Like any other surgery, LASIK has its own pros and cons. According to Anita Rayner, patient safety expert at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, when custom LASIK surgery is performed by qualified professionals and on the right patients, the benefits far outweigh the risks.
So how can you make sure that you’re the right kind of patient for a LASIK procedure? It may seem daunting to determine this on your own, but a little extra knowledge can make your next eye consultation more informative and less nerve-wracking. Who knows – you might just learn how to turn yourself into the perfect candidate for a LASIK surgery.
What makes a good LASIK candidate?
You might be one of the people who assume that LASIK is a catch-all procedure for any kind of imperfection in your vision. However, the technology is best suited for patients who have one of the following conditions:
- Myopia (Nearsightedness): You see closer objects more clearly than distant ones.
- Hyperopia (Farsightedness): You see distant objects more clearly than close ones.
- Astigmatism: An imperfect in the shape of the eye causes blurred vision.
Though it gets a bit more technical than this, LASIK works by reshaping the eye’s cornea, the outer structure that can cause imperfections like light to be filtered incorrectly. Any vision condition that includes a misshapen cornea – like myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism – are perