What is SMILE, and Is It Right For Me | Kovach Eye Institute Chicago
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What is SMILE, and Is It Right For Me?

If you’ve thought about getting a vision correction procedure, you’ve probably heard of LASIK. LASIK is remarkably effective when it comes to correcting refractive errors.

But it is no longer the only viable solution to vision problems, and for many people, it is not the best option. There are several LASIK alternatives.

One of these is SMILE, and if you can’t get LASIK, it may still be your best option to achieve visual freedom. Keep reading to learn more about SMILE and see if it’s right for you!

How Does SMILE Work?

SMILE is an alternative to LASIK. It uses similar principles to correct your vision but a very different method.

During SMILE, the surgeon uses a special laser to create a thin, lens-like bit of tissue inside your cornea. This bit of corneal tissue is a lenticule.

Next, they create a small incision in the outer layer of your cornea, called the epithelium. This incision allows them to extract the lenticule.

Removing this lenticule causes the epithelium and other corneal tissue to reshape. Your cornea assumes a new shape as it settles and attaches to the underlying tissue.

This new shape can focus light directly onto your retina, something the old form failed to do. SMILE’s method of correction is fundamentally the same as LASIK.

LASIK also reshapes your cornea. But, it is much less invasive and has a dramatically shorter recovery period.

SMILE may also reduce the risk of dry eye symptoms, a temporary side effect of LASIK. During LASIK, nerves that signal tear production get severed.

This severing results in dry eyes while the nerves heal. After a few weeks, the issue should resolve itself.

But, those few weeks can be very uncomfortable. The incision in SMILE is much smaller than LASIK’s.

That means it doesn’t disturb the tear response nerves in your cornea. Also, SMILE removes less corneal tissue than LASIK. It leaves your corneal structure more intact and stronger than after LASIK.

Who Can Get SMILE?

SMILE may seem like a better vision correction option than LASIK. It has many advantages.

But, SMILE does have limitations. One is that it only corrects nearsightedness and mild astigmatism. The most significant advantage of LASIK is that it fixes all refractive errors.

Unlike SMILE, LASIK can also fix farsightedness. And SMILE cannot treat more complex, high-order refractive errors.

These more severe problems affect vision differently than typical refractive errors. LASIK can address these more complex issues, while SMILE cannot.

Even though SMILE is less capable than LASIK, it may be worth researching if you’re nearsighted. Ultimately, your eye doctor will determine which vision correction is best for you.

When you begin exploring vision correction, the first thing you should do is talk to them. Your ophthalmologist will examine your eyes and medical history.

This process will help them determine which vision correction procedure suits your eyes. Once they know more about your eyes, they can recommend the procedure that will give you the best outcome!

Are you ready to get rid of glasses and contacts forever? Schedule an appointment at Kovach Eye Institute in Elmhurst, IL. Discover how you can have clear vision without visual aids!

630-833-9621 locations request an appointment patient registration LASIK Special