LASIK is a true marvel of modern medical science—it is quick, painless, effective for a wide variety of patients, the recovery is quick and easy, and it’s among the safest elective procedures. Laser vision correction is not an option for everyone; but if you are between the ages of 18 and 65 and you have a common refractive error, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, then there’s a nine in ten chance you’re a great candidate.
Generally speaking, patients must be 18 or older. Before age 18, the shape of the eye changes as children and adolescents grow. The changing eye results in a changing prescription. If laser vision correction were performed before a minor stopped growing, the results could be adjusted with an enhancement procedure to get them back to near 20/20 vision. It should be noted that a slight variation in prescription after age 18 is not a concern because it is generally due to the subjective nature of eye exams; most often, the patient’s eyes have not actually changed.
Most patients are between 18 and 65, but there is actually no upper age limit. Patients over age 65 often have other eye issues such as cataracts, so LASIK alone is not appropriate for these patients. LASIK MD’s affiliate CATARACT MD regularly corrects common refractive vision errors while performing cataract treatments. If you are over 65, have a common refractive error, and have no other eye health issues, you are probably a great candidate.
Nearsightedness and Farsightedness
Patients with myopia (nearsightedness) and hyperopia (farsightedness) are prime candidates for LASIK. A myopic prescription is written as a minus, such as -2.25 on a contact lens case, while hyperopia is written with a plus symbol, like +1.50. These problems can be corrected simply and effectively through subtle reshaping of the cornea.
Astigmatism is caused by an irregularly shaped cornea. Many patients with farsightedness or nearsightedness also have slight astigmatism. Glasses and contact lenses do a poor job of correcting astigmatism. Laser vision correction can treat astigmatism better than glasses, so LASIK patients often notice greatly improved vision after the procedure compared to when they wore glasses.
In the early days, laser vision correction was only available for people within a standard range of prescriptions, not for those with exceptionally high prescriptions. Due to advances in technology, myopia as severe as -12.00 can now be corrected. Patients who weren’t candidates in the past, may be candidates now.
Thanks to modern procedures, most people of appropriate age can have common vision issues treated with laser vision correction. In a free preoperative screening, a surgeon will check for all conditions that exclude patients from being candidates. Sign up for your free consultation to learn if LASIK is right for you.