What’s the Difference Between LASIK and Lens Replacement?

Having a hard time seeing things clearly? Tired of having to wear glasses or contact lenses every day of your life? For millions of people, laser eye surgery has been a total game-changer, allowing them to wake up every morning with clear vision, minus the corrective lenses.

LASIK surgery has been extremely popular over the past couple of decades, with over 10 million Americans undergoing laser eye surgery procedures since its FDA approval in the 90s. However, while LASIK is the answer for a number of people, not everyone is a candidate. Because LASIK works best for people with moderate to severe myopia, or nearsightedness, a LASIK surgeon wouldn’t recommend it as a viable treatment for people with hyperopia or presbyopia, also known as farsightedness. 

According to OKC LASIK surgeons, ClearSight, LASIK also isn’t as effective for people who wear bifocals due to a need for corrected vision both close-up and far away, and it is not widely recommended for patients with astigmatism. Basically, unless you’re strictly dealing with middle-of-the-road nearsightedness, you may not achieve the best results with LASIK alone.

Fortunately, your LASIK surgeon can offer a different type of procedure that is just as quick and simple as laser eye surgery. Lens replacement surgery is gaining in popularity with patients who need help with their close-up vision, astigmatism, and more. Like LASIK, lens replacement surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure, in your LASIK surgeon’s office. Though the surgery takes only 15 minutes per eye, patients must only do one eye at a time, with about a week in between, unlike LASIK, which can be performed in both eyes during the same visit.

Another difference between LASIK and lens replacement surgery is the procedure itself. During a LASIK procedure, a flap is cut in the cornea, which is then flipped open to allow a laser to shine into the eye, removing microscopic pieces of tissue that are causing nearsightedness. With lens replacement surgery, a flap is still cut into the membrane of the eye, but instead of the use of a laser, the lens is replaced with an intra-ocular lens, or IOL- an artificial lens that corrects close vision problems, astigmatism, and more, depending on the type of IOL used. Both procedures have similar healing times and expectations, however, more patients report immediate improvement in their vision following lens replacement surgery. The results of LASIK tend to appear more gradually, over weeks or even months.

Whether you opt for LASIK, lens replacement surgery, or both, get ready to feel freer than you have in your entire life with glasses or contacts! If you’re ready to see the world clearly without the aid of corrective lenses, contact your LASIK surgeon today to schedule an evaluation and find out if LASIK or lens replacement is right for you.