I Have Astigmatism — Am I a Good Candidate for ReLEx SMILE?

Posted by  On 05-04-2021

Astigmatism is an incredibly common problem with vision and almost every single person has some degree of it. It happens when the front surface of the eye or the lens within it is slightly off or not round in design. As a result, light can’t focus properly making your vision blurry or distracted at distances. Small variations don’t usually require treatment but larger ones can be detrimental and uncomfortable.

If that description applies to you then you may be considering treatment for the condition, one avenue of which is ReLEx SMILE laser eye surgery. It can sound scary but, in reality, the treatment is very safe. In fact, the only question you need to ask is whether it’s suitable for you. This is where we can help, with a list below of all the aspects you should think about before making a decision.

Background on ReLEx SMILE

SMILE is a procedure that is minimally invasive and can help your eyes. It stands for small incision lenticule extraction and it is a premium vision laser correction method.


While there are some similarities between the two techniques, there are also notable differences. SMILE in many ways is a more revolutionary vision correction system for a few key reasons. Remember – SMILE and LASIK are very different, even if they ultimately tend to accomplish the same goals.

LASIK uses two lasers, a femtosecond laser that creates the flap within the eye for LASIK and the excimer laser to reshape the entire cornea.

On the other hand, SMILE only has to use a femtosecond laser to create a contact lens-like material. This is known as the lenticule, hence the name of the procedure. Like any artificial contact lens, it is custom-shaped to each individual eye and is eventually removed through a tiny incision. The laser reshapes your cornea, correcting problems with astigmatism and improving your vision.

This difference in the method used means there is minimum disruption. The surface of the eye is very slightly tweaked, reducing healing times by a significant margin. Plus, because the incision is considerably smaller, patients will not experience as much dryness of the eye.

Generally, there is a reduced amount of trauma or wear and tear on your eye and corneal tissue, meaning recovery is more standardized and reliable, discomfort is minimized and most importantly, your vision will be improved. Hence, the smaller incision has significant benefits when compared to its closest cousin LASIK.

Another advantage of this procedure is that the small size of the cut means that even those clients who are exceptionally nearsighted or have very poor vision are more likely to qualify for the procedure, whereas they might not have been accepted for LASIK treatment.

Does it work for astigmatism?

SMILE is completely approved for treating myopia, a fancy term for nearsightedness, associated with astigmatism problems. As previously covered, astigmatism happens when the cornea of the eye is more oval, or football-like in shape, as opposed to a rounder volleyball-esque sphere.

The treatment can totally work for astigmatism and solve the issues that come up as a result of this odd eye shape, like distorted vision or refractive problems from light coming in at many points instead of in a single, solid beam.

For a long time, the only solution for this condition was to wear prescription glasses or contact lenses. Now with these advancements in technology, you can come to organizations like the Clearview Vision Institute for high-tech treatment that will solve your vision problems with minimal stress and strain.

Am I a suitable candidate for the procedure?

As mentioned above, SMILE laser eye surgery can be an excellent choice for those who are not covered by LASIK procedures. This is particularly relevant for those with irregularly shaped corneas or ones that are too thin for the older technique.

There are still certain criteria you have to meet to qualify.

It is important that your eye prescription has not changed by more than .50 in 12 months, and our doctors will complete a thorough exam to confirm that your vision is stable enough to proceed. As it’s a medical procedure, you have to make sure that your general health is good and that you’re not struggling with severe sickness.

You should ensure that you have no history of eye disease and that you are not pregnant or nursing a young child. To figure out if you’re suitable, it’s good to get a comprehensive eye exam or to talk to the experts at Clearview Vision Institute.

What to Expect with the Surgery

The whole procedure is fast and convenient. It takes less than 10 minutes to do both eyes and there are no sounds and odours associated with the procedure. Within a week you should be able to resume normal life, whether that means swimming or contact sports.

ReLEx SMILE at Clearview Vision Institute

ReLEx SMILE is a great innovation in the eye surgery sphere. It’s convenient, requires much less recovery time and most importantly, is open to all kinds of people who might otherwise not be covered by LASIK. As long as you meet the qualifications, you can likely get your astigmatism treated in a way that’s permanent and which will have tangible impacts on your life and future.

For more information about treating astigmatism with laser eye surgery via ReLEx Smile, call Clearview Vision Institute at 647-493-6196 or contact us here.

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