What's the Alternative to LASIK EYE Surgery if I Don't Qualify?
Since clinicians first trialed LASIK eye surgery in 1991, more than 40 million people around the globe have benefited from the procedure. With less than a 1% chance of serious complications, it's an excellent choice for most.
However, some may not qualify. But not to worry, at Focal Point Vision, our board-certified ophthalmologists proudly offer various, equally effective alternatives. To find out how we can help you, contact us at Focal Point Vision today, or visit our Texas-based offices in San Antonio, Alamo Heights, or Schertz.
Now let's take a quick look at some options for those who may not qualify for LASIK.
Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK)
Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) may offer better outcomes for individuals with certain ocular issues, like dry eyes. PRK is also a great choice for those who do not have sufficient corneal tissue for LASIK eye surgery.
Known as the original laser surgery, PRK is a time-tested technique that has been used for over 25 years to treat common vision problems, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.
The procedure is simple and can be done in under 20 minutes per eye. First, we administer anesthetic drops to numb your eye and ask you to focus on a target light. Then, our experts carefully remove the corneal epithelium, the outermost protective layer of the eye.
Unlike LASIK, this does not require us to cut into the cornea. Then, we use a UV-based "excimer laser" to correctly reshape your cornea with computer-controlled pulses of light.
Refractive lens exchange (RLE)
Refractive lens exchange (RLE) is preferable for those with an abnormal cornea or severe farsightedness. It's also used to treat presbyopia, a gradual, age-related farsightedness caused by the loss of elasticity in the eye's lens, which generally becomes evident in the early-to-mid-40s. Fortunately, RLE has helped many achieve 20/20 (or better) vision.
RLE is just like cataract surgery, the only difference being that it's performed in the absence of cataracts. Otherwise, the procedure is identical and replaces your eye's natural lens (which focuses light) with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL), which provides improved focusing capabilities.
RLE is an outpatient procedure that only takes about 15 minutes per eye and generally causes no discomfort. Each eye must be treated separately, about a week apart, and many patients report clearer vision almost immediately. Though don't be alarmed if it takes one or two weeks for desirable results. Or if you notice minor visual disturbances or discomfort (like "halos" or a "scratchy" sensation) while your eyes fully recover. As a bonus, this procedure can prevent the formation of cataracts in the future.
Implantable contact lenses (ICLs)
If you aren't an ideal candidate for either LASIK or PRK, fret not. Implantable contact lenses (ICLs) offer an effective, long-term solution for various visual acuity issues, including nearsightedness and astigmatism. It's also a viable procedure for those who are sick of glasses or conventional contact lenses, and desire a simpler alternative.
Similar to the refractive lens exchange technique, this is an adapted cataract surgery. However, it does not require the removal of your eye's natural lens. Instead, after carefully making a small micro-incision at the front of the eye, our expert doctors place the ICLs behind the iris, in front of your natural lens.
Once implanted, it stays in place on its own and does not touch any internal structures within the eye. And since it's made from a biologically compatible material, it's perfectly safe and will not cause an immune reaction.
Our LASIK alternatives are proven safe, simple, and effective
Just because you aren't a suitable candidate for LASIK doesn't mean that you have to struggle with vision issues. And our experienced board-certified ophthalmologists would love to help find the best option for you. So, for the perfect vision you deserve, we invite you to visit us at one of our Texas-based offices in San Antonio, Schertz, or Alamo Heights. Or contact us today at Focal Point Vision!