eye surgery varies depending on the type of surgery you have had. For LASIK, recovery is usually quick, with most patients experiencing improved vision within a few hours of the procedure. PRK recovery can take longer, with the idea gradually improving over several weeks.

To aid recovery, you must avoid rubbing your eyes, swimming, and using eye makeup for a few weeks after the surgery. You must also attend follow-up appointments with your surgeon to ensure your eyes are healing correctly.

Risks and Complications of Laser Eye Surgery

As with any surgical procedure, there are risks associated with laser eye surgery. These include:

– Dry eyes

– Halos, glare, or double vision

– Under correction or overcorrection of vision

– Corneal infection or inflammation

– Flap complications (LASIK only)

However, these complications are rare, and most patients experience significant improvements in their vision after laser eye surgery.

Cost of Laser Eye Surgery

The cost of laser eye surgery varies depending on your type of surgery and location. On average, LASIK costs between $2,000 and $3,000 per eye, while PRK costs between $1,500 and $2,500 per eye. However, some insurance plans may cover the cost of surgery, so it’s worth checking with your provider.

How to Choose a Laser Eye Surgeon

A qualified and experienced surgeon is essential for a successful laser eye surgery outcome. When choosing a surgeon, consider the following factors:

– Qualifications and certifications

– Experience and success rates

– Patient reviews and testimonials

– Technology and equipment used

– Cost of surgery

It’s also important to schedule a consultation with your chosen surgeon to discuss your options and assess your suitability for the procedure.

Frequently Asked Questions

Eligibility for laser eye surgery typically depends on several factors, including age (generally at least 18 years old), stable vision for at least a year, and the thickness and health of your cornea. Certain conditions, like dry eyes, glaucoma, cataracts, or uncontrolled diabetes, may disqualify some individuals.

Before the surgery, anesthetic eye drops are applied to numb the eye and minimize discomfort. Some patients may experience mild discomfort, pressure, or a scratchy feeling post-procedure.

In most cases, yes. However, certain conditions like presbyopia (age-related farsightedness) and cataracts can still occur and affect your vision.

It's usually recommended to wait until after pregnancy and breastfeeding, as hormonal fluctuations can affect your prescription and the stability of your vision.


Laser eye surgery is an excellent option for those who want to correct their vision problems permanently. With several different types of laser eye surgery available, choosing a qualified and experienced surgeon is important to ensure a successful outcome. By understanding the risks, benefits, and recovery process, you can decide whether laser eye surgery is right for you.


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