LASIK vs. Implantable Contact Lenses

Posted by  On 20-04-2022

Modern vision correction methods offer a variety of choices. When you choose to ditch the glasses for a more permanent visual solution, do you go with implantable contact lenses or LASIK eye surgery in Toronto? 

Clearview Vision Institute offers a broad assortment of laser surgery techniques and add-ons, including:

  • Laser blended vision
  • LASIK Xtra
  • Custom PRK

We understand that choosing the right vision correction is an individual choice. LASIK and implantable contacts aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution. It’s important to us that you have all the information you need to make an informed decision as you move forward with vision correction surgery. 

To help our patients make educated choices, we’ve collected information on both styles of vision correction so you can compare for yourself. Whether you’re leaning toward one option over the other, or you’re just looking to learn more about both, here’s what you should know about LASIK eye surgery in Toronto vs. implantable contact lenses. 

What are implantable contact lenses?

Implantable contact lenses (or ICLs) are an option for patients with myopia or hyperopia. It is an alternative choice for vision correction to those who are unfit for LASIK. The lenses are not removed like standard contacts, but rather are implanted into the eye. Unlike LASIK, ICLs are not meant to reshape the cornea, but cover the natural lens of the eye to offer ongoing vision correction. 

ICLs are implanted behind the iris, and from an exterior perspective do not look like contact lenses are being worn. The recovery time for the procedure is quick, with most patients able to go back to work and perform routine tasks as early as the next day. 

What is LASIK?

LASIK eye surgery is a form of long-term vision correction that reshapes the lens of the eye so it is shaped properly to refract light and achieve as near to perfect vision as possible. There are different types of LASIK procedures, each performed differently. Traditional LASIK eye surgery involves an incision in the cornea. A flap is made so the cornea can be opened and the lens can be altered. The cornea is replaced to heal. 

Standard LASIK surgery takes 2 to 5 days to recover from, although patients may notice vision improvement within 24 hours. Healing time is quick, and the procedure has a high success rate.

Comparing ICLs and LASIK

While both ICLs and LASIK offer lasting vision correction, they both have pros and cons. In a study carried out by the OHSU, it was noted that contact lenses pose a bigger threat of infection and diseases like acanthamoeba keratitis than LASIK does. Some other downsides of the treatments are as follows:

Cons of ICLs

  • You retain an implanted lens in your eye
  • If the implant doesn’t sit right, it could create pressure in your eye
  • Higher rate of infection
  • Potential retinal detachment
  • Additional surgery may be needed

Cons of LASIK

  • Sensitivity to light following treatment
  • Some patients experience glare
  • Traditional LASIK may cause dry eye

While LASIK has a lower risk of infection than an implant, there are benefits to ICLs. Let’s take a look at the advantages of both treatments. 

Pros of ICLs

  • Quick healing time
  • Small incision 
  • Local anesthesia used
  • Doesn’t contribute to dry eye
  • Immediate vision correction

Pros of LASIK

  • Outpatient procedure
  • Local anesthesia used
  • Slightly larger incision, but still small
  • Quick recovery (though flap healing can take a week or two)
  • Immediate vision correction
  • Multiple options for treatment
  • Customizable laser surgery
  • Add-ons like LASIK Xtra available for advanced long-term correction

So, which is best? Ultimately, the choice of LASIK eye surgery in Toronto or implantable contact lenses is a personal one. From price to longevity, you’ll have to think about what’s most important to you and whether the potential risks are worth the outcome. 

At Clearview Vision Institute, we believe that the best choice (as long as you are a candidate) is LASIK. Fortunately, we have many styles of LASIK, including customizable options, to help overcome candidacy issues with traditional laser treatments. One of the most popular LASIK treatments we offer is called ReLEx SMILE surgery. It offers lower risks of side effects than standard LASIK, with a faster healing time.

What is ReLEx SMILE surgery?

At Clearview Vision Institute, one of the forms of laser vision correction in Toronto that we offer is called ReLEx SMILE. SMILE surgery differs from traditional LASIK in that there is no corneal flap created. Instead, a very minimal incision is made in the cornea, and all adjustments are made through this opening. 

Of the LASIK surgeries performed worldwide, SMILE accounts for 10%, and Clearview Vision Institute is proud to be the first clinic in Canada to offer SMILE. It is good for patients with nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. 

The ReLEx SMILE procedure involves an anesthetic eye drop to minimize discomfort. Next, our ZEISS VisuMax femtosecond laser makes a tiny incision in which lens tissue is removed to change the shape of the eye. These shape changes help to correct vision long-term without the need of implants or lenses. 

SMILE surgery is minimally invasive and takes less time to heal from than LASIK with the creation of a corneal flap. Patients tend to feel comfortable faster, and have the benefit of corrected vision almost immediately. SMILE also has a low incidence of dry eye syndrome, which is one of the issues that some LASIK patients find is a side effect. 

Contact Clearview Vision Institute Today

Are you interested in learning more about the difference between LASIK and implantable contact lenses? Clearview Vision Institute can help. Our team is well-versed in all manner of vision correction treatments, even the ones we don’t currently offer at this time. We can help you make an educated decision, and explain the different types of LASIK treatments available to you and which best suits your vision needs. 

Clearview Vision Institute serves families across the Greater Toronto Area. As a local Canadian vision clinic, we’re serious about helping Torontonians see more clearly. Call us today at 1-647-493-6371 to chat with a member of our team or visit us online.

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