HomeLifestyleHow Much is Eye Laser Treatment Cost in UK?

How Much is Eye Laser Treatment Cost in UK?

Are you tired of relying on glasses or contact lenses to see clearly? If so, eye laser treatment could be the solution you’ve been searching for. Not only can it free you from the hassle of wearing corrective eyewear, but it can also improve your overall quality of life. But before taking the leap, one question looms large: How much is eye laser treatment cost in the UK?

In this blog post, we’ll delve into the different costs associated with this revolutionary procedure and explore whether private insurance covers any part of it. So get ready to discover everything you need to know about eye laser treatment costs in the UK!

Who is Eligible for Laser Eye Surgery?

Who is Eligible for Laser Eye Surgery?

The initial crucial factor regarding eligibility for laser eye surgery is the requirement for a stable and consistent prescription. If your eyesight fluctuates beyond a specific limit, it suggests the potential for further fluctuations after the surgery, which could compromise its effectiveness.

  • Stable Eyesight Requirement: The patient’s eyesight should remain within a 0.5-point change over a period of two to three years.
  • General Health Condition: Candidates must be in good overall health, devoid of any diseases or conditions that could pose complications during the surgery.
  • Age Eligibility: Candidates should be over the age of 21, aligning with the period when eyesight typically stabilizes.
  • Age Limitation: Eligible candidates must be under the age of 45, considering that natural vision deterioration occurs beyond this age, often requiring the use of reading glasses.
  • Overall Eye Health: Candidates should possess generally healthy eyes to meet the necessary criteria for a successful laser eye surgery.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Restrictions: Candidates are ineligible if pregnant or breastfeeding, as hormonal changes during these conditions may impact eyesight stability and pose potential risks during surgery.

What Are the Types of Laser Eye Surgery?

When considering laser eye surgery, one crucial decision revolves around choosing the appropriate type of procedure. This choice is heavily reliant on the guidance provided by your surgeon during the initial consultation. Before delving into the plethora of information available, it is beneficial to familiarise yourself with the following laser eye surgery options:

  1. Surface Laser Treatments (LASEK/Laser Epithelial Keratomileusis, PRK, TransPRK): Surface laser treatments involve rolling back a portion of the corneal cover to access and reshape the cornea using a laser beam. Prior to this, diluted-alcohol eye drops are applied to soften the eyes for the procedure. Ideal for individuals with thinner corneas, this method minimises wastage of precious tissue. However, the healing process is relatively longer, and it may entail more discomfort compared to other options. This treatment requires only one laser beam.
  2. Lasik/Laser-Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis: Lasik involves the use of two laser beams. The first creates a flap in the corneal cover without fully removing it, while the second corrects the corneal shape. The flap is then repositioned, leading to a faster healing process. Lasik is less suitable for those with thinner corneas, as the procedure leaves less corneal tissue for potential re-treatments. Despite being less painful than LASEK, Lasik offers quicker recovery.
  3. SMILE/Small Incision Lenticule Extraction: SMILE stands out as a surgical laser eye treatment without creating a flap or removing the corneal cover. Instead, a tiny hole is made in the cornea cover using an infrared/femtosecond laser, allowing the surgeon to reshape the cornea by extracting the lenticule. The entry holes are self-healing, and patients quickly return to their normal routines. This method offers a unique approach to vision correction with minimal disruption to the corneal structure.

How Much is Eye Laser Treatment Cost in UK?

How Much is Eye Laser Treatment Cost in UK?

The cost of laser eye surgery in the UK fluctuates for several reasons. These factors include the specific type of laser surgery chosen—whether it’s Lasik, Lasek, or SMILE—and whether the procedure is performed on one eye at a time (resulting in a per-eye payment) or on both eyes simultaneously.

Moreover, the cost varies based on the chosen location for the surgery. Options range from rare instances of NHS-provided services, typically reserved for specific situations and offered at no charge, to private clinics that provide the service for a fee.

Laser eye surgery prices can span from £595 per eye to as high as £3,250 per eye. Another influential factor affecting the overall cost is the inclusion of additional procedures like Eye Mapping (iDesign, Wavefront), which will be explored in more detail later.

Different Costs for Eye Laser Treatment

It’s important to note that the discussed sum of money is not paid in a lump sum; instead, it is divided into two or three payments, following the clinic’s rules and guidelines.

