Why should we even consider knowing about the LASIK alternatives? Isn’t LASIK already good enough? Yes we know that this type of refractive surgery is performed for the correction of myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. A lot of patients have had great experiences with it as well (see LASIK Success Stories). It’s a safe and practical procedure that every patient with refractive errors should consider. So why look at your options?
Every patient and every eye is unique, therefore, LASIK should not always be the first answer to all your refractive surgery needs. In addition, not everyone is a good candidate for LASIK. As a patient interested in vision correction, it is important to educate yourself so that when you are given the option to choose what procedure you want done to you, you are comfortable enough to ask your doctor some questions about other alternatives. What are these popular LASIK alternatives anyway?
Photorefractive Keratectomy or PRK
Photorefractive Keratectomy is a laser vision correction procedure which is done to reduce or eliminate the need for eyeglasses. It is performed on an outpatient basis and is considered an elective surgery. A special type of laser is used to reshape the curvature of the eye for nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. It’s very quite similar to LASIK.
Laser Assisted Sub-Epithelial Keratosmileusis or LASEK
Laser Assisted Sub-Epithelial Keratosmileusis is refractive error correction for nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia. This is considered an outpatient procedure too. This procedure is preferred for some poor LASIK candidates including people with less corneal tissue. It preserves more corneal tissue than LASIK with less risk of dry eye than LASIK as well.
Phakic Intraocular Lens Implant
Phakic implant surgery is performed in a hospital outpatient setting. These lenses are placed behind the iris and in front of the natural crystalline lens. It is made from a 100% pure collagen copolymer material that is compatible with your body’s natural chemistry. Once implanted, you will not feel the implant and it cannot be detected cosmetically.
Clear Lens Exchange
This procedure involves removing the natural lens of the eye and replacing it with an intraocular lens implant, a multifocal intraocular implant, a phakic intraocular, or an accommodating intraocular. Clear Lens Exchange is an excellent LASIK alternative, especially those patients who are 40 years old and above.
Multifocal Intraocular Lens Implant
Unlike conventional single vision intraocular lenses, these multifocal intraocular lenses are lens implants that are designed to help patients see at varying distances using different points of focus. With these type of lenses, functional vision at different distances is possible therefore minimizing the need for any glasses.
After realizing that there are, in fact, many LASIK alternatives, it is important to understand that one technique isn’t necessarily better than another. Instead, each has certain characteristics that make it more or less effective in certain application