Living with glasses and contact lenses can be frustrating. Whether you’re dealing with foggy glasses due to changing temperatures or contact lenses that dry out your eyes, visual aids can sometimes cause more harm than good.
For those who want something permanent, that’s where vision correction procedures come in. But there’s more than one vision correction procedure available.
You may be unsure which of these procedures is right for you. There are a few options to consider. Keep reading to find out how to choose between LASIK, PRK, and the EVO ICL, and which may be the best fit for you!
What is LASIK?
LASIK is one of the most popular vision correction procedures, using lasers to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. First, your LASIK surgeon will create a thin flap in the cornea, the clear front of your eye, with a femtosecond laser.
They will then fold back the flap, giving them access to the inner cornea. Next, they will use an excimer laser to reshape the cornea underneath the flap.
Reshaping the cornea improves the eye’s ability to focus light correctly on the retina in the back of your eye. After reshaping the cornea, the flap is placed back down.
LASIK takes about 10-15 minutes per eye. It’s a quick outpatient procedure that requires little recovery time.
Most people can go back to work the day after having LASIK. It’s common to experience side effects like blurry vision and dry eyes after LASIK.
However, these usually improve in the days and weeks after the procedure. Vision usually improves dramatically in the first few days after the procedure.
What is PRK?
PRK is another laser eye procedure that can correct refractive errors like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Like LASIK, PRK uses an excimer laser to reshape the cornea.
But instead of creating a flap, your surgeon will remove the outermost layer of the cornea called the epithelium. After removing the epithelium, the excimer laser will reshape the underlying corneal tissue.
A soft contact lens is placed on the eye at the end of the procedure, acting as a bandage. The soft contact lens will stay in place as the epithelium regenerates and grows back during recovery.
Recovery from PRK takes longer than LASIK. After PRK, it may take up to a week before vision is no longer blurry. It can take several weeks or months for vision to stabilize fully.
You may also experience more discomfort during initial recovery from PRK compared to LASIK. However, results from PRK and LASIK are virtually identical.
If you’re not a good LASIK candidate or you want to explore other options, PRK is an excellent choice to consider.
What is the EVO ICL?
The EVO ICL is another vision correction procedure, but it differs from others. Unlike LASIK and PRK, it does not reshape the cornea or use lasers.
Instead, you’ll have an ICL (implantable collamer lens) placed in your eye. The lens sits in front of your natural lens, providing a clear image of the retina.
The EVO ICL works similarly to a contact lens, but it’s permanent, meaning you don’t have to take it out. However, the EVO ICL is the only reversible vision correction procedure. If you change your mind about it, you can have the EVO ICL removed from your eye anytime.
The EVO ICL procedure only takes about 20 minutes per eye. First, you’ll have your eyes dilated before receiving numbing eye drops. Then, your surgeon will create a small incision at the edge of the cornea.
The EVO ICL is inserted and unfolded into place and positioned as necessary. Because the incision is so tiny, there’s no need for stitches. Most EVO ICL patients start experiencing almost immediate visual improvement.
How Do I Know if I’m a Good Candidate for a Vision Correction Procedure?
If you’re interested in a vision correction procedure, the first step is scheduling a consultation with your eye doctor. They can help you determine the current status of your eyes and any refractive errors. They’ll also check how healthy your eyes are to determine if you’re a good candidate for a vision correction procedure. During your consultation, you’ll discuss your goals, including what you hope to accomplish. With this information, your ophthalmologist can recommend the best procedures for you.
LASIK and PRK are most effective at treating nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. The EVO ICL can treat nearsightedness and some astigmatism.
EVO ICL is often well suited for severely nearsighted patients, meaning they don’t qualify for LASIK or PRK. It also works well for people whose nearsightedness is too severe to be fully corrected by LASIK or PRK alone.
Your ophthalmologist will recommend the procedure that is safest and most effective for your eyes.
Are All Vision Correction Procedures Permanent?
LASIK and PRK reshape the cornea, making them permanent and irreversible. The EVO ICL is different because it is reversible.
It sits inside the eye without disrupting the shape of the cornea or requiring the removal of the lens. Some people like this option because they can remove the EVO ICL if they need to later on.
For example, patients may get the EVO ICL when they are younger. But as they get older, it’s not uncommon that they’ll experience presbyopia, making reading glasses necessary.
You can remove the EVO ICL and replace it with an intraocular lens during refractive lens exchange or cataract surgery. No other vision correction procedure offers this type of flexibility and reversibility.
Choosing the proper vision correction procedure takes some thought. Talk with your ophthalmologist to understand all of your options thoroughly.
With information about LASIK, PRK, and the EVO ICL, you can make the best decision for you. Learn more about the vision correction procedures offered by scheduling an appointment at Herschel LASIK and Cataract Institute in Orlando, FL, now! Why second guess yourself when you could finally have the vision you’ve always dreamed of?