Are you suitable for Laser Eye Treatment?

Treatment Range

The table below offers an approximate guide to patients suitability for laser eye treatment.

LASIK: Combined surgical and laser procedure. A thin flap is cut on the surface of the eye (cornea) and the exposed tissue is lasered before replacing the flap (est 1994). Suitable for mild to severe short sight, mild long sight and astigmatism.

LASEK: Combination of PRK (est 1988) and Epiflap (1997). The surface of the eye is lasered (cornea) without the need of surgery to the eye. Suitable for mild to moderate short sight and astigmatism.

Implantable Contact Lenses (ICL's). Lens placed surgically inside the eye just behind the cornea, (est 1987). Suitable for very severe short sight, long sight and astigmatism.







-0.75 to –10
+1 to +3

Astigmatism (cyl)
+/–0.5 to +/-4



2 days

Painfree / minimal dis

24 hours


-1 to –4*

Astigmatism (cyl)
+/–0.5 to +/-4

Surface based


Up to one week

Usually mild to moderate pain

1-4 weeks

Contact Lenses

+12 to –23

+ or – 7



Up to one week

Usually very mild pain

2-4 weeks

*LASEK can be chosen up to - 6


Suitability For Laser Eye Treatment

All levels of glasses prescriptions are now treatable. With the exception of cases of eye diseases, most people will now be suitable for treatment with ICL's.

If you have previously been refused, you may be suitable for Implantable contact lenses if you have severe short sight, long sight and astigmatism.

You should be suitable for laser eye treatment if you are healthy and over 21 years old.

Laser eye treatment is not normally recommend for very low levels of eyesight correction, i.e. -0.75 dioptre or unless combined with astigmatism.

Your eyesight should not have changed significantly within the last year, as your eye sight problem may still be getting worse.

There is no upper age limit, although older patients with low levels of short sight will need reading glasses and laser eye treatment may not be desirable

Diabetics who are well controlled and do not have damaged retinas (retinopathy) can be treated.


The following are not normally suitable for treatment:

People with a lazy eye, the partially sighted or those who are blind in one eye.

It may be possible for those with Kerataconus to have ICL's, but a perfect result is unlikely, only improved vision.

Severe epileptics or people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, or collagen diseases.

Pregnant women & mothers who are breast feeding.

Persons with a depressive disorder, obsessive problems or a perfectionist nature are not good candidates for laser eye treatment.

Eye Treatments

Eye conditions

Laser eye surgery news

The Rolling Stones' Keith Richards undergoes laser eye surgery

The Rolling Stones' Keith Richards has undergone laser eye surgery to help save his failing vision, according to reports. The Daily Mirror claims that ...more

Experimental Contacts May Ease Pain After Laser Eye Surgery

Researchers are developing contact lenses that may one day deliver painkilling drugs directly to the cornea after laser eye surgery ....more

Ophthalmic laser market set for continued growth

Increased acceptance of refractive surgery as a safe and reliable procedure ... many eye surgeons are optimistic about the application of femtosecond lasers ...more