Brad Pitt. Elton John. Kim Kardashian. Richard Branson. That guy from Busted. What do they all have in common? They’ve all had laser eye surgery to fix their vision. But they’re celebrities with more money that most of us will ever see in our lifetimes – so it’s probably safe to assume that they can afford it. The real question is, for people like you and me, what does laser eye surgery cost?
How much does laser eye surgery cost?
Before we answer that question, it’s important to note that laser eye surgery doesn’t just refer to one procedure, but to several procedures that all fall under the umbrella term of laser eye surgery.
We’ll save you the gory, stomach-churning details of how they do the surgery (if you can handle the thought of eye layers being pealed back, you can find out more information at LaserEyeSurgeryHub) and focus on the different types of surgery, what they’re for and how much they cost:
(All costs taken from LaserEyeSurgeryHub too – as they point out, these are average costs, which are more accurate than the advertised ones. The advertised costs are often just to get you through the door – the real costs are closer to what you see below. However, these are ball-park, guide prices.)
Type of laser eye surgery: LASIK
What it’s for: LASIK stands for Laser-assisted in situ keratomileausis. You know what that means, right? Of course, you do! But in case you need a quick reminder, it’s a laser treatment for the most common sight issues: nearsightedness, longsightedness and astigmatism.
LASIK Laser Eye Surgery Cost: £2,800 per eye.
Type of laser eye surgery: LASEK
What’s it for?: LASEK (or Laser-assisted epithelial keratomileusis, obviously) is a similar, but less intrusive, process than LASIK. It’s normally best for those with thin corneas and to treat the same conditions that LASIK would treat.
LASEK Laser Eye Surgery Cost: £2,500 per eye.
Type of laser eye surgery: Wavefront
What’s it for?: Wavefront is like the super-version of LASEK and LASIK surgery. Special programmes and equipment take a detailed map of your eye. This map is then loaded into a computer that controls the laser to reshape your cornea to the exact specifications you need. If you’re looking for something to help you read a bit better, Wavefront might be overkill – but if your vision is crucial to your job, then it might be worth the extra investment.
Wavefront Laser Eye Surgery Cost: £3,200 per eye for LASIK, £2,700 per eye for LASEK.
How can I finance the laser eye surgery cost?
Using a credit card
Laser eye surgery is quite pricey, but if you’ve got a high credit limit on your credit card, you can help spread the cost out by whacking it on there. However, as we’ve warned before – there’s a reason that people say that the only responsible way to use a credit card is to clear the balance every time. Over longer periods of time, credit cards can end up being incredibly expensive. (The option to pay off the minimum amount each month is all too tempting – but it often means that the debt is stretched out for years and years before paying it off, building interest the whole time.)
Many laser eye surgeries offer a finance package – Optical Express, for instance, offers 10 months of 0% interest.
In many cases, these deals are the best option. If you are 100% certain that you’ll be able to pay off the entire amount owed – as well as any other fees – by the time the 0% offer has ended, then you’ll have effectively only paid for the treatment and no interest.
However, a little bit like credit card rates, the interest rates on these laser eye surgery finance packages jump right up after the introductory period.
If you’re not 100% sure you will be able to pay it off during the 0% period, then you might be better off taking out a personal loan with a fixed interest rate. At least that way you’re not surprised by how much you have to pay back.
Using an unsecured loan
If your credit score qualifies you for an unsecured, then an unsecured loan might be a good option for you. It will allow you to spread the cost of the surgery out over regular, pre-agreed payments. (At Bamboo, you can borrow up to £5,000 with an unsecured loan. Representative APR: 49.7%)
Using a guarantor loan
If your credit score doesn’t quite qualify you for an unsecured loan, you don’t need to resign yourself to a bespectacled life.
Guarantor loans have been designed for people in your situation and – within 24 hours –the money could be in the bank so that you can go ahead and book the laser eye surgery you’ve had your eye on.
At Bamboo, we offer personal loans that might be able to help you afford laser eye surgery. To see if you’re eligible, why not take our quick eligibility test? If you’re successful, the money could be in your account within 24 hours and you could be well on the way to throwing your glasses in the bin. (Representative 49.7% APR.) A guarantor may be required.