How Refractive Eye Surgeries Can Improve Your Vision

It is estimated that over 164 million adults in the U.S. rely on corrective eyewear to see clearly every day. If you are one of the many people struggling with blurry vision, you are far from alone.

Refractive errors are one of the most common eye disorders that disrupt your ability to see clearly without aid. The most common refractive errors include:

  • Nearsightedness (Myopia): the inability to see distant objects clearly.
  • Farsightedness (hyperopia): the inability to see close objects clearly.
  • Astigmatism: distorted vision at any distance resulting from an irregular cornea curvature.

Traditional LASIK laser eye surgery has been one of the most popular long-term solutions for correcting refractive errors since its approval by the FDA in 1999. But LASIK surgery isn’t for everyone, and not all patients suffering from refractive errors qualify for this life-changing procedure.

While LASIK has proven to be a reliably painless treatment for correcting poor vision, the idea of reshaping the cornea can seem too invasive for some patients. For others with chronic dry eye syndrome, large pupils, thin corneas, and a number of other complications, LASIK may not be suitable. The first step to finding out how to correct your refractive error is to speak to a trusted and experienced eye surgeon who specializes in refractive eye surgeries, like LASIK.

3 Alternatives to LASIK Eye Surgery

At LaserVue Eye Center, our board-certified ophthalmologists specialize in providing our Bay Area patients with the most advanced laser vision correction technology available. We will work with you to find the vision correction solution that is best suited for your individual needs.

If your ophthalmologist has determined you are not a candidate for LASIK, or you are interested in learning about different types of refractive surgery options, this guide is for you. Read on to learn more about the LASIK alternatives available at LaserVue Eye Center.

PRK Laser Eye Surgery

Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) is often referred to as the first generation of laser vision correction. PRK can treat the most common refractive errors, including astigmatism. Patients with thin corneas may not be good candidates for LASIK, but can benefit greatly from PRK surgery.

During your PRK procedure, your eye surgeon will completely remove the topmost layer of the corneal tissue and reshape your cornea with an advanced excimer laser. Your corneal layer will then grow back naturally over the next few days following your surgery.

Patients who receive PRK do tend to have a longer recovery period, as the cells on the outer layer of your cornea need time to grow back. Patients typically are required to refrain from driving for up to a week, and require anywhere from two to six weeks to start experiencing clear vision.

SMILE Laser Eye Surgery

Small Incision Lenticule Extraction (SMILE) eye surgery is one of the most advanced laser procedures available for correcting refractive errors. SMILE surgery is much less invasive compared to other refractive surgeries. While LASIK requires your ophthalmologist to create a corneal flap to gain access to your cornea, SMILE is a flapless surgical procedure.

Your eye surgeon uses an advanced excimer laser to create a small 3mm sized hole in your corneal layer to efficiently reshape your cornea. This can result in much faster healing timelines and fewer negative side effects and discomfort.

Visian ICL Refractive Implant Surgery

Visian ICL (Implantable Collamer® Lens), is a refractive implant used to correct common refractive errors and even improve night vision. Unlike other laser vision correction surgeries, Visian ICL uses additive technology to improve vision without the removal of any corneal tissue. 

Most laser refractive surgeries are designed to correct your vision by reshaping your cornea to reflect light more accurately. With Visian ICL surgery, your ophthalmologist will implant a vision-correcting lens into your eye through a small corneal incision. This method has proven to be a great alternative for patients who do not qualify for LASIK or do not wish to undergo a more invasive procedure. 

Visian ICL refractive implants are comfortable, discreet, and many LaserVue patients report immediate vision improvements and fast recovery times. Should you ever need it, Visian lenses can also be removed.

Find the Best Corrective Eye Surgery For Your Unique Needs with a Free Consultation at LaserVue Eye Center

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At LaserVue Eye Center, we are dedicated to providing the highest quality patient care and working with you to achieve your best vision possible. Our advanced refractive surgery technology and techniques allow us to create a personalized treatment plan best for your unique vision concerns.

 If you have been previously told you do not qualify for traditional LASIK and would like to learn about your other refractive surgery options, we are here to help! If you have been looking for a long-term solution to correcting poor vision, visit LaserVue Eye Center online to schedule a free virtual consultation.