4 Alternatives For Vision Improvement If LASIK Isn't For You

While LASIK is arguably the buzzword in corrective eye therapy, the ideal candidacy for the procedure requires a lengthy checklist that excludes a number of individuals from being even considered for the therapy. If you want to see if you are a candidate for LASIK, you'll want to talk to a place like Eye Institute of South Jersey.

If you already know that you don't qualify for treatment, you'll be happy to know that there are a number of alternative correction methods available. Read below to learn more about some of the leading alternatives that may allow you to finally ditch those pesky glasses and irritating contact lenses for good!

Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)

Photorefractive keratectomy is usually the primary alternative to LASIK, as it doesn't have as stringent candidacy requirements. Most notably, LASIK requires the patient to have a suitably thick cornea, which excludes patients who simply have thinner corneal tissue.

The principle downside to PRK versus LASIK is that recovery time is longer for PRK procedures as the laser therapy is applied directly through the cornea, whereas LASIK lasers cause less damage thanks to the cornea being moved aside.

Implantable Collamer Lens (ICL)

As a complete alternative to laser therapy, the ICL technique involves a small tear being made in the cornea, whereby a small permanent artificial lens is carefully placed underneath the outer layer of the eye directly over the cornea and iris.

This is essentially a method that gives you the same kind of benefits of having contact lenses without the hassle of buying new contacts and keeping them clean. For individuals with particularly sensitive eyes, or hay fever, this method can dramatically improve the quality of living simply by solving the issues of fussy contacts.

Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE)

Refractive lens exchange is similar to the implantable collamer lens technique; the primary difference of RLE is that it is typically cheaper, as the intraocular lens used isn't as specialized as the ICL. RLE is best used for patients that don't have severe eyesight issues.Those with minor near/farsightedness or gentle astigmatism--or even older patients who need reading glasses--are usually good candidates.

Reshaping Therapy

Besides simply using glasses or contact lenses, there are a number of emerging new methods for vision correction that don't involve wearing glasses or contact lenses. Reshaping therapy involves wearing specialized contact lenses as you sleep. These lenses help gently reshape the cornea, and over time, achieve a level of corrected vision that can result in no longer needing glasses or contacts.