LASIK vs. Ortho-K: A Comprehensive Comparison

When considering vision correction methods, LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis) and Orthokeratology (Ortho-K) emerge as distinct options, each with unique approaches and target conditions. Dive into this detailed LASIK vs. Ortho-K comparison for an insightful overview:

What is LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis)?


  • Flap Creation: A thin corneal flap is crafted using a microkeratome or femtosecond laser.
  • Corneal Reshaping: The flap is lifted, and the underlying cornea is reshaped with an excimer laser.

Recovery Time:

  • Quick Visual Recovery: Patients often experience rapid improvement within a day or two.
  • Stabilization: Full vision stabilization may take a few weeks.

Postoperative Discomfort:

  • Mild Discomfort: Minimal discomfort during the initial hours, with reduced sensitivity to light.


Advantages and disadvantages of LASIK:


  • Rapid Visual Improvement: Immediate enhancement in vision.
  • Minimal Discomfort: Usually, minimal discomfort during and after the procedure.


  • Flap-Related Complications: Rare, but potential complications include flap-related issues.
  • Dry Eyes: Some experience temporary dry eyes.

What is Orthokeratology (Ortho-K)?


  • Contact Lens Wear: Specially designed gas-permeable lenses worn overnight.

Corneal Reshaping:

  • Recovery Time: Gradual improvement with full stabilization over a few weeks.

Postoperative Discomfort:

  • Mild Discomfort: Some may experience mild discomfort during adaptation.


  • Common Refractive Errors: Primarily for myopia control and mild to moderate myopia.
  • Presbyopia: Used for presbyopia, often combined with monovision.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Orthokeratology:


  • Non-Surgical: Reshapes the cornea without surgery.
  • Daytime Freedom: Clear vision during the day without glasses.


  • Temporary Effects: Requires consistent lens wear for sustained results.
  • Risk of Infection: Proper hygiene crucial to prevent infections.
  • Vision Instability: Changes through the day based on usage frequency.
  • Comfort: May be challenging to sleep with rigid lenses.

Choosing Between LASIK and Ortho-K:

  • Surgical Preference: Non-surgical preference may lead to Ortho-K.
  • Reversibility: Ortho-K is reversible; LASIK is permanent.
  • Corneal Thickness: If corneal thickness is a concern, Ortho-K may be safer.

Both LASIK and Ortho-K are effective, and the choice depends on individual factors, preferences, and refractive error. Consult with an experienced eye care professional to determine the most suitable method for your unique needs and circumstances.


LASIK Eye Surgery Technology: Exploring Wavelight Laser, Contoura Vision, and More

Discover the latest in LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis) surgery technology as of November 2023. LASIK has transformed ophthalmology globally, offering a life-changing solution for refractive errors like myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. This article delves into the intricacies of LASIK technology, spotlighting advancements such as the Wavelight laser and Contoura Vision. Stay informed about the cutting-edge developments shaping the world of vision correction.

Understanding LASIK Technology

LASIK surgery reshapes the cornea to enhance vision, leveraging lasers for precise adjustments. The Wavelight laser and Contoura Vision system represent pivotal innovations driving the success of LASIK. Explore the principles behind these technologies and their impact on refractive error correction.

Modern LASIK Technology

Wavelight LASIK Laser: Advancing Vision Precision

Uncover the advancements of Wavelight lasers, employing wavefront-optimized technology for refined treatments. Unlike traditional LASIK, these lasers focus on preserving the corneal asphericity, reducing higher-order aberrations (HOA). Learn how Wavelight lasers enhance visual outcomes by minimizing visual symptoms associated with conventional refractive surgery.

Contoura Vision System: Personalized Precision

A revolutionary LASIK technology developed by Alcon. This system integrates corneal topography and wavefront-guided technology, creating a comprehensive 3D map of the eye. Discover how Contoura Vision addresses not only refractive errors but also subtle corneal irregularities, leading to sharper, clearer vision and reduced instances of halos and glare.

Exploring Visx vs. Wavelight Laser Technology for LASIK: A Comprehensive Comparison

Navigate the differences between Wavelight and Visx lasers, two prominent brands in LASIK surgery. Delve into aspects such as wavefront technology, eye tracking systems, treatment speed, FDA approval, and treatment capabilities to make informed decisions based on individual preferences and needs.

