I have been told I am not a candidate for LASIK because my corneas are too thin. Does that mean I am stuck in these glasses and contact lenses?

There are other refractive procedures that can eliminate your need for glasses even if your corneas are too thin for LASIK. During a refractive exam at Price Vision Group many special tests are performed to ensure you are indeed a good candidate for LASIK, including corneal thickness. The average corneal thickness is between 520 microns and 540 microns, however the normal range for cornea thickness can range from as thin as 470 to as thick as 630 microns. In order to be a candidate for LASIK there needs to be enough corneal tissue to make a flap, take away the tissue in order to correct the refractive error, and still have enough corneal tissue to ensure that corneal ectasia, a progressive bulging of the cornea, does not occur. To learn more about cornea thickness and how it affects LASIK candidacy, please click here. If the cornea is not thick enough to result in a corneal bed, the remaining cornea beneath the flap, of approximately 300 microns then LASIK is likely not the best refractive procedure for you. During a refractive exam at Price Vision Group, the doctor runs calculations to ensure that the cornea is thick enough for LASIK.

Visian ICL inside eye

The Visian ICL

A phakic IOL may be a better refractive option to eliminate your need for glasses or contact lens visual correction if the cornea is not thick enough. The Visian ICL (Implantable Collamer Lens) is FDA approved to correct myopia ranging from -3.00 D to -15.00 D. This small lens implant is implanted behind the iris (colored part of the eye) and in front of the natural lens inside the eye to correct the refractive error. The lens is designed to stay in position in the eye and requires no special care and the corneal thickness is not altered as in LASIK. The best candidates for this refractive surgery option are those under the age of 50.

If you are above the age of 50 and not a candidate for LASIK because of a thin cornea, then a refractive lensectomy or clear lens extraction may be a better refractive surgery option. The natural lens is removed, as in cataract surgery and an IOL is implanted. The IOL is calculated to correct your refractive error. There are implants to correct astigmatism and even multifocal IOLs that allow patients to see well at both distance and near. This refractive surgery allows for the correction of myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism without altering the cornea thickness.

If you have been told you are not a candidate for LASIK there are other safe surgical options that can eliminate your need for glasses or contact lenses. To schedule a refractive exam at Price Vision Group or attain more information regarding your refractive surgery options please contact Price Vision Group by calling (800) 317-3937 or visit our website: pricevisiongroup.com.

51 Responses to I have been told I am not a candidate for LASIK because my corneas are too thin. Does that mean I am stuck in these glasses and contact lenses?

  • Christine says:

    Hello! I’m in the Cleveland, Ohio area and was just told I’m not a candidate for Lasiks due to my lack of corneal thickness. Would you be able to refer me to a place nearby for other options. I’m 41.

    • Faye Peters, OD says:

      We are happy to see you at Price Vision Group for an evaluation. A phakic IOL may be a better option for you if your corneas are thin.

    • Faye Peters, OD says:

      Phakic IOLs such as Visian ICL is often a good refractive option for patients whose corneas are too thin for LASIK.
      A Symfony IOL may also be an option for those patients who are not candidates for LASIK

  • Elyse says:

    What is the general healing time frame/ downtown, and pain level associated with the phakic iol? I was also wondering if this procedure is covered by insurance and what is the general cost for this surgery

  • Faye Peters says:

    Phakic IOL is out patient surgery. Both eyes can generally be done the same day. We will see you back for day one and check your vision. At that point many patients are able to see well and able to drive. There is very minimal discomfort. The phakic IOL is considered refractive surgery and is not covered by medical insurance.

  • saila mounika says:

    Hiii! I’m Mounika, and was told that i am not suitable for lasik due to lack of corneal thickness, please suggest me any alternative method.I’m 24

  • Sam Ven says:

    Hi Mounika, Phakic IOLs such as Visian ICL is a good refractive option for patients that have been told that their corneas are too thin for LASIK. You can schedule a FREE screening with us to see what your vision correction options are.

  • Sam Ven says:

    Your numbers are very borderline for LASIK. We can’t give you a full YES or NO strictly on these numbers alone. Our doctors will have to perform a complete assessment to be able to determine full candidacy for LASIK. We recommend you schedule a free consultation with us and we can certainly perform the tests that will let you know what your options are.

  • Mehreen says:

    Hy my vision is -6 diopters for both eyes.. but my ophthalmologist is still not suggesting e phakic iol.. my cornea is 477.. They told me spend ur life with glasses.. Am I stuck to glasses????? My age is 25

    • Sam Ven says:

      Hi Mehreen. Based on the numbers you’ve provided, your cornea is a bit thin for LASIK. An option you can look into is PRK. Feel free to give us a call at (317) 814-2933 to schedule a free consultation to fully understand what your options are for getting out of glasses.

  • Faye Peters says:

    The Visian ICL may be a great refractive option to get you out of glasses. We are happy to evaluate you at Price Vision Group. Call 1/800-317-EYES

    • Sam Ven says:

      Thanks for your question, Punvinder. Strictly based on the numbers you’ve given us, you might be a candidate for LASIK. Obviously, you’ll still need to have a screening so we can look at other things to fully determine your candidacy for LASIK.

