How Long Does SMILE Eye Surgery Last?

If you have been considering laser eye surgery, you have almost certainly encountered the popular LASIK procedure. However, LASIK is not your only option, and depending on your needs, it may not be the best one. SMILE eye surgery uses a laser to correct your vision with a lower risk of some side effects, making effective laser eye surgery available to more people. 

What is SMILE Eye Surgery?

As a type of laser eye surgery, SMILE uses a precise computer-guided laser to help you see more clearly. If you have a refractive error like nearsightedness or astigmatism, the shape of your eye causes light to focus behind or in front of the retina. SMILE changes the angle of light, so it focuses correctly, forming a clear image. 

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How is SMILE Eye Surgery Performed?

This minimally invasive procedure is performed after numbing your eyes. Your eye surgeon uses the laser to change the shape of your cornea, which is the clear, protective structure at the front of your eye. Unlike LASIK, which creates a large flap, SMILE uses an incision only a few millimeters long. It creates a disc of corneal tissue that your eye surgeon removes through the tiny incision. Your reshaped cornea will focus light correctly for sharp, crisp vision. 

How Long Does SMILE Eye Surgery Last?

The changes made to your cornea during SMILE will last a lifetime, but your eyes will continue to undergo natural changes that will affect your results. People who use corrective lenses need ones with a new prescription over time, and these changes can also occur after SMILE. Each person’s vision changes at a different rate. 

Another factor is your age when you get SMILE eye surgery. As you age, the lenses of your eyes undergo changes that make them less flexible. This condition, called presbyopia, causes difficulty with seeing up close. It is the reason so many people over the age of 40 wear reading glasses, and it will occur even if you have SMILE. Your eyes can undergo many other changes that affect your vision. 

Am I a Good Candidate for SMILE Eye Surgery?

Have you been told you are not eligible for LASIK? You may still be a good candidate for SMILE. Factors that affect whether SMILE is right for you include:

  • Your age: candidates should be over 18, and if older than a certain age may see better results from a different procedure. 
  • Your corneas: while people with thin or abnormally shaped corneas should not have LASIK, many of them can benefit from the smaller incision used by SMILE. 
  • Dry eye problems: SMILE is a better option than LASIK for people who have dry eyes since the larger flap created by LASIK can worsen this issue. 
  • Your activities: people who enjoy contact sports should not usually have LASIK but are generally good candidates for SMILE. 

Only a consultation and eye examination can determine whether you are a good candidate for SMILE. Your eye surgeon will recommend a vision correction option based on your needs and lifestyle. SMILE does not treat farsightedness, so people with this type of refractive error may need a different procedure. 

Request a Consultation

We’d love to help you get all the information you need in order to make the best choice for your eyes. Request a consultation today! Our staff is available and happy to answer your every question.

What Is Recovery Like After SMILE Eye Surgery?

Recovery after SMILE is usually quick and uncomplicated. You can expect minor irritation or sensitivity for a few days, but you will be prescribed eye drops to help your eyes heal. Most people return to driving, work, and their usual activities within a few days. However, you should avoid swimming, strenuous exercise, and dusty environments for one week. After this time, there are generally no limitations. Continue to use your eye drops for as long as instructed, and attend your follow-up appointments. 

What Results Will I See After SMILE Eye Surgery?

You can expect to see clearly within a few days after SMILE eye surgery, but your vision will continue to adjust and stabilize for a few weeks. Most people who have this procedure achieve 20/20 vision, and almost all will reduce or eliminate their need for corrective lenses. Laser eye surgery results are long-lasting, although your eyes will still experience changes over time. 

My husband had Lasik done yesterday and the staff at Vold were so amazing! Highly recommend Vold!
Keelie T.

Take the Next Step

You’ll benefit not only from the latest technologies available but also from our compassionate, personal approach. You’re more than a patient at Vold Vision in Bentonville and Fayetteville. We strive to make you as comfortable as possible while evaluating the optimal treatment plan just for you. We invite Fayetteville, Rogers, Bentonville, and Springdale residents to contact us today for a consultation at (479) 755-4510.

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