If you’ve worn glasses for year or if you find yourself going through the daily struggles of fiddling with (and even possibly losing) your contact lenses, then the odds are that, like most of us, you thought about Laser eye treatment as that much needed permanent solution.
Being one of the single most commonly performed elective procedures in the UK, there appear to be fewer and fewer reasons not to undertake this simple surgical solution to your issues.
What is laser eye surgery?
Simply put, laser eye surgery, is the use of lasers or precision surgical instruments in order to reshape the cornea of the eye and improve one’s clarity of vision.
The surgery is an effective long-term solution to a wide range of visual problems that a great deal of us go on living with simply because we never take the time to consider the accessibility of the procedure.
The surgery involves reshaping the cornea of the eye so that light hits the retina in such a way that will improve the clarity of your sight. This is achieved by the surgeon either cutting the cornea with specialist precision implements or, as is more common, with the use of a laser.
Laser eye surgery is so complex, it needs a specialist to perform it, and it’s expensive. Therefore, it’s vital that, before you commit to it with, you do as much research as you can about the companies who provide it and how their costs compare to each other.
We can put you in touch with up to four specialist companies offering Laser eye surgery. They’ll provide you with a quote free of charge. There’s no cost to the service and there’s no obligation on you to go ahead with any of the companies. Just fill in the form below to get started.
How much does laser eye surgery cost?
|Type of procedure (per eye)||From||To|
|PRK or LASEK||£1,200||£1,800|
Under current NHS guidelines, laser eye surgery is only available if a doctor has found that your condition left untreated could lead to vision loss. If you have no such condition, choosing Laser eye surgery will be considered to be an “elective procedure” meaning that you’ll need to go private.
It’s important to take into account that Laser eye surgery is just one of a few blanket terms for a whole array of optical surgery techniques. Different techniques take different lengths of time and require different skillsets on the part of the person carrying out the procedure.
For example – one of the newer techniques is the more expensive ReLex SMILE procedure. Currently available to treat myopia and astigmatisms, ReLex SMILE is a minimally invasive approach to laser eye surgery that involves less damage to the cornea and a drastically-reduced recovery time to patients.
As we mentioned earlier, with so many different options available to you, deciding to opt for laser eye surgery is something where it really does pay to do your research. It’s vital to make sure that you get the right treatment for you, that you like the company and the practitioner who will be delivering your Laser eye surgery, and that the final price sits within your budget.
Fill in the form at the top of the page to get connected to up to four local experts who will provide you with a competitive, no-obligation quote. Our service is free and you don’t have to accept any of the quotes you’re provided with.
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Laser eye surgery finance
Every practice will offer you a range of different financial options for treatments. This means that you can benefit from Laser eye surgery sooner rather than later.
If you’re able to complete a credit check and put down the required deposit (this is usually about £500 or 10% of the cost of the procedure), you can then repay the remaining balance of your treatment cost over the space of 10 to 24 months.
If it’s comfortable for you to do so, you might choose to pay off the remaining amount over the space of 10-12 months – if this is possible, some clinics will offer 0% finance.
Take a look at the list below for what you should roughly expect to pay on a payment plan for your procedure:
|Type of procedure (listed prices are per eye)||Deposit required||Paying over 10 months||Paying over 24 months|
|LASIK||10% of total or £500||£68 (0% APR)||£22 (11.5% APR)|
|LASEK (Wavefront)||10% of total or £500||£150 (0%APR)||£48 (11.5% APR)|
|LASIK (Wavefront)||10% of total or £500||£150 (0% APR)||£31 (11.5% APR)|
|ReLex SMILE||10% of total or £500||£185 (0% APR)||£92 (9.9% APR)|
Extra fees to consider
It’s important to mention additional fees as well as the cost of the laser eye treatment itself. These will need to form part of your budget but you’ll be pleased to hear that, because competition among laser eye surgery clinic is high, the extra fees patients pay are coming down all the time.
What will you need to budget for?
Consultations: For most providers, you’ll find that your first consultation will normally be free. But, don’t forget that a follow up examination is almost always vital to be sure there haven’t been any issues with the healing process. Depending on your clinic, surgical consultations can cost anywhere up to £180.
Prescriptions: It’s worth looking through the listed fees at your practice to see if the medication you’ll take during your recovery period will be covered by the costs of the surgery. If not, there will no doubt be a few prescriptions you should be prepared to budget for, unless you’re eligible for free prescriptions. At the time of writing, the current NHS prescription cost is £8.80.
Aftercare: With any surgery, follow up examinations are almost always vital to be sure there haven’t been any complications during the procedure or afterwards during the healing process.
Depending on whether you’ll be seeing your optician or an ophthalmic surgeon, you should expect to budget from around £40 for these appointments.
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What are the benefits of Laser eye surgery?
The quality of your life may be affected having cataracts. You may have an astigmatism, or perhaps you’re dealing with myopia. People have Laser eye surgery for reading, long-sightedness, short-sightedness, lazy eyes, because of age, glaucoma, and more.
