lasik eye surgery cost melbourne

LASIK Eye Surgery Cost – Understand The Factors Affecting The Costs

Although the thought of vision correction without glasses or contact lenses can be appealing, laser eye surgery can be a daunting prospect for a number of reasons, one being wondering how much does LASIK eye surgery cost.

For some, LASIK eye surgery costs are inconsequential and their greatest apprehension before undergoing LASIK eye surgery is more the thought of any surgical procedure to the eyes. Rest assured that laser eye surgery has come a long way and is considered to be a highly safe method of surgical vision correction with a very low rate of complications.

LASIK eye surgery is not the only method of surgical vision correction available. Many refractive specialist clinics will offer a suite of various laser eye surgery techniques, with the most appropriate method determined after a comprehensive examination with the ophthalmologist and clinical team. As not all refractive techniques are suitable for all people, bear in mind that LASIK eye surgery may not be the procedure you end up with, which can also adjust the final costs of your vision correction operation.

 

Why LASIK Eye Surgery? 

Although LASIK may not end up being the most suitable procedure for you and your eyes, it is a popular option for surgical vision correction for a reason.

First approved in the mid-1990s, LASIK utilises excimer laser technology to reshape the transparent front surface of the eye known as the cornea. The result is that light passing through the corneal surface is redirected from its original path in order to ensure that it focuses where we need it for sharp vision, which is right on the sensory retina at the back of the eyeball. In an eye with blurry vision, such as one with short sightedness, far sightedness, or astigmatism, light entering the eye comes to a focal point either in front or behind the retina, or both.

As a general rule, LASIK is able to correct prescriptions in the range of:

  • Myopia (short sightedness) between -1.00 to -10.00D
  • Hyperopia (long sightedness) up to +4.00D
  • Astigmatism up to -4.00D

After topical anaesthesia, a flap of superficial corneal tissue is created, either using a manual bladed instrument or another laser tool called a femtosecond laser. The flap remains attached to the eye but is gently put aside to make way for the excimer laser to reshape the deeper corneal layers in a process known as photoablation. The precise areas targeted for photoablation are calculated based on your prescription and your eye’s unique biometric measurements. Once the cornea has been re-sculpted, the flap is repositioned and allowed to self-seal.

factors lasik eye surgery cost melbourneLASIK eye surgery has an excellent safety record and is known for its high success rate in Australia. As with any surgical procedure, it does come with a set of inherent risks but the rate of complication typically sits around 1-2% and total vision loss from LASIK has never been recorded in Australia.

One potential complication unique to LASIK relates to the corneal flap created before photoablation with the excimer laser can take place. Typically, the flap is not replaced using stitches but instead tends to self-seal. However, on rare occasions the flap may become dislodged, get debris caught beneath it, or develop inflammation at the interface between the flap and underlying corneal layers. For this reason, people who undertake vocations or hobbies with a risk of physical trauma or are often exposed to very dirty environments are usually counselled toward a more suitable refractive operation such as SMILE® or PRK.

 

How Much Does LASIK Eye Surgery Cost? 

Determining your final LASIK eye surgery cost will depend on several factors, the foremost being ensuring that you are indeed a suitable candidate for LASIK rather than a different refractive procedure altogether.

The average cost of LASIK in Melbourne can vary from around $2000 per eye to over $3000. Although it may be tempting to simply seek out the cheapest eye surgeon you should instead focus on the ophthalmologist’s success rate and do your due diligence by researching their reputation and experience in the field. This concept also applies to patients looking into medical tourism, which refers to travelling overseas in order to receive medical treatment such as eye surgery for a lower cost than what is offered in their home country. Many healthcare systems overseas, particularly those developing countries offering low-cost surgical treatments, fall far below the strict safety standards found in Australia and even the qualifications and training of surgeons overseas may not pass Australian standards.

Consider these factors that contribute to the cost of your LASIK procedure:

  • Consultation fees: some laser eye clinics will offer the initial consultation at no additional cost while others may charge a fee for the examination.
  • Surgery fees: these costs go into the maintenance and upkeep of the high-grade surgical equipment used during the operation. A portion may also go towards the use of the operating theatre in the hospital or clinic where you undergo your procedure.
  • Medicare rebates: refractive eye surgery is not usually eligible for a Medicare rebate in Australia as it is considered an elective procedure. However, subsequent appointments may be able to be claimed under Medicare depending on the nature of your appointment.
  • Private health insurance: depending on your level of cover and your insurance provider, there may be a benefit claimable for refractive eye surgery. For accurate information regarding what you are able to claim it is best to speak directly with your insurance provider.