Wavefront Technology Unveiled:

Wavelight: The Wavelight laser integrates advanced wavefront-optimized technology, aiming to preserve the corneal asphericity. By delivering precise laser energy to the corneal periphery, it effectively reduces higher-order aberrations, enhancing the correction of refractive errors.

Visx: In contrast, Visx lasers offer a choice between “standard” and wavefront-guided technology. This versatility allows for a customized LASIK procedure, addressing not only basic refractive errors but also higher-order aberrations, leading to superior visual outcomes.

Eye Tracking Precision:

Wavelight: Equipped with sophisticated eye-tracking systems, Wavelight lasers monitor the eye’s movements in real-time during LASIK surgery. This ensures accurate and consistent treatment, even if the eye experiences slight shifts.

Visx: Visx lasers also incorporate advanced eye-tracking technology to follow the eye’s movements, maintaining precision throughout the LASIK procedure. The accuracy of this system is pivotal for achieving optimal results.

Treatment Speed and Efficiency:

Wavelight: Renowned for their fast treatment times, Wavelight lasers perform high-speed laser ablation, minimizing exposure time. This not only enhances patient comfort but also reduces the risk of potential corneal dehydration or other factors affecting the procedure.

Visx: Designed for efficiency, Visx lasers contribute to quick and streamlined treatments. The speed of the laser ablation process is a key factor in enhancing patient comfort and shortening the overall duration of the LASIK procedure.

FDA Approval and Reputation:

Wavelight: Specific models like the EX500 from Wavelight have obtained FDA approval for LASIK surgery. Wavelight lasers are recognized for their precision and customization capabilities, contributing to a positive reputation.

Visx: With a long history of use in LASIK and FDA approval, Visx lasers have established themselves as a well-known and trusted brand, having been employed in numerous successful LASIK procedures worldwide.

Treatment Capabilities:

Wavelight: Wavelight lasers excel in treating a diverse range of refractive errors, including myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. The incorporation of wavefront-guided technology allows for comprehensive vision correction.

Visx: Known for their versatility, Visx lasers effectively address various refractive errors. The technology within Visx systems caters to both common refractive issues and higher-order aberrations, resulting in enhanced visual quality.

Both Wavelight and Visx lasers enjoy a solid reputation in LASIK surgery. Choosing between them hinges on factors such as the surgeon’s preference, laser model specifics, and individual patient needs. For those contemplating LASIK, consulting with eye care professionals is crucial to determine the most suitable technology for unique vision correction requirements. Make an informed decision by exploring these laser technologies in detail and understanding their distinct advantages.

Comparing LASIK Eye Surgery Technology

Femtosecond Lasers:

1. IntraLase iFS (now part of Johnson & Johnson Vision): IntraLase iFS, a cutting-edge femtosecond laser system, plays a crucial role in creating corneal flaps during LASIK surgery. With its high precision and customization features, this laser contributes significantly to enhanced safety and efficacy.
2. Alcon FS200: The Alcon FS200 is another noteworthy femtosecond laser system dedicated to crafting corneal flaps. Its utilization of low pulse energy ensures precise corneal flap creation, emphasizing accuracy in LASIK procedures.
3. Zeiss VisuMax:Recognized for its precision, the VisuMax femtosecond laser stands out in corneal flap creation for LASIK surgery. Operating with extremely short pulses of laser light, it offers a bladeless and precise approach to corneal flap creation, contributing to optimal surgical outcomes.

Excimer Lasers:

1. Alcon’s Contoura Vision:Alcon’s Contoura Vision integrates corneal topography and advanced wavefront-guided technology, providing highly customized LASIK treatments. This technology addresses both common refractive errors and higher-order aberrations, ultimately leading to improved visual outcomes.
2. Wavelight EX500:Renowned for its speed and accuracy, the Wavelight EX500 excimer laser is equipped with advanced eye-tracking and wavefront-optimized technology. Designed to deliver efficient and highly personalized LASIK treatments, it aims to enhance the overall patient experience.
3. VISX Excimer Lasers:Widely recognized for their reliability, VISX excimer lasers are extensively used in LASIK surgery. These lasers incorporate wavefront-guided technology to customize treatments based on the unique characteristics of each patient’s eyes, ensuring personalized and effective vision correction.
4. Nidek EC-5000:The Nidek EC-5000 excimer laser system, employed in LASIK surgery, offers precision and versatility in treating various refractive errors. With a focus on accuracy, this laser system contributes to successful and customized vision correction outcomes.

