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How Much is Laser Eye Surgery in Ontario?

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A woman and her eye surgeon preparing for laser eye surgery

Seeing the world without corrective lenses is a dream for many who are frustrated from years of daily glasses or contacts. Laser eye surgery is a popular way to achieve this dream, but it comes with considerations of its own. It would be easy to say that everyone who is eligible for laser surgery should have it, but unfortunately cost of treatment is still an important consideration.

In Ontario, laser eye surgery can cost anywhere from $2000–$3000 per eye. This can be a lot of money, and it could be tempting to opt for the lower end of the range. But that cost has to come from somewhere—don’t let it be from your vision. Understanding what determines laser eye surgery’s cost is the first step to deciding if it’s the right option for you.

What is Laser Eye Surgery?

When people hear ‘laser’ they may picture some sci-fi space adventure. In fact, laser eye surgery has been around for decades—though not in a galaxy far far away. We’ve come a long way from the earliest types of refractive surgery, but the concept remains the same.

Refractive errors, such as myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism, occur when the cornea at the front of the eye doesn’t properly focus light onto the retina, the layer of photoreactive cells that helps us see clearly. Laser eye surgery carefully and accurately reshapes the cornea.

The entire procedure usually takes around 30 minutes and starts with numbing eye drops. You’ll typically stay awake during the surgery, but with the drops, you should only experience some slight discomfort or pressure on your eye.

We understand that the process can be intimidating. A laser shining in your eye is an uncommon experience, to say the least. Most ophthalmologists that perform laser eye surgery prefer to use numbing eye drops instead of general anesthesia because it minimizes unnecessary risks associated with this type of surgery. 

We’ll do everything we can to help you feel comfortable, which is why part of every consultation is helping you feel prepared for the procedure. 

Types of Laser Eye Surgery

In Canada, 2 of the most popular laser eye surgeries are:

  • LASIK: For many, the household name of laser eye surgery, LASIK is a quick and popular procedure. It involves creating a thin flap on the cornea with a specialized laser. A computer then precisely guides the laser in removing corneal tissue to improve clarity. The flap is then repositioned and allowed to heal. One of the main benefits of LASIK specifically is the fast recovery time, usually only taking a day or 2, and how some patients notice immediate improvement
  • PRK: While PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy) is the older procedure, it’s still popular and, for some patients, it may be a more appropriate laser eye surgery option. Unlike LASIK, it doesn’t involve creating a corneal flap. Instead, the laser gently removes the cornea’s outer layer to expose the underlying tissue and reshape it. You’ll have to wear a contact-like bandage, but the outer layer naturally regenerates over time.

PRK takes longer to heal than LASIK, but many consider it safer in the longer term since it doesn’t leave a flap behind. However, the speed at which you can return to your daily activities with LASIK can be enticing, and it’s still considered a safe surgery with high satisfaction from people just like you. In the end, the choice comes down to what suits your needs and lifestyle, and we can help you determine that with the help of a professional.

What Factors Affect Laser Eye Surgery Cost

The price for laser eye surgery can vary, even in a single province. It can depend on factors outside your control, but every dollar is an investment in your vision. A low cost might not give you all you need, just as an expensive price tag doesn’t necessarily mean that option is always better. 

Some factors that may affect the cost of laser eye surgery include:

  • The type of laser eye surgery
  • Additional technology used to measure the cornea
  • How much correction is required
  • Pre- and post-care options
  • Comprehensive services
  • Clinic location
  • The surgeon’s experience

Who is a Good Candidate for Laser Eye Surgery?

One of the most important parts of any laser eye surgery is the consultation. Unfortunately, not everyone’s eyes are a good candidate, or they may require additional care to make surgery feasible.

And this meeting isn’t just about measuring your eyes—though that does come later. Instead, we’ll talk with you about your expectations and review your overall eye health. Together, we can make a personalized treatment plan that suits your needs.

Specifically, what you need to be a good candidate when discussing laser eye surgery includes:

  • Being over 18
  • Having healthy eyes
  • Stable vision
  • Being in good overall health
  • Having thick enough corneas (PRK can be an option for those on the thinner side)
  • An appropriate pupil size
  • A prescription that isn’t too high
  • Realistic expectations for the procedure

Some of these are fluid, and other considerations—like pregnancy—are specific to patients. If in doubt, give your optometrist a call.

A man in an optometry clinic shaking hands with his female optometrist.

Clarity Begins With a Consultation

We want you to feel confident about the choices you make. A consultation is where Sage Eyecare can discuss your lifestyle, health, expectations, and any concerns you may have about laser eye surgery.

We love it when you ask questions, and our knowledgeable team is here to help you feel empowered about your path to a clearer vision. Book your consultation today, and let’s embark on this visionary journey together!


Written by
Dr. Mae Chiu

Dr. Mae Chiu obtained her Honours Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Optometry degrees from the University of Waterloo. She completed clinical externships in Hong Kong and in Canada specializing in ocular pathologies such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and cataracts. She received further training in the areas of specialty multifocal contact lens fittings and co-management of refractive laser and cataract surgeries.

Dr. Chiu is certified for prescribing therapeutic agents. She is a member of the Canadian Association of Optometrists and Ontario Association of Optometrists. Dr. Chiu enjoys travelling and trying out different cuisines from all over the world. Dr. Chiu is fluent in English and Cantonese.

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Dr. Mae Chiu

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