LASIK is a popular option for people who don’t want to depend on wearing glasses or contact lenses for clear vision, however there are many alternatives to LASIK so it’s important to know the available options in order to choose the best method for you.
LASIK tends to be a very well known kind of laser eye surgery, however there are many alternatives, including different types of refractive surgeries. There are specific factors which are crucial in order to qualify for LASIK surgery which means that it is not a suitable option for everyone. In addition, the method for this kind of surgery involves forming a flap in the cornea which is the clear part that covers the surface of the eye and plays an essential role in our visual system. This flap has advantages, in addition to disadvantages. Thankfully, there are a variety of other options available for refractive surgeries so that each person can weigh out the benefits and risks to figure out the best approach for their vision and lifestyle. A brief overview of alternatives to LASIK is provided below, but please schedule an appointment with your eye doctor to discuss the possibilities in depth. Together you can figure out which method is best for you, for your health, and for your eyesight.
Before delving into various refractive surgery options, it’s important to know that there is an alternative option to LASIK which does not involve surgery, and thus it is not permanent. This method is known as Ortho K which uses special lenses that reshape the cornea while the person wears the lenses each night. Upon waking up in the morning, the lenses are removed and the person can enjoy clear vision throughout the day without wearing glasses or contact lenses. If the person wishes to stop using Ortho K, the cornea goes back to its original shape, making this a reversible and very effective option. For more information, please schedule an appointment at our office and our eye doctor will gladly discuss orthokeratology further with you to see if it’s a suitable option.
Both PRK and LASIK use the exact same type of laser for the procedure and both reshape the cornea. The difference is that they each work on a different layer of the cornea. As a result, PRK is suitable for people with thin corneas who do not qualify for LASIK. In LASIK, a flap is formed in the cornea during surgery, whereas in PRK that is not the case. This makes PRK a more suitable option for people who live a very active lifestyle which can increase risk for complications due to the flap. PRK is a very quick procedure in which the outer layer of the cornea is removed and then grows back over time, and therefore there’s a longer period of healing. LASIK generally takes a few days to heal, as opposed to PRK which takes approximately a month to heal. Most people who get LASIK can see clearly within a few hours after surgery, but in photorefractive keratometry most people will gain 70% of their vision after one week and can drive at that point, yet it takes around a month to be mostly healed.
LASIK is a wonderful option for refractive surgery, but every procedure comes with its benefits and risks. There are other methods for refractive surgery and non-surgical options, available for those who are not qualified to get LASIK for various reasons. Please schedule Book an Appointment with our eye doctor to figure out what is the best option for you.
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