  • Tiffany says:

    How long does phakic IOL last. I had lasik twice and within 3 years my eyesight started getting worse and now I am back in glasses. What is the typical cost?

    • Sam Ven says:

      A benefit of having a phakic IOL, like the Visian ICL, is that it can be removed and replaced with a stronger prescription. We recommend you stop by for a free screening so we can see and understand what’s happing with your eye and why you’ve needed several LASIK treatments and are now back in glasses.

  • Pami says:

    Hiii my vision is -6 n -7.. But doc told me your corneal is to thin 280sumthing… they told me ur will not go but little bit drop down… What should I do? is any solution… I want to remove my full number any option plz let me know

  • Pravin says:

    For removing -6D number with Corneal thickness 550 , how much cornea will consumed means it is possible to have 425 micron remain after Lasik. It is criteria for uniform service

  • Raghu says:

    Sir plz suggest me that my cornial thickness levels are 447 and 451.Doctor suggested me not to go for LASER treatment.But I don’t want to use Opticals plz suggest me any other treatment for getting 6/6 sight clarity plzz

  • Shraves says:

    My carnes is 444 and my power is – 6.5 . Doctor said i m not eligible for LASIK
    Am i eligible for prk

  • Anchal says:

    I am 28/f RT eye -9.5 1.75 cyl 180 degree axis, left eye -10.5 , I hv been told by corneal thickness is less, so cant go for lasik.. pls suggest other options for the power correction

    • Sam Ven says:

      Hi Anchal. An option would be the Visian ICL Toric. You’ll have to schedule a screening with us so we can take a look at your eyes and give you options that are right for you. Although the numbers you’ve provided will give us a good estimate of your options, we can’t really give an accurate answer until we see you. Please give us a call at (317) 814-2933 to schedule an appointment.

    • Sam Ven says:

      Thank you for your question, Sudhir. We do like to perform several measurements in our office before we can determine your candidacy for LASIK but based on the numbers you’ve provided, LASIK might not be the best option for you due to your high prescription.

  • Chandrakala says:

    Hello sir.i have -3.75 power for both eyes.my corneal thickness is 465 and 468.doctor told me now I am not eligible for lasik laser.i am using contact lenses from 9 years onwards.sir told me I am in border line.remove your contact lenses for 1week then come to me .then I will check and see if will have any possibility.is it working or not sir.plz tell me sir

  • Elisavet says:

    Hello , after infectionn in the eye from lenses my thicknes on the cornea is 300 and i have -2. Please tell me that is a solution for me and i won t stuck with glasses my whole life.

    • Sam Ven says:

      Thanks for your message. PRK might be a solution as well as a thinner flap for LASIK. It’s hard to give you an answer without having you come in for a screening to get detailed measurements.

  • Karen says:

    Hi my son is 22 has been told his corneas are too thin for laser he also has astigmatisms can you advise please he has wore glasses since the age of 5 his prescription is high too ..Thankyou

    • Sam Ven says:

      The Visian ICL Toric might be a good solution to treat the prescription as well as astigmatism. We won’t be able to look at all of your son’s options until we get detailed measurements from a screening.

    • Sam Ven says:

      There are several factors in determining candidacy for laser eye surgery. We will have to check your prescription as well as cornea thickness to fully determine if you are a good candidate.

    • Sam Ven says:

      From the numbers you have provided, it does appear that an ICL is your best option. PRK might be an option but it’s difficult to determine until we see you for a screening. During a LASIK/PRK treatment, approximately 14-16 microns of tissue are removed per diopter. With your prescription of -5 diopters, approximately 70-80 microns of tissue is expected to be removed during treatment. We also don’t know the level of astigmatism to treat. To ensure that the cornea is structurally safe, there should typically be a minimum of 300 microns of tissue remaining.

  • mdp93 says:

    It seems that I have no hope for PRK or LASIK . My astigmatism is 300. This is too high.

    Is there a possibility for PRK but there are residue for myopia since my degree is -5 ?

    I heard about transPRK, would it not possible as well? How many microns will it be needed if I choose transPRK?

    • Sam Ven says:

      Unfortunately, we can’t answer these questions until we see you for an appointment and take detailed measurements. All of the answers we’ve given you are hypothetical based on the numbers you’ve provided. They don’t represent a definite answer one way or the other. We can’t give you the most accurate answer until our doctors look at your eyes using our machines for testing.

  • Gunpreet says:

    Same with me.My eyes cannot accommodate ICL and I’m not fit for laser too.I too am stuck with glasses because I cannot wear lenses anymore.
    My doctor too said I will look into PRK but after 6 months.I don’t know what to do.

    • Sam Ven says:

      Thanks for your question. Corneal thickness is just one of the things we look for to determine candidacy for any vision correction procedure. We’ll need to look at the health of your eyes, your prescription strength, as well as prescription stability. These are just examples of the various things we look for. In order to know for sure, we’ll need you to come in for a screening.

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