If you're tired of relying on glasses or contact lenses to correct your vision, you may be a candidate for laser eye surgery, which can be performed by an ophthalmologist at a hospital. Laser eye surgery is a popular option for correcting vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. It works by reshaping the cornea of the eye to improve the way light is focused on the retina, resulting in clearer vision.
If you're referred to an ophthalmologist for laser eye surgery, they will conduct a series of tests to determine if you're a suitable candidate for the procedure. These tests may include measuring the thickness of your cornea, assessing the shape of your eye, and checking your overall eye health.
If you're deemed eligible for the procedure, your surgeon will use a laser to reshape your cornea, a process that usually takes less than 30 minutes. Recovery time is typically quick, with most patients able to return to work or their usual activities within a few days.
It's important to note that laser eye surgery may not be suitable for everyone, and there are risks involved, such as dry eyes, glare or halos, and in rare cases, loss of vision. Your ophthalmologist will work with you to determine if the procedure is right for you and answer any questions you may have. With the right precautions and follow-up care, laser eye surgery can be a safe and effective way to improve your vision.
At Blackrock Health, we have earned a long-standing reputation for excellence in private medical and surgical care. This includes the diagnosis and treatment of conditions affecting the eye, ear, nose, and throat, for both adults and children Our three hospitals offer easy and speedy access to expert care in these fields. We have a renowned team of consultants, and we use the latest techniques and technologies. This means we can aim to provide you with a fast, accurate diagnoses and an effective and tailored treatment plan. We understand that experiencing problems with your eyes, ears, nose, or throat can be worrying. That is why we are committed to providing compassionate and reassuring care. Whether you need a routine check-up or a more complex procedure, we are here to help. Our team is dedicated to providing you with the highest standards of care and support - throughout your journey to better health.
Ophthalmology is the study and treatment of eye disorders. Our ophthalmology team treats all eye conditions. Our team will look after you throughout your diagnosis, treatment and recovery.
As a Blackrock Health patient, you'll be cared for by our team of consultant ophthalmologists and consultant ophthalmic surgeons. All our consultants offer care and expertise in their own specialties and continue to lead research in vision sciences. Many of our eye specialists also consult in major teaching hospitals.
The team includes:
- Consultant ophthalmologists
- Consultant ophthalmic surgeons
- Ophthalmic clinical nurse specialists
- Ophthalmic technicians
Please note that we do not offer an emergency service for eye health issues. If you have the following symptoms, you should call 112 or 999:
- Sudden or severe eye pain
- Loss of sight
- Lots of flashing lights
- Chemicals in your eye
- Severe eye trauma
Laser Eye Surgery
You can reduce or eliminate your dependence on glasses or contact lenses with laser eye surgery. We will provide you with an experienced surgical team, supported by specialist eye laser nurses and all working with the very best technology.
Why Choose Us?
All our surgeons have graduated from higher surgical training programs in Ophthalmology and are on the specialist register in Ophthalmic Surgery with the Irish Medical Council, and have vast experience in laser refractive surgery and corneal surgery.
We are committed to using the latest technologies for all our laser surgery procedures. We use the latest generations intralase lasers to make the corneal flap and the excimer laser to reshape the cornea. This combined with the use of an active eye-tracking system using iris recognition software has further improved the accuracy of the procedure.
Am I a candidate?
Check out the criteria to see if you are a suitable candidate for surgery and take the next step towards new vision.
- You are over 21 years and have had a stable prescription for at least one year
- Both eyes are healthy
- You have realistic expectations
- You are within treatment parameters (as determined by the Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at your assessment visit)
- You are in good general health
- You wear glasses or contact lenses
Conditions We Treat
Myopia (Short Sightedness)
Myopia happens when the eyeball is too long or the cornea is too curved. In this situation, the light entering the eye is not focused correctly and falls short of the retina. A person with near-sightedness can see near objects, such as when reading a book, but have difficulty with distant objects such as street signs.
Hyperopia happens when the eyeball is too short or the cornea is not curved enough. Because of this, the light entering the eye is not focused, and the image overshoots the retina. A person who is far-sighted can see distant objects such as street signs, but finds close objects difficult to see.
Astigmatism (Distorted Vision)
Astigmatism happens when the cornea or lens has an irregular shape, preventing light from focusing properly on the retina. This is commonly described as being "rugby-ball" shaped, rather than round. It can be corrected by the use of glasses, contact lenses, and occasionally surgery.
Presbyopia (Age Related)
Presbyopia is a normal process in the aging eye. The muscles which help the lens focus for near vision become weaker as a person ages. These changes are almost inevitable, and can commence in your 40's but does not deteriorate further after your mid-60's. Vision can be improved by the use of reading glasses, and occasionally contact lenses or surgery.
Laser Eye Surgery
Reduce or eliminate your dependence on glasses or contact lenses with laser eye surgery
Patients with near-sightedness (myopia), long-sightedness (hyperopia) or astigmatism can now eliminate or reduce their dependence on glasses or contact lenses by undergoing Laser Vision refractive surgery using the excimer laser.
The idea behind laser eye surgery is to produce small changes in the surface layers of the cornea, which in turn produce significant changes in the way the eye focuses light.
