Laser eye surgery: life without glasses or contact lenses

  • By Joanne Goh
  • September 21, 2019

Dr Joanne Goh performing LASIK Laser Eye Surgery

Many people start looking into laser eye surgery when they hear of how dramatically it has improved others’ quality of life and they start to think about what life would be like without glasses or contact lenses.

If you are tired of deciding which activities to do based on whether they are glasses-friendly or not; if you are sick of the daily routine of inserting and removing your contact lenses; if you wish you could be free to experience the world without something in front of your face, then it might be time to consider laser eye surgery.

How does laser eye surgery work?

Laser eye surgery works on the premise of changing the curvature of the front surface of the eye (known as the cornea) to alter the focus of the eye. The majority of people having laser vision correction will undergo the procedure known as LASIK (Laser In Situ Keratomileusis).  In LASIK, a femtosecond laser is first used to create a thin flap on the surface of the cornea, which is then lifted and folded back.

An excimer laser is then used to remove corneal tissue underneath the flap. This changes the shape and curvature of the cornea, which in turn changes the focus of the eye.

After the cornea has been reshaped, the flap is replaced and it will self-adhere to the underlying cornea. LASIK causes minimal discomfort and visual recovery is very rapid. Most patients only take two days off work; one day for the procedure itself and the next day for a review appointment, and then are back to work on day three, glasses-free!

Is laser eye surgery right for me?

To qualify for laser eye surgery, you must be at least 18 years old, not pregnant or breastfeeding, and have had a stable spectacle or contact lens prescription for at least one year.

Laser eye surgery can correct short-sightedness (myopia), long-sightedness (hyperopia) and astigmatism. There are limits to how much short-sightedness, long-sightedness and astigmatism that can be safely corrected with LASIK. This depends on the refractive error (prescription) being treated, and the thickness of your cornea. Your suitability for surgery can only be accurately determined at your laser eye surgery assessment.

Even if you are sure you won’t be suited to LASIK, it’s still worth booking in for an assessment to see what can be done for you.

For those who are not suitable for LASIK, PRK is another safe alternative. PRK differs from LASIK in that there is no flap created; instead, the excimer laser is applied directly onto the front surface of the cornea. The visual recovery with PRK is slower and more uncomfortable, but the final visual outcome is exactly the same as LASIK. Some patients will be better suited to PRK, and Dr Goh will properly assess your eye and circumstances to determine which procedure is best for you.

Dr Goh also offers a complete suite of refractive options should you be deemed unsuitable for laser vision correction. Implantable collamer lenses (ICLs) and refractive lens exchange (RLE) with implantation of a multifocal or enhanced depth of focus lens can correct a wide range of prescriptions and are a great alternative if you are not suitable for LASIK or PRK.

Choosing your laser eye surgeon

When it comes to your eyes, Dr Goh knows how precious your sight is.  She advises choosing your laser eye surgeon wisely, ensuring that they have undergone appropriate subspecialty training in the fields of cornea and refractive surgery.

Dr Goh is a specialist cataract, cornea and refractive surgeon and specialises in vision correction surgeries including LASIK, PRK, ICL and refractive lens exchange. She has completed two years of advanced subspecialty training in cornea and refractive surgery in the United Kingdom and is committed to providing the latest laser technology and surgical techniques to achieve the best visual outcomes for her patients.

For more information, or to book an appointment, please visit our practice locations page to find a location near you. Dr Goh consults across Melbourne in Mt Waverley, St Kilda Road and Bellfield.