Laser eye treatment methods

When the eyes no longer want to do what they should do, ophthalmologists usually prescribe a visual aid – i.e. glasses or contact lenses. 

However, not everyone with a visual impairment is enthusiastic about having to wear glasses, especially as they can be a hindrance in some areas of life – for example, in sports or in 3D cinema. In addition, some people simply do not feel comfortable with glasses because they believe there are no glasses that really fit their face.  

And even contact lenses are not the means of choice for everyone: on the one hand, the handling of contact lenses is more complicated; on the other hand, especially sensitive eyes rarely tolerate such a 'foreign body'. 

We specialise in the following laser procedures

Further information on the different laser eye treatment methods

Femto-LASIK procedure
ICL technique
LBV procedure
PRK technique
SMILE procedure

Who is it suitable for?

Laser technology can be used in cases of visual disturbances such as near-sightedness, far-sightedness, corneal irregularity (astigmatism) and age-related far-sightedness

Whether or not laser eye surgery is an option depends, among other things, on the thickness of the patient's cornea and whether or not the cornea is too soft due to a congenital defect. The human cornea only measures about half a millimetre in the centre of the eyeball, and a little more at the edge. It is important that, during a surgical procedure, which involves cutting directly into the cornea, a cornea of approximately 300 micrometres thick remains. This thickness corresponds to just over half of the original cornea thickness. These measurements must be taken into account at all costs, because if too much cornea is removed, this can subsequently lead to wound healing disorders or even bulging, which can lead to a deterioration of vision. The patient’s age and any pre-existing conditions also play a role in determining whether the person affected is ultimately eligible for the laser eye treatment procedure.  

It makes sense to carry out laser eye surgery in adulthood and then only if the patient’s vision has remained stable in the one to two years prior to the planned procedure, i.e. it has not changed. However, if the affected person has already passed the age of 40, laser eye treatment is usually no longer the method of choice, as many near-sighted people are often a little far-sighted at the same time, which may result in the laser removal of the cornea having a negative effect on the 'reading glasses' built into the human eye. 

Other exclusion criteria for laser eye treatment may be acute eye inflammation or dry eyes. This refractive surgical method weakens the cornea. If the patient has diseases accompanied by wound healing disorders and inflammatory reactions (e.g. diabetes, autoimmune or connective tissue disorders), laser eye surgery should also be avoided. 

The principle of the laser eye treatment procedure 

As part of the laser procedure, the high-energy light pulses of the laser remove part of the cornea in order to change its shape and curvature in such a way that the refractive power – refraction – is corrected and the refractive error is remedied. 

It is important that the removal of the cornea complies with certain limit values, which are clearly defined beforehand, in order to ensure the safety of the removal process. 

In the case of near-sightedness, for example, surgery can only be performed up to minus eight dioptres, and in rare cases up to minus ten dioptres. In contrast, patients suffering from an even more pronounced refractive error are advised to use intraocular (implantable) contact lenses, which are also placed in front of the natural eye lens during an eye operation. 

Refractive surgery is a proven technique. The term refractive surgery refers to those eye operations that change the overall refractive power of the eye and therefore replace conventional optical corrections such as glasses or contact lenses or at least significantly reduce their required strength. 

High success rate

More and more people are now undergoing laser eye treatment to ensure good long-term vision without contact lenses or glasses. The success rate of the laser procedure is high – in most cases, the result of the correction is permanent – and for many patients, the outcome of the procedure is quite impressive.

In rare cases, where laser treatment did not achieve the desired results, a new laser eye correction procedure is recommended.

However, the laser eye treatment procedure is not suitable for everyone; it is essential that all necessary preliminary examinations are carried out by a specialist before a possible procedure and that all advantages and disadvantages are explained and weighed up in detail. 

Treatments

It is important to choose the right treatment method or laser procedure for each visual impairment. In principle, a distinction is made between the following five procedures: 

Laser eye surgery is performed on an outpatient basis under local anaesthesia. It takes about 30 minutes. The patient is lies down while the ophthalmologist sits behind him/her. The eye that is not being treated is covered – at the same time, the patient looks at what is known as a fixation light with the eye being treated. The laser is also equipped with a corresponding system to track the position of the eyes and to compensate effectively for unintentional eye movements. 

With the help of light pulses, the laser removes the pre-calculated corneal tissue with high precision and corrects the refractive error or corneal irregularity.  

Side effects 

As with any other operation, laser eye surgery can lead to side effects such as scratchiness, burning and itching. Some patients also complain of poor twilight vision. It may also take a little time for those affected to be able to drive again. For optimum wound healing, it is advisable not to touch or rub the eye. Other undesirable side effects may be infections that require medication. 

Check-ups 

The following also applies in the case of laser eye treatment: Regular check-ups by ophthalmologists to check whether the cornea has stabilised are essential. 

Contact a clinic near you

Find a doctor

Our specialists have many years of experience. We guarantee a quick, professionally competent clarification and consultation as well as treatment according to the most modern possibilities.