The world of ophthalmology has always been one that works in close tandem with the latest developments in technology. It is no wonder that eye patients today, as well as doctors, have access to state-of-the-art tools and equipment that can help correct and treat all kinds of vision disorders.
Two of the most common eye procedures available today are LASIK and LASEK. Many people often think the two procedures are similar, because of which they often use the terms interchangeably. Even though both LASIK and LASEK are laser eye treatments, the truth is that they are not the same. The main difference between the two types of laser eye procedures lies in the way that the cornea is manipulated. Read on for a more detailed comparison between LASIK and LASEK.
LASIK is an acronym for Laser-Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis. It is a laser eye surgery which involves the creation of a thin protective flap in the patient’s cornea using a laser. This flap is then lifted so that the second laser can enter the inner parts of the eye, reshaping the cornea so as to correct the defect. The idea is that by reshaping the cornea, light will be able to enter the patient’s eye differently, thereby correcting their vision. After this is done, the corneal flap is placed back into its original position. After which it heals naturally.
Usually, patients who suffer from astigmatism, long-sightedness or near-sightedness are candidates for LASIK eye surgery. It is a quick procedure, usually lasting no more than 30 minutes. Most patients don’t even require down time and can continue their daily routine as usual.
On the other hand, LASEK stands for Laser Assisted Sub-Epithelial Keratectomy. Here, only one laser is used throughout the entire procedure, compared to two laser which are used in LASIK. It is a variation of PRK eye surgery, combined with LASIK. Here, just like in PRK surgery, the top corneal layer is separated from the underlying layer. But, the difference with PRK is that the top layer is not removed entirely. Instead, similar to LASIK, the thin layer is pushed over to one side. After laser is used to reshape the cornea accordingly, the thin layer is then placed back to its original position.
Usually, patients who are not ideal candidates for LASIK due to certain medical conditions as well as thin cornea can benefit the most from LASEK.