LASIK eye surgery has been FDA approved in the US for 21 years now, and since then, the vision correction procedure has been improved in many ways and many new types of laser eye surgery have been developed. If you thought you weren't a good candidate for LASIK or were told you didn't qualify for any other vision surgery in the past, then read on to find out how LASIK has improved and a new laser eye surgery option that you may qualify for now.
1. LASIK is Now Less Prone to Worsening Night Vision and Causing Halos
You may have avoided LASIK in the past due to the rare, yet possible, complication of lower-quality night vision after the surgery. When LASIK surgery first came out, a microkeratome machine was used to create the flap in the eye, which uses a tiny blade to make the incision. However, the flap can now be made with a femtosecond laser. LASIK performed with this laser is often advertised as iLasik or bladeless LASIK.
While the microkeratome is still in use, many surgeons have switched to the femtosecond laser, because like most lasers, it makes a more precise incision and can reduce the chances of visual complications, which includes worsened night vision. While first introduced to surgeons in 1999, it is being used more often today, and even the laser itself has improved greatly over the years. In 2001, the laser was 10-kHz. It later went up to 60-kHz later, and in 2009, there was a huge jump to 150-kHz. Higher kHz means less energy is used, so it inflames tissue less and creates smoother incisions.
2. New SMILE Surgery for Dry Eye and Stronger Eyeglass Prescriptions
SMILE is a new laser eye surgery that can be performed on two groups of people who were traditionally not good candidates for any type of laser vision surgery: people with dry eyes and those with strong eyeglass or contact lens prescriptions. The flap cut during LASIK surgery can affect sensory nerves that contribute to tear production and worsen dry eyes, and LASIK surgery can only correct nearsightedness up to a prescription of +10.00 and farsightedness down to -5.00.
The reason this surgery can work for you even with a dry eye problem is that no flap is cut, and instead, your cornea is reshaped with the femtosecond laser by making small tunnels and incisions. This means that the sensory nerves that affect tear production can be avoided, since they lie in the path of where the typical flap is cut, and unique incisions can be made to help correct even very strong prescriptions. SMILE, also called ReLEx, can be performed on you if your prescription is as high as -10.0 or higher.
If you suspected or were told by a surgeon that you were not a good candidate for LASIK or another vision correction surgery years ago, then realize that LASIK has advanced a lot over the years and new forms of eye surgery are also available. That means that many of the side effects of LASIK vision surgery you may have feared have been eliminated and there are now other options if you have a very high prescription or dry eyes that used to mean that no laser eye surgery was right for you in the past.Share