If you struggle with your vision, you may have considered laser eye surgery. Laser eye surgery is an eye treatment for nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. It is a process of eye correction by reshaping the cornea.
With all of today’s innovations in laser eye surgery, there are many options that you can choose. For those of you contemplating laser eye surgery, the most common types are LASIK and LASEK. If you want to know which one is better in 2021, we will explain the various benefits and differences between these two types of laser eye surgery.
What is LASIK eye surgery?
LASIK is the most common type of refractive eye correction surgery. This type of procedure reshapes your cornea (the front part in the eye) to fix any issues that impact your eye’s ability to focus.
In LASIK surgery, the middle part of your cornea is treated, so the top layer needs to be taken out to get to it. A femtosecond laser is used to lift the first layer and to hold it back, creating a corneal flap. Then, the top layer is returned to its previous position for healing. This treatment is minimally invasive with a quick recovery time. It produces outstanding results, which is why it is an excellent treatment choice for many individuals.
Benefits of LASIK eye surgery
Many people opt for LASIK eye surgery due to its various benefits. First of all, LASIK surgery requires less time as it is being performed and has a shorter recovery period. In fact, the healing time is 24 hours, and you can even have experience your vision clearing a few hours after surgery. After surgery, you can expect your eyesight to be 20/40 or better. LASIK eye surgery can help in treating astigmatism.
Since the discomfort due to this treatment is minimal, you don’t have to wait long until you can return to work or other obligations. Plus, the treatment itself is minor and does not cause a lot of pain. It rarely has complications, like a hazy field of vision from cornea damage.
What is LASEK Eye Surgery
LASEK is an acronym for Laser-Assisted Sub-epithelial Keratomileusis. This surgery is mostly done for patients with thin or flat corneas. For this type of treatment, an alcohol-based solution is first placed in the eye to loosen the first layer of the cornea, called the epithelium. This epithelium is then removed from the eye to reshape the stroma under it and then replaces it. A contact lens is also placed over the epithelium to keep it in place.
Benefits of LASEK Eye Surgery
LASEK eye surgery has numerous benefits, especially if you have a thinner cornea. It is also suitable for a person with preexisting medical conditions. Individuals who undergo LASEK eye surgery enjoy having less of a chance of having dry eyes post-surgery.
This surgery is also safe and effective. It rarely has any risks for corneal flap complications or excess removal of the outer cornea. After the procedure, patients can expect their vision to be 20/40 or better.
Difference between LASIK and LASEK eye surgery
The main difference between LASIK and LASEK is in the method of removing the cornea. For LASIK surgeries, the first layer is removed by a laser and then replace, whereas, for LASEK, the cornea’s top layer is replaced and then pushed back. In LASEK, the cornea layer is stripped away by a dilute alcoholic solution. After surgery, that flap will be attached again.
In essence, the cornea is opened in such a way to ensure that the laser beam corrects your eyesight.
Also, a patient who has undergone LASEK needs more time to recover as compared to LASIK eye surgery. However, both treatments will improve your vision and are effective ways to correct your prescription. Your eye care professionals will speak with you about which method will work best for your eye condition and take your general health into account.
Finally, LASEK is more invasive than LASIK. For many people, this more intensive procedure has long-lasting benefits. Even if you experience some uncomfortable few days post-surgery, the whole process will be worth it in the end.
How to Choose Between LASIK and LASEK
As previously mentioned, LASEK eye correction is preferred for people with a thin cornea. It is also best for people who have nearsightedness.
Also, many eye professionals consider factors such as if you are involved in contact sports. These players usually choose LASEK surgery to avoid chances of their cornea being weak and reducing chances of future injuries to the eye. Your line of work can also impact whether or not you choose LASIK or LASEK. It is essential to speak to a qualified eye professional who can discuss which treatment will be the right one for you.
If you have severe farsightedness and nearsightedness, you will not be the right candidate for LASIK eye correction. It is also not suitable for individuals with severe eye conditions and other health issues. LASIK laser eye surgery is an effective vision correction strategy for most people who need glasses or contact lenses.
Both LASIK and LASEK are corrective eye surgeries that reshape the cornea for better vision. For choosing the most effective laser surgery for your personal needs, it depends on the thickness of the cornea.
A qualified eye specialist will perform an assessment and decide which form of corrective surgery is suitable for you. You will want to provide your specialist with as many details as possible such as your lifestyle, past medical history, and any concerns.
All in all, both of these types of laser eye surgeries produce better results when you undergo a consultation and speak to a professional eye specialist. The outcomes will vary according to each person, but you can learn everything you need to know from leading experts in the field.
Erin Gregory is a blogger in Toronto. She is currently working as a Community Manager for several small businesses. She has graduated with honors from the University of British Columbia with a dual degree in Business Administration and Creative Writing.