By Malcolm Hughes

Alternatives to laser eye surgery  are now being widely searched as the industry tries to come to terms with more negative publicity following both a recent court case which resulted in a £500,000 payout and separate adverse media coverage of patients whose treatment had gone wrong. Amongst the people who have suffered poor outcomes following laser surgery is Mel B. She was left virtually blind in her left eye after undergoing laser surgery and has had to accept that the only way she will recover her sight is through a corneal transplant. So the next time you see the laser surgery industry advertisements telling you to throw away your glasses or daytime contact lenses, be aware this is not a risk-free route to perfect daytime vision.

Having fallen by almost 50% from a peak achieved 6-7 years ago, an estimated 100,000 people in the UK now have laser eye surgery each year. Around 75 per cent are treated by the big three High Street players whilst the rest of the market is divided between smaller specialist groups and clinics as well as some hospitals such as the Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in London. There is no doubt that laser surgery technology has advanced significantly over the past 10-15 years and that many people are more than satisfied with the results of their treatment. However, examples of poor outcomes show that complications can be life-changing and explain why people are searching for lower risk alternatives to laser eye surgery .

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