Are There LASIK Alternatives?

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LASIK vision correction is the most popular refractive correction procedure in the world. One of the reasons LASIK is so well known and effective is that it has rigorous candidacy requirements.

You must meet all the LASIK criteria to undergo LASIK. These requirements prevent many people from getting LASIK.

But, if you cannot undergo LASIK, there are alternatives available to you. Keep reading to learn about two LASIK alternatives that could be right for you if you can’t get LASIK.

LASIK Requirements

To get LASIK, you must meet all the following criteria. This rigorous approval process is one of the reasons why LASIK is such a successful procedure.

If you don’t, you need to find an alternative treatment. LASIK criteria include:

  • Be in your mid to late twenties through early forties
  • Not be pregnant or planning on getting pregnant for at least three months after LASIK
  • Have healthy eyes
  • Have good overall health since some conditions affect your body’s ability to heal after LASIK
  • Proper corneal thickness, thin corneas can be dangerous during LASIK
  • Have a stable prescription that hasn’t changed in at least a year

If you do not meet any of the above criteria, you cannot undergo LASIK. Some requirements, like pregnancy, will go away.

Others, like thin corneas, are permanent conditions. If you have a permanent condition preventing you from getting LASIK, one of the two following options may be suitable for you.


PRK is a laser vision correction procedure that is very similar to LASIK. Both procedures work by reshaping your cornea with a laser to correct your eyesight.

They do have one big difference, though. During LASIK, your surgeon makes a flap with the top layer of your cornea called the epithelium.

This flap allows them to access the corneal tissue below. During PRK, your surgeon does not make a flap with your epithelium.

Instead, they remove the epithelium entirely to gain access to the cornea. Then, they reshape the cornea the same as in LASIK.

The only other difference between LASIK and PRK is that the recovery time is longer after PRK. That’s because your epithelium has to grow back, which it does on its own, but it takes time.

The main advantage of PRK over LASIK is that after PRK, you do no risk any flap complications since there is no flap. With the epithelial flap, there is some risk that it can become detached after LASIK.

Detachment is rare. But if your eye gets hit with something, it can come undone, which can cause severe complications.

Visian ICL

The Visian ICL is different than LASIK and PRK. It does not reshape your cornea.

Instead, it is an implantable collamer lens (ICL). It gets placed between your cornea and the natural lens in your eye to correct the refraction of light entering your eye.

The ICL is permanent. It can stay in your eye for as long as you want.

It is not a removable lens like a contact lens because it gets implanted in your eye during a medical procedure. But, if for any reason you would like to have it removed, taking it out is possible.

The lens itself contains collagen, a natural protein. Collagen is biocompatible, so your body accepts it in your eye.

The Visian ICL can correct your vision as effectively as LASIK or PRK. It just does it without using a laser to reshape your cornea.

The most distinct feature of the Visian ICL is that it is a permanent but removable vision correction solution.

Only your eye doctor can tell you for sure which vision correction procedure is best for you. Schedule an appointment at Mid Ohio in Columbus, OH, to see how you can achieve visual freedom!