When most people think of laser vision correction procedures, LASIK is the first to come to mind. Why? LASIK is an immensely popular procedure and is the most popular elective procedure you can undergo.
But LASIK isn’t the only vision correction procedure. It’s one of many you can undergo to achieve better vision. Most patients with refractive errors make good candidates for LASIK, but not all will.
Many of these patients who don’t qualify for LASIK do, however, make good candidates for an alternative vision correction procedure. Keep reading to learn more about what makes a good LASIK candidate and your laser eye surgery options if you aren’t a good candidate for LASIK!
Who is a Good LASIK Candidate?
About 85% of people who have a LASIK consultation will qualify for the procedure. The other 15% may not make a good candidate for various reasons.
To have LASIK, you must be over 18, have a stable prescription that’s remained unchanged for a year or more, and be in good health. Most people who seek LASIK meet these requirements, making them good candidates for the vision correction procedure. However, these are only some of the candidacy requirements for having LASIK.
But one of the most significant factors for LASIK candidacy is that your corneas must be a certain thickness. This is because LASIK creates a flap in the cornea.
During the procedure, your LASIK surgeon will lift the flap and treat the area under it with an excimer laser, reshaping the cornea to correct your refractive errors. After LASIK, they will replace the flap, aiding in the healing process by having the flap act as a natural bandage.
There are no stitches or sutures needed, allowing for a shorter and more comfortable recovery after LASIK. The corneal flap is one reason why LASIK is such a popular procedure.
The flap allows patients to experience immediate visual improvement and makes recovery more comfortable and faster. But if your cornea isn’t thick enough to accommodate a flap, LASIK can be dangerous.
If there’s not enough tissue left in the corneal bed after creating the flap, it can cause extreme visual warping. Patients with thin corneas don’t make good LASIK candidates.
Luckily, there are alternatives for patients with thin corneas. Omaha Eye offers several to ensure patients can achieve the vision of their dreams, even if they don’t qualify for LASIK.
PRK is a refractive laser eye procedure that’s very similar to LASIK. It predates LASIK and was the first ever commercially available vision correction procedure.
It’s still performed today and is an excellent alternative for patients who don’t qualify for LASIK due to thin corneas. Like LASIK, PRK changes the shape of the cornea by removing tissue with an excimer laser.
But instead of accessing the cornea by creating a flap, PRK removes the outer layer that protects the cornea. The outer layer is called the epithelium.
The epithelium is usually removed with a chemical scrub, and the excimer laser removes the cornea directly. Afterward, a bandage contact lens is applied to the eye to protect it while the epithelium regrows, a process that takes about two weeks.
PRK has a longer recovery and healing process than LASIK and takes longer for patients to see results. However, after recovery, the results of PRK and LASIK are virtually identical. Most patients achieve 20/20 vision or better, just like LASIK patients.
In addition to PRK, Omaha Eye offers another vision correction procedure called the EVO ICL. The EVO ICL is a revolutionary procedure that helps nearsighted and astigmatic patients achieve their dream vision.
The EVO ICL is an implantable collamer lens. ICL stands for Implantable Collamer Lens.
It functions like a contact lens, but you don’t have to remove it because it sits inside your eye instead of on top of it. Having the EVO ICL implanted is minimally invasive, as all that’s required is a small incision to insert the lens.
EVO ICL is also the only reversible vision correction procedure. You can choose to have the EVO ICL removed at any time, providing much-needed peace of mind.
But the EVO ICL can also safely sit inside your eye permanently and never needs to be removed. Knowing you can remove it is appealing to patients who may be nervous about permanently changing their vision with a procedure like LASIK or PRK, as those procedures reshape the cornea to correct your vision.
Choosing the Right Vision Correction Surgery For You
Which vision correction procedure should you get if you don’t qualify for LASIK? It depends on your needs and preferences.
For one thing, EVO ICL can only correct nearsightedness and mild astigmatism. If you’re farsighted or have astigmatism greater than 4.00 diopters, PRK may be the best way to correct your vision.
If you’re incredibly nearsighted, EVO ICL is an excellent choice as it can correct nearsightedness more than twice as much as LASIK or PRK can, which is up to an astounding -23.00 diopters!
EVO ICL is less invasive than PRK and has a shorter recovery time. The fact it’s reversible may also be appealing if you’re unsure if you want to alter your vision permanently.
You may want EVO ICL even if you make a good LASIK candidate because the procedure is less invasive and fully reversible. Need help determining which procedure you should get?
Schedule your consultation at Omaha Eye in Lincoln, NE, to learn more about the vision correction procedures available and which may be best for you! Are you ready to see the world in a new light thanks to better vision than you ever thought possible?