Alternatives to Laser Eye Surgery

Laser eye surgery is a quick fix to a long term problem. The surgery is very quick and effective, however there are risks involved, as no operation is 100% safe and not everyone is a suitable candidate. If you are worried about the complications or side effects and feel you don’t want to have the procedure, don’t worry there are a number of alternatives you can undergo to correct your vision. Of course if you don’t want to have laser vision correction, you can always continue to wear your prescription glasses or contact lenses. These are a convenient and entirely safe way to correct your vision problems.

If you decide that laser eye surgery is unsuitable for you, there are a number of procedures that you may decide you prefer.

Lensectomy and IOL

This operation involves removing your natural lens and replacing it with a synthetic one. There are no lasers involved, and the new lens can completely restore your vision.

ICL (Intraocular contact lens)

If you wear contact lenses this is essentially the same, instead the contact lens is permanently inserted into your eye, in front of its natural lens. This can help to correct your vision problem without the need for lasers.

Intacs (intracorneal rings)

These rings are inserted into your cornea to help flatten it out. This procedure is purely used for the correction of short sightedness (myopia) and is a relatively simple procedure. These can also be used to treat keratoconus, which is a thinning of the cornea. Read about Intacs.

Laser Thermal Keratoplasty

This is a relatively new procedure that involves creating circles in your cornea to help relieve your visual problems. Read about LTK.

Radial Keratotomy

This procedure uses the energy from radiowaves to help alter the surface of your cornea. This can correct short and long sight alongside astigmatism. Read about RK.

Automated Lamellar Keratectomy

A relatively old procedure used to correct short and long sightedness and also astigmatism. It involves using a microkeratome to reshape the cornea, without the use of a laser.

Astigmatic (Arcuate) Keratotomy

This is an operation used to correct astigmatism. Read about AK.


This is a procedure whereby a donor cornea is transplanted to the front of the patients cornea. This can correct either short or long sight. Many of these procedures are widely available and can help to correct your visual defects, others are now less common.

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