 

Your total costs for your laser surgery procedure are best determined at the time of consultation with your eye surgeon. Contact us today on (03) 9070 5753 for a consultation.

 

 

Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

difference between long and short sightedness melbourne

The Difference Between Long and Short Sightedness Explained

Unfortunately, no, long sightedness is not exactly as simple as being the opposite of short sightedness. People with long sightedness can in fact often still see up close, and those with short sightedness are often quite content with their long-distance vision even without glasses or contact lenses. The terminology can be a little misleading as the difference between long and short sightedness is not quite as straightforward as it may sound.

Let’s differentiate first these two refractive errors and later discuss what’s the right eye treatment for them.

 

Refractive Error and Anatomy

Vision is dependent on multiple factors, some of these simply anatomical and others cognitive. From an anatomical point of view, the refractive components of the eye – that is, those parts of the eyeball involved in the bending (refraction) of light – include:

  • The tear film – the thin layer of fluid at the very front surface of the eye. In addition to providing protection and lubrication for the eye, it is also the first surface that light passes through to form vision.
  • The cornea – the clear dome of tissue that sits over the coloured iris. The cornea is designed to be optically transparent to allow full transmission of light; its curvature is also largely responsible for how light is refracted.
  • The crystalline lens – this sits just behind the coloured iris and is held in place by the ciliary muscle and zonular fibres. This arrangement allows the lens to flex its shape to adjust the focus of light in a process called accommodation. We accommodate when we want to bring the focal point of light forward within the eye, such as when we are looking at something up close.

The term “refractive error” covers both long sightedness, short sightedness, as well as astigmatism, and occurs when there is a mismatch between the refractive power based on the eyeball’s refractive components and the eyeball length, known as axial length.

 

The Difference Between Long and Short Sightedness

Long sightedness goes by a few other names – far-sightedness, hyperopia, or hypermetropia. Although it may seem most intuitive to simply think of long sightedness as the ability to see at long-distance but not at close, most younger patients are actually quite clear and comfortable at all viewing distances.

explained difference between long and short sightedness melbourne

Long sightedness is a situation where the axial length of the eyeball is too short for its refractive power; that is, when the eye is relaxed, light is refracted to focus at a point behind where we want it to be for clear vision, which is the retina at the back of the eye.

However, a patient with an active accommodation system and long sightedness is able to control the focus of their crystalline lens in order to bring forward the focal point of light entering the eye, landing this point right on the retina for clear vision. This does mean that even for long distance viewing, a long sighted patient is always exerting some accommodative effort to clear their vision; this effort is increased when viewing closer objects.

To add to the complexity, around the mid-40s a natural age-related phenomenon sets in – presbyopia. This refers to the progressive inflexibility of the lens inside the eye, and eventually accommodative ability is lost entirely. The combination of the age of the patient and the degree of the far-sighted prescription therefore is what really determines how clearly someone can see at a certain distance.

For example, a 20-year-old patient with a low long sighted script will be quite happy at both short and far viewing distances while a 20-year-old with moderate long sightedness may be fine for long-distance vision but struggle with eyestrain and headaches during reading; a young patient with very high hyperopia can have blur at both distance and near vision. Alternatively, a presbyopic 50-year-old patient with low hyperopia may see quite clearly for far-distance while still having difficulty reading up close.

Luckily, short sightedness is much easier to explain. Also known as near-sightedness or myopia, short sightedness occurs when the axial length of the eyeball is too long for its refractive power; that is, when the eye is gazing into the far distance, light will focus to a point in front of the retina. However, as an object approaches closer, the nature of optics means the image created by this object moves further back into the eye and may eventually focus onto the retina – this explains why people with short sightedness can often see well up close but require spectacles to clear their far vision.

Presbyopic patients with short sightedness will find at some point that they prefer to remove their distance spectacles in order to see clearly for reading up close; an alternative to this is the use of multifocal glasses that contain both distance and near vision sections within the lens. Depending on the degree of short sightedness, some patients may be happy without any vision correction, such as a young person with a low degree of short sightedness who may feel they see well enough at distance without correction, and are also able to accommodate to see clearly for reading.

Although understanding the difference between long and short sightedness may not have been as simple as you expected, both types of refractive error can be addressed with various strategies including glasses, contact lenses, or refractive surgery.

 

Call us now on (03) 9070 5753 for more info.