Lasing myopia: costs and risks of laser surgery
In many cases myopia can be cured or at least improved. However, in order to have myopia lasered and corrected, certain conditions must be met. Whether an operation is for you and an overview of costs, experience and risks with modern methods like Femto Lasik and Relex Smile get in this guide. other topics: Pay the health insurance Eye lasers in myopia? Up to how many dioptres, the eyes OP makes sense and which providers lasers in myopia?
Of course, however, such an intervention is accompanied by the corresponding risks and the costs are usually not paid by the health insurance (exceptions are discussed below). In order to even understand how eye lasering works in myopia and when this step makes sense, the following guide shows the causes of myopia and the possibilities of treatment in detail.
Causes: How does myopia develop at all?
In professional circles myopia is also called myopia. Short-sighted people are blurry in the distance and close by. This form of visual ametropia of the eye always occurs when the patient’s eyeball is too long or the cornea and lens have excessive refractive power. As there are anatomical reasons for myopia, myopia does not correct itself. Without
- contact lenses
- or a corresponding laser intervention
shortsightedness therefore persists. The question “can one heal shortsightedness?” Can therefore only be answered with “yes” if there is an eye laser correction, whereby the LASIK method is the most common method.
To explain what happens with shortsightedness at all, it makes sense first to understand how a normal-sighted eye works: A normal-sighted eye is able to image images on the retina in focus. The incident light rays in a normal eye are refracted by both the lens and the cornea, and then can be precisely focused at the focal point of the eye, which is in the center of the retina. Only when the power is correct, the images are sharply displayed. The refractive power denotes the strength with which the light rays are refracted. The refractive power is measured in dioptres.
Short-sighted eyes can only blur objects that are far away because the focal point is in front of the retina instead of directly in the middle of the retina. The longer the eyeball, the more pronounced is the short-sightedness of the respective person. A longer eyeball thus leads to an ever-increasing blurring at further distances. Thus, not only the question arises as to how many diopters a person is nearsighted, but also how easy or difficult myopia is. The following degrees of myopia are possible:
- mild myopia to -5 dioptres
- moderate myopia from -6 to -12 dioptres
- severe myopia of more than -12 dioptres
Simple and malignant myopia
In addition to the already mentioned degrees of myopia, a distinction is made between a simple and a malignant myopia. Simple myopia is a genetic visual impairment that occurs in childhood. Therefore, sometimes the so-called “school myopia” is mentioned. Most affected children, who have this type of myopia, will later find out at age that their nearsightedness does not increase any more from around the age of 25. However, it can sometimes be the case that myopia still gradually increases until the age of 30 of an adult.
In the case of malignant myopia, on the other hand, the eyeball is greatly stretched without external influences. As a result, the retina and choroid can be damaged and there is even the danger that the retina could detach. Especially this risk characterizes the malignant myopia.
The symptoms of myopia at a glance
As explained, objects that are far away are difficult to detect in myopia, while close objects are perfectly visible. This means that myopia when reading or when working on the PC as good as not noticeable. Therefore, it is rather the following symptoms that indicate the presence of myopia in the absence of glasses:
- Objects in the distance appear more and more blurred
- People and faces can only be recognized relatively late
- Street names or house numbers are hard to read
- individual branches or leaves are not recognizable on trees from a distance
- Headaches in activities such as driving, as the sharp vision is required in this context
Myopia in children
If parents suspect that their children may be short-sighted, one of the reasons is the frequent squinting of their eyes. My short-sighted children are better able to improve their nearsightedness – but they succeed only in the short term. Against myopia, therefore, children must wear glasses early.
In the long term, only one eye OP can cure or partially correct nearsightedness. But myopia lasers are very rare in childhood. In children, eye lasers in myopia are not recommended because they are still in growth and their eyeball continue to grow. If you want to have your short-sightedness corrected, you should generally wait until the age of 18 to opt for the laser. However, age alone is not the only important factor for a doctor to agree to surgical correction. In order for a Lasik Laser OP to be possible, no significant eye growth may be present, which may also occur in adults. Only when there is no longer a significant increase in myopia and when the diopter values have remained stable over a longer period of time can it be thought possible to have myopia lasered.
Improving myopia – methods and alternatives
Do you want to improve your symptoms or cure myopia? Then a treatment is required in any case. In this case, eye-sighting in myopia is by no means the only method. Until the age of 18, the visual impairment can be corrected anyway only by glasses or contact lenses, with contact lenses are not available in younger children. Contact lenses and glasses, which are used to correct myopia, have a concave curvature. The diverging lenses that are in use and have a negative refractive power can shift the point at which distant objects are imaged on the retina, so that a sharp distance vision is easily possible. The cost of contact lenses are usually slightly higher than the price of glasses. If a designer eyeglass frame is selected, prices for eyewear will increase significantly, but of course such costs will not be borne by the health insurer.
Improving myopia: By means of lasers or glasses, the scattering is optimized and myopia corrected.
