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The difference between Lasik and Lasek

If you’ve started to think about having laser eye surgery and you’re now researching in more detail, the chances are that you’ve probably been a little bit bewildered by some of the medical terminology out there.

There are two types of laser eye surgery available at Optical Express – LASIK and LASEK. We are aware our patients won’t know the difference between the two procedures and this is why we have provided a short guide for you.

At your consultation, our clinic team will take you through the different procedures and also make a recommendation which treatment is right for you.

What is laser eye surgery?

To start off with, laser eye surgery is the process of reshaping the clear layer of your eye (this is called the cornea) using a beam of light which is the laser. As no incisions are made you are undergoing laser eye treatment rather than surgery.

Although LASIK is the more popular of the two procedures, the only difference is how the cornea is opened during the surgery.

What is LASIK?

Millions of people over the last 20 years and more, have had their vision improved by LASIK eye surgery. LASIK is so effective; it has been approved by NASA to use on their astronauts.

How does it work? A very thin protective flap will be created on your cornea with the first laser. The protective flap will be lifted to let the second laser correct your vision imperfections. If you require both eyes to be done, this can normally be carried out on the same day.

Within 24 hours of having the surgery, you should be able to drive and return to work. For most people, they will notice an improvement in their vision straight away but in some cases it can take a few weeks before your vision settles properly.

What is LASEK?

If you have a thin cornea or a medical condition LASEK would be the better choice of treatment to perform. Where LASIK used two lasers, LASEK only uses one to correct your vision.

By adding an alcohol solution to loosen the thin layer of your eye’s surface and then an ultra-thin sheet is applied for the cells to stick too. This is then moved to the side of your eye which allows the surgeon to access the layer of the cornea which he will treat with the laser.

A protective contact lens will be placed in your eye once the laser has reshaped the cornea to give you more comfort during the healing process, which can be removed after four days. Although it may take a few days for your vision to settle, the majority of patients see an improvement in their vision straight away. If you require both eyes to be treated this can normally be done on the same day. The recovery process after LASEK is usually a couple of weeks.

Benefits of Lasik

  • Short surgery time
  • Recovery period between 24 hours to a week
  • Majority of people are suitable for LASIK

Benefits of Lasek

  • Suitable for anyone with a thinner cornea or pre-existing medical conditions
  • More effective if you have higher levels of short-sightedness (myopia)
  • Reduced risk of dry eyes

What is the difference between the two?

The main difference between LASIK and LASEK is how the cornea is opened to allow the surgeon to apply the laser as the preferred treatment for each patient depends on the current thickness of their cornea.

Only a medical professional will be able to tell you what type of laser eye surgery you’re suited to. Both treatments provide exactly the same quality of results and both are as effective as each other.

If you want to find out what type of laser eye surgery you’re best suited to, please call one of our team on 1800 818 543 or book your free consultation here . We look forward to hearing from you soon.