So, you had a free screening at the laser vision center screening, but to your surprise, you are not a candidate for LASIK. Bummer. What should you do next?
Refractive surgeons love performing LASIK and they make a living performing surgery. If a surgeon says no, take it to heart. You shouldn’t try finding a surgeon that will give it a try – doing so could be a ticket to a disastrous outcome.
Why You Might’ve Been Rejected
There are many reasons why you may not be a suitable candidate. In some cases, the factors eliminating candidacy are temporary, such as pregnancy and breastfeeding, uncontrolled ocular surface disease (dry eye, blepharitis), or an unstable eyeglass prescription. In other cases, the factors are enduring, like an eyeglass prescription that is too small or too great, corneas that are too thin or irregular (such as with keratoconus), or unrealistic expectations. Poor candidacy can lead to undesirable and irreversibly poor outcomes.
So Here Are Your Alternatives
Fortunately, there are some excellent alternatives for some that are not candidates for LASIK.
Implantable Contact Lenses or Surface Laser Eye Surgery
If your eyeglass prescription is too high or the cornea is not thick enough to sustain the full laser treatment, implantable contact lens surgery may be a viable option. In cases where the cornea is too thin for LASIK, a surface laser eye surgery can sometimes be performed instead.
Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT)
For those over age 40 with mild nearsightedness that are reluctant to permanently sacrifice their good reading vision for better distance vision, Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT) is often an excellent option. These therapeutic contact lenses are worn just at night to gently reshape the eye curvature, providing good distance vision during the daytime without any glasses or contacts. Unlike LASIK, the visual effect of CRT is reversible upon discontinuing their wear.
Corneal Cross-Linking (CXL)
For patients with the eye disease keratoconus, where LASIK can cause catastrophic worsening of the distorted cornea, corneal cross-linking (CXL) can stabilize the cornea from further progression while scleral contact lenses can be prescribed to restore superb vision with good comfort and on-eye stability. Glasses and surgery don’t provide optimal vision for most with keratoconus. Instead, special medically-necessary contact lenses are needed to provide a smooth, light bending surface to rehabilitate vision.
New Glasses or Contacts
If your prescription is too small for LASIK such that the healing variability of surgery could reasonably make your vision worse than where you are now, consult your optometrist about the newest contact lens and eyeglass technology. Many patients can now wear ultra-comfortable single-use contact lenses made of breathable silicone hydrogel materials, even for those with astigmatism and needing bifocal or progressive eyeglasses.
Additionally, there are new eyeglasses lenses that are incredibly thin and light, complemented by frame styles that when properly selected, will become the most expressive accessory in your wardrobe. It takes a qualified and experienced optician to help you select the best eyeglass frame and lenses.
To find out which alternatives are available and best suited for you, schedule an examination at ReVision Optometry. Conveniently located in San Diego, ReVision Optometry provides services for patients that do not qualify for LASIK yet desire to experience the latest advances in vision correction technology. Schedule an appointment by calling 619-299-6064 or visit online at www.revisionoptometry.com.