In navigating the landscape of LASIK technology, understanding the nuances of femtosecond and excimer lasers is vital. Each system brings its unique advantages, contributing to the precision and customization essential for optimal LASIK outcomes. For those considering LASIK, consulting with experienced eye care professionals can help determine the most suitable technology for individual vision correction needs. Stay informed about these advanced technologies to make well-informed decisions about your LASIK journey.

Seeing Life Clearly: A Guide to Vision Correction Options (Updated November 2023)

Glasses, contacts, surgery? With so many options for correcting vision these days, how do you determine what is best for your eyes and lifestyle? In this overview, we break down the pros and cons of today’s vision correction methods—from old standbys like eyeglasses to cutting-edge surgical procedures—to help you make a clear-eyed decision.

Non-Surgical Vision Correction:



  • Non-Invasive: Eyeglasses offer a non-invasive and easily reversible method of vision correction.
  • Versatility: Suitable for correcting various refractive errors, including myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, and presbyopia.
  • Fashion Accessory: Eyeglasses have evolved into a fashion statement, enabling individuals to express their style through a wide range of frames.


  • Peripheral Distortion: Some individuals may experience peripheral distortion or reflections, affecting the clarity of vision. Lenses may also fog when transitioning between different temperatures.
  • Limited Peripheral Vision: Frames can limit peripheral vision, which may be a concern in certain activities.
  • Weight and Discomfort: Wearing glasses can become uncomfortable due to their weight and pressure on the bridge of the nose.

Contact Lenses—Convenient But Require Care 


  • Natural Appearance: Contact lenses provide a more natural appearance without the visible presence of eyeglasses.
  • Unrestricted Field of View: Unlike glasses, contact lenses don’t obstruct peripheral vision.
  • Suitable for Active Lifestyles: Ideal for individuals with active lifestyles or those who find glasses inconvenient.   


  • Maintenance Required: Regular cleaning and proper hygiene practices are necessary to prevent eye infections.
  • Dry Eye Disease: Some individuals may experience dry eyes as a result of wearing contact lenses.     
  • Risk of Infections: Incorrect use or poor hygiene can lead to serious eye infections.
  • Environmental Concerns: The disposal of contact lenses and their packaging contributes to environmental waste.

Refractive Surgery:

Modern LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis) Custom Bladeless—Most Popular Surgery


  • Rapid Results: LASIK often provides rapid visual recovery, with many patients experiencing improved vision within the first several hours to a day.
  • Long-Lasting: The effects of LASIK are typically long-lasting, reducing or eliminating the need for glasses.


  • Surgical Risks: As with any surgery, LASIK carries some risks, including infection, dry eyes, and changes in vision.  
  • Cost: LASIK can be a significant financial investment compared to non-surgical methods.

PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy):


  • No Flap Creation: PRK doesn’t involve creating a corneal flap, reducing the risk of flap-related complications.
  • Suitable for Thin Corneas: PRK may be a better option for individuals with thinner corneas.


  • Extended Recovery Time: PRK typically has a longer recovery period compared to LASIK.
  • Discomfort During Healing: Some discomfort and light sensitivity may be experienced during the initial healing phase.

SMILE (Small Incision Lenticule Extraction):


  • No Flap Creation: SMILE involves a small incision rather than a corneal flap, potentially reducing complications.
  • Potential Preservation of Corneal Strength: Early studies indicate that the SMILE procedure preserves more corneal tissue, benefiting the structural integrity of the cornea.


  • Limited Availability: SMILE may not be as widely available as LASIK or PRK.
  • Similar complications to LASIK: In studies, complications can be similar to LASIK, including infection, dry eyes, and changes in vision.
  • Cost: The SMILE procedure can cost significantly more than LASIK or PRK.

EVO ICL (Implantable Collamer Lens):


  • Reversible Procedure: EVO ICL is an implantable lens that can be removed if necessary, making the procedure reversible.
  • High Refractive Correction: EVO ICL is suitable for individuals with high degrees of myopia or hyperopia.


  • Invasive Procedure: EVO ICL involves a surgical procedure to implant the lens in the eye.
  • Potential for Complications: As with any surgical procedure, there is a risk of complications, including infection or changes in intraocular pressure, endothelial cell loss, and corneal decompensation.

