Differences Between LASIK & SMILE

Refractive errors like farsightedness, nearsightedness, and astigmatism are very common, and many people deal with glasses or contact lenses every day to see clearly. LASIK and SMILE are ways to achieve clearer vision, and both provide excellent results. Which one is best for you depends on several factors. 

Smile, Lasik Edmonton

What are LASIK and SMILE?

LASIK and SMILE are types of laser eye surgery. All forms of laser eye surgery correct your vision in the same basic way: they use an excimer laser to change the shape of your cornea. Your cornea, the clear dome at the front of your eye, is one of two structures that adjust the focus of incoming light (the other is your lens). If these structures do not focus light correctly, you see a blurry image. 

Differences Between LASIK and SMILE

The primary difference between LASIK and SMILE is the way your eye surgeon gains access to your cornea to reshape it. These differences affect how the procedures are performed and who is a good candidate for each one. 

The Procedure

LASIK is performed by making a flap in the surface (epithelium) of your cornea and lifting it aside. The flap remains attached, allowing it to heal quickly. While LASIK is an excellent choice for many people, it may not be suitable for others because it creates a relatively large incision. 

Good Candidates

During SMILE, your eye surgeon uses a laser that passes through the corneal epithelium and creates a disc of corneal tissue underneath. A small incision allows the disc to be removed, reshaping the cornea.

SMILE works for some people who cannot have LASIK, which is not recommended for people with certain issues. Those with thin or abnormal corneas or those with dry eye issues may be recommended for SMILE because it causes less disruption of the cornea. However, SMILE cannot treat people who are farsighted, so people with this refractive error will need a different procedure. 

Request a Consultation

We’d love to help you get all the information you need in order to make the best choice for your eyes. Request a consultation today! Our staff is available and happy to answer your every question.

What is Recovery Like After LASIK or SMILE?

The recovery after LASIK and SMILE is fairly similar. Most people can return to their normal activities within a day or two, and you may experience a few days of irritation or sensitivity. It is recommended for both procedures that you avoid swimming and rubbing your eyes for a week afterward. The SMILE incision will heal more quickly than the LASIK flap, and some people find that the SMILE recovery is quicker. 

What Results Will I See With LASIK or SMILE?

LASIK and SMILE will both produce excellent results for the right candidate. Many people achieve 20/20 vision or better and no longer need glasses or contacts. Research has shown that SMILE and LASIK are equally effective at providing clear vision when used by an experienced eye surgeon. 

Dr Senekal and the entire team at vision max were incredible to deal with. I couldn’t be happier with my corrected vision! The staff were friendly, caring and understanding. I highly recommend!
Amanda R.

Take the Next Step

To learn more about LASIK or SMILE, please schedule your consultation by either filling out the form on this page or by calling (780) 452-4111. We look forward to helping you!

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