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?

July 30, 2015 by Sam Ven65
Cross-Section-2-Visian-ICL-in-Position.jpg

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.

Cross Section Visian ICL in eye

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 refractive 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.


65 comments

  • Christine

    November 1, 2016 at 11:41 pm

    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.

    Reply

    • Faye Peters, OD

      March 2, 2017 at 1:10 pm

      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.

      Reply

  • Shelly Exel-Miles

    March 1, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    Why can’t we get ecnis Symfony IOL if our Cornea is too thin? It is much less dangerous.

    Reply

    • Faye Peters, OD

      March 2, 2017 at 1:09 pm

      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

      Reply

  • Elyse

    August 23, 2017 at 5:45 am

    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

    Reply

  • Faye Peters

    September 19, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    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.

    Reply

    • Sonal Amin

      November 26, 2020 at 10:05 pm

      How much does it usually cost?

      Reply

  • saila mounika

    May 20, 2018 at 1:26 am

    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

    Reply

    • Violet

      October 17, 2020 at 8:43 am

      I am 24 too and my cornea is 484 microns. Not a candidate for lasik. Doctor suggested me to go for lens implant. Tell me plz if it’s safe and success rate

      Reply

      • Sam Ven

        October 19, 2020 at 8:16 am

        Hi Violet. Thank you for your question. If you’re referring to the Visian ICL, the procedure is very safe and takes about 30 minutes to implant the lens in both eyes. Patient satisfaction is around 98% and has many benefits over LASIK. Feel free to schedule a free consultation so we can discuss your options.

        Reply

        • Priyanka

          December 13, 2020 at 4:00 pm

          I have been told by the doctors that I’m not the suitable candidate for LASIK. I’m from India (Bangalore). Please suggest me which hospital in India perform ICL on eyes

          Reply

          • Sam Ven

            December 14, 2020 at 9:11 am

            We’d love to help, Priyanka, but we are unable to suggest a specific hospital in India that can implant the ICL. We suggest looking at the Visian ICL website. There is a doctor finder section that might be helpful in your search.

    • Kawsar

      November 20, 2020 at 9:30 pm

      I’m 21 and I’m same patient and I face same problem plz text me on my what’s app number
      919678028295

      Reply

  • Sam Ven

    May 22, 2018 at 2:44 pm

    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.

    Reply

  • madhu kushwah

    September 8, 2018 at 9:05 am

    My corneal thickness is 482 micro.can I go fir LASIK?

    Reply

  • madhu kushwah

    September 8, 2018 at 10:02 am

    My corneal length is 482 micron and number is -7 and -6.can I go for LASIK?

    Reply

  • Sam Ven

    September 11, 2018 at 3:28 pm

    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.

    Reply

  • Mehreen

    November 29, 2018 at 9:18 am

    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

    Reply

    • Sam Ven

      November 30, 2018 at 9:21 am

      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.

      Reply

  • Faye Peters

    December 3, 2018 at 8:25 am

    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

    Reply

  • Punvinder kaur Nanrey

    December 17, 2018 at 10:39 pm

    Hi , my cornea is 490 nd my vision of both eyes is -2.75. Can i go for lasik???

    Reply

    • Sam Ven

      December 18, 2018 at 3:08 pm

      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.

      Reply

  • Huma waqar

    January 3, 2019 at 4:13 am

    Kindly reply me our corneas are concerned with genes.I mean to say thin corneas are due to genes or not.

    Reply

  • Tiffany

    January 10, 2019 at 8:28 pm

    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?

    Reply

    • Sam Ven

      January 14, 2019 at 3:20 pm

      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.

      Reply

  • Sudheshna

    February 1, 2019 at 1:37 pm

    My corneal thickness is 454 and my vision is – – – 4.25 for both eyes. Am I suitable for Lasik

    Reply

  • Jose Barajas

    March 19, 2019 at 5:02 pm

    Hi I was told my cornea is to thin for LASIK is there a place to go here in Tampa Florida?

    Reply

    • Sam Ven

      March 20, 2019 at 3:07 pm

      PRK or Visian ICL are two options for people that have thin corneas. You can do an internert search for centers that offer those options in the Tampa area.

      Reply

  • Pami

    April 6, 2019 at 11:06 am

    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

    Reply

  • Pravin

    May 20, 2019 at 2:54 am

    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

    Reply

  • Raghu

    May 28, 2019 at 7:54 pm

    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

    Reply

  • Shraves

    June 5, 2019 at 12:13 am

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

    Reply

  • Vijay

    June 18, 2019 at 1:42 am

    Visian ICL is best option for you.

