Laser Eye Surgery Is Not Always the Best for Those Over 40

Lorna Jackson
By Lorna Jackson

Lorna was Editor of Consulting Room (, the UK's largest aesthetic information website, from 2003 to 2021.

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeons at the London Eye Hospital have been calling for better education for people considering laser eye surgery.

They are concerned because they have seen a rise in patients having laser eye surgery in High street chains, despite their age actually making them unsuitable for the procedure.

For those after, or close to the age of 40, laser (or commonly known as ‘LASIK’) procedures aren’t advisable as the benefits are short-lived and will in fact begin to reverse a few years down the line.

Instead, patients for whom laser eye surgery will not carry the expected longevity should, according to the surgeons at the London Eye Hospital, be advised to have intraocular lenses, which can offer a lifetime of freedom from glasses.

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon, and London Eye Hospital Medical Director Bobby Qureshi told us: “Laser eye surgery is a fantastic procedure which has helped uncountable numbers of people see clearly again. However, it is not always the answer for all patients, particularly past a certain age, when the effects are likely to last less than a decade and regress. With intraocular lenses, such as the Trifocal lens, we are able to offer improved vision at near, middle and distance, as well as being able to assure our patients that the effects will last a lifetime. Ultimately the decision must be made by the individual patient, but in our experience many aren’t made aware of these limitations or the possibility of other options – they are in fact, being kept in the dark.

To illustrate this further, they provided us with the case study of Peta Rackett, a 55-year-old mother-of-one from Dorking in Surrey.

Peta underwent laser eye surgery at the age of 39, but found that she still needed glasses for near vision, and any effects only lasted slightly over a decade until she was in her 50s. Peta, an internal auditor, found herself frustrated as she needed to put glasses on and off literally hundreds of times during the day. Peta underwent the Trifocal lens procedure at the London Eye Hospital.

According to Bobby Qureshi, Trifocals are a major step forward for multifocal lenses, which have been in use in their current form for more than a decade. Previous versions had to find a compromise between poor intermediate vision and glare or halos often experienced at nights, especially when driving. But the new lenses give crystal clear near, middle AND far vision and reduced glare or halos, making them the most effective and most pleasant option for patients.

The LEH Trifocal lens is suitable for anyone in their late 30s or older who has long or short sight, even if they have astigmatism. The lens is also suitable for anyone with cataracts, so millions of people who currently wear glasses or contact lenses could benefit – especially if previously they have avoided surgery due to the prevalence of glare problems after having traditional multifocal lenses fitted.

She said; “… I had been considering sorting out my eyes for a while; I had paid to have laser eye surgery 16 years ago which had worked wonders for my distance vision, but I hated the thought that even after all that, I was still left wearing reading glasses.

I saw the procedure as an investment in my future; hopefully I have many years left in me yet, and I didn’t want to spend them taking my glasses on and off countless times each day! It was well worth the investment, and no longer having the concern as to whether I have remembered my glasses is priceless. I now have a new set of perfect eyes, and feel so much younger as a result. It’s been a real confidence boost.

Peta’s entire Trifocal lens operation was performed in a matter of minutes, with 30 seconds of laser and 3 minutes to implant the trifocal lenses through an incision of about 1.5mm. Additionally, the results will give her freedom from glasses forever, unlike laser eye surgery. We are delighted that we were able to offer Peta exactly what she was looking for, and that it has had such a positive impact on her life and her confidence”; concluded Bobby Qureshi.

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