Orthokeratology (Ortho-K):


  • Non-Surgical: Ortho-K involves the use of specially designed contact lenses to reshape the cornea overnight without surgery.
  • Daytime Freedom: Individuals can enjoy better vision during the day without the need for glasses or lenses.


  • Temporary Effects: The effects of Ortho-K are temporary, and consistent lens wear is required for sustained results.
  • Risk of Infection: Proper hygiene practices are crucial to prevent eye infections associated with contact lens use.
  • Vision Instability: Vision may change throughout the day depending on the frequency of use.
  • Comfort: It may be challenging to sleep with a rigid contact lens on the eye.

The vision correction arena offers more excellent options than ever. But determining what works best is a personal decision based on your eyes, budget, and lifestyle. With an understanding of today’s methods, you can zero in on the choice that allows you to see life most clearly. Choosing the most suitable method involves careful consideration of the pros and cons associated with each approach, along with consultation with a qualified eye care professional. Whether opting for the convenience of eyeglasses, the flexibility of contact lenses, or the transformative effects of refractive surgery, individuals can make informed decisions to achieve optimal visual clarity and comfort.

LASIK vs SMILE: What’s the Difference?

LASIK and SMILE are both laser vision correction procedures that can correct refractive errors. They are both safe and effective procedures, but there are some key differences between them.

What is LASIK?

LASIK stands for laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis. In LASIK, a flap is created in the cornea, the clear front of the eye. The excimer laser then reshapes the cornea underneath the flap. The flap is then replaced, and the eye heals.

What is SMILE?

SMILE stands for small incision lenticule extraction. In SMILE, a small lenticule is removed from the cornea using a femtosecond laser. The lenticule is a disc of tissue that is removed from the cornea to reshape it.

Which is right for you?

The best way to decide which procedure is right for you is to talk to your eye doctor. They can assess your individual needs and help you choose the best option for you.

At TLC Vision, we are committed to providing our patients with the best possible care. That’s why we take a conservative approach to new technology. We want to make sure that any new laser technology we offer is safe and effective, and that it provides our patients with the best possible outcomes.

We understand that new technology can be exciting, but we also know that it’s important to be cautious. That’s why we often wait to adopt new technology until more is known about its safety and effectiveness over the long run.

One example of this is SMILE. SMILE is a newer laser vision correction procedure that is less invasive than LASIK. However, it is still a relatively new procedure, and there is not yet a lot of long-term data on its safety and effectiveness. We have not yet adopted SMILE at TLC Vision. We want to make sure that we can offer our patients the best possible care, and that means waiting until we have more information about this new procedure.  We do not mean to imply that SMILE is not safe or effective – simply, in our view, based upon the relative volume of experience in the medical community with LASIK over a greater number of years as compared to SMILE, we are more confident in offering LASIK than SMILE.

If you are interested in learning more about SMILE, we encourage you to talk to your eye doctor. They can help you understand the risks and benefits of this new procedure and determine if it is right for you.


American Academy of Ophthalmology. “SMILE vs. LASIK: Which Offers Better Early Visual Recovery?,” October 17, 2018.

American Academy of Ophthalmology. “Changes in Corneal Sensitivity and Dry Eye Symptoms After SMILE vs. LASIK Surgery,” October 5, 2022.

Refractive Surgery Council. “What Is the LASIK Success Rate?,” August 16, 2022.,achieve%2020%2F20%20or%20better.


When it comes to addressing your vision issues, making an informed decision that best suits your needs and eye health is crucial. You may have come across a relatively recent eye surgery known as EVO ICL, which serves as an alternative to LASIK. In this article, we will provide a clear definition of both procedures and dissect their distinctions to empower you in making the optimal choice for your vision. 

What is EVO ICL? 

EVO ICL surgery represents a form of refractive surgery that can be likened to the introduction of specialized permanent “contact” lenses into your eyes. These lenses, referred to as Implantable Collamer Lenses (ICL), possess dimensions that are thinner and smaller compared to typical contact lenses. A skilled ophthalmologist implants this lens within the interior of the eye, typically behind your iris and in front of your eye’s natural lens. Within the core of the ICL lens lies a perforation designed to facilitate fluid circulation around the lens and iris. Notably, this ICL lens is permanent and does not necessitate removal or cleaning akin to regular contact lenses. 


