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dental expertFrequently Asked Questions

We always encourage our patients to ask lots of questions – we want you understand as much about the treatments we offer as possible. Here are some of the questions we get asked most frequently:

How does laser eye surgery work?

The main function of your eye is to focus light. If you think of it as a camera, the cornea is the lens and the retina is the film. The cornea, on the front surface of your eye, provides most of the focusing power. In perfect eyesight, it focuses light rays precisely onto the retina at the back of the eye.

Your eye’s own internal lens fine-tunes light, so you can see clearly enough to read, for example. If you have perfect vision, light enters your eye through the cornea and is focused at a single point on the retina.  However, if you have a refractive error the light rays bend and don’t create a image that is in sharp focus. This is normally due to a problem with the length or shape of  your eye. The refractive error can produce myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism.

Any operation that corrects the focusing of the eye is called refractive surgery. Laser eye surgery is simply a form of refractive surgery that uses a beam of ultraviolet light to reshape your cornea – the transparent, curved window at the front of the eye. Adjusting the curve of your cornea allows light to be focused correctly on the retina at the back.

Refractive surgery is the world’s most common planned surgical procedure. The most popular method is LASIK, which is carried out on more than 90% of patients.  A flap of corneal tissue, less than a tenth of a millimetre in thickness, is prepared using the Intralase laser. This flap is lifted back, and the Technolas laser sculpts the bed of the cornea. It can flatten the cornea to correct myopia (short-sightedness), make it steeper to correct hyperopia (long-sightedness), and create better symmetry to correct astigmatism. When the surgeon puts the corneal flap back, it takes on this new shape.

With LASIK, the healing process is surprisingly short. In the vast majority of patients, the cells of the epithelium (the thin surface layer of the cornea) automatically seals the corneal flap within hours of surgery. Most patients feel little or no discomfort as their eyes heal. People may notice significant vision improvement immediately. The rapid visual recovery time means most patients can return to work within 48 hours.

What is wavefront, and is it better than conventional laser eye surgery?

In a conventional laser eye procedure the level of correction is similar to a glasses prescription and can correct approximately 90% -95% of your refractive error. However, there’s always a small percentage of vision that can’t be corrected with glasses because it is made up of tiny irregularities within the visual system, referred to as higher order aberrations. These are irregularities of your cornea and optical system and affect the fine quality aspects of your vision: beyond the normal refractive errors of short-sightedness, long-sightedness, and astigmatism.

Higher order aberrations can be measured with the Zywave™ wavefront aberrometer and can be incorporated into your laser correction. As a result, laser vision correction can be refined further than vision with glasses.

Wavefront technology has had a long and successful track record in astronomy for improving the resolution of telescopes, and was used in the Hubble space telescope. More recently, the application of wavefront has given a better understanding of the higher order aberrations found in your eyes. Technolas lasers were the first to use wavefront technology to improve the quality of laser vision correction.

If aberrations are significant, they can reduce the quality of your vision.  Some forms of laser refractive surgery are known to actually create these aberrations. For example; if your short-sight (myopia) is corrected without wavefront technology, a higher order aberration, known as spherical aberration, may occur after treatment.

To solve this problem, wavefront-optimized  treatments have been developed. In these treatments, pre-set pulses of laser energy are used, based on algorithms developed from wavefront modelling and wavefront theory. Wavefront-optimized LASIK is in many ways simply conventional laser surgery, but the computer-generated modifications improve outcomes over standard LASIK.

A wavefront-guided  treatment, by contrast, uses a much more precise way to measure the optics of the eye. An invisible, infra-red laser is shone into your eye and bounces back off of the retina. The returning wave of light generated by this laser is distorted and affected by all the focusing elements of the eye on its journey back. The distorted wave of light is an ‘optical fingerprint’: a unique measurement of how your eye affects light flowing through it. The Zywave™ aberrometer records data from several spots on the surface of your cornea to produce a map of the surface of your eye. This information and your optical fingerprint is downloaded into the laser and reproduced onto your eye with thousanth of a millimetre tolerance.

Wavefront treatment has received a lot of publicity. Some clinics promote either wavefront-guided or wavefront-optimized treatments as if they can cure any imperfections. In reality, wavefront technology is just a way of measuring your eyes. Most recent research shows that both techniques are effective, safe and predictable – and both have advantages and disadvantages.

Our Technolas laser system now uses the very latest, 3rd-generation wavefront technology. This unique treatment creates an advanced personalised wavefront treatment (APT), combining the best of both techniques – so we offer you the best solution for your individual condition and unsurpassed vision quality.3rd generation wavefront

Is it safe?

Laser vision correction is the world’s most commonly-performed elective procedure and has been performed for more than 20 years. Laser vision correction has a great safety record and although all surgical procedures carry risks, the complication rate for treatment is less than 1%.

Our surgeon, Mark,  has carried out over 20,000 treatments and we’ll be able to discuss the risks and benefits with you in detail during your consultation visit.

How long does the correction last?

There is no reason why the treatment should not be a permanent correction of your distance vision. However, minor changes in prescription are normal over the years for everyone, whether or not they have had refractive surgery.

Will it hurt?

No. Treatment is pain-free due to anaesthetic drops that are applied prior to treatment and last until you have left the practice.

Am I too old for treatment?

With the wide range of treatments that we offer at Space Healthcare, there is no upper age limit to receiving treatment as long as your eyes are healthy. However, at different ages you tend to have different treatment needs.

