Are You a Good Candidate for LASIK? Your Cornea Holds Clues!

  • Posted on: Feb 28 2021
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Over the past several years, LASIK became the most commonly performed procedure for correcting refractive errors. Statistics indicate that over 700,000 LASIK procedures are performed annually. While the success and safety of this laser vision procedure cannot be disputed, we must acknowledge that this approach is not ideal for everyone. To be a candidate for LASIK, a person must have adequate corneal thickness. Here, we discuss why.

Corneal Thickness and LASIK

Patients who visit a Roholt Vision Institute office can expect to have a full pre-screening at their LASIK consultation. Measuring corneal thickness is an essential part of this process and ultimately determines if you are a candidate. The issue is safety. We know that performing LASIK on thin corneas can result in comprised vision quality and eye health.

The Corneal Flap

Corneal thickness matters because, during the LASIK procedure, the ophthalmologist creates a flap in this piece of tissue using a laser device. The flap provides access to the corneal stroma, the body of the cornea, to correct its refractive error. The laser does this by reshaping the cornea beneath the flap. Reshaping means that some degree of corneal tissue is removed. Therefore, the cornea must be thick enough to remain functional after tissue removal. A naturally-thin cornea will not have sufficient structure to support good eye health.

The ideal corneal measurement for LASIK is 500 to 600 microns in thickness. The corneal flap averages about 110 microns thick. LASIK may remove approximately 16 microns per diopter of vision correction needed.

What If My Cornea is Too Thin for LASIK Laser Eye Surgery?

As eye specialists realized that corneal thickness could prevent a person from undergoing the LASIK procedure, other forms of laser vision correction were developed. The ophthalmologists in our Canfield, Alliance, and North Canton offices are dedicated to providing the services that patients need to address their vision and eye health. When LASIK is not appropriate, we may consider SMILE eye surgery. Small Incision Lenticule Extraction does not require a corneal flap. Instead, this procedure corrects the shape of the cornea through a tiny 3mm incision.

Learn more about your options for laser vision correction. Contact a Roholt Vision Institute near you.

Posted in: LASIK

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