Laser therapy for presbyopia


Presbyopia describes the progressive, age-dependent loss of the elasticity of the lens. One way to correct presbyopia is laser therapy.

How is laser therapy performed?

When the eyes are lasered, the front part of the cornea is removed. A thicker layer is removed in the center than on the outside, so that the optical properties of the cornea change. As a result, the refractive power of the eye is adjusted with very precisely working devices so that the patient can have almost perfect eyesight after the operation.

"Eye laser" is colloquial for the special LASIK eye operation, which is for Laser Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis stands. This is a method by which the laser light causes a change in the cornea of ​​the eye.
Read more on the topic: Laser eye

The laser operation is practically painless. The light works with a wavelength that is invisible to the human eye and so the laser itself is not noticed.

First, the surface of the cornea is incised and folded to the side (so-called "flap"). Then the middle layer of the cornea is removed to the extent previously calculated. After rinsing thoroughly, the "flap" is folded back and practically closes the wound from external influences. The patient can see clearly again just a few minutes after the LASIK treatment.

What is the maximum number of diopters that can be corrected?

Depending on the procedure, a different number of diopters can be corrected. As a rule, up to +3.5 dioptres can be corrected with a laser treatment. Greater farsightedness (+5 to +8 diopters) can be corrected by inserting an artificial lens.

What results can be expected?

The aim of laser treatment is to achieve the best possible visual performance. As a rule, you can see just as well after the laser treatment as with the visual aid that you used before. It should be noted that presbyopia is a progressive process. Under certain circumstances, the visual performance can decrease again over time.

Can you fix an astigmatism at the same time?

It is possible that presbyopia as well as astigmatism can be corrected by laser treatment in one session.

Read more on the subject at: Laser therapy for astigmatism

Is Laser Therapy Painful?

Lasing the eyes is not painful. Before the treatment, the eyes are anesthetized with eye drops. The treatment is not felt. As a rule, no pain is felt afterwards. Some patients report an uncomfortable feeling afterwards.

When should you have your eyes lasered?

When the eyes should be lasered for presbyopia should be discussed individually with the attending ophthalmologist.

What are the risks?

The operation on the eye is to be seen as an operation in the classic sense, even if many health insurance companies devalue it as a cosmetic operation, it is still as dangerous as other outpatient operations.

A hygienic environment is of great importance for the success of the operation and the technical material must also be of high quality. A good surgeon is characterized by good training and, if possible, many years of operational experience.

LASIK surgery is only possible if the cornea is sufficiently thick. If the patient's cornea does not have the required minimum thickness, the ophthalmologist must exclude the patient from the operation. Here it is an advantage to be in a clinic that does not primarily focus on profit, but has a university instead of a private background and thus assured quality standards for the result.

Individual reasons such as drug intolerance or a risk of infection can also speak against the operation.

Presbyopia worsens over the years. So if you have your eyes lasered at the age of 50 in order to regain perfect visual acuity, your near vision may deteriorate again in the following years. If the corneal thickness of the eye allows this, a new intervention is feasible, or you need reading glasses like before the operation and thus ultimately could not make any profit from the operation.

What does laser therapy cost?

As an alternative to laser therapy, there is only the option of correcting farsightedness with glasses.

The cost of laser eye surgery depends on the location and institution of the procedure and can vary widely.

In Germany you should expect 1500 to 2500 euros per eye, because the costs are higher, especially for the gentler and more accurate Femto-LASIK method.
If laser surgery is being considered on the eye, an appointment should be made at a nearby eye clinic. These are found in almost every major city in Germany, even if the reputation varies from city to city.

Since the statutory health insurance companies consider the procedure to be a cosmetic procedure, they do not cover the costs of the operation.

With private health insurances, however, it behaves very differently: There are supplementary visual aid insurances in which one-off costs for the operation on the eye with the laser are included in the program. Here you get a grant of up to 1000 euros.

What are the costs of the health insurance?

The costs for a laser treatment can be calculated at 1500 to 2000 per eye. As a rule, the costs are not covered by a statutory health insurance company. If you are privately insured, you should find out from the health insurance company whether and which costs will be covered before a planned laser treatment.