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Why do people have laser eye surgery?

"What made you think about having laser eye surgery?" That's a question I have now asked several thousand times. And it's fascinating to hear how people respond and what they say.

In my experience, for the majority they are in some way unhappy about being dependent on glasses and contact lenses. "I would just like to be able to wake up and go", or "I am constantly searching for my reading glasses" or "I would like see my kids when they are in the water" or " it's too hard to wear glasses for sport" are common answers. I myself had laser eye surgery after my first son was born so I would be able to see where he was if for some reason my glasses got knocked off. For other patients, with many long years of successful contact lens wear, laser eye surgery may be a way of avoiding going back to glasses as contact lenses become more uncomfortable due to increasing intolerance with age.

For other patients it can even be a deep seated need to be "normal". Many people whom have worn glasses since childhood cannot remember a time without them and desperately want to be just like everyone else. In one study of patients who needed reading glasses, ten per cent of reported that they would trade 5% of their remaining life to be rid of them- yes, that stat surprised me as well!

In the end, all my patients are individuals with unique lives and wants and needs. What is important is that you undergo a thorough assessment and discussion with your surgeon and his/her eyecare staff about suitability and risks and whether your expectations match what is possible.

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