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Overcoming Laser Eye Surgery Anxiety


To feel anxious about the unknown is perfectly normal and in many ways expected. That is why we completely understand why some people feel anxious about having laser eye surgery. For a few people you could even describe this as fear.

Call it what you will though, we do know that this feeling is enough to put some people off the procedure entirely. For others it can create a nervous tension that nobody enjoys.

There is no simple answer for anyone feeling this way. However, we do know that many people are reassured by facts and insight so if you feel any sense of trepidation about laser eye surgery, we hope the following 13 points are of help:

  1. Laser eye surgery has been undertaken on over 30,000,000 patients worldwide.
  2. The procedure takes less than ten minutes to perform on both eyes. That might not seem like long for a surgical procedure but thanks to the sophistication of the technology in the hands of our highly experienced surgeons, that’s all the time we need.
  3. Typically the laser used to correct and overcome your eye prescription will take less than one minute per eye.
  4. Importantly, before the procedure is performed we apply anaesthetic eye drops to numb your eye and surrounding area (eye lids). The effect of the anaesthetic lasts for around 30 minutes with the procedure taking less than 10. The result is that you will be feeling very little for the period of time the drops are functioning.
  5.  You don’t need to worry about blinking! In addition to anaesthetic, we put a small eyelid holder under the eyelids to allow the laser to undertake the procedure on the eye without the interference of the natural blink.
  6.  You also don’t need to worry about moving your eye during surgery either. Our state-of-the-art lasers have an eye tracker which follows the eyes movements precisely. If there is movement outside of the operating tolerances, the laser will automatically pause.
  7. We don’t use any needles during laser eye surgery.
  8. With LASIK, a protective flap is created and then a laser is used to reshape the inner layers of the cornea. The protective flap is created by a laser which increases the safety profile of the procedure. Using a laser to create the protective flap makes the procedure even safer than other traditional methods. This makes some people feel squeamish but while it is important that you know what the surgery involves, you will have no sensation of what we are doing and there will be no visual reminder of what we have done – other than being able to see normally without glasses or contact lenses of course!
  9. If you choose the LASIK procedure, your visual recovery is typically between one and two days. In other words you will be seeing perfectly normally very quickly. The majority of patients will be able to see as well without spectacles or contact lenses as they could before with spectacles or contact lenses at one day.
  10. This means that with LASIK, you can return to your normal lifestyles within one to two days and for most people it is possible to drive the day after the procedure.
  11. With the alternative LASEK procedure, the visual recovery is a few days slower, however the outcomes are as excellent as LASIK when we evaluate these at three months post both procedures.
  12. From audited clinical outcomes, over 99% of patients achieved 20/20 or better vision following a laser eye surgery procedure*.
  13. The most common statement made by patient’s post-operatively is “I wish I had done this years ago.” Don’t take our word for it, just take a look at our patient reviews and read what they had to say about how laser eye surgery has changed their life.


* 99.1% of Optical Express patients achieve 20/20 vision or better following laser eye surgery. Based on a study of 336,381 patients, September 2014.

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