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Moorfields Private Blog

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    Can I have laser eye surgery if I have a squint or lazy eye?

    Written by Professor David Gartry, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon
    • Your surgeon will emphasise that you’re squint, or lazy eye will remain unchanged
    • Some patients require an optical element termed a ‘prism’


    Yes – but your laser eye surgeon will emphasise that your squint (which is a ‘turn’ in one eye, usually present from childhood and treated with patching or eye surgery) will remain unchanged and will appear just as it does when wearing the correct spectacle or contact lens prescription. In other words, laser eye surgery should be considered equivalent to spectacles or contact lenses – it’s a third alternative – but it can’t be expected to cure your squint.

    Because of a tendency to ‘squint’ some patients need an optical element termed a ‘prism’ built into their spectacles to achieve visual comfort. Laser eye surgery cannot copy the effect of this prism and therefore you may still require spectacles (of a much lower power but including your prism) after the treatment.

    Learn more about what to expect when you have laser eye surgery

    The same applies to treating a patient with a ‘lazy eye’ from childhood. If one eye has never seen as well as the dominant or leading eye (with the best spectacle or contact lens prescription the optometrist can supply) then it will not be improved beyond that level with laser eye surgery.

    The laser cannot restore vision that wasn’t there in the first place – it can only provide the equivalent of the best vision possible with spectacles and/or contact lenses prior to the treatment.


    Or speak to the New Patient Enquiry Team:
    0800 328 3421



    Professor David Gartry

    Written by Professor David Gartry

    Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon