Voters’ verdict a real eye- opener
IT probably comes as no surprise, but fixing our vision is the most common surgical procedure most Australians would choose if given a choice, according to a recent Newspoll survey.
Commissioned by Advanced Medical Optics, the survey unveiled the revolutionary idea that many of us would prefer to see the world rather than have a breast enhancement operation.
Ultimately, the survey was designed to reveal the one long- term surgical procedure Australians would make to their body to improve their quality of life. That answer, by just under one- infive adults, was laser eye surgery.
In fact, one in four men and one in five women said the surgical procedure they would have to improve their quality of life is laser eye surgery.
Moreover, by utilising laser eye surgery to fix our vision, we would be joining high- profile Australian celebrities such as Nicole Kidman and former Wallaby Stephen Larkham.
Interestingly, the top four procedures chosen were: laser eye surgery ( 23 per cent); liposuction ( 10 per cent); a tummy tuck ( seven per cent) and a breast/ chest enhancement ( five per cent).
Only one in two Australians said they would choose a surgical procedure to increase their quality of life and nearly half of those chose laser eye surgery.
The main reason people chose laser eye surgery was to enhance body function or performance ( 55 per cent) while the main reason for choosing the other surgical procedures was to improve appearance ( 40 per cent).
Australians with pre- existing vision problems were more likely to say they would have laser eye surgery to improve their quality of life, compared with the rest of the population.
Among those who wear glasses or contact lenses, younger people ( aged 18- 49) were more likely to choose laser eye surgery, compared with those aged 50- plus ( 38 per cent and 24 per cent respectively). What this all adds up to is a rather large potential market for laser eye surgery practitioners.
As the former Prime Minister and Treasurer of Australia, Paul Keating, once said: ‘‘ It’s a beautiful set of numbers.’’
This is especially so if you take into account 62 per cent of Australians say they wear glasses or contact lenses to improve their vision.
According to the survey, one third of the population say they wear glasses or contact lenses all or most of the time; nine out of 10 people aged 50- plus say they wear glasses or contact lenses and half of these wear them all or most of the time.
The survey found one third of glasses and contact lens wearers said they would be interested in having laser eye surgery to improve their vision with males slightly more likely to be interested in having laser eye surgery. Moreover, of this group, people aged between 18- 49 ( 35 per cent) are more likely to be interested in having laser eye surgery.
A couple of key reasons for having the surgery were quality of life and the convenience of being able to shed glasses or contact lenses.
Interestingly, only one in 10 survey respondents listed improving their appearance or self- esteem as reasons for having laser eye surgery.
Conversely, there are many who choose not to have laser eye surgery because they worry about an unfavourable outcome or the safety of the procedure. Around 41 per cent of these people also had concerns over the safety aspects, while around 27 per cent said they are waiting on better technology.
Fewer are concerned about the pain and recovery time of the procedure ( around 12 per cent) than those who feel they can’t afford the procedure which was close to half of those surveyed.