Most people know about LASIK when it comes to choosing a vision correction procedure. There are actually an extensive list of surgical options available with their own strengths.
For some people, LASIK may not be possible if they don’t meet certain candidacy criteria. Others may prefer another option depending on what they can afford.
Whatever your preference is, it is important to know what your options are so you can make an informed decision. You can learn about all your options in detail by attending a LASIK consultation at Frantz EyeCare. Keep reading to learn more about LASIK and SMILE, another vision correction option Frantz EyeCare is now offering!
How LASIK Works
The idea behind LASIK is to reshape the curvature of your cornea. This causes light to focus into your eye correctly.
There are actually two parts of your eye that focus light, the cornea and the lens. LASIK focuses on the cornea because it is easier to access and it handles most of the focusing power.
The reshaping of the cornea is not done to the surface of the cornea, but to the middle layer. This layer is much thicker than the others.
Accessing this middle layer allows the surgeon to remove tissue where necessary and to create a flap in the top layer. This flap of corneal tissue makes recovery significantly faster.
Your eye will simply close the incision rather than grow new tissue altogether. The surgeon will be dealing with microscopic amounts of tissue in incredible detail.
This is why computer software is used for much of the actual procedure. Custom LASIK has become the industry standard.
This produces much more consistent results than traditional LASIK. For patients, this means your vision is more consistent and you’ll heal faster.
The Differences Between SMILE and LASIK
SMILE is a newer procedure than LASIK, but it shares some similarities to the popular refractive surgery. SMILE also focuses on reshaping the cornea. How it does this is in a significantly different way.
The surgeon creates an incredibly small incision on the cornea. Like LASIK, this is done after applying a topical anesthetic to block pain.
Using a specialized laser called VisuMax, the surgeon separates a layer of corneal tissue. This piece of tissue, called the lenticule, is then removed through the opening created with carefully applied suction.
This achieves the same goal as LASIK, which is changing the shape of the cornea. One of the biggest differences between LASIK and SMILE is SMILE is less invasive.
There is no flap created in the cornea, and the incision is only 4mm long. SMILE patients have a reduced recovery time compared to LASIK in both time and difficulty.
It’s important to note that many people who didn’t qualify for LASIK may be better candidates for SMILE. This is especially true if you suffer from dry eye syndrome.
But as with LASIK, not everyone is right for SMILE. The procedure is only designed to treat people with nearsightedness that’s between -1 and -10 diopters and up to 3 diopters of astigmatism.
If you’re farsighted or more astigmatic, you’ll need to rely on another surgery to achieve your vision goals.
Think that SMILE may be right for you? Schedule an appointment at Frantz EyeCare in Fort Myers, FL to learn more!