Laser Eye Surgery: Is SMILE a better alternative?

Laser Eye Surgery: Is SMILE a better alternative?

The Small Incision Lenticule Extraction, also known as SMILE surgery, is the latest and safely modified laser vision correction method. This laser eye surgery is an advanced method involving laser treatment to correct different eye defects.

This method effectively corrects short-sightedness, long-sightedness, astigmatism, and other vision correction procedures. Before the invention of SMILE, LASIK eye surgery procedures were the more common type of laser eye surgery medical procedure.

By the way, LASIK stands for Laser-assisted In-situ keratomileusis, the first prominent laser surgery for vision correction. It is a laser treatment method that requires working on the corneal tissue by making a corneal flap with a cold laser.

What is SMILE – the Small Incision Lenticule Extraction?

The SMILE procedure is a type of laser eye surgery that involves the creation of a small incision on the eye’s cornea. Then the laser eye surgeon applies the laser to remove just a thin layer of tissue from the surface, called the lenticule.

The incision helps extract the lenticule, reshaping the cornea and modifying it for better vision in the patient. The SMILE process is one of the least invasive laser eye surgery to correct eye diseases, especially myopia (short-sightedness) and astigmatism.

Over 5,000,000 SMILE eye procedures have been successful by over 2,500 laser eye surgeons worldwide. Therefore, this particular laser eye surgery is one of the fastest-growing eye correction surgery anyone could think of around the globe.

Why is SMILE different?

The SMILE procedure of laser eye surgery can be a safer alternative to LASIK due to the absence of postoperative restrictions. For example, after having a LASIK eye surgery, the patient cannot wear makeup or play sports immediately afterward.

Meanwhile, the SMILE procedure allows the patient to do these activities conveniently after laser eye surgery. In addition, the SMILE eye procedure does not require raising a cornea flap. Another difference is that this procedure is much less invasive on the eye’s cornea.

Compared with the LASIK eye procedure, it is less invasive because it only requires a small incision, unlike the LASIK surgery. In LASIK, the laser eye doctor must create a flap in the cornea. The entire laser eye surgery takes about 30 seconds for each eye to complete.

Another difference is the short time of recovery after laser eye surgery. After undergoing a SMILE eye procedure, the patient can recover more quickly with less discomfort than other laser eye surgery options. Patients compare eye treatment with wearing contact lenses.

However, the downside is that this procedure is not suitable for everyone. One will have to undergo some preliminary tests to confirm suitability for this laser eye surgery. Only an eye doctor can confirm after examination if SMILE is suitable to correct your eye defect.

How safe is SMILE Eye Surgery?

However, does an overall consideration show that SMILE eye surgery is a different alternative for vision correction? For example, is it better to stick to reading glasses or wear contact lenses even after laser eye surgery? Those are a few questions that this article will answer about laser eye surgery.

There is no doubt about the efficiency and safety of using the SMILE for eye corrections, as millions of people have already proven. This laser eye surgery has been successful in millions of cases who still enjoy a perfect vision than they have ever had.

Moreover, it does not involve any post-surgery issues, complaints, or side effects associated with other laser eye surgery procedures. After the SMILE eye procedure, patients can resume normal activities, including doing sports, working out, and wearing makeup.

However, kindly note that an eye disease such as long-sightedness requiring some specific prescriptions can not be resolved with the SMILE procedure. At best, the patient must see a laser eye surgeon to recommend the best vision correction procedure.

Are Contact lenses safe?

Many people have asked us this question repeatedly, and we will give the best answer. Contact lenses offer temporary vision correction to many people across America and Australia when worn and cared for correctly.

However, a primary issue often associated with using contact lenses for a long time is contact lens intolerance (CLI). But what is CLI as it applies to using SMILE in laser eye surgery options? Already over 5 million Americans who wear contact lenses experience contact lens intolerance.

In this case, the eyes can no longer be corrected after prolonged use of contact lenses because the eyes and the brain have had slight changes in their response and functions.

Laser Eye Surgery: Is SMILE a better alternative?

Some risks of using Contact Lenses

Apart from contact lens intolerance (CLI), some risks are associated with choosing contact lenses to correct eye defects. Some are stated below

  1. Corneal infiltrates – in this case, some small gray or white bumps may appear on the surface of the eye
  2. Papillary conjunctivitis – this condition is an inflammation of the inner eyelid that can affect one’s vision
  3. Corneal abrasion occurs because of tampering with the eyes or scratching the eyes while inserting or removing the contact lenses.
  4. Corneal neovascularization – insufficient oxygen supply to the eye can lead to the swelling of the cornea. The overuse of contact lenses causes this condition.
  5. Infectious Keratitis – Continuous contact lenses can lead to this infection that affects the corneal, leading to corneal ulcers.

Which is safer: SMILE Laser Eye Surgery or Contact Lenses?

There are merits and demerits of both the SMILE laser eye surgery and the use of contact lenses. But determining which of the two options is more suitable for anyone suffering from eye defects is not always easy.

The best way to determine which works better is to consult a trained eye care specialist. The first step is to consider the symptoms of your eye defect to determine what it is. After diagnosing the issue, the doctor recommends a suitable laser eye surgery.

For instance, are you suffering from hyperopia (long-sightedness), myopia (short-sightedness), or astigmatism? The last two can be corrected using the SMILE eye procedure, while hyperopia is somewhat corrected with contact lenses. So far, the SMILE procedure is still the safest option.

As for the contact lens, we have stated some of the reported issues that patients often have. However, using SMILE eye treatment eliminates the likelihood of other eye injuries, ulcerations, and the risk of eye infections.

In addition, it depends on the laser eye clinic you choose and the laser eye surgery cost to deal with your blurry vision, poor distance vision, and other eye defects once and for all. Laser eye surgery that may involve a computer-controlled excimer laser eye surgery procedure can produce incredible results.


Going for SMILE has many advantages over LASIK eye surgery as an advanced surface laser ablation or refractive surgery. Alternatively, patients have been wearing glasses prescription or contact lenses in place of a medical procedure. Also, there should not be any fear in choosing any laser procedures, especially if you want permanent vision correction.