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My prescription is "too high" for laser

More than 25 years of laser vision development has resulted in well-established limits of what is safe and what is unsafe. The level of your prescription is one of the most important factors, but others include the thickness of your corneas and whether you have problems with dry eyes. Above all, safety should be paramount when considering laser treatment.

Prescription limits

You’re likely to be suitable for laser eye surgery if your glasses prescription is within the following limits:

  • Less than -10.00 D of myopia or short-sightedness
  • Less than +6.00 D of hyperopia or long-sightedness
  • Less than ±6.00 D of astigmatism

Be careful that some clinics which only do laser eye surgery may be willing to treat above these prescription levels because they are unable to offer alternate strategies. A one trick pony approach is unlikely to help you make an informed decision of your different options. Remember that contact lens prescription numbers are not the same as glasses, so ask your optician for a record if you don’t have the numbers to hand.

It’s not uncommon for your prescription to change with age, particularly if you’re long-sighted (hyperopic). Younger hyperopic eyes ‘hide’ the full extent of this prescription. During your consultation we may use dilating drops to relax the muscles inside the eyes to reveal the ‘full’ prescription.

What if my prescription is higher than that?

If you’re prescription is outside of the above limits, or your corneas too thin for laser eye surgery, you may be suitable for Implantable Collamer Lenses. These are also known as Implantable Contact Lenses (ICL). As the name suggests, they are soft, wafer-thin lenses that are implanted through a key-hole incision in the eye behind the iris (the coloured part of the eye), and in front of the natural crystalline lens.

ICLs can correct a wide range of refractive errors between +10 and -18 and up to 6 dioptres of astigmatism. The drainage angle near the front of the eye needs be wide enough for ICL surgery to be safe. During your initial consultation with Daniel Gore we’ll take detailed, high-resolution scans of your eye to take these measurements and determine if ICLs are a safe option for you.

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