Vision treatments like Laser Eye Surgery can be a rather expensive process. However, since living with poor eyesight is out of the question, MediFin can help by offering low-interest medical finance for Laser Eye Surgery (Lasik Surgery).
What Is Laser Eye Surgery?
The most well-known and most commonly performed laser refractive surgery is LASIK eye surgery, which aims to improve eyesight. Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) may be the best alternative to glasses or contact lenses for people who don’t like wearing them.
First patented in 1989, LASIK has become the most common vision treatment for refractive eye conditions. This particular procedure involves a special type of cutting laser that changes the shape of the clear tissue at the front of your eye (cornea) to improve vision.
In people with good sight, the cornea refracts or bends light precisely onto the retina. However, with nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia) or astigmatism, the light bends incorrectly which results in blurred vision. While glasses and contact lenses can correct your vision, physically reshaping the cornea through laser eye surgery will provide the necessary refraction.
What Type Of Laser Eye Surgery Do I Need?
There are many types of eye surgeries but as mentioned earlier, LASIK is the most common. To determine the best type of laser eye surgery for you, talk to your optometrist or ophthalmologist. For ease of reference, here are the different types of eye surgeries to discuss:
- Laser-Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK)
- Photo Refractive Keratectomy (PRK)
- Advanced Surface Ablation (ASA)
- Laser-Assisted Sub-Epithelial Keratomileusis (LASEK)
- Laser Blended Vision (LBV)
- Small Incision Lenticule Extraction (SMILE)
- Photo Therapeutic Keratectomy (PTK)
- Neodymium-Yttrium Aluminium Garnet (YAG)
- Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT)
- Pan Retinal Photocoagulation (PRP)
Is Laser Eye Surgery Safe?
While the surgery can correct various vision conditions, there are some laser eye surgery risks with potential side effects. As you’d expect from most surgeries, there is always a risk of complications, including dry eyes, blurry or double vision with a sensation that something is lodged in their eyes. Some may also experience visual changes such as a glare, halo, or heightened sensitivity to light.
In more serious cases, other complications include eye infections, corneal flap complications and red or bloodshot whites of the eye. The good news is that most symptoms should dissipate after the first few days. Anyone experiencing symptoms after this period should consult a medical professional as soon as possible.
What Are The Benefits Of LASIK Surgery?
The primary benefit of laser eye surgery is that the majority of patients no longer have to wear glasses or contact lenses to see clearly. Typically, people have a high chance of achieving 20/25 vision or better after laser eye surgery. Here are some of the reasons people choose to undergo LASIK surgery:
- people who can’t wear contact lenses but prefer not to wear glasses for cosmetic reasons, for example
- those who partake in certain sports where they can’t wear glasses or contact lenses
- enjoy the convenience of not having to rely on corrective eyewear
- relatively quick and safe procedures performed under local anaesthetic
- both eyes can be corrected in one appointment
- fast recovery time (1 – 2 days)
- minimal long-term side effects
Will LASIK Eye Surgery Work For Me?
While most people report a big improvement in their sight, it may not have the same results across the board. For example, people with lower grade nearsightedness often see the best results but those with a high degree of nearsightedness or farsightedness and astigmatism show less predictable results.
In some cases, laser eye surgery might result in undercorrection which may require another surgery to achieve the necessary surgical outcome. In rare cases, some people may find that their eyes slowly return to the level of vision before opting for surgery.
What Is The Recovery Time After Laser Eye Surgery?
The typical recovery time is generally a few days off work to fully recuperate. They should also schedule an eye exam within 24 to 48 hours after laser eye surgery to get a thorough eye check. The ophthalmologist will make sure the eyes are healing properly but that isn’t the end as patients will require several appointments during the first 6 months.
How Do I Care For My Eyes After Laser Eye Surgery?
After surgery, patients may experience a burning or itchy sensation; almost as if a foreign object is present. In this case, surgeons often recommend a mild pain reliever to help with ease these uncomfortable sensations.
Surgeons will give an eye shield or guard to protect the eyes since there are no stitches keeping the flap in place. This is particularly helpful to prevent pressing on the eye or rubbing it when sleeping. Here are a few pointers for post-surgery care:
- Follow the surgeon’s instructions to ensure successful healing and recovery
- If there are prescribed medications or eye drops, take them as recommended
- Rest your eyes and give them time to heal
- Avoid using electronic devices such as laptops, tablets, cellphones and television for at least 24-48 hours after surgery
- Don’t read printed media either as focusing on text will cause excessive strain on your eyes
- Avoid showering as the steam and water are not good for post eye surgery
- Only wear UV-protective sunglasses
- Don’t use any eye makeup for about a week after laser eye surgery
- Avoid any type of exercise or sport for a few weeks to a month
- Never ignore follow-up visits as they monitor the healing process to ensure it is proceeding correctly
How Much Is LASIK Surgery?
The cost of Laser Eye Surgery may not be the same for everyone as it may depend on several factors. However, it usually ranges between R25,000 and R 40,000 which is quite costly, especially if you need to pay everything at once.
Although LASIK surgery can be expensive, it offers people the chance to improve their vision. While some might see it as an investment, others may not necessarily have access to that amount of money which is where MediFin’s affordable loans can help.
Does Medical Aid Cover Laser Eye Surgery?
Medical aids classify many procedures as non-essential which means they are not life-threatening if not performed. LASIK eye surgery and cosmetic surgery are among the list of non-essential procedures. Since most laser eye surgery clinics are not contracted to medical aids, patients will have to pay cash for the procedure and ask the medical aid to reimburse you.
While most medical aids in South Africa will cover part of the costs of laser eye surgery, some of it lands on you. Thanks to MediFin, more people can now afford laser eye surgery and finally say goodbye to wearing glasses or contact lenses.