The Top Ten Reasons Why People Have Laser Eye Surgery
There are many different reasons why people have laser eye surgery. It can be a life-enhancing procedure, often providing people with more confidence and the freedom to do things they want without the hassle of wearing prescription glasses or contact lenses.
As part of our suitability examination we always ask patients what outcome they are hoping for and why they want to have laser eye surgery. This is vital information for our ophthalmic surgeon and means he can be fully accountable to you for the result of the surgery. It is one of the reasons why the General Medical Council recommends that you consult with the surgeon who will personally perform your surgery before you have it rather than a more junior eye doctor.
We recently formulated a list of the top ten reasons why people have laser eye surgery from the many thousands we have successfully treated over the last ten years. Answers varied within age groups but were broadly similar for gender.
1. Sport, especially contact sport and swimming
Glasses don’t mix with contact sports and contact lenses can become dislodged in the eye or cause irritation. People who wish to stay active by going to the gym, running, swimming or doing yoga also find wearing glasses very inconvenient.
2. Pure convenience
Freedom from the ongoing maintenance needed with both glasses and contact lenses is enough for for some people. Not having the daily drudgery of putting in their contact lenses or keeping glasses clean, fog free and dry is sufficient reason.
3. Confidence boost
A surprisingly high number of people experience a big confidence boost after laser eye surgery because they consider that their appearance is enhanced by not wearing glasses. While no one should be ashamed or embarrassed to wear glasses, many people give cosmetic appearance as their main reason for wanting to have laser eye surgery because they do not like how they look wearing glasses and feel it will improve their self-esteem.
Corrective glasses or contact lenses can be impractical for some professions, for example chefs, working in the army or gardaí, or professional sportspeople so laser eye surgery makes sense to improve or expand career prospects.
5. Because I can!
A high proportion of people under 30 say that they can afford it and just want it without having any specific issue. You could say it is just about having the most advanced technology enhancement!
6. Driving, especially at night in the rain
Driving can be problematic, especially at night in the rain when any kind of additional blurriness can be a cause of concern.
7. Improvement in sight
Some patients were unhappy with their sight using glasses or contacts and want to achieve better eyesight. This cannot always be achieved and will depend on many factors. Your suitability examination will clearly establish the limits of what can be achieved as sometimes laser eye surgery is a trade off or balance between long and short vision.
8. Issues with contact lenses
Over time some patients have started to experience pain, stinging and discomfort while wearing contact lenses and they have to spend days wearing glasses instead to give their eyes a rest.
9. Save money in the long term.
Investing in laser eye surgery is more cost effective over a long term period (Up to ten years) than paying for the ongoing expense of replacing and maintaining glasses and/or contact lenses. This is especially true for people who need visual aids from a younger age.
10. Lifestyle reasons
We lump a number of different answers into what we have called lifestyle reasons. This includes when someone becomes a parent and finds that fumbling around to find glasses or insert contacts in the middle of the night becomes a chore. Another reason is when people find that they doze off in the evening while wearing contact lenses or glasses!
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