A laser eye procedure might not suit everyone

2. April 2017

To fix short-sightedness with a laser eye procedure is easy and fast these days. However, there are some requirements that need to be met for a patient to be a suitable candidate for the procedure.

Eye glasses and contact lenses assist in sharpening vision, yet for many people they are uncomfortable and inconvenient. Laser procedures were introduced as an alternative decades ago, yet in the early years they came with some complications. But thanks to today’s advanced technology, the results of laser eye procedures are now exceptional.

Post-procedure recovery and results depend on the chosen method. "There is a large number of available methods. Some involve an incision, while others remove the unnecessary layer in the eye with a small tweezers-like object. There are also non-contact methods available," explains KSA Vision Clinic’s eye surgeon Dr Ants Haavel.

KSA Vision Clinic used to perform LASIK procedures, but after securing Flow, a unique technology in the Baltic and Nordic countries, they started to offer non-contact procedures. "Many vision clinics claim that they use laser, yet it sill involves an incision in the eye. Flow is a 100  % non-contact procedure in which the cornea is operated on from a distance using a laser," says Dr Haavel.

Despite being a smooth operation lasting only a few seconds, the procedure can’t be performed on everyone. "Our thorough 1.5 hour pre-procedure assessment will determine a patient’s suitability for the Flow procedure," clarifies Dr Haavel.

The right candidate will have stabilised eyesight, an adequately thick cornea, good general health and an optimistic attitude. Other issues to consider are that laser eye procedures can’t be performed on women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, and the optimal age for the procedure is 20-40 years. In addition, Dr Haavel reminds us that certain illnesses or medications may affect recovery, hence making the procedure not possible.

"About 40  % of the patients who come to our examinations end up not having the procedure. The most common reason for a patient not to have the procedure is a thin cornea – needless to say, at KSA Vision Clinic we don’t take any risks. In those cases we recommend a return visit in couple of years to see how the eyes have changed," Dr Haavel explains.