Chicago Cornea Consultants Logo

Popular LASIK Alternatives

LASIK is the most commonly performed laser vision correction procedure today. Indeed, LASIK has helped millions of people achieve 20/20 or better vision and bid farewell to their eyeglasses and contact lenses. While many of our Chicago laser eye surgery center patients will qualify for LASIK, not everyone is a suitable candidate for the procedure. Patients who are at high risk of trauma or injury to the eye, who have large pupils, or who have thin corneas are not ideal candidates for LASIK surgery. For our patients who are not candidates for the LASIK procedure, there are alternative treatments available. While there are many alternatives to LASIK, the two most popular LASIK alternatives are PRK and LASEK.


The most common complications resulting from LASIK surgery can be traced back to problems with the corneal flap. Patients with exceptionally large pupils or insufficient corneal tissue are at an increased risk of flap complications. Because of this, patients with these issues are not candidates for LASIK. PRK is an excellent solution for a wide range of candidates because it completely eliminates these problems. While there are many similarities between PRK and LASIK, the most fundamental difference lies in how the cornea is accessed.

PRK and LASIK both involve the reshaping of the cornea with an excimer laser to improve vision. In PRK, the laser is applied directly to the cornea after the removal of some of the cells of its epithelium with a sterile brush. Once the epithelial layer has been removed, the cornea is reshaped using an excimer laser as in traditional LASIK. Because the entire epithelial layer is removed during the PRK procedure, recovery is longer and more difficult than with some other laser eye surgeries, including LASIK. While the recovery is more difficult, PRK patients who do not qualify for LASIK can achieve exceptional results and, in many cases, completely eliminate their need for eyeglasses and contact lenses.


Patients with the vision flaws myopia, hyperopia, or astigmatism who also have thin corneas or large pupils may benefit from LASEK. LASEK combines the benefits of both PRK and LASIK surgery. During the LASEK procedure, our Chicago LASIK specialist treats the epithelial layer of the cornea with alcohol for thirty seconds. By doing so, an epithelial flap is created. The epithelial flap is then folded back out of the way and the corneal tissue is treated with an excimer laser. This is done in the same way as in traditional LASIK. Once completed, the newly created epithelial flap is placed back onto the surface of the cornea.

The greatest advantage of using alcohol to create the flap in the cornea is the avoidance of certain flap complications altogether. Another advantage of LASEK is that the results achieved through the procedure are comparable to those achieved through traditional LASIK. Dry eye also occurs less frequently with LASEK than with traditional LASIK. Patients undergoing LASEK can expect a shorter healing time and less discomfort than with PRK. Because the cornea is not weakened from LASEK, the procedure may be ideal for fighter pilots, athletes, and other patients who are at an increased risk for trauma or injury to the eye.

Learn More about Popular LASIK Alternatives

If you would like to learn more about popular LASIK alternatives, including PRK and LASEK, or to schedule a consultation, please contact Chicago Cornea Consultants™ today.

LASIK eye surgery is a procedure that is designed to reduce your dependency on eyeglasses and contact lenses. Here at Chicago Cornea Consultants™, our LASIK surgeons and eye doctors use the latest in laser vision correction technology to ensure each patient receives optimal results.
Woman going for a run after LASIK
Laser Eye Surgery
As leaders in the field of ophthalmology, we were among the first in the area to offer the advanced Alcon LenSx laser platform for cataract surgery. This exciting new technology allows our skilled ophthalmologists to make incredibly precise modifications, enhancing the patient experience.
Elderly couple relaxing after Cataract Surgery
Advanced Cataract
Traditionally, presbyopia, which happens to all of us as we age, has always meant glasses for clear reading vision. It's a condition not even correctable by laser vision correction. Luckily, there is an option. Refractive lens exchange allows patients a clear alternative to reading glasses and is capable of reducing or eliminating presbyopia by using an advanced multifocal intraocular lens.
Refractive Lens Exchange
refractive lens
exchange/phakic iol's
Keratoconus describes a cornea that weakens as collagen fibers deteriorate, causing the cornea to adapt a cone-like shape. Keratoconus can cause blurred vision, light sensitivity, glares, and decreased night vision. In its early stages, keratoconus may be treated with the use of prescription glasses or contact lenses. Keratoconus is also one of the most common reasons for corneal transplant, and one of the most successful. Call any of our offices and ask to speak to the Vision Correction Surgical Coordinator, or use the contact form below.
Closeup of the Cornea
It's estimated that a million or more Americans have glaucoma and don't even know it. People with glaucoma often do not experience any symptoms until they begin losing their peripheral vision. One of the scariest things about glaucoma is that it usually has no symptoms in the early stages, earning glaucoma the name "silent thief of sight." Anyone can be at risk, so it's important to have your vision regularly examined.
Elderly couple smiling after Glaucoma treatment
At Chicago Cornea Consultants™, our doctors take great care in maintaining ocular health for our patients. However, a number of our patients voice concerns regarding soft lines and wrinkles around the eyes and other regions of the face. We have responded by introducing cosmetic procedures like BOTOX® Cosmetic through our Chicago practice.
Woman posing after BOTOX
Dry eye can result from a lack of sufficient production of your own natural tears, with an inability to provide adequate lubrication for your eyes. This can cause mild to severe discomfort including itching, stinging and burning. Dry eyes are a common concern in Chicago, and the experienced team of corneal specialists at Chicago Cornea Consultants™ have the latest advancements in technology to treat dry eye.
older woman smiling
Dry Eye
Contact lenses are medical devices which interact directly with the ocular surface of the eye. At Chicago Cornea Consultants™, we provide exceptional care to ensure that you obtain the best possible vision with contact lenses that fit appropriately and maximize health benefits.
Mature Man Having an Eye Exam
(800) 8-CORNEA
Online Bill Pay Book Now Cataract Self-Test LASIK Self-Test