In contrast to EVO ICL surgery, which entails an incision in the eye for lens placement, LASIK operates entirely on the cornea, the transparent, front part of the eye. LASIK achieves vision correction by reshaping the cornea, altering its curvature to provide improved vision. Before commencing the LASIK procedure, numbing drops with anesthetic properties are applied to your eyes. Once your eyes are fully anesthetized, a LASIK surgeon employs a laser to create a thin, hinged corneal flap, which is then gently folded back to expose the cornea. Subsequently, a computer-controlled laser emits controlled pulses of light to reshape the cornea, customizing the correction to your individual visual needs. The corneal flap is repositioned over the cornea and healing begins immediately. The flap adheres through natural suction, eliminating the need for sutures. The precise lasers employed during LASIK procedures reshape the cornea to rectify the patient’s vision. 

Risks Associated with EVO ICL 

STAAR Surgical, a leading manufacturer of ICL implants, reports the following risks associated with EVO ICL lenses: 

  1. Additional (Secondary) Surgery: EVO ICL surgery, while generally successful, may necessitate additional surgeries in some cases. These secondary procedures might be required to remove, replace, or adjust the position of the EVO ICL lens. Furthermore, additional surgery may be recommended if you develop complications such as cataracts or increased pressure inside your eye. 
  2. Raised Intraocular Pressure (IOP) and Glaucoma Development: Normal intraocular pressure (IOP), which measures the pressure inside the eye, typically falls within a range of 10-21 millimeters of mercury (mmHg). When IOP exceeds this normal range,  it is termed ocular hypertension, which, if left untreated, can lead to optic nerve damage, a condition known as glaucoma. Patients with high levels of nearsightedness are at an increased risk of developing glaucoma. 
  3. Cataract Formation: Cataracts are characterized by the clouding of the natural crystalline lens within the eye, leading to decreased vision. EVO ICL lenses are implanted inside the eye, near the crystalline lens, which poses a risk of cataract development. Factors such as older age and higher levels of nearsightedness prior to surgery can further elevate the likelihood of cataracts. This risk continues to rise with each year that the EVO ICL lens remains in the eye. Cataracts affecting vision may necessitate surgical removal. Consequently, it is essential to maintain regular eye exams to monitor for cataract development. The long-term risk of cataracts beyond seven years post-EVO ICL surgery remains unknown. In cases where cataract surgery is recommended, both the ICL lens and the cataract are removed, followed by the implantation of another intraocular lens, mirroring the routine cataract surgery procedure. 
  4. Loss of Best Corrected Vision: Post-surgery, there is a possibility that your vision may deteriorate. This decline can manifest as a loss of two or more lines on an eye chart, emphasizing the importance of cautious consideration and assessment of potential outcomes. 
  5. Endothelial Cell Loss: The cornea, the eye’s outermost layer, relies on a thin, single layer of cells called endothelial cells to maintain clarity by regulating water levels. As individuals age, these cells naturally decrease in number. However, additional loss beyond the typical age-related decline can occur following various eye surgeries, including EVO ICL. Excessive endothelial cell loss may result in corneal cloudiness and reduced vision. Before undergoing EVO ICL surgery, a comprehensive eye exam is conducted to evaluate whether you are a suitable candidate. Patients receiving the EVO ICL lens may experience a degree of endothelial cell loss, which, over time, may surpass what is expected with aging. Depending on the extent of this loss, it can lead to fluid accumulation or corneal swelling, a condition known as corneal edema. In severe cases, corneal transplantation may be required. 
  6. Glare and Halos: Glare and halos, visual phenomena characterized by the perception of bright, scattered light, may become more pronounced following EVO ICL surgery. These effects are particularly noticeable in low-light conditions when the pupil is dilated. It is worth noting that even individuals who did not experience glare and halos before the surgery may develop them post-surgery. For those currently dealing with glare and halos, there is a possibility that these visual disturbances may intensify after EVO ICL surgery. 
  7. Additional Risks: Beyond the aforementioned risks, STAAR Surgical also notes that EVO ICL surgery may be associated with additional potential complications, including: 
    • Movement of the colored portion of the eye (iris) through a surgical wound to a position outside the eye (iris prolapse). 
    • Bleeding in the area of the retina responsible for reading vision (macular hemorrhage). 
    • Bleeding beneath the retina (subretinal hemorrhage). 
    • Increase in focusing error (astigmatism). 
    • Lifting or pulling of the retina from its natural position (retinal detachment). 
    • Inability of fluid to flow from the back chamber of the eye to the front chamber, frequently blocking drainage and raising eye pressure (pupillary block glaucoma). 
    • Unequal pupil size (anisocoria). 
    • Abnormal release of pigment particles from cells in the eye that could block fluid drainage from inside to outside the eye (pigment dispersion). 
    • Scar tissue formation at the outer edges of the front chamber of the eye (peripheral anterior synechiae). 

