LASIK gets a lot of attention for being the king of vision correction. Did you know there are more options available that are just as good when it comes to correcting your vision?
SMILE is one of these procedures that is rising in popularity. Keep reading to learn more about SMILE!
What is SMILE?
SMILE is a refractive procedure that corrects nearsightedness and astigmatism. It actually shares more in common with LASIK than you might think.
Both SMILE and LASIK are refractive procedures that correct your vision by reshaping your cornea. The cornea handles focusing most of the light that enters your eye onto the retina.
The retina detects the light and transmits the information to your brain, where it is then processed and seen as an image. Both procedures use lasers.
These lasers create precise incisions on the cornea. They also both use numbing eye drops, meaning there’s no pain associated with either.
How Are SMILE and LASIK Different?
Although there are some similarities between LASIK and SMILE, these two procedures are still very different. During LASIK, a major component of the procedure involves creating a flap in the top layer of the cornea.
The flap is opened and can be closed at the end of the surgery. While the flap is open, the surgeon uses another laser to remove tissue in certain amounts and locations of the middle layer of the cornea.
There are no stitches required to close the flap. It will heal and reconnect on its own.
During SMILE, there is no flap created. Instead, the surgeon creates a small incision in the cornea. The surgeon then uses the same laser to cut a disc of corneal tissue inside the eye called a lenticule.
The lenticule is extracted through the incision and recovery begins immediately.
What Do the Differences Mean?
Now that you know the differences between SMILE and LASIK, what are the benefits of one procedure over the other?
To begin with, SMILE has a much less invasive recovery experience. Since SMILE corrects vision with only a small incision instead of creating a large flap in the cornea, recovery is easier.
It’s also less painful, shorter, and there’s less risk of complications when compared to LASIK. Being less invasive while still achieving results that are comparable to LASIK results is better for many patients.
For these reasons, SMILE is often a better vision correction procedure for patients that didn’t qualify for LASIK. This is especially notable for patients that have dry eye syndrome.
Fewer nerves in the cornea are severed during SMILE. This reduces the length or chance of dry eye is an issue during recovery.
SMILE Isn’t Right For Everyone
SMILE is only effective in patients with nearsightedness or mild astigmatism. It will not work for farsighted patients.
It will also only be effective within strict ranges of nearsightedness. If you are too nearsighted, the procedure will not be safe or effective.
Other than that, LASIK and SMILE share many of the same candidacy criteria. The only way to know for sure is to come in for a SMILE consultation.
Wondering which vision correction procedure is right for you? Schedule a SMILE consultation at Frantz Eyecare in Fort Myers, FL, today! Isn’t it time to start off a new year with clear vision?