The sphere (first number on a prescription) is between +4 to -8 dioptres
The cylinder (second number on a prescription) is below 5 dioptres whether + or -
Such prescriptions can respond well to laser vision correction as long as all other conditions are correct for laser treatment.
Vision correction for people under 45 and with ordinary spectacle prescriptions
Since its introduction over 20 years ago laser vision correction has evolved & matured enormously, bringing huge advances in both safety and effectiveness hand in hand. When laser vision surgery is used to correct ordinary focusing errors by experienced specialist eye surgeons the procedure is safe and gives excellent results. This is the view taken by many well respected organisations such as the Royal college of Ophthalmologists, The national institute of clinical excellence (NICE) and the American food & drug administration (FDA).
According to NICE (www.nice.org.uk) more than 99% of patients who have mild to moderate degrees of focusing errors (the vast majority of patients fall into this group) corrected by laser vision surgery equalled or bettered the legal standard of driving (~6/12 or 20/40) with the vast majority (up-to 79% in this review) achieving normal vision of 6/6 (20/20). Less than 1% of patients experience complications which result in their vision declining to a level significantly worse than what they had before surgery.
- Who is Suitable for Laser Vision Correction?
You may be suitable for laser vision correction if you:
- Feel that spectacles/contact lenses are a nuisance in your job, sporting activities or personal life
- Have had stable vision for 2 years
- Have healthy eyes and are in good general health
- Are not taking any medication that could affect the healing process
- Are aged over 21 years
- You are not pregnant or breastfeeding
- Your prescription is long sightedness (hyperopia) upto +4.00 or short sightedness (myopia) upto -8.00 and/or astigmatism of less than 5 dioptres.
- With glasses/contact lenses you are able to satisfy the driving standard of vision (20/40 or 6/12) or better in each eye
- Please Note that some people who are not able to meet the above criteria may still be able to satisfy criteria implant vision correction.
At Bettersight we often find prospective patients asking whats betters – lens implant vision correction treatments or Laser vision correction? At Bettersight, however, we prefer to think in terms of suitability rather than superiority.
Laser vision correction, with today’s high technology coupled with our greater understanding of the eye’s response to excimer laser, is a safe, well tolerated and highly effective treatment for patients with a wide range of spectacle prescriptions. Given the overlap in applicability of various vision correction treatments there can be cases where either treatment could be equally viable;
- An individual with 3 dioptres of short sightedness (prescription -3.00) who is in their twenties or thirties is probably ideally suited to laser vision correction – BUT
- A patient with a higher prescription for example -8.00 short sightedness who is in their mid to late forties and has a strong preference not to be increasingly dependent upon close vision glasses (reading glasses) as he/she gets older is probably better suited to a lens implant procedure (in this case refractive lens exchange with a multifocal lens implant). In this scenario Laser vision correction is technically entirely feasible and would likely still provide excellent distance vision but will leave the patient unsatisfied because of the resulting need for reading glasses.
- An individual in their early fifties with a prescription of around +3.5 hyperopia (long sight) who doesn’t mind using readers after treatment could potentially be suited for either laser vision correction or refractive lens exchange – depending on a number of other factors.
A custom approach is therefore essential when considering vision correction. Those considering vision correction treatments are therefore advised to ensure your clinic & surgeon can offer the full range of laser and lens implant treatments so you can receive a comprehensive assessment and benefit from a fully bespoke approach.
As with all surgery there can be no absolute guarantees and it is important to establish the benefits you as a person would get and weigh them against the minimal risks of the surgery. Laser vision correction can be performed in two major ways:
- LASEK (laser sub-epithelial keratomileusis) is considered perhaps the safest of all types of laser correction·
- LASIK (laser in situ keratomileusis) is one of the more common methods,
There are some variants of these two techniques but in essence one of the major choices for any patient considering laser laser vision correction is whether to opt for LASIK or LASEK – in the next section we outline the major differences between these types of laser vision correction.