While LASIK is the most popular and well known eye surgery, LASEK has a few benefits that make it a more ideal option for certain patients. That being said, both options have their pros and cons. You should consider your options carefully and always speak to your eye doctor before making a final decision.
What Are The Advantages of LASIK?
One of the best things that LASIK has going for it when compared to LASEK is recovery time. LASIK takes almost no time to recover from whatsoever, except in rare cases. Patients tend to report better vision almost instantly, and healing time occurs after just a day or two.
LASEK requires a longer healing time. It can take patients days before their vision recovers enough to notice that their sight has improved. It is also not uncommon for the eyes to require days or even a couple of weeks before the full healing process can occur.
Some minor protective measures need to be taken after LASIK, such as wearing sun-resistant eye-wear and sleep goggles to prevent nighttime eye rubbing. These steps are relatively minor when compared to the recovery process of LASEK. Also, LASEK requires patients to wear special contact lenses to protect their eyes and take special steroid eye drops to assist in the healing process.
LASIK also causes less discomfort during the surgery itself, whereas LASEK can be more painful and discomforting to the patient.
As with LASIK surgery you will not be able to drive yourself home after the surgery so schedule the procedure at a time when someone can come with you.
What Are The Advantages of LASEK?
Because LASEK only deals with the outermost layer of the eye, cutting only into the epithelium and not creating a corneal flap; LASEK has the advantage of removing any risks involved in the flap creation and reattachment.
Since the flap cut is deeper in LASIK, in rare cases there can be complications such as the flap not setting back into place right or breaking off entirely. This can be painful and complicate the healing process.
Some individuals also have careers that put them at a higher risk of being hit in the eye (such as sports players). This can raise concerns about the flap being dislodged post surgery.
The most notable advantage is that some people are not eligible for LASIK due to the thickness of their cornea. People with abnormally thin corneas cannot have LASIK surgery due to complications that could occur when creating the corneal flap. People who do not qualify for LASIK in the first place may still be suitable candidates for LASEK.
Which Procedure is Better?
LASIK is the more popular of the two procedures and tends to be recommended more frequently due to its faster recovery time and greater ease for the patient during surgery.
Ultimately, it is still a case-by-case decision and which is better depends on the individual patient.
Talk to your eye doctor and see which he would recommend for your situation. Also, compare the costs.