Following the lifting of restrictions by the Government, we would like to reassure all our patients that the way we interact with you will not be changing. All staff and consultants will continue to wear face coverings and maintain social distancing, and we require our patients and visitors to do the same, so that we are all protected.

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Refractive Error Conditions

If you have a refractive error condition, the image of what you are looking at is not focussed properly on to your retina and this causes blurred vision.

What are Refractive Error Conditions?

Refractive error conditions are common and happen when the shape of your eye does not bend and refract light correctly, causing images to look hazy and unclear. 

The four most common refractive errors are:

Myopia (near-sightedness) - difficulty seeing distant objects clearly.
Hyperopia (farsightedness) - difficulty seeing close objects clearly.
Presbyopia (loss of near vision with age) – difficulty reading or seeing at arm's length.
Astigmatism - distorted vision resulting from an irregularly shaped cornea or lens.

An eye care professional can diagnose refractive errors during a comprehensive eye test. 

What are the benefits of refractive surgery?

The benefits of refractive surgery may include: improved vision and, a reduction in dependence on or no longer needing glasses or contact lenses.

Wearing glasses or contact lenses can be inconvenient especially if you regularly enjoy sports, water sports, and an active outdoor lifestyle.

LASIK refractive surgery corrects vision almost immediately and recovery is quick.

What does the refractive surgery involve?

Refractive surgery, also known as vision correction, improves your eyesight.

There are various refractive surgeries for correcting or adjusting your eye's focusing ability. Refractive surgery is normally an outpatient procedure that is carried out under local anaesthetic. It may involve reshaping your cornea or implanting a lens inside your eye. 

The two refractive surgeries are:

Laser eye surgery
Lasers are used to reshape the front surface of your eye, known as the cornea, to allow you to focus better. It can correct short-sightedness, long-sightedness and astigmatism.

There are three main types of laser eye surgery: 

o LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) – the most commonly performed refractive surgery. It uses two lasers: one to open up a thin flap in the surface of your cornea, and the other to reshape the cornea underneath. The flap is then put back in place without stitches.
o SMILE – your cornea is reshaped through a small, self-sealing hole.
o Surface laser treatments – including PRK, LASEK and TransPRK. They involve removing the clear skin covering your cornea and reshaping your cornea using laser. Your skin will grow back naturally.

Lens surgery
There are two types:

o Phakic intraocular lens (PIOL) implantation - PIOL artificial lenses are placed in your eyes through a small cut in the surface of your eye. No stitches are needed. Your own natural lenses remain in place too. They are like having contact lenses inside your eyes and make some activities easier such as swimming or water sports.  
o Refractive lens exchange (RLE) - your natural lens is removed and replaced with a new, artificial one. It is the same as cataract surgery. Your artificial lens can be: mono-focal to improve your distance sight (glasses are still required for near work) or multi-focal to provide clear distance, middle and near vision.

What conditions may lead to refractive surgery?

Refractive errors that cause blurry vision, including myopia, hyperopia, presbyopia and astigmatism, may require refractive surgery.

Cataracts may also lead to refractive lens exchange whereby the cloudy natural lens is removed and replaced with a new artificial one.

What is the cost of a refractive surgery?

If you decide to pay for your treatment, Ramsay offer an all-inclusive Total Care package, where a single one-off payment at a pre-agreed price, delivering direct access to all the treatment you need for complete reassurance. You can also spread the cost of your treatment with finance options available.

A refractive surgery may be covered by your medical insurance policy. We advise you to check directly with your insurance provider and get written confirmation before commencing treatment. 

How soon will I recover after a refractive surgery?

Recovery from refractive surgery is quicker than you might think.

After laser eye surgery, your vision will be corrected almost immediately and any blurriness will start to clear within 24 hours. 

Most people return to work within a few days to a week. Your eye surgeon will advise you when you can drive again.

You can expect your vision to become stable within approximately a month.

Lens surgery has similar recovery times to laser eye surgery.

Refractive Surgery with Ramsay Health Care

At Ramsay Health Care we offer a range of refractive surgeries for our patients. Highly skilled ophthalmologist surgeons offer convenient appointments for you to discuss your refractive error surgery options in full and answer any questions you may have.

We regularly perform refractive surgery so you can rest assured you’re in safe hands and our packages offer comprehensive aftercare.

Contact us to book your appointment. 


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Contact your local Ramsay hospital to book an appointment or for more information. Treatment may be covered by medical insurance and self pay packages are available on request.

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