skip to main content

8 Signs that SMILE Could Be Right for You

February 14, 2024

While most people immediately think of LASIK when discussing vision correction procedures, it isn’t always the right choice for everyone. However, there are many other procedures available that can restore clear vision as effectively as LASIK.

One of those options is SMILE! Keep reading to learn eight signs that SMILE could be right for you!

What Is SMILE?

SMILE, which stands for Small Incision Lenticule Extraction, is the latest and one of the most advanced laser vision-correcting procedures available today. It can provide clear vision and reduce your dependency on visual aids like glasses and contact lenses.

During a SMILE procedure, an eye surgeon uses an advanced femtosecond laser to create a lenticule, or thin disc, from the tissue in the cornea. The exact size of the lenticule is based on your prescription and is pre-programmed into the laser for extremely precise results.

The eye surgeon then makes a tiny incision and removes the lenticule. Removing the lenticule reshapes your cornea and effectively corrects your vision.

Because the lenticule is created inside your cornea and does not involve removing the top layer or creating a flap, SMILE is less invasive than other laser vision-correcting procedures, resulting in faster recovery times. Since SMILE does not require the creation of a corneal flap to correct vision, it has a reduced risk of complications following the procedure.


Schedule an Appointment

Is SMILE Right for Me?

If you have been thinking about permanently correcting your vision and think SMILE might be a good option, here are eight signs that SMILE could be right for you:

You Have Myopia or Astigmatism

SMILE can be used to effectively correct the eyesight of individuals with myopia, also known as nearsightedness, as well as astigmatism, which is an imperfection in the curvature of the cornea or natural lens of the eye and causes vision impairment at all distances.

Your Prescription Falls Within a Certain Range

While SMILE can be suitable for many people, your prescription must be within a certain range for myopia, astigmatism, or both. If you have severe myopia or astigmatism, SMILE might not be the right procedure for you.

SMILE cannot correct farsightedness. If you are farsighted, your eye doctor at Chesapeake Eye Care may recommend an alternative procedure.

You Have Healthy Eyes

Overall eye health is extremely important for anyone considering a vision-correction procedure. Healthy eyes should be free of infection and show no signs of more serious or chronic eye conditions. 

Unlike other procedures, including LASIK and RLE, having a dry eye does not disqualify you for SMILE. SMILE is less likely than other procedures to further irritate dry eyes or cause dry eyes during recovery.

You Have an Active Job or Lifestyle

Corneal flap-related complications are one of the most common problems following other vision-correcting procedures. Because SMILE corrects vision without the creation of a corneal flap, it can be a good choice for people who do not have the time or temperament to curb activity during post-surgery recovery.

You Have a Stable Prescription

If your glasses prescription has not changed for at least twelve months, it could be a sign that SMILE is right for you. A stable prescription is a key requirement for SMILE candidates, and the longer your prescription has been stable, the better!

You Are At Least 18 Years Old

Until the age of eighteen, your eyes may still be growing and changing, requiring frequent changes to your eye prescription. Once you reach eighteen, it is likely that your eye prescription has stabilized, making SMILE an option for you.

You Have Healthy Corneas

The health of your corneas is very important to the success of SMILE. Because the procedure involves removing layers of tissue from your cornea, only people with healthy corneas should consider SMILE.

You Have Realistic Expectations

Having realistic expectations about what SMILE can do to correct your vision is the surest way to be satisfied with the results. SMILE results can vary, depending on the individual, but an experienced and knowledgeable eye care provider, like those at Chesapeake Eye Center, can help you set realistic expectations prior to scheduling the procedure.

Like most procedure options, SMILE is not right for everyone. Some of the factors that might indicate that SMILE is not right for you include:

  • An unstable eye prescription
  • Corneal abnormalities
  • A cataract or glaucoma diagnosis
  • A history of eye disease
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Scarring on the cornea
  • Previous eye surgery


Do you want to learn if SMILE may be right for you?

Schedule an Appointment

Why Choose SMILE?

SMILE is an excellent option if you are looking to permanently correct your vision, but are not a good candidate for LASIK. It offers the same amazing results, with shorter recovery times and fewer risks of post-surgery complications.

While LASIK is a great choice for many people, it’s not right for everyone. With SMILE, you have another option for restoring your vision and fully freeing yourself from the bother of corrective eyewear.

Do you want to learn more about SMILE or determine if this procedure may be right for you? Schedule an appointment at Chesapeake Eye Care in Annapolis or Easton, MD, today!