Is laser eye surgery right for me?
At Medownick Laser Eye Clinic, we thoroughly test and assess the health of your eyes to determine the most suitable laser treatment for your eyes, and provide you with a realistic expectation of your potential to achieve 20/20 vision.
The human eye is the organ that gives us our sense of sight. It allows us to learn more about our surrounding world than any of our other five senses. We use our eyes in almost everything we do, whether we’re reading, working, scanning social media, playing sport or driving our cars.
So it’s only natural that you feel that your eyes are your most precious sense. And surgery involving your eyes, no matter how beneficial, is not a decision to be made lightly.
Do I have a refractive eye condition?
Refractive eye conditions are distortions in the shape and length of the eye, which affects ‘refraction’, or the bending of light, as it focuses on the eye’s retina. At Medownick Laser Eye Clinic at the Epworth Medical Centre in Melbourne, Dr Mark Medownick and his expert team treat refractive errors with laser eye correction surgery.
There are three refractive conditions that cause poor eyesight in young people, and if you have one of these or a combination you may be a suitable candidate for laser eye surgery. They are:
Myopia: Commonly known as short-sightedness or near-sightedness, this is a condition in which the eye can see close objects, but has trouble bringing distant objects into focus. It often starts in childhood and progresses during your teenage years and into adulthood.
Hypermetropia: Also called long-sightedness, this condition makes it difficult for the lens of the eye to focus on close-up objects. Again, it typically begins in childhood, where it can manifest itself as crossed eyes.
Astigmatism: This condition causes distorted or blurred vision for objects over any distance, and is caused when your cornea, which should be a perfect sphere, becomes warped. It is usually evident from birth and requires some form of vision correction. Low-level astigmatism is also very common, and often occurs in conjunction with myopia or hypermetropia.
Presbyopia (found in people aged 45 to 55) and cataracts can also be treated with corrective eye surgery or laser surgery. See Cataracts and Multifocals for treatments, or refer to Common Eye Problems, for more information.
Am I suitable for laser eye surgery?
If you are over the age of 18 and have stable vision and healthy eyes, you are likely to be a prime candidate for laser eye treatment. For people over 18, there is no age limit for laser treatment. We have corrected patients who are short-sighted up to 13 dioptres (the average is 2–5), astigmatism of 8 dioptres (average 1–3), and long-sightedness of 7 dioptres (average 1–4), as well as a combination of these conditions.
Every situation we treat is unique, so if you are unsure whether you are suitable for laser eye surgery, we encourage you to book in for a no-obligation assessment.
The other factor to consider is an emotional one. You must want to be free of your glasses or contact lenses enough that you are willing to invest the time, energy and money to understand and undergo the laser eye surgery procedure.
At Medownick it is our individual approach to your circumstances that sets us apart, and which has made us a trusted household name. Each laser vision procedure is carefully tailored to your individual needs for the best possible outcome.
Who shouldn’t have laser eye surgery?
The results of laser eye surgery are impressive and many of our former patients now enjoy better than 20/20 vision, but it is impossible to tell you exactly what your results will be.
We cannot guarantee the outcome of laser eye surgery in any individual case, because each person responds in a slightly different way. If you will only be satisfied with ‘perfect’ vision without glasses or contact lenses after laser treatment, you may wish to reconsider eye surgery. Avoid any doctor or clinic that promises you a specific result, as this is simply not possible.
However, there are some people who should not have laser eye surgery. These include:
- People who are very happy wearing glasses or contact lenses.
- People under 18 years old. Their short-sightedness is probably still increasing.
- People whose refraction is significantly changing. Refractions often continue to change through the teenage years into the early twenties. At least two years should pass without a significant change (i.e. one-half dioptre or more).
- People who insist upon a perfect correction. While this result is entirely possible, it cannot be guaranteed.
- Women who are pregnant or who are breastfeeding. Hormonal changes will often cause temporary changes in their near-sightedness.
Next: What is laser eye surgery and which laser procedure is right for my eyes?
Laser eye surgery is an investment in you. It’s why we offer interest-free payment plans over six, 12 or 18 months to suitable candidates.