I have defective vision, particularly shortsightedness. Obviously, it is quite widespread phenomenon. I tried several times to get accustomed to contact lenses, but without success. It irritates my eyes. It is required to maintain cleanness of lens in order to prevent conjunctivitis or some other infectious eye disease. It is quite troublesome. I'm also not comfortable with wearing eyeglasses.

If one considers the laser surgery/correction to recover sight, someone probably might be interested in the following questions:

  • Is that true that laser correction/surgery for sight recovery can be performed only once in a lifetime. And if after surgery your vision has deteriorated back to poor condition then you won't be able to recover it again using laser correction procedures/technologies.
  • What is the state-of-the-art and safest method of laser vision correction. I heard of such methods as LASEK, LASIK, RLE, LRI, PRELEX, etc. Which method is minimally invasive and can be considered state-of-the-art for the moment?

Can you help to clarify these two matters?

  • Contacts take an adjustment period for some - you might consider forcing yourself to wear them for a few weeks and see if you can get used to them. Comfort level can vary greatly from brand to brand. Try some different brands out - your eye doctor will usually give you several free samples to try if you ask (if he didn't already).
    – argentum2f
    Commented Jun 20, 2018 at 20:36

1 Answer 1


Brief description:

LASEK and LASIK - cut a flap in the eye, use a laser to remove material underneath to reshape the lens and correct vision. LASIK has been around for a while, so there have been a lot of improvements and modifications, and there are a lot of variations of it.

PRK - similar to LASIK, but no flap is cut. Instead a surface layer of cells is removed so the laser can go to work underneat. Longer recovery time.

RLE and PRELEX - remove the natural lens and replace it with a corrected one. Think of it as glasses implanted in your eye.

LRI - a slit at the edge of your cornea to correct astigmatism. Not a general corrective procedure.

Ortho-K - a molding 'contact lens' is worn overnight, which molds your lens into the correct shape so you can see the next day or two after you take it out. This is the only reversible, 'non-invasive' procedure I'm aware of that can make you see correctly without external aids (like contacts or glasses).

All the laser based methods (LASIK, PRK, etc.) basically reshape your lens by removing material.

In all of these methods (except for Ortho-K) the lens on your eye is basically being cut up, removed and/or sculpted by removing material. It should be obvious why'd there'd be serious potential side effects. This is also why they can sometimes only be performed once - there's only so much material to be removed. However, they have a pretty good track record.

These techniques are all 'state of the art'.

Which one is right for you is a long and complicated discussion depending on the details of your eye prescription and your eye health, as well as your evaluation of which risks you'd prefer to live with. You'd do best to consult with a couple of eye correction centers offering different treatments (many of them offer free consultations). The doctors will help you understand what procedures you are eligible for, and what the potential risks and benefits will be for you personally.

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