People over the age of 65 tend to be better suited to an IOL procedure to ensure they receive the best possible results.

Reading vision (presbyopia) starts to affect everybody sometime after the age of 40. Some forms of refractive error, such as short-sight (myopia), actually disguise the onset of reading vision problems. Laser correction of your distance vision may be possible, but in doing so your underlying reading vision error suddenly become obvious. As a result, although you may no longer need glasses for distance, you find you now need glasses for reading instead! Many people are shocked and disappointed when this occurs – particularly when they were not informed beforehand that this may happen.

Space Healthcare is a specialist provider of reading vision correction. With several different solutions available, we can provide a correction for your distance and near vision needs.

What kind of laser do you use in the laser eye treatment?

The TECHNOLAS ®   Excimer  laser  produces an ultraviolet light with a wavelength of 193 nanometres.  This specific wavelength is absorbed very efficiently by the cornea. It’s an extremely light touch laser and doesn’t affect any other part of the body: you could safely put your hand beneath the laser and nothing would happen.

With its breakthrough eye assessment procedure and links to our advanced diagnostic technology, the laser can recognise the full spectrum of disorders that affect your vision. From  a topographical ‘map’ of the surface of  your cornea through to the creation of a 3-D computerised model of the shape of  your eye,  the process can diagnose and plan an individual, bespoke treatment for each eye.

By combining ergonomic positioning, iris recognition, Advanced Control Eyetracking (ACE™) Technology  and the innovative way the laser treats your eyes, our patients can benefit from quicker treatment and faster healing times.

How much does laser eye surgery cost?

The cost of LASIK and LASEK surgery at Space Healthcare is £1800 per eye.  Our fees include everything you will need for a successful laser eye surgery procedure.  And all of our treatments can be made affordable with interest-free finance. Visit our laser eye surgery pricing page for more information.

Are you more expensive?

If you’re considering laser vision correction, you’ll find yourself bombarded with offers, each claiming to offer high standards of treatment at minimal cost. If  we were looking for the best place to have laser eye surgery, we’d have a list of essentials. After all, we’d want the best treatment….. Don’t you?…

So what’s different about the Space Healthcare?

We offer every patient a unique combination of world-class benefits that would certainly appear on our own list of essentials:

1. Blade-free LASIK using IntraLase technology.

Make sure you know if an alternative provider uses a microkeratome blade or a laser to create your LASIK flap.

2. The most experienced clinical team

Make sure you know if an alternative provider has a world-class surgeon and a highly experienced clinical team as support.

3. The best in modern technology

The Technolas laser system, using 3rd-generation Wavefront treatments, gives unsurpassed visual outcomes.

4. State-of-the-art facilities

A purpose-built treatment centre, with the best in diagnostic and treatment technology. We are the specialists in reading vision correction

5. People who care

Possibly the most important item of all – will you be just another patient, or do they really care about your treatment?

How long does it take?

The treatment takes only minutes, and the laser is only active for seconds. Preparation for surgery on the day takes between 30 minutes to one hour.

What happens during my laser eye consultation?

During your initial appointment Lesley, our  highly experienced optometrist, meets with you personally to discuss which technique is best for you and why. She will evaluate your medical history and test your eyes, measuring corneal thickness, refraction, corneal mapping, eye pressure and pupil dilation.

What happens during my laser eye surgery?

On the treatment day, both eyes will be treated under local anaesthesia, in the form of eye drops.

Your eyelids and lashes are cleansed for sterility and a sticky drape keeps your eyelashes out of the way. Your lids are gently opened and you are asked to look directly at a blinking red light, which keeps your eyes correctly positioned.

The Intralase laser creates the corneal flap in about 20 seconds. The Technolas laser then reshapes the cornea to correct your prescription. The flap is then gently replaced and you will leave with an eye shield and eye drops to help your eye heal.

Are there any side effects?

Side effects are usually minimal.  but you may experience some light sensitivity and glare for a few days or weeks. Full visual stabilisation may take several weeks, but if you have any concerns we will be happy to discuss these during your appointment.

Will I have to take a lot of time off work?

The recovery period will depend on the type of treatment you have. With LASIK, our most popular laser treatment, most patients can return to work after 48 hours, but you should keep your eyes well lubricated with artificial tears (staring at computer screens can dry your eyes). This does not affect the outcome, but can cause temporary visual fluctuation.

LASEK recovery takes a little longer, and you should plan to return to work after seven days.

Can I have laser eye surgery if I am pregnant?

Laser eye surgery is unsuitable for pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding.

Can I bring anyone with me when I have laser eye surgery?

We  advise our patients to bring a relative or a friend along  on the day of  laser eye surgery.  Colleagues or the patient’s family are very welcome to sit in with them when  our nurses explain  the process and medications prior to the actual treatments and they are also welcome to join them straight after the procedure in the recovery area.  During the actual treatment process, however, we restrict entry into the laser room only for medically trained staff or personnel.

 

How should I get home after laser eye surgery?

We advise patients to return home  by car or by taxi. This is because we ask them to keep their eyes shielded for the few first hours after the treatment and getting on a  train or bus would make this advice difficult to follow. Most patients attend with a friend or family member who can escort them home.

How soon after the treatment can I drive?

We advise you not to drive until after the first day aftercare appointment. Driving short distances after the first day appointment is acceptable if we confirm adequate vision at your evaluation.

Laser eye surgery vision correction Leamington Spa | Optometry | Dentistry | Space Healthcare