There’s a range of optical issues that could make you a perfect candidate for laser correction. Even if your only sight issue is having to wear glasses with very weak lenses because your sight is generally good but not 20/20, the benefits of the having Laser eye surgery can be lifechanging.
Let’s say you wear glasses for everyday living. Laser eye surgery has the potential to open your world up to all sorts of different activities you ruled yourself out of trying because of discomfort or inconvenience. Many people who, after laser eye surgery, now live without lenses actively take part in swimming, martial arts, and even extreme sports that were previously more of chore than a leisure activity.
On the other hand, if you regularly wear contact lenses, a laser correction could save you from ever having to worry about the risk of infection that arises every time you handle your contacts.
Don’t forget that, even with only very minor optical health issues, the benefits that arise from laser eye surgery are far more than merely practical. The government health watchdog NICE (The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) surveyed 313,154 post operation eyes and concluded that 90% of patients had come within one dioptre (a unit measuring the lens’s refractive power) of perfect sight.
Some people still say laser eye surgery is dangerous. Is it?
One of many prospective patients’ biggest concerns is on whether laser eye surgery is dangerous or not. If you have any concerns, it’s best to thoroughly discuss them with your surgeon and/or your optometrist. But, really, the chances of anything going wrong are incredibly slim.
According to the NHS website, the odds of something going ‘noticeably wrong’ are around 1 in 1000. Furthermore, they state that the chance of a surgeon being faced with a complication that they could not correct to a satisfactory standard are around 1 in 30,00
As with any surgical procedure, risks do exist and you must be aware of them. That said, by most standards, laser eye operations are considered incredibly safe and any complications are incredibly rare. There are lots of evidence-based reasons why NICE have decided that Lasik procedures are both effective and safe so long as it followed the latest techniques and guidelines. That should give all patients real peace of mind.
Getting your eyes tested
Much like the first step for getting a new pair of glasses or new contact lenses, the first step in finding out if Lasek surgery is for you is to visit your local optician and get an eye test. Through a series of tests and checks your optician will evaluate your vision and look out for any underlying issues that may need to be resolved prior to treatment.
According to the NHS, it is recommended that most of the British public should really be get their eyes examined at least once every two years. In some specific cases, they recommend patients ensure they visit their local eye specialist more often than once every two years if:
- You have diabetes
- You are a child that’s already wearing glasses
- You’re aged 40 or above and have a family history of glaucoma
- You’re aged over 70
Where can I get my eyes tested?
Eye tests on the NHS are free for many of us. However, even though the NHS is an amazing institution, you’re likely to have issues with long waiting times and you may have to travel a long distance to get to your nearest clinic.
While it’s fantastic to enjoy the benefits of free healthcare, sometimes it really is worth investing that little bit extra into getting a private examination. That’s particularly so if you’re having any vision-related issues at the moment.
But bear in mind that, if you do decide to pay for a private test, then you won’t be eligible for another assessment through the NHS until you’re next due in for a test.
Of course, selecting a private test will also provide you with a much larger range of options on who carries it out. You could head to Tesco Opticians for a test (but be prepared to book in advance) or head to the likes of Specsavers or Boots and expect to pay around £20 to £25,
Is laser eye surgery cheaper abroad?
The simple answer is, in some cases, yes. But that does not necessarily make it the better option for those with tighter finances.
Laser eye surgery abroad is still a significant investment even though, at first glance, the procedure can sometimes appear cheaper abroad.
Countries such as Hungary, Turkey, India and Pakistan are some of the more popular destinations because of what appear to be very competitive prices but the reality is that cheaper is not always better.
There’s a lot to think about if you choose to undertake your procedure abroad, especially around the area of cost. You will no longer just be looking at the consultation, medication, and aftercare fees but at the fees that come with travel and accommodation.
You’ll need to think about:
- the cost of flights which could be anywhere from £400 upwards
- where you’ll be staying between consultations (another possible £50-£200 per night), and
- your travel and international medical insurance requirement (potentially adding another £200).
If you couple these extra costs with a potential requirement for follow-up consultations abroad, then many patients find themselves having paid more overall just to benefit from the cheaper cost of surgery abroad than if they’d stayed here in Britain.
Furthermore, it’s important to remember that you cannot always rely the safety and reliability of international clinics. According to the previously-mentioned NICE study, overseas clinics do not have to abide by British rules and restrictions. If you do choose to have your procedure abroad, experts strongly recommended that you research each individual clinic that’s a potential option. Ask them about their safety standards and how they uphold themselves to these standards before you invest in any form of laser eye surgery.
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Nowadays, many people think that, just like spending money on a car or a home, putting a permanent end to your optical issues is one of those necessary larger investments in life. If you can afford the procedure without putting a dent in your finances, then great.
Merely being able to see better than ever before is the biggest benefit for most patients but living a life without the daily niggling restrictions that come with relying on glasses or contact lenses can make such a difference.
If you think laser eye surgery could make the difference to your life that you’re looking for, then just fill out the form below to be put into contact with one of our team of experts who can help set you on the right path in selecting the best treatment for you.
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