Can I have laser eye surgery on the NHS?
Whether you can get laser eye surgery on the NHS depends on the eye condition you have.
Who has NHS laser eye surgery?
The only patients who can have the treatment through the NHS are people who have an eye condition that may lead to loss of vision, unless it’s treated. However, if the condition can be successfully treated in other ways, then treatment on the NHS wont be possible. This is because laser surgery to correct refractive errors is not considered essential as other successful treatment is available, such as wearing glasses or contact lenses. Some NHS trusts run laser eye surgery clinics, but they usually charge a fee.
Eye conditions that can lead to blindness
Laser eye surgery on the NHS can be used to treat visual impairments such as diabetic retinopathy (damage to the retina), because if left untreated, this progressive eye disease can make you go blind. Other conditions that the NHS would consider include:
– Diabetic retinopathy (damage to blood vessels on the retina at the back of the eye)
– Thickening of the lens capsule (the ‘pocket’ that the lens sits in) after cataract surgery
– Some types of wet macular degeneration
– Some specific diseases of the cornea, such as recurrent corneal erosions
If you want to find out whether your eye condition can be treated through the NHS, you should consult your doctor. You can also recieve more information directly from the NHS