    Reply

  • Anchal

    July 10, 2019 at 1:34 pm

    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

    Reply

    • Sam Ven

      July 11, 2019 at 12:31 pm

      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.

      Reply

  • Sudhir oradhan

    September 21, 2019 at 9:54 pm

    Sir my power -8.0 and my corneal thickness 545 can I go to lasik

    Reply

  • Sudhir pradhan

    September 21, 2019 at 9:54 pm

    Sir my power -8.0 and my corneal thickness 545 can I go to lasik

    Reply

    • Sam Ven

      September 26, 2019 at 9:11 am

      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.

      Reply

  • Chandrakala

    October 18, 2019 at 4:06 am

    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

    Reply

  • Ekta

    November 11, 2019 at 8:55 am

    No never it’s dangerous for your eye

    Reply

  • nag

    November 11, 2019 at 9:43 am

    my eye sight is -9.75 both the eyes and thickness is 483 what can i choose lasik or ICL??

    Reply

  • Elisavet

    November 15, 2019 at 10:00 pm

    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.

    Reply

    • Sam Ven

      December 4, 2019 at 10:22 am

      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.

      Reply

  • Karen

    November 16, 2019 at 6:50 am

    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

    Reply

    • Sam Ven

      December 4, 2019 at 10:24 am

      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.

      Reply

  • Dinesh yadav

    November 23, 2019 at 8:49 am

    Hello My name is dinesh yadav . My thickness is 485 micron . Am I eligible for laser surgery?

    Reply

    • Sam Ven

      December 4, 2019 at 10:25 am

      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.

      Reply

      • Yara

        July 28, 2021 at 10:22 am

        Hii I am 22 my corneal thickness is 476 and I am -2.75 can I go for lasik ?? Also I wear contact lenses alot can they cause thinning to my cornea

        Reply

  • mdp93

    December 30, 2019 at 11:39 am

    Hi,
    My grade is around -5.0 and my cornea is around 380. I’m sure I am not suitable for lasik. Is ICL the best option?

    Reply

  • mdp93

    December 31, 2019 at 12:29 am

    My eye grade is around -5 with astigmatism . My cornea thickness is around 380. What is the best procedure for me?

    Reply

    • Sam Ven

      December 31, 2019 at 10:20 am

      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.

      Reply

  • mdp93

    January 2, 2020 at 9:07 am

    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?

    Reply

    • Sam Ven

      January 2, 2020 at 11:06 am

      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.

      Reply

  • Gunpreet

    March 2, 2020 at 12:55 am

    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.

    Reply

  • Anjana

    March 7, 2020 at 11:27 am

    Hi my doctor said my cornea is to thin you eligible for prk but she done lask My eye what happened i

    Reply

  • Ramesh

    March 9, 2020 at 1:46 am

    My corneal thickness is 436..
    So Am I eligible to PRK or other surgery..
    Tell me please…

    Reply

    • Sam Ven

      March 9, 2020 at 9:17 am

      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.

      Reply

  • Ann love

    March 10, 2021 at 3:53 pm

    Hello i have been told that im not suitable for PRK as my cornea is to thin. Can anyone please recommend me to get lens implant or other options, thank you.

    Reply

    • Sam Ven

      March 10, 2021 at 4:01 pm

      If you’ve been told that your corneas are too thin for PRK, it looks like your best option would be the Visian ICL.

      Reply

  • Chris Pederson

    April 14, 2021 at 6:43 pm

    It’s good to know that there are other options if you aren’t a candidate for LASIK. My wife doesn’t like wearing glasses or contacts. Our worry is that she won’t be able to get LASIK but I’ll let her know that there are other options just in case.

    Reply

  • Emily

    June 7, 2021 at 11:06 pm

    Is ICL a viable procedure for someone with mild myopia (1.5 D) who already had LASIK many years ago?

    Reply

  • linda

    July 5, 2021 at 7:49 pm

    Hello,I was told that I‘m not suitable for lasik first due to thin cornea(522)but PRK,however,I was also told by other eye doctor that I’m suitable for SMILE,my prescription is -5,and -6.25. Could you please advise me which one is the best for me,PRK or SMILE?Thank you so much!

    Reply

    • Sri

      October 14, 2021 at 12:08 am

      Same issue happened with me also. I am in confusion now.

      Reply

  • Deeksha

    September 26, 2021 at 3:52 pm

    Hi..
    I am 28/F
    I was told that i am not a suitable candidate for refractive correction by few doctors but few told me i am eligible for smile Xtra..
    I am not sure whom to believe..
    Left eye: -1.50 spherical and -4.50 cylindrical
    Right eye: -3.50 spherical power and -1.50 cylindrical.
    Cornea thickness: 530 both eyes.

    Reply

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