Laser eye surgery is fast becoming a very real alternative to glasses for many people. There are a number of different treatments that can treat the detrimental effects of long sightedness, short sightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia. Doctors are now using lasers as a tool to perform precise and very intricate surgery on the delicate interior of the eye with increasing success.
If you are a mother, or soon to be one, there are a number of things you should know about laser eye surgery, which include its benefits and limitations. Read on to discover how laser eye surgery could benefit you and your family.
Can I have laser eye surgery if I am pregnant?
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, your body releases hormones which can cause slight changes in the curve of the cornea. It’s inadvisable to have laser eye surgery at this time, as the eye could return to its pre-natal state, diminishing the effects of the treatment. Therefore it is advisable to wait until three to six months after your child has been weaned off breastfeeding before undergoing any kind of laser eye surgery.
Furthermore, the procedure may involve mild sedation and require you to take an antibiotic and cortisone drops before and after the operation. These drugs are all absorbed into the bloodstream and could potentially harm your baby if you are pregnant, especially during the initial stages.
Can my children have laser eye surgery?
As a rule, you should wait until your eyesight has stabilised before having laser eye surgery. This means no more than 0.5D change to you or your child’s prescription in the preceding two to three years.
Even if your child’s eyesight is stable, the NHS still recommends that no one under the age of 21 should undergo laser eye surgery.
Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP)
ROP is a condition characterised by an abnormal growth of blood vessels in the eye in infants born before 32 weeks of pregnancy. Many mild cases heal naturally, but more severe instances can damage the retina and lead to vision loss.
The condition can now be rectified using laser therapy or with cryotherapy. Your doctor will be able to advise on which is best for your baby.
Is laser eye surgery safe?
Before you or a member of your family undergoes laser eye surgery, you’ll want to know whether it is safe. The Royal College of Ophthalmologists says that less than five per cent of operations involve complications, but those which do arise include infection, under- (or over)-correction, regression and poor night vision. Every individual case will have its own set of associated risks, so make sure your doctor fully explains the risks involved.
That said, the vast majority of people are suitable for laser eye surgery, and success rates are increasing along with improvements in technology. The most important thing is to go to a trusted specialist, like Optimax.