LASIK (Laser-Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis, or surgical re-shaping of the cornea) is a form of eye surgery that is the treatment of choice for most patients. The vast majority of patients experience a marked improvement in vision within 24 hours.
LASIK can be performed on patients with low, moderate and higher prescriptions. Here at Blackrock Health we use the very latest generation of the Intralase Femtosecond laser on all LASIK patients to create a micro thin flap in the cornea. A femtosecond is a measurement of the speed of the lasers we use. In one second, there are a thousand billion femtoseconds. In this procedure, the eye flap is lifted back and the underlying surface is reshaped with the VISX excimer laser. As LASIK surgery results in less surface disturbance there is less discomfort than with PRK/LASEK as well as a speedier recovery. Worldwide, this is the safest and most precise laser eye surgery technique available.
PRK / LASEK
PRK / LASEK surface laser treatment is an excellent alternative procedure for people with a low glasses prescription.
In PRK (Photo-Refractive Keratectomy) the centre of the surface of the cornea is re-shaped using the excimer laser by removing microscopic amounts of cellular tissue. These cells (known as the epithelial layer) repair themselves by growing back over the cornea within a few days. PRK offers an excellent alternative to LASIK for certain patients.
LASEK is a further refinement of PRK. In LASEK the surface cells are not removed (as in PRK) but are instead gently moved to the edge of the cornea. After the laser has reshaped the exposed corneal surface, the cells are moved back into place.
PRK and LASEK may be a good vision correction solution for patients with corneas that are deemed too thin for LASIK.
Pre Operative Consultation
Your first step is to be assessed by the Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon.
Your surgeon will perform a comprehensive ophthalmic assessment which will include taking a computerised map of the cornea, measurements of your refractive error, pupil size and corneal thickness.
The surgeon will discuss the following with you:
- The risks, benefits & alternatives to the surgery
- What you should expect before, during and after surgery
- Statistics, risks and complications
- Any questions you may have
Choosing your surgeon
Whether your decision to maximise your vision with our laser eye team is made on this website, or by a recommendation from a friend, the first thing to do is to choose your surgeon. Our services are entirely consultant-led, so from day one you will be under their care.
Your Pre-Operative Consultation
This is your first meeting with your surgeon, which is a thorough technical examination. It is also a two-way discussion regarding your most suitable treatment plan and your expectations. Please feel free to ask any questions before, during and after.
Your Procedure Date
All our surgeons have pre-booked theatre space, so no waiting lists. You will be able to discuss the time frame of your procedure with the practice secretary and ordinarily surgery will take place within a few weeks.
Please take time to think about your schedule, as directly after treatment there may be restrictions on certain activities such as long haul flying, contact sports, swimming etc. Check your diary.
Surgery and onwards...
All our laser eye procedures have been standardised in price so that you don't need to worry about cost increases along the way.
Prices include surgery and all relevant aftercare. The aftercare package is designed around the procedure you have, and uniquely to you as a patient. You will maintain contact with your surgeon throughout and our Eye Clinic staff are always ready to help with any concerns which may arise.
We hope that you enjoy your new-found freedom from glasses, and that we will see you again should you require any future ophthalmic services.
The Procedure Day
It's good to know what happens on the day of your treatment. Knowing what to expect will give you peace of mind.
You visit will take approximately two hours. The surgery is carried out in the eye department and we will have given you an appointment time to arrive approximately one hour in advance of your surgery. This allows us to prepare you and give you time to relax.
On arrival you will be met and welcomed by the specialist team, who will explain your drops and medication regime. A mild relaxant will be offered if you are feeling a little apprehensive.
The laser procedure itself takes about 15 minutes for the two eyes. Local anaesthetic eye drops will be instilled before and during the procedure. This means the experience for you will be comfortable and pain free. Your surgeon will explain the process step by step.
After the procedure you will relax for about 20 minutes in a recliner chair in a quiet area. Your family / friend is welcome to sit with you.
The surgeon will examine your eyes and go through your discharge instructions before you go home.
How do I get this?
You do not need a referral before you make an appointment - simply contact the Laser Eye Surgery team in your nearest Blackrock Health hospital. Please see our Request Appointment Form here.
Is this insured?
Not all services are covered by health insurance. To find out if you're covered, please check your health insurance before your visit. You can do this on our health insurance Cover Check page here, or by contacting your health insurer.
How do I pay?
Your laser eye treatment begins with a Visual Assessment with the Ophthalmic Surgeon of your choice. This is a one-off, stand-alone fee of €125.
All treatments come with a price-inclusive aftercare outpatient service appropriate to the prescribed procedure and you, the patient.
A Tax Rebate of 20% is available to eligible Irish Tax payers on all Laser Eye procedures. Our staff will explain the MED1 submission system if it is new to you.
So that no patient is penalised for their unique prescription, we have standardised the cost of our procedures:
PRK / LASEK
€2,200 per eye
After 20% Tax Rebate
€1,760 per eye
If you do not have health insurance or your health plan does not cover the full cost, you will need to pay the balance due before your treatment or procedure. You may be able to claim back some fees on your insurance. To pay an excess not covered by your insurance or any other inpatient fees, please visit our payment page here. If you have any queries about paying for your care, please contact the finance team in your hospital.