Vision Correction Surgeries vs. LASIK Alternatives – An In-Depth Comparison (Update November 2023)

In the pursuit of better vision and more freedom, various methods to correct  vision  have emerged, offering individuals the opportunity to reduce or eliminate their dependence on glasses and contact lenses. From traditional eyewear to advanced surgical procedures, this article delves into the different types of vision correction, uncovering the pros and cons associated with […]

In the pursuit of better vision and more freedom, various methods to correct  vision  have emerged, offering individuals the opportunity to reduce or eliminate their dependence on glasses and contact lenses. From traditional eyewear to advanced surgical procedures, this article delves into the different types of vision correction, uncovering the pros and cons associated with each approach, including some of the newest technological advancements  like EVO and EVO ICL.

Non-Surgical

Eyeglasses

Pros of wearing Eyeglasses

  • Non-Invasive: Eyeglasses are a non-invasive and easily reversible method of vision correction.
  • Versatility: Suitable for correcting various refractive errors, including myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, and presbyopia.
  • Fashion Accessory: Eyeglasses have become a fashion statement, allowing individuals to express their style through a wide range of frames.

Cons of wearing Eyeglasses

  • Peripheral Distortion: Some individuals may experience peripheral distortion or reflections, affecting the clarity of vision.  The lenses also may fog when moving to warmer to cooler environments. 
  • Limited Peripheral Vision: Frames can limit peripheral vision, which may be a concern in certain activities.
  • Weight and Discomfort: Wearing glasses can become uncomfortable through the day to their weight and pressure on the bridge of the nose. 

Contact Lenses:

Pros of wearing contact Lenses:

  • Natural Appearance: Contact lenses provide a more natural appearance without the visible presence of eyeglasses.
  • Unrestricted Field of View: Unlike glasses, contact lenses don’t obstruct peripheral vision.
  • Suitable for Active Lifestyles: Ideal for individuals with active lifestyles or those who find glasses inconvenient.

Cons of wearing contacts:

  • Maintenance Required: Regular cleaning and proper hygiene practices are necessary to prevent eye infections.
  • Dry Eye Disease: Some individuals may experience dry eyes as a result of wearing contact lenses..
  • Risk of Infections: Incorrect use or poor hygiene can lead to eye serious eye infections
  • Environmental Concerns: The disposal of contact lenses and their packaging contributes to waste.  In fact, the use of contact lens products by end consumers comprises 0.5% of the total environmental waste.

Refractive Surgery

Modern LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis) Custom Bladeless:

Pros:

  • Rapid Results: LASIK often provides rapid visual recovery, with many patients experiencing improved vision within the first several hours to a day.
  • Long-Lasting: The effects of LASIK are typically long-lasting, reducing or eliminating the need for glasses.

Cons:

  • Surgical Risks: As with any surgery, LASIK carries some risks, including infection, dry eyes, and changes in vision.
  • Cost: LASIK can be a significant financial investment compared to non-surgical methods.

PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy):

Pros:

  • No Flap Creation: PRK doesn’t involve creating a corneal flap, reducing the risk of flap-related complications.
  • Suitable for Thin Corneas: PRK may be a better option for individuals with thinner corneas.


Cons:

  • Extended Recovery Time: PRK typically has a longer recovery period compared to LASIK.
  • Discomfort During Healing: Some discomfort and light sensitivity may be experienced during the initial healing phase.

SMILE (Small Incision Lenticule Extraction):

Pros:

  • No Flap Creation: SMILE involves a small incision rather than a corneal flap, potentially reducing complications.
  • Potential Preservation of Corneal Strength: Early studies indicate that the SMILE procedure  preserves more corneal tissue, which may benefit the structural integrity of the cornea.

Cons:

  • Limited Availability: SMILE may not be as widely available as LASIK or PRK.
  • Similar complications to LASIK:  In studies, complications can be similar to LASIK including infection, dry eyes, and changes in vision.
  • Cost:  The SMILE procedure can cost significantly more than LASIK or PRK. 

EVO ICL (Implantable Collamer Lens):

Pros:

  • Reversible Procedure: EVO ICL is an implantable lens that can be removed if necessary, making the procedure reversible.
  • High Refractive Correction: EVO ICL is suitable for individuals with high degrees of myopia or hyperopia.

Cons:

  • Invasive Procedure: EVO ICL involves a surgical procedure to implant the lens in the eye.
  • Potential for Complications: As with any surgical procedure, there is a risk of complications, including infection or changes in intraocular pressure, endothelial cell loss, and corneal decompensation.

Orthokeratology (Ortho-K):

Pros:

  • Non-Surgical: Ortho-K involves the use of specially designed contact lenses to reshape the cornea overnight without surgery.
  • Daytime Freedom: Individuals can enjoy better vision during the day without the need for glasses or lenses.

Cons:

  • Temporary Effects: The effects of Ortho-K are temporary, and consistent lens wear is required for sustained results.
  • Risk of Infection: Proper hygiene practices are crucial to prevent eye infections associated with contact lens use.
  • Vision Instability:  Vision may change through the day depending on frequency of use.
  • Comfort:  It may be difficult to sleep with a rigid contact lens on the eye.

In conclusion, the landscape of vision correction is diverse, offering a range of options to suit individual preferences, lifestyles, and medical considerations. Choosing the most suitable method involves careful consideration of the pros and cons associated with each approach, along with consultation with a qualified eye care professional. Whether opting for the convenience of eyeglasses, the flexibility of contact lenses, or the transformative effects of refractive surgery, individuals can make informed decisions to achieve optimal visual clarity and comfort.

Are You Curious About Your Eligibility For LASIK?

african american woman smiling and looking at the clouds after her lasik procedure

When considering LASIK, it’s crucial to consult with an experienced and qualified eye care professional who can assess individual needs and recommend the most suitable technology. Technological advancements and preferences among surgeons can vary, so discussing specific options with a knowledgeable eye care professional is essential for making informed decisions about vision correction surgery.

Your vision is very important to us and we want to make sure you have the information you need. Start your journey to better vision by scheduling a free LASIK consultation today! Find a Lasik Vision Institute location near you!

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