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Which Laser Vision Correction Procedure is Best for Me?

If you’re tired of wearing glasses or contact lenses to see, laser vision correction surgery may be for you. Choosing the correct procedure for you can be easier than you think.

However, it’s essential to consult your eye doctor to ensure you’re a good candidate for the procedure you think is best for you. If you aren’t a candidate for a more popular procedure like LASIK, you may still be a good candidate for another vision correction procedure that can eliminate your need for glasses or contacts.

Keep reading to learn about the different laser vision correction procedures offered at Nielsen Eye Center and find out which procedure is right for you!

LASIK

LASIK is the most popular laser vision correction procedure available. It’s highly effective with minimal recovery time and immediate results for many patients.

Laser surgeries like LASIK work by reshaping your cornea, the clear, front part of your eye. When you have a refractive error like nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, it’s due to the shape of your cornea.

Light refracts through your cornea before hitting the back of your eye. After going through the back of the eye, the light is translated into impulses sent to your brain.

Light doesn’t refract correctly when the cornea is shaped irregularly, so the images sent to your brain appear blurry. LASIK is highly preferred as a laser correction procedure because it uses the cornea to act as a bandage while your eye is healing from surgery.

Doing this is possible by making a flap in the cornea. The flap is lifted during LASIK to reshape the cornea tissue underneath it with an excimer laser.

Once your LASIK procedure is complete, your surgeon will place the flap back down, where it will naturally fuse with the rest of the cornea when the eye finishes healing. Results from LASIK are fast, with most patients seeing immediate improvement.

Patients reach their peak vision once the corneal flap has completely healed after a few months. In that time, though, you’ll be able to function normally as the initial recovery only takes a few weeks, and discomfort usually only lasts a few days at most.

LASIK has incredible results, with 95% of patients achieving 20/20 vision or better. It’s a great option if you have a refractive error and are a good candidate.

To be a good LASIK candidate, you need to be at least 18, in good health and have a stable prescription. You also need to have thick enough corneas to ensure LASIK is safe. However, if your corneas aren’t thick enough but you meet all the other requirements, there are alternatives.

LASEK

LASEK is a vision correction procedure similar to LASIK, but no flap is created. Instead of making a flap, the outer layer of the cornea, called the epithelium, is peeled back.

The excimer laser then shapes the cornea before the epithelium is pushed back over the eye. It’s held in place by a contact lens for a few days while it heals.

LASIK and LASEK surgery diagrams

The outcomes for LASEK are comparable to the results of LASIK, with the vast majority of patients achieving 20/20 vision or better after surgery. Recovery takes 1-2 weeks, and patients may experience burning or gritty sensations for around five days after the procedure.

LASEK patients may not see the same immediate improvement that LASIK patients do. Like with LASIK, as LASEK patients heal, they’ll see continuous improvement until they reach their peak vision after their eyes finish healing.

If you aren’t a candidate for LASIK, LASEK is a good alternative that offers the same results. However, if you want a reversible vision correction procedure, you may prefer the Visian ICL.

The Visian ICL

The Visian ICL is an Implantable Collamer Lens. The Visian ICL does not use lasers to reshape the cornea like LASIK and LASEK. Rather than reshaping the cornea to correct vision, the Visian ICL is an additive lens placed behind the natural lens and iris.

The Visian ICL can be used to correct nearsightedness and astigmatism, although it cannot correct farsightedness. It can, however, correct nearsightedness to a much larger degree than LASIK or LASEK. The Visian ICL may be the best alternative to glasses and traditional contact lenses if you’re severely nearsighted.

The procedure for implanting the Visian ICL is straightforward and involves creating a small incision in the eye where the folded-up lens is pushed through and then unfurled. The incision is small enough that it heals independently without any stitches.

Recovery from the procedure is quick and easy. Because the Visian ICL is biocompatible with your eye’s natural chemistry, it won’t cause dry eyes. You can have the Visian ICL removed, making it completely reversible.

Being reversible is a significant difference from other vision correction procedures. Most patients do not have the Visian ICL removed. The Visian ICL doesn’t need replacing and is meant to stay in your eye.

If you want to correct your vision for refractive errors like nearsightedness or astigmatism, the Visian ICL is a good choice.

Monovision LASIK

For those that struggle to see up close due to presbyopia, monovision LASIK can help. Presbyopia is common in adults over 40 and can make it harder to focus on nearby objects.

One solution for presbyopia is monovision LASIK. Monovision involves correcting one eye for near vision and correcting the other for distance vision.

When you use both eyes to see, your brain automatically lets you see whatever you’re looking at with the correct eye. Monovision isn’t for everyone with presbyopia.

Patients interested in monovision LASIK will try it first using contact lenses before having surgery. But for many, monovision LASIK is an excellent solution for presbyopia.

Do you want to learn more about vision correction procedures that allow you to achieve visual freedom? Schedule an appointment at the Nielsen Eye Center in Boston, MA!

One of our Patient Advocates is patiently waiting by the phone to answer any questions you may have about these procedures. Give us a call at 617-471-5665 to start your journey towards improving your vision!