What do we mean by laser eyes?
Laser eyes is a surgical procedure used in ophthalmology to correct ametropia. This can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. Treating the eyes with a laser is now a routine operation. Laser eye surgery is an alternative to wearing contact lenses and glasses.
This article might also interest you: Lasik
Indications for laser eye treatment are nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. In addition, you should be at least of legal age (treatment is recommended from the age of 25) and the ametropia has been stable for two years. Laser treatment is suitable for patients with diopters from approx. -12 to +6.
With nearsightedness (myopia) the relationship between refractive power and length of the eyeball is incorrect. The eyeball is too long and / or the refractive power is too strong and therefore close objects can be seen well, but objects further away are blurred. The LASIK (laser in situ keratomileusis) method is usually used in laser therapy for myopic eyes. More is removed by the laser in the center of the cornea than on the edges of the cornea. This makes it flatter.
In farsightedness (hyperopia) the refractive power is too weak in relation to the eyeball or the eyeball is too short in relation to the refractive power. This enables far-sighted people to see distant objects clearly and objects in the vicinity out of focus. In laser therapy for farsighted eyes, the cornea is removed mainly at the edge, which increases the curvature. Here, too, the surgical method is LASIK.
Astigmatism has an irregularly shaped cornea. This means that incident light rays cannot be bundled in one point. With laser therapy, the cornea is brought back into an even shape
Find out more about the topic:
- Laser therapy for myopia
- Laser therapy for farsightedness
- Laser therapy for astigmatism
The following contraindications can represent a relative or absolute exclusion criterion for laser eye surgery. Patients with:
a too thin cornea (<0.5mm)
Age under 18 years
unstable corneal statics
present pregnancy, breastfeeding period
Wound healing disorder
Tendency to scarring
Have a preliminary examination at the ophthalmologist check whether you can undergo laser treatment.
What different lasers are there?
State-of-the-art laser types such as the YAG laser, femtosecond laser and excimer laser are used for eye lasers.
The YAG laser (yttrium aluminum garnet) generates a high acoustic wave speed, its laser beam is cold and therefore well suited for areas of application on the eye. In addition to laser eye surgery, it is also used to treat secondary cataracts (after cataract treatment, the lens is again cloudy). In addition, the YAG laser is used in glaucoma so that the aqueous humor can drain away again in a targeted manner.
The femtosecond laser bundles infrared rays and offers many advantages such as fast wound healing, painless application and low heat generation on the object. Due to these properties, it is used to correct myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism.
The excimer laser is a gas laser in which halides of a noble gas are used. The laser is not visible in the eye and is used to sculpt the cornea. During an eye operation, the laser is combined with a computer to register possible eye movements.
What does it cost to have your eyes lasered?
The costs for an eye laser surgery vary depending on which eye clinic you choose. They are between around 800-3000 euros per eye, depending on the choice of therapy.
When does the health insurance fund a laser treatment?
Statutory health insurance companies usually do not cover eye laser therapy, as eye laser surgery is a purely aesthetic procedure. The costs can be covered in exceptional cases such as an injury caused by an accident.
In contrast, some private insurance companies cover some or all of the costs. This depends on the individually concluded service package and can be inquired about with the insurance company.
Is it possible to deduct laser treatment from tax?
Laser eye surgery is tax deductible. It is classified by the tax authorities as a recognized therapeutic treatment. A medical certificate does not have to be presented for this, an invoice from the doctor is sufficient.
What are the risks and side effects?
Laser eye surgery is now considered a very safe procedure, provided the patient follows the instructions of the ophthalmologist after the treatment and the hygiene guidelines are adhered to during the operation. However, temporary and permanent impairments can occur after the operation.
These temporary risks can occur after laser eye surgery:
increased sensitivity to light
Foreign body sensation
Restriction of night vision
Blurred vision after surgery
Halos (seeing halos)
Wound healing disorders
These permanent impairments can occur after laser eye surgery:
increased sensitivity to glare
Loss of contrast vision
Under- or over-correction of vision (very rare)
increased risk of keratectasia (protrusion of the cornea)
permanent dryness of the eyes
Also read the article on the topic: Complications of Lasik
How many diopters can be corrected?
With lasers, there is no standard number of diopters up to which an operation can be performed. It also depends on the type of therapy. Patients with diopters of approx. -10 to +6 can be considered for laser therapy. Ask your ophthalmologist and get examined before.
How long does a laser treatment last?
Treatment of the eyes with laser takes about 5-15 minutes per eye. This depends on the treatment method. You can leave the eye clinic half an hour to an hour after the operation.
Does laser treatment hurt?
Before the operation, the patient is given eye drops that numb the eyes locally so that there is no pain during the procedure. There should be no pain in the eyes after the laser eye surgery. However, a foreign body sensation in the eye, blurred vision and dry and irritated eyes often occur after the operation. The symptoms should subside after a few days. If you have severe pain after the operation, you should immediately consult an ophthalmologist.
Is that also possible with astigmatism?
Yes, astigmatism can be treated by laser eye surgery. In the case of astigmatism, incident light rays cannot be bundled in one point, which means that round objects are perceived as rod-shaped. Patients suffer from blurred vision. The astigmatism can be treated with two different treatment methods (LASIK and LASEK).
In LASIK (laser in situ keratomileusis) treatment, a corneal flap is first prepared with a microkeratome and then the ametropia is corrected with the help of the laser. Finally, the corneal flap is returned to its original position.
With the LASEK method, an alcohol solution is first applied to the surface of the eye, which loosens the thin layer of cells on the surface of the eye (epithelium) and thus creates access to the cornea for the surgeon. Then the cornea is reshaped with the laser and finally a protective contact lens is placed on the eye, which supports the healing process. The Lasek method can be used on very thin corneal layers and has a longer healing phase than the Lasik method.
Read more on the topic: Laser therapy for astigmatism
How is it if I'm not yet presbyopic?
If you have presbyopia, you can have your eyes lasered without any problems. However, you should note that presbyopia can become noticeable from the age of 45. The deterioration of the eyesight can drag on for years and thus a new ametropia can occur after a laser treatment and it may be necessary to wear glasses.
Find out more about the topic: Laser therapy for presbyopia
A temporary feeling of dryness in the eyes is common after laser treatment. During the treatment, the top layer of the cornea is peeled off, which also cuts off nerves that tell the brain whether the eyes are sufficiently moist or dry. As a result, less tear film is produced. To prevent the feeling of dryness, you should regularly use eye drops prescribed by your ophthalmologist. The tear film should return to normal after a few weeks.
This article might also interest you: Dry eyes after LASIK
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