When it comes to wearing glasses, many people just don’t want to know. Be it for fashion reasons, self-image issues or perceived financial obstacles, glasses just aren’t for everyone, even people who really need them.
As technology improves and the costs and marketing restrictions come down, more and more people are turning to laser eye surgery to correct their vision. It’s a potentially huge market, with more than 15 million people in the UK currently suffering from eyesight limitations, which could be corrected with laser eye surgery. Indeed, around 100,000 people undergo operations every year, and have been since the service was made available in the UK since 1989.
Consumer watchdog uncovers some worrying trends regarding laser eye surgery
But consumers need to be very careful about booking laser eye treatment before they’re fully aware of the full costs and risks involved. You may find that many high street businesses offering this complex service are not being totally open about these issues with customers.
Before booking, you’ll need to check that no hidden costs have been attached to your quoted price, and ensure that your doctor explains the full risks involved with laser eye surgery and get at least two professional, independent opinions on whether you would benefit from it.
Professor David Gartry, a spokesman for the Royal College of Ophthalmologists said recently that while laser eye treatment can give excellent results, some providers of the service are trivialising it with their advertising techniques and although it can be a very quick procedure, it is not one that should be taken lightly.
Laser eye clinics and doctors need to be thorough and qualified
Ensure that the laser eye clinic you have chosen has your full medical history. If they do not ask for it, find out why, as this is an essential medical procedure. Also, all high street surgeons should have attained the Royal College of Ophthalmologists’ Assessment of Competence, which is issued to medical professionals once they have proven themselves to be qualified at refractive eye laser surgery and have had suitable experience. Without this, mistakes can be made which can lead to permanent sight problems. Finally, people need to be aware that their eyesight will still deteriorate, as they get older. A study in America showed that over a third of people who had laser eye surgery needed glasses five years later.
So to summarise, if you’re thinking of getting laser eye surgery, you need to ascertain whether your surgeon is properly qualified, has had plenty of experience and is willing to explain the risks involved to you and tell you if the treatment isn’t suitable for you. You may wish to gain two or more professional opinions on this. Finally, ask how many of their patients have had to come in for further treatment.
If you’re still not convinced, maybe just treat yourself to a new pair of glasses!
Sean blogs about health for leading glasses online experts Direct Sight.