SMILE Eye Surgery

Is SMILE Eye Surgery A Safer Alternative To Contacts?

The latest advancement in laser vision surgery, SMILE is an effective and safe method for correcting vision. It is as successful as LASIK without the more extensive postoperative restrictions (i.e. can wear eye makeup or play sports right after) and without a flap. But is SMILE eye surgery a safer alternative for vision correction than wearing contact lenses? 

What is Smile? 

SMILE, which stands for small incision lenticule extraction, is a safer, less-invasive version of laser vision correction used to treat nearsightedness (myopia) with or without astigmatism. SMILE uses a single laser to reshape the surface of the eye and takes about 30 seconds per eye to complete. Patients describe the treatment feeling like someone put a contact lens on their eye. 


During the SMILE eye surgery, a specific laser is used to create a thin contact-lens-shape layer just beneath the surface of the eye, correcting the patient’s vision. More than 5,000,000 SMILE procedures have been performed by more than 2,500 surgeons around the world. SMILE is the fastest growing laser vision correction surgery, globally.

How Safe Is Smile Eye Surgery? 

SMILE offers an efficient, safe way to correct vision problems, proven by the millions of patients who have benefitted from this vision correction treatment. Post-surgery patients can resume all normal activities, including wearing makeup and working out, the very next day. The only drawback of SMILE is that specific prescriptions such as farsightedness cannot be treated with this type of vision correction. 

How Safe Are Contact Lenses?

When worn and cared for properly, contact lenses are a safe vision correction option for the majority of 45 million Americans who wear them daily. However, more than 5 million Americans (11%) of contact wearers suffer from Contact Lens Intolerance (CLI)

Some of the risks of wearing contact lenses include: 

  • Corneal infiltrates – Small gray or white bumps on the eye surface
  • Papillary conjunctivitis – Inflammation of the inner eyelid
  • Corneal abrasion – A scratch to the eye from inserting and removing contact lenses
  • Corneal neovascularization – Lack of oxygen to the eye which can lead to swelling of the cornea
  • Infectious keratitis – An infection of the cornea that can cause corneal ulcers 

Safety Comparison: SMILE Eye Surgery vs. Contact Lenses

Both SMILE eye surgery and contact lenses have their pros and cons. The decision to determine which option to choose for vision correction should be made after consultation with a trained medical eye care professional, like Dr. Dan Haddad at the Laser Eye Institute. 

However, SMILE eye surgery has been proven safer than long-term contact lens wear for these simple reasons. A vision correction treatment like SMILE eliminates the risks of infections, dry eye, injuries, and ulcerations that may result from overuse of contact lenses. 

Ditching Contact Lenses with SMILE

If you’re ready to let go of the financial burden, risk and inconvenience of contacts, then the minimally-invasive and safe SMILE vision correction may be the perfect solution. 

Set up your consultation today, and find out if SMILE is right for you. The Laser Eye Institute is the leading single-surgeon provider of SMILE vision correction in the United States and you can trust Dr. Dan Haddad and our team to recommend the right option for you. 

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David Lemieux, BA from Oakland University is a LASIK expert and marketing professional that has worked with Dr. Dan Haddad and the Laser Eye Institute since 2017. David believes in education and cutting through the noise to deliver facts and opinions about LASIK, SMILE, and all things Laser Vision Correction.