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When can I get laser eye surgery on the NHS?

Laser eye surgery in general is not available through the NHS for those looking for laser eye surgery to correct short sightedness, long sightedness, or astigmatism, as these can be corrected by wearing contact lenses or glasses and hence is deemed a cosmetic procedure.

However, there are conditions or circumstances where laser eye surgery is indicated on the NHS and these generally fall into categories where there are limited alternatives.

For which conditions can you get laser eye surgery through the NHS?

Examples of these conditions include:

  • Scarring conditions on the front of the cornea
  • Unexpected refractive errors (prescription) after cataract surgery
  • Patients who have had a corneal transplant and have a significant prescription
  • Apart from the lasers that correct vision, there are also other types of lasers that are helpful in treating eye conditions such as diabetic retinal changes (Argon laser) and Glaucoma (YAG laser and cyclodiode laser).

Can I get laser treatment for glaucoma on the NHS?

Depending on your glaucoma diagnosis, you may be offered laser treatment through the NHS. These treatments include laser trabeculoplasty, laser iridotomy, and cyclodiode laser. These lasers are different to ones used for laser vision correction and target specific areas within the eye.

At OCL Vision, we provide glaucoma laser treatment with the latest surgical and medical innovations. Learn more here.

Private laser eye surgery

The majority of laser eye surgery is carried out for people who no longer wish to wear glasses or contact lenses. For these indications people must seek care in the private sector, ideally with someone who holds or has held a substantive NHS Consultant Cornea position.

There is now superb accuracy, predictability and stability of treatments delivered by the latest high technology lasers. In fact, in the right hands, patients are now more likely to suffer a sight threatening infection from contact lenses than to have a significant problem from laser eye surgery. Despite this it is still extremely important that the surgeon who operates these high technology lasers has been trained to the highest level (Consultant Cornea and Refractive Surgeon) and can therefore react appropriately in the rare event of unexpected problems.

Learn more about why you should choose OCL Vision for your laser eye surgery.