Written by Mark Romero and edited by Brad Feldman, MD
You probably have heard of LASIK as a popular surgery to improve your vision, but for many, a different option called EVO ICL might be a better choice. EVO ICL is a soft, flexible lens made from a biocompatible material called Collamer that is inserted into the eye to treat nearsightedness (AKA myopia, the inability to see things clearly unless they are nearby). Like LASIK, EVO ICL can greatly improve patients’ vision so that they no longer need glasses or contacts, and it is also a quick 20-30 minute procedure that doesn’t require hospitalization. However, if you’re interested in LASIK, here are three reasons that EVO ICL may be a better option for you:
Negative diopters (D) indicate how nearsighted an eye is. Bigger negative numbers mean more nearsightedness (ex. -6 D is 3 times more nearsighted than -2 D). LASIK has predictable and consistent benefits for nearsightedness up to -10 D. On the other hand, EVO ICL can correct nearsightedness between -3.0 D to -15.0 D, as well as reduce nearsightedness up to even -20.0 D. Therefore, if you have a high degree of nearsightedness as measured by your doctor, EVO ICL might make more sense for you.
LASIK improves vision by using a laser to remove tissue from and reshape the patient’s cornea, which is the clear layer that forms the front of the eye. Therefore, the cornea has to be thick enough (as measured by the doctor) to be reshaped safely. If your cornea is not thick enough for LASIK, that is not a problem for EVO ICL, since EVO ICL works by being inserted in front of the eye’s natural lens.
LASIK may cause or worsen dry eyes, a condition in which the eyes don’t make enough tears to stay wet, possibly leading to discomfort and even vision problems. In fact, post-LASIK dry eye is the most common dry eye that follows ophthalmic surgeries. Again, because of how EVO ICL works differently from LASIK, developing dry eyes after EVO ICL is not an issue. Therefore, if you already have dry eyes or want to absolutely avoid the risk of dry eyes, EVO ICL could be better for you.
In the end, both LASIK and EVO ICL can make your vision much better, but depending on your unique eyes and preferences, the less known EVO ICL might be a better choice for you. If you’re interested in LASIK, it’s important to talk about the pros and cons of LASIK vs EVO ICL with your doctor.