Specsavers Laser Eye Surgery
Specsavers are a popular chain of opticians. Indeed, over 30% of spectacle wearers in the UK use this firm as their supplier. For this reason Specsavers are also one of the first companies people interested in having laser eye surgery turn to for information.
Does Specsavers Perform Laser Eye Surgery?
Specsavers do not actually carry out laser eye surgery in any of their clinics although their opticians will be able to advise their customers on what the procedure involves. Additionally, their website provides comprehensive information about laser eye surgery, as well as links to the relevant professional bodies.
What Is Laser Eye Surgery
Laser eye surgery is one of the most common types of corrective vision surgery in the world, with over 40 million patients having undergone the treatment globally.
When the cornea is misshapen, it causes a refractive error that can lead to visual impairment. During the procedure, the cornea is reshaped with an excimer laser to restore 20/20 vision. Safe, effective and commonly performed, laser eye surgery can correct conditions such as short-sightedness, far-sightedness and astigmatism. When treating short-sightedness, the cornea is flattened so that light can reach the retina, while with far-sightedness, the cornea is curved so that light enters the retina, thus correcting focusing problems. The excimer laser gently cuts a “window” through the thin outer layer of the cornea to enable the surgeon to perform the corrective treatment, without damaging any of the delicate surrounding tissue.
Some people may not be suitable candidates for laser surgery – for example, those who have thin lens that would not be able to withstand the treatment. In these cases, refractive lens exchange may be prescribed instead. Laser eye surgery is available through private clinics, and in some cases, you may be able to obtain it on the NHS. If you think you may be a good candidate for the procedure, book an appointment with your GP or optometrist to learn more.
Types Of Laser Eye Surgery
There are three primary types of laser eye surgery - LASIK, LASEK, and PRK.
LASIK (standing for laser in-situ keratomileusis) is the most common form of laser eye treatment in the UK, and is used to correct vision problems that leave individuals reliant on contact lenses or eyeglasses. With this treatment, an excimer laser cuts a small window into the cornea, and this flap is moved out of the way to allow the opthamologist to perform the treatment. A newer version of the procedure known as wavefront-guided LASIK is also available, and this offers the surgeon a greater degree of precision. Similar to LASIK, LASEK (laser epithelial keratomileusis) is another form of laser eye surgery. With this treatment, there’s no corneal incision, making it ideal for those with thin corneas who may not qualify for LASIK and for those who are at higher risk of experiencing corneal trauma (eye injuries) following surgery.
Finally, PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) is a third type of laser eye treatment. Although it was the first type of laser eye surgery to be developed and used, now, it is rarely carried out. PRK involves scraping away the top layer of the cornea rather than cutting into it, so there is no need for a flap to be made. PRK is now typically only used to treat certain cases of far-sightedness and astigmatism, or as an alternative when LASIK is not suitable, such as on patients who have undergone corneal transplants for example.
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Is Laser Eye Surgery Right For You?
Whether or not you make a suitable candidate for laser eye surgery depends on a number of factors, so it’s important to go for a consultation to determine which type of treatment is best for you.
However, before you arrange a discussion, you can start by gaining an understanding of some of the basic criteria. For example, if you are over 18 years of age (there is no upper age limit for surgery), have healthy eyes and you can see well with your current glasses or contact lenses, you are likely to be a good candidate for treatment. Regarding the latter point, your prescription should generally be between -14.00D to +7.25D, and up to -6.00 CYL. Aside from your visual impairment, your eyes should be healthy, meaning you should not suffer from conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, dry eyes or Blepharitis. You should also be in good general health, meaning you don’t currently suffer from any vascular disease, autoimmune disease, or take any prescription medication that may weaken your immune system.
The thickness of your cornea will play a large part in whether you are deemed a suitable candidate for LASIK; you must have a minimum thickness of approximately 0.5 mm in order to be able to withstand the laser treatment.
One of the main services Specsavers do provide is that of eye examinations. These detailed tests include a number of procedures including; non contact tonometers to check for glaucoma, an autorefractor which measures how well your eyes focus, reading a test chart, an opthalmoscope examination to check for diabetes, and a slit lamp to check for damage to the outer surface of your eye. These tests are combined with a detailed health and lifestyle questionnaire to allow the optician to get a full overview of your eye health. They will then discuss your needs and if you do require glasses you will get passed to a dispensing colleague to help you choose an appropriate pair.
Specsavers are particularly well known for their full range of glasses, including some brands which are exclusive to the company. Their men's range includes over 1,500 different frame styles, while their women's range comprises of even more. Their collection is updated every three months and prices start from as little as £25. The Specsavers designer range of glasses includes big names such as Emporio Armani, Timberland and Jasper Conran, while for the fashion conscious customer, Specsavers has teamed up with ASOS to showcase how their glasses can transform a look. They also offer petite glasses for people with narrower faces, prescription sunglasses and glasses for children. Furthermore, all their glasses, regardless of price, come with PENTAX lenses and a scratch resistant treatment.
Specsavers Contact Lenses
Specsavers offer a range of different contact lenses from well known brands such as Focus Dailies and Acuvue, and for customers who are new to contact lenses, their opticians will help you choose which option is best. This includes a try before you buy service in which the company provide you with one pair of monthly lenses or five pairs of disposables to try for free. The contact lenses you then go on to purchase can either be bought in store or online whilst taking advantage of the company's free delivery service. The online option is also supported by a special customer service line to help resolve any issues.
Specsavers don't just focus on eyesight. They also run hearing centres which supply the latest digital hearing aids and ear protection for workers. They also supply free hearing aids to people who qualify for them on the NHS. Appointments for their hearing centres can be booked by telephone or through the Specsavers website.