Vision Correction (Refractive Surgery)

Your guide to treatments for visual freedom.

What eye conditions can be improved with vision correction procedures


Myopia, or nearsightedness, is a vision condition in which nearby objects appear clear while distant objects appear blurry. This occurs when the cornea is too curved or the eyeball is longer than normal, causing light entering the eye to focus in front of the retina.


With hyperopia, or farsightedness, distant objects appear clear while nearby objects appear blurry. It happens when the cornea is not curved enough or the eyeball is shorter than normal, focusing incoming light behind the retina.


Astigmatism causes objects at all distances to appear blurry or distorted. It develops when the cornea is irregularly shaped. Instead of a normal round shape, the cornea curves more in one direction than the other.


Presbyopia affects the lens of your eye, which functions similarly to the lens of a camera. When you are young, your lens is thin and elastic. It bends and flexes with the muscles of the eye in order to focus clearly on fine print, such as the print of a newspaper, menu or a label. But in most people around the age of 40, changes that occur in the proteins that make up the lens cause the lens to thicken and lose flexibility. With less flexibility, the eye has greater difficulty focusing on nearby objects. Eventually everyone develops presbyopia. Depending on the individual case, it might become noticeable in a person’s early 40s, or might not be evident until their late 40s or early 50s.

Are you wanting to experience visual freedom and be spectacle free?

Vision Correction

The Eye Health Centre has been helping individuals with vision conditions for many years. We use our clinical experience coupled with leading-edge technology to provide vision correction solutions unique to every patient.

What are the treatment options for these conditions?

Laser eye surgery


LASIK, short for “laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis,” is the most commonly performed laser eye surgery. A femtosecond laser is used to create a flap in the outer layer of corneal cells. Then, the flap is folded back and an excimer laser reshapes the underlying tissue.


SMILE, short for “small incision lenticule extraction,” is the newest laser vision correction procedure. A femtosecond laser creates and removes a small disc of tissue beneath the cornea’s surface to improve its shape. SMILE is currently recommended only in cases of nearsightedness.


PRK, short for “photorefractive keratectomy,” is the first generation of refractive surgery. In the experience of our laser eye surgeons, it offers great results with minimal risk. During surgery, the surface layer of corneal cells is gently removed, and an excimer laser reshapes the underlying tissue. Flap-free laser correction with PRK improves visual clarity without compromising the biomechanical strength of the eye or introducing the possibility of flap-related complications.

Implantable Contact Lenses (ICL)

If you are not a suitable candidate for laser eye surgery or have a higher prescription correction, implantable contact lenses (ICL) are a safe and effective alternative. An ICL is a contact lens implanted over the eye’s existing lens. Similar to permanent contact lenses, intraocular contact lenses are permanently placed between the eye’s iris and natural lens rather than on the surface of the eye. No eye tissue is removed and the lenses can be removed or replaced if vision changes. ICL’s also have the advantage of being reversible.

Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE)

RLE (refractive lens exchange) is the most suitable surgical option for age-related vision loss. RLE replaces the eye’s natural lens with an intraocular lens implant (IOL) to correct a refractive error. The procedure is virtually identical to cataract surgery, except the lens being replaced is clear and not cloudy. If you decide to undergo refractive lens exchange, our ophthalmologists will help you explore your IOL options and find the right choice for your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best laser eye surgery option for me?

The procedure that is right for you depends on your specific refractive error, the severity of your refractive error, your unique eye anatomy and your treatment goals. Our team of doctors has many years of experience helping candidates like you find the most appropriate solution.

How soon after surgery will I be able to see?

Visual recovery varies by patient and by procedure. Most of our patients are able to see clearly within a few days of surgery. Minor visual fluctuations are normal after surgery, and your vision should improve day by day.

When can I drive after laser eye surgery?

You will not be able to drive yourself home from laser eye surgery, so please make arrangements for a friend or family member to take you. Most of our patients see well enough the day after surgery to confidently drive.

Are LASIK results permanent?

The improvements made during LASIK are permanent. Once corneal tissue has been removed, it cannot grow back.

However, LASIK does not prevent or delay other age-related changes from occurring in the visual system. Most notably, LASIK does not prevent the development of presbyopia (age-related loss of reading vision that happens after the age of 40) or cataracts (clouding of the lens that happens after the age of 60).

If I have RLE, will I need cataract surgery when I am older?

No. The artificial lens placed during RLE cannot develop cataracts.

How is SMILE different from LASIK and PRK?

SMILE does not involve the creation of a corneal flap or the removal of the surface corneal cells. During SMILE, a small lenticule of corneal tissue is removed to reshape the cornea and improve the eye’s focusing power. Although the results of SMILE are comparable to those of LASIK and PRK, patients do not have to worry about flap-based complications.

Will I be awake during laser eye surgery?

Yes. Your eyes will be numbed with anesthetic drops and you will be given an oral sedative medication to relax you. You should not feel any pain or discomfort during surgery, and the procedure will be over very quickly.

What is the difference between implantable contact lenses and refractive lens exchange?

Implantable contact lenses work with the natural structures of your eyes to enable clear vision. They can be removed if needed.

Refractive lens exchange involves removing your natural lens. Due to the way the procedure is performed, it is irreversible.

If you are looking for more information about your vision correction options, we invite you to schedule an appointment with our team. Call or email us today.