EVO ICL surgery offers significant benefits in terms of vision correction, but it is important to be aware of the associated risks. Patients considering this procedure should engage in thorough discussions with their eye care professionals to make informed decisions about their eye health. Regular post-operative check-ups are vital for monitoring potential complications and addressing them promptly, ensuring the best possible visual outcomes after EVO ICL surgery. 

Similarly, LASIK offers significant benefits in terms of vision correction, but like all medical procedures, also presents its own set of associated risks. These may include dry eyes, glare, halos, and the potential need for enhancement surgeries. To determine the most suitable treatment for your specific needs, you can begin with a LASIK consultation conducted by a professional specializing in LASIK. 

At TLC Laser Eye Centers, we provide complimentary consultations to assess your candidacy for LASIK. If you are eligible, we are delighted to offer you the opportunity to undergo traditional LASIK, granting you the gift of improved vision. However, if LASIK is not a viable option for you, our medical team can discuss alternative approaches, which may include EVO ICL, tailored to your unique situation. 

How Long Does LASIK Last? Exploring Stability and Concerns

How Long Does LASIK Last?

Curious about the longevity of LASIK? Dive into the world of laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, a refractive surgery addressing vision issues. Uncover its lasting benefits, limitations, and essential considerations for potential candidates.

LASIK’s Vision Correction:

LASIK, a powerful refractive surgery, addresses common vision problems like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Its goal is to reduce dependence on glasses or contact lenses by reshaping the cornea.

Longevity of LASIK Results:

In general, LASIK offers enduring results. Nonetheless, remember that LASIK isn’t an everlasting solution. While most recipients enjoy sustained vision improvement, approximately 2% may require a second procedure from their initial surgery.

Addressing Presbyopia:

Presbyopia, an age-related condition, diminishes the eye’s lens flexibility, impairing near vision. LASIK doesn’t correct presbyopia. Individuals who have LASIK surgery before the onset of presbyopia may still find it necessary to use reading glasses or bifocals when presbyopia eventually develops.

Cataracts and LASIK:

Cataracts, which cloud the eye’s lens due to aging, can impact vision. While LASIK doesn’t treat cataracts, cataract surgery effectively restores vision by removing the clouded lens and replacing it with an artificial one.

Personal Suitability for LASIK:

LASIK is a viable option for many, yet personalized suitability matters. Engage in a conversation with your eye doctor to determine if LASIK aligns with your needs. Aspects like age, prescription, lifestyle, and medical history influence the decision.

Choosing the Right Path:

If contemplating LASIK, diligent research is crucial. Opt for a qualified LASIK surgeon with a robust background in LASIK. Inquire about the surgeon’s experience and number of procedures to make an informed choice.

The longevity of LASIK results can vary, but for many patients, it provides lasting vision correction. While it doesn’t address presbyopia or cataracts, many patients report its benefits outweigh the risks. To determine if LASIK is the right fit, consult your eye doctor, delve into your individual circumstances, and make an educated decision.


U.S. Food and Drug Administration. “LASIK,” October 7, 2022.

Refractive Surgery Council. “How Long Does LASIK Last? Is LASIK Temporary or Permanent?,” August 11, 2022.

“Cataract Surgery – Mayo Clinic,” September 9, 2023.

Does LASIK Cause Dry Eye?

Does LASIK Cause Dry Eye?

LASIK, a widely sought-after laser vision correction procedure, treats nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. While generally safe, it’s essential to recognize potential risks, including the occurrence of dry eye. Discover the relationship between LASIK and dry eye, its symptoms, and ways to prevent it.

Dry Eye Defined:

Dry eye arises when tear production is insufficient or tears evaporate rapidly. Its symptoms encompass burning sensations, gritty or scratchy feelings, excessive tearing, light sensitivity, and/or blurred vision. This prevalent issue can affect people of all ages, with a higher prevalence in women and those frequently exposed to screens.

The LASIK Connection:

LASIK surgery can contribute to dry eye due to its impact on tear distribution across the eye’s surface. The creation of a corneal flap during LASIK may disrupt the tear film’s equilibrium, hindering even tear distribution and leading to dry eye symptoms.

