You may have heard of all the amazing opportunities that LASIK can provide you. No longer worrying about broken glasses or missing contact lens solution are just a couple of the benefits that people who have gone through with the procedure enjoy every day. However, not everybody can receive LASIK. Certain risk factors may make them ineligible to receive surgery. Hope is not lost, however, as there are a number of surgical vision correction options that can circumvent these unfortunate disqualifiers. Here are some LASIK alternatives and why they might be a better fit for you.
Photorefractive Keratectomy, or PRK for short, is considered an alternative to LASIK, though it was actually created before LASIK. It is generally chosen over LASIK for patients that have abnormally thin corneas. This is because LASIK requires you to have a certain amount of corneal tissue in order to avoid problems while recovering from the surgery.
In both LASIK and PRK, an opening in the topmost layer of the cornea is created so that the underlying corneal tissue can be shaped. In LASIK specifically, the tissue is left attached so that it can be placed back over the incision like a trap door, making healing easier. PRK, on the other hand, removes the small section of cornea entirely, letting it heal over on its own. PRK is less favorable than LASIK due to its extended recovery period but is nevertheless a solid and safe option for those whose corneas do not meet the requirements for LASIK.
RLE is the abbreviation of “refractive lens exchange”. In this procedure, the eye’s natural lens, which is located behind the cornea, is completely removed. Then, an artificial lens called an IOL (intraocular lens) is carefully inserted. These lenses are designed to correct refractive errors similarly to normal contacts, except they remain in your eyes at all times, making the enhancement permanent and removing the hassle that comes with having to deal with contacts.
RLE is most often associated with cataract surgery, though it can also be helpful for some people who cannot have LASIK due to severe farsightedness. In order to receive LASIK, your vision must be within a certain prescription to ensure a good outcome. For other questions about eligibility to receive LASIK, feel free to set up a consultation!
Phakic IOL surgery is similar to RLE, though it has one major difference. With phakic IOLs, there is no need to remove your eyes’ natural lenses. Instead, the IOL is placed in front of your lens and behind your cornea.
Phakic IOLs particularly excel at providing a solution to nearsightedness. The implants are undetectable, except for the vision correction, so there’s no need to worry about “feeling” them after the surgery.
Our eyes are completely unique to us. If your eyes prevent you from being able to receive LASIK, chances are there’s another option for you to take advantage of. Find out what Eye Care Specialists can do for you with a consultation!