LASIK is the most popular option when it comes to vision correction procedures. It’s also one of the most effective elective procedures, with rates of over 96% for patient satisfaction!
But while most people that want LASIK are good candidates for the procedure, not all are. 10-15% of patients who have a LASIK consultation find out they don’t qualify for the procedure for one reason or another.
If you think that your dreams of achieving visual freedom aren’t possible because you can’t get LASIK, think again. LASIK isn’t the only vision correction procedure out there.
In fact, there are other procedures that can provide you with results that are just as effective as LASIK. Keep reading to learn about some of the factors that go into LASIK candidacy, and some of the LASIK alternatives we offer if you don’t qualify for LASIK!
Are you nearsighted, farsighted, or have astigmatism? These are refractive errors and these are the things that LASIK corrects.
If you have a refractive error, there’s a good chance that you’ll qualify for LASIK. That’s not a guarantee, though, because there are other factors that go into LASIK candidacy.
Common factors for LASIK candidacy include if you’re at least 18 years old, in good health, and not currently pregnant. But there are other factors that are a crucial part of the LASIK candidacy process.
If your corneas aren’t thick enough, for example, LASIK could become dangerous to undergo. LASIK works because it involves reshaping your cornea using an excimer laser and a femtosecond laser.
Using these lasers corrects refractive errors like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. A key part of the procedure is creating a flap.
After creating the flap in the cornea, your surgeon uses the excimer laser to reshape the corneal tissue under the flap. The flap then is replaced and acts as a natural bandage while the eye is healing.
To create the necessary flap during LASIK, patients must have thick enough corneas. If your corneas are too thin, creating a flap will not leave enough corneal tissue over to reshape.
With thinner corneas, creating a flap during LASIK can result in severe complications and problems with vision. You wouldn’t know if you have thinner corneas until you have a LASIK consultation since it’s not something you can see in a mirror.
It’s not a health issue either, and it doesn’t mean that your corneas are unhealthy. It simply means that you are not a good candidate for LASIK.
Your prescription is stronger than LASIK can correct
Another factor that can disqualify you is if you have a prescription that’s too strong. Although LASIK is a fantastic vision correction procedure, it does have its limits.
If your prescription is outside the limits that LASIK can correct, then LASIK isn’t right for you.
You have dry eye syndrome
You may also have minor eye conditions like dry eye syndrome, or be more prone to dry eyes. A LASIK consultation includes measuring your tear production and their dispersion.
Measuring your tear production and tear dispersal ensures that your eyes can provide enough moisture during the healing process. If you aren’t producing an adequate amount of tears, you may be able to get LASIK, but at a later time.
First, you’ll have to treat your eyes and improve the quality of your tears. If you aren’t a good candidate for LASIK for any of these reasons, though, these two alternatives may be for you.
PRK, or photorefractive keratectomy, is a very similar procedure to LASIK. Although LASIK is quite popular, PRK came before it as the first laser vision correction procedure.
It’s still performed today and has results comparable to those from LASIK. Like LASIK, it’s designed to reshape the cornea and correct refractive errors.
The biggest difference is that your surgeon won’t need to create a corneal flap. Instead, the outer epithelium layer of the cornea is entirely removed. A laser is then used to reshape the cornea.
This method allows patients with thin corneas to achieve vision correction. The recovery from PRK is a little more uncomfortable as there’s no flap to act as a natural bandage, but soft contacts act as a bandage.
The soft contact lens will protect your eye while the epithelium regenerates, which takes a few weeks. Full recovery takes several months but the end results are just as good as LASIK, with most patients achieving 20/20 vision or better.
The Visian ICL is an Implantable Collamer Lens. It’s like a permanent contact lens that’s inserted into the eye.
Because it’s made from collamer, a material made from collagen, it naturally integrates with the eye. Collagen is a natural substance found in the body, meaning there’s no chance that you will reject the lens or need to worry about dry eye syndrome.
Having the Visian ICL implanted into your eye is minimally invasive, and only requires a small incision. The recovery after having an ICL implanted is even faster than after having LASIK!
The Visian ICL works well for patients with nearsightedness as it can correct up to +20 diopters. It’s best for those that are nearsighted or have mild astigmatism.
If you’re farsighted, you may want to consider another vision correction procedure like PRK. The Visian ICL is an excellent choice if you’ve found out that your corneas are too thin for LASIK or your prescription is too strong.
The procedure is also better for patients with an existing case of dry eye syndrome since it’s less likely to make dry eye symptoms worse. Unlike other vision correction procedures, the Visian ICL is actually reversible, which isn’t the case with PRK or LASIK.
It’s appealing if your prescription changes, you change your mind about the ICL, or you need a different lens later in life.
If you’re sick of your glasses and contacts but can’t get LASIK, remember there are alternatives. These two options are just as safe and effective as LASIK and can fulfill your dreams of visual freedom.
Ready to explore your options when it comes to vision correction? Schedule an appointment at Herschel LASIK and Cataract Institute in Orlando, FL, today!