Risk Assessment:

The likelihood of dry eye post-LASIK is relatively common. Most LASIK recipients encounter no symptoms, but some might experience mild to moderate discomfort that typically resolves with time.

Consultation and Prevention:

When considering LASIK, engaging in a conversation with your eye doctor is paramount. Discussing potential dry eye risks equips you to make an informed choice. In case dry eye emerges after LASIK, your eye doctor can suggest tailored treatments.

Preventing Dry Eye After LASIK:

  • Effective preventative measures include:
  • Regular use of artificial tears
  • Refraining from eye rubbing
  • Introducing a humidifier at home
  • Ensuring sufficient sleep
  • Staying well-hydrated

Managing Post-LASIK Dry Eye:

Should dry eye symptoms manifest after LASIK, promptly consulting your eye doctor is advised. Their expertise aids in identifying optimal treatments aligned with your specific needs.


Understanding the reported link between LASIK and dry eye enables you to navigate the procedure’s risks effectively. Prioritizing your eye health through informed decision-making, preventative measures, and professional guidance ensures a positive LASIK experience.


Refractive Surgery Council. “Is LASIK Safe? What You Need to Know,” October 13, 2022.,of%20patients%20suffer%20complications%20LASIK.

Shtein, Roni M. “Post-LASIK Dry Eye.” Expert Review of Ophthalmology. Taylor & Francis, October 1, 2011. “Dry Eyes After LASIK – Optometrists.Org,” November 12, 2021.

20-20-20 Rule: Eye Care in Today’s Technology

Digital screens are everywhere. We work with screens, play with screens, and look at screens while we’re waiting in line. All of that screen-time comes with potential downsides, and may take a toll on our eyes over time. To try to minimize the negative effects and digital eye strain of extensive time looking at screens, many eye doctors suggest using the 20-20-20 rule as part of your eye health care. The catchy name makes it easy to remember, and ahead we’ll dive into the details of exactly how the 20-20-20 rule works.

Eye Care and Digital Eye Strain

What is the 20-20-20 rule?

Whether you’re using a phone, computer, tablet or watching TV, the idea behind the 20-20-20 rule is actually very simple: every 20 minutes that you’re looking at a screen, take a break and stare at an object 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. That’s it. You don’t have to worry about walking off the distance, or pulling out a tape measure to make sure that the object is exactly 20 feet away. The idea is to pick an object that is close to 20 feet away.

The trick is making sure that you remember to do it every 20 minutes when you’re using a digital screen, and making sure that you look at the object for at least 20 seconds. This is a rule that you can follow almost anywhere, whether using a screen for productivity or enjoyment.

What about activities that don’t require a screen?

Screen time isn’t the only activity that can cause eye strain, and the 20-20-20 rule may apply in other situations, as well. If you’re reading a paper book, writing, or doing work that requires you to focus your vision consistently on very small details, then it may also be a good idea to give your eyes a rest using the 20-20-20 rule. No matter what activity you’re doing, the basics behind the 20-20-20 rule remain the same when considering your eye health care. Take a break every 20 minutes to look at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

Do I really have to do it every 20 minutes?

When you’re working, reading, or watching a video, it’s easy to get caught up in what you’re doing. But yes, it’s a good idea to stay on schedule with the 20-20-20 rule whenever possible. The good news is that most of the devices you’ll be using will also have built in timers you can use to set reminders. Setting 20-20-20 reminders on your computer and phone is a great way to stay on track, and eventually taking those breaks simply becomes a habit.

Why follow the 20-20-20 rule?

Humans normally blink about 15 times per minute, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. However, when using a computer or other digital screens, we may only blink about one-third as often, which can lead to eye strain.

Digital eye strain caused by extensive screen use may be connected to certain vision problems, and can cause unpleasant symptoms like dry eyes, headache, light sensitivity, and eye fatigue. So in addition to potentially helping with long-term eye health issues, the 20-20-20 rule can also be an easy way to help limit some of the most common symptoms that come with extensive digital screen time.

If you have any questions about the 20-20-20 rule, how it works, or how it applies to you, speak with your eye health care provider to learn more. If you don’t have an eye doctor, use our doctor search to find a TLC Affiliate Eye Doctor near you. It’s a small step to take, and it may make a big difference.