Frustrated with wearing glasses or contact lenses? LASIK laser vision correction could give you the flexibility and freedom that you are looking for. Laser eye surgery is a fast, effective, and safe treatment that reshapes the cornea and corrects refractive eye errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, and helps countless people to live their lives without prescription eyewear.
However, before you can get started, your surgeon will need to determine which type of laser vision correction will be best for you. Here’s what you need to know about the main types of LASIK and some of the factors that your surgeon will consider when advising you on which to choose.
LASIK laser vision correction
Most people are at least a little familiar with LASIK, which is the most common type of laser vision correction. LASIK can be used to correct nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism, but you don’t automatically qualify just because you have been diagnosed with one of these refractive eye errors.
The LASIK technique involves a small, handheld instrument called a microkeratome being used to cut a small flap in the very outer layer of epithelial tissue. This flap is opened to reveal the inner corneal tissue, which is then reshaped using laser technology. The flap element of the technique means that corneal thickness is a major consideration for candidacy for LASIK. This is because if someone has a cornea that is too thin, they may not be suitable.
LASIK typically has the fastest recovery time of any laser vision correction, with patients starting to see an improvement in their vision within 24 hours of their procedure.
LASEK laser vision correction
LASEK and LASIK are often confused, despite being different procedures. The technique for LASEK involves lifting the epithelial layer so that the underlying cornea can be reshaped, rather than creating a flap in it. The epithelium can then be gently folded back. No flap means no risk of flap-related complications, which are some of the most common post-surgical issues experienced in conventional LASIK. LASEK is particularly recommended for patients with very steep or thin corneas, which makes them unsuitable for conventional LASIK.
The recovery time for LASEK is a little longer than for LASIK, with most patients finding that it takes several days before they start to notice an improvement in their eyesight. In some cases, the epithelium may be discarded. If this happens, a special bandage contact lens will be placed into the eye to protect it while the epithelial tissue regenerates – a process that can take up to 5/7 days depending on the patient. There can be mild to moderate discomfort as this happens.
SMILE LASIK is an innovative new laser vision correction technique that uses the latest technology to create a removable lenticule in the cornea. This wedge-shaped section is then taken out, reshaping the cornea and correcting the refractive error. There is no need for a flap or to remove the epithelium.
Experts consider SMILE LASIK to be the safest and most efficient form of laser vision correction, while also causing less discomfort and enabling a faster recovery time. Unlike other forms of laser vision correction, SMILE is also suitable for patients who may not be good candidates for other forms of laser eye surgery, including those with very high prescriptions and those with thin corneas.
For more advice about laser vision correction surgery and support in deciding which is right for you, please contact our experienced and knowledgeable team. Visit Grin Eye Care at our offices in Leawood, Olathe, Paola, Lawrence, Kansas, or Raymore, Independence, Kansas City, Missouri. You can also call (913) 829-5511 to book an appointment today.