However, even the best eyewear and contact lenses are not able to cure myopia. Therefore, there are more and more people considering laser surgery. This is a matter of personal preference, as glasses and contact lenses are usually sufficient to correct myopia, but this is not enough for a cure. Many patients shy away from the risks they have to take if they want to have their myopia lasered, although many testimonials show that complications in eye laser surgery are rare because it is now a routine procedure. Having myopia lasered is the most common form of surgical correction of vision impairment, both in Germany and abroad.
When lasering myopic eyes, the cornea is corrected
Apart from eye lasing, planting an artificial lens into the eye may be another and alternative treatment option, and the patient should consult with a physician to select the appropriate therapy. Especially in older patients, implant solutions are also possible. If patients are older than 40 to 45 years, multifocal lenses can be implanted into the eye in case of nearsightedness that occurs along with presbyopia. Even with a high degree of astigmatism, an implantable contact lens is conceivable. However, there should be a nearsightedness of at least -8 dioptres and patients must not have reached the age of 45 years, in order to be eligible for this procedure. The ICL lens is implanted behind the own iris in front of the lens of the patient in order to compensate for the myopia of the patient.
Eye lasers can heal shortsightedness: For this purpose, the curvature of the cornea is adjusted with a laser.
Myopia heal by eye lasers
In most cases, laser eye surgery is the Lasik and Femto Lasik surgical methods. LASIK stands for “Laser Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis,” which means that laser light is used to make a direct alteration to the cornea, a prerequisite for correcting myopia. It should be noted that the too long Sehapfel can not be corrected by this intervention. Rather, the laser is used to reduce the front surface curvature and thus provide for a reduced refractive power of the cornea. The advantage of the LASIK procedure over older surgical methods is that it is virtually painless. Many patients do not even notice the procedure during the operation if they have myopia lasered.
In a regular LASIK operation, no lens is transplanted into the eye. In this case, the treating surgeon first uses a fine cutting tool to detach a gossamer lamella from the cornea, which is also referred to as a so-called flap. Meanwhile, a laser can also take over this step and create the flap for the surgeon. Like a lid, the flap is now folded. Then the laser is used to gently ablate the underlying cornea. This step selectively corrects myopia and allows the corneal lid to be folded back to its original position once the site has been thoroughly rinsed and cleared of the corneal remains removed by the laser. Depending on how pronounced myopia is, the following laser techniques are used:
- Femto-LASIK – depending on corneal thickness and up to a maximum of -8 diopters
- PRK or LASEK – up to a maximum of -6 dioptres, older method but very well suited for thin cornea
- ReLEx smile – up to a maximum of -10 dioptres, state-of-the-art surgical technique, success also dependent on corneal thickness
For an ophthalmologist to be able to laser myopia, the patient’s cornea must be sufficiently thick. In addition, LASIK surgery can only be performed if there has been no significant change in visual acuity in recent months. Therefore, a detailed examination must first show whether eye laser surgery can be performed on the individual patient at all. If he is not a candidate for such an intervention, usually only the correction of myopia by means of an external vision aid.
Costs and prices of an eye surgery with laser
Depending on the eye laser center being treated, the costs for a laser surgery are different. Patients should adjust to between € 1,500 and € 2,000 per eye, with only one eye being treated per session. If, however, the femto-LASIK method is used, which is known to be particularly gentle, a slightly higher cost factor can be expected. A reimbursement by the statutory health insurance companies is usually not possible. There are few exceptions and ways that can lead to a health insurance cost of your eyes OP surgery in myopia. Tips and details can be found in our guide laser eye surgery & health insurance.
However, some eyewear insurance companies also offer an OP subsidy of a maximum of 1,000 euros. This must be clarified in detail with your own insurance. Above all, such insurance should be completed early, so that it actually takes effect later and paid the costs.
Myopia lasers: risks and dangers
Because it is a surgical procedure, eye-tracking is also associated with appropriate surgical risks, which may be as follows:
- Possibility of infections
- Under- or over-correction of myopia, which may require further surgery
- increased glare sensitivity
However, the risk of infection can be reduced by a hygienic surgical environment and expert surgeons. Experience shows that complications are rare in Germany. However, the patient has to do his part. For example, after surgery, patients should not only use no eye makeup for at least one week, but certain precautions must be taken before surgery, but they must be notified in advance.
Contact lens wearers are not allowed to wear contact lenses for several weeks before surgery and should consult the treating physician in this regard. If its instructions are followed exactly, the risk of complications can be minimized accordingly. For example, after the operation, eyes should be closed for at least 45 minutes. To protect the eyes, sunglasses are recommended in the first few days – even in winter. It is quite normal for the eyes to tire sooner.
More detail on the possible risks of eye surgery can be found here. The best way to reduce the risk of lasers is to look at OR providers critically and to clarify all open questions in detailed counseling sessions. Especially with providers who offer for a cheap laser surgery abroad (often Turkey, Poland and the Czech Republic), you should look carefully. Often, follow-up or necessary corrections for complications after the first surgery are problematic if the treatment takes place abroad. The low prices are partly possible only by cheap and insufficiently trained staff and less stringent hygienic requirements. Therefore, the risk is correspondingly higher. A selection of recommended providers in Germany can be found here.
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