Do you rely on glasses and contact lenses to see the world around you? If you want to live a life free from visual aids, you may be a good candidate for a vision correction procedure called SMILE. Having the SMILE procedure is like having a mini-LASIK without a flap. OcuSight is excited to offer SMILE to our patients seeking visual freedom from contacts and glasses.
What is SMILE?
SMILE is a laser vision correction procedure and it corrects nearsightedness and astigmatism.
SMILE works because it uses a femtosecond laser to create an incision and allow removal of a lens-shaped piece of tissue (known as a lenticule) within the cornea. The lenticule is about the size of a tiny contact lens and is removed through the small incision, correcting refractive errors.
The incision created during SMILE is less than 4 millimeters, making it the smallest of any laser vision correction procedure, including LASIK. Because the incision is so much smaller, SMILE does not worsen dry eyes, heals quickly and allows you to return to a full active lifestyle without much restriction. SMILE does not cause dry eyes and is often recommended for patients who may not be good LASIK candidates due to thinner corneas or who have existing dry eyes.
Am I a Good SMILE Candidate?
Although there’s a lot to love about a procedure like SMILE, it, unfortunately, is not suitable for every patient. You may be a good candidate for SMILE if the following applies:
- You’re at least 21 years old
- You’re nearsighted between -1 and -10 diopters with up to 3 diopters of astigmatism
- You have healthy corneas
- You have realistic expectations about what SMILE can achieve if you undergo it
- You have a stable prescription that’s remained unchanged for at least a year or more
- You are not currently pregnant or nursing
- You have healthy eyes
If you think that you may be a good SMILE candidate, take the first step by scheduling a FREE consultation at OcuSight!
What Should I Expect During SMILE?
SMILE is a minimally invasive procedure that only takes a few minutes to complete. Before beginning, we will give you numbing eye drops to ensure you won’t feel any pain.
Once these have a little time to disperse over the surface of your eye, the vision correction procedure can start. First, we will use an eyelid holder to keep your eye open, and the femtosecond laser will painlessly create a lenticule in your cornea and the incision to remove it. The surgeon will guide you through the procedure.
The lenticule is then removed through the same incision with manipulation lasting a few minutes. You would feel pressure on the eye but not pain.
Removing the lenticule corrects nearsightedness and astigmatism. SMILE only takes about 10-15 minutes to complete, with most patients experiencing significant improvements to their vision upon awakening from a nap once the procedure is over.
Recovery After SMILE
Once you’ve had SMILE, you don’t have to look forward to a long or drawn-out recovery period. Because it’s a minimally invasive vision correction procedure, your sight should stabilize within a week.
On the day of the procedure, you’ll want to take it easy. Find a friend or family member that can drive you home, as your vision may be blurry or unstable due to the numbing eye drops. Once you get home, relax.
One of the best things you can do is rest. A nap for 45-60 min is suggested. Your eyes may feel gritty, dry, or irritated as the numbing eye drops wear off, but this will improve in the days following SMILE. Use any eye drops prescribed as directed to reduce inflammation and prevent infection.
You’ll need to return for follow-up appointments to ensure your eyes are healing. Your eye doctor at OcuSight will let you know of this exact schedule.
After SMILE, most patients can drive, return to work, wear makeup, and participate in their favorite sports the day after the procedure. What’s more, you can do your favorite things with crisper, clearer vision, and no longer have to depend on glasses and contact lenses to see.
Find out if you could be a good SMILE candidate by requesting a consultation at OcuSight in our own town of Rochester, NY, today!