If a clinic insists on full payment upfront before your laser surgery, it’s a red flag, and we strongly recommend seeking an alternative provider.

Furthermore, if you encounter financial challenges covering the entire procedure cost, there’s no need to worry. Due to intense competition among laser surgery clinics and businesses in the vision treatment sector, various financing options are available for laser eye treatments.

Payments can be spread over a period of 12 months or even longer, sometimes without incurring interest. In such instances, it’s advisable to carefully review the terms and conditions to avoid unexpected additional costs. Ensure you thoroughly understand the fine print to prevent paying an extra third of the original price in interest for your laser surgery.

Consultation

Consultation is an important step in the eye laser treatment process. It allows you to assess your suitability for the procedure and discuss any concerns or questions with a qualified professional. During the consultation, the optometrist will evaluate your overall eye health and determine if you are a good candidate for laser treatment.

Many clinics provide complimentary consultations for all patients. If the consultation is not free, the cost can range from £25 to £350, contingent on the specific clinic. In all likelihood, the pricing details, or the absence of fees, will be prominently displayed on their website to ensure you are well-informed in advance.

Deposit

The deposit is an important aspect to consider when it comes to eye laser treatment. Before undergoing the procedure, most clinics will require you to pay a deposit in order to secure your appointment slot. The amount of the deposit can vary depending on the clinic and the specific type of procedure you are opting for.

To solidify your commitment and secure a surgery date, a deposit is required, typically representing a specific percentage of the total cost. This percentage might range from 10% to 20% or even 50%, but it is never the full amount.

Aftercare

Aftercare is typically not an additional cost at clinics. In fact, some clinics provide complimentary follow-ups for a lifetime, others offer 24 months of free follow-up services, and there are those that include free re-treatment, subject to specific terms. Additionally, some clinics extend the provision of free follow-ups for up to 10 years.

Therefore, the expenses related to aftercare are generally not incurred. However, it’s important to note that any outstanding balance from the total amount is settled upon your departure from the clinic or hospital.

Does Private Insurance Subsidise Eye Laser Treatment?

Does Private Insurance Subsidise Eye Laser Treatment?

Private insurance typically does not provide support or subsidies for vision correction surgeries because, in most instances, these procedures are elective. Individuals opt for these surgeries to eliminate the need for glasses and contact lenses in favor of achieving natural vision.

However, there are specific situations in which laser eye surgery becomes medically necessary, prompting private insurance to play a role in assisting the patient. These medical conditions encompass:

  1. Corneal diseases that may result in a loss of eyesight, such as corneal erosions
  2. Lens capsule thickening, which can occur after recent cataract surgery
  3. Age-related macular degeneration
  4. Diabetic retinopathy

These conditions pose significant risks of blindness, necessitating surgical intervention. In such cases, private insurance becomes instrumental in supporting individuals facing these medically warranted vision correction procedures.

Can You Get Laser Eye Surgery on the NHS?

Regrettably, the observations we made regarding private insurance also apply to the NHS. Ultimately, the national health system is designed to enhance your health rather than your appearance.

As a result, individuals not facing medical threats related to blindness may find it challenging to receive assistance from the NHS. This encompasses the same scenarios we discussed in relation to private insurance.

Can You Go Blind From Eye Laser Treatment?

Can You Go Blind From Eye Laser Treatment?

In reality, the occurrence of complete blindness resulting from laser eye surgery is extremely rare. The likelihood of waking up from the procedure with no vision and experiencing total darkness is minimal.

To be specific, the chances of this rare outcome are approximately one in every 5 million cases. However, given the nature of surgery, especially one involving eyesight, it is imperative for both surgeons and patients to exercise patience and exercise extra caution in adhering to the necessary aftercare measures. This precautionary approach is crucial in averting potential complications, which will be further explored in the discussion on the complexities of laser eye surgery.

Conclusion

In conclusion, eye laser treatment is a safe and effective option for those looking to correct their vision. While the cost may vary depending on individual circumstances and location, it is important to consider the long-term benefits of investing in this procedure. With advancements in technology and experienced professionals, eye laser treatment has become more accessible and affordable.

So if you are tired of relying on glasses or contact lenses, consider discussing your options with an eye specialist today. Remember, your vision is priceless and investing in its improvement can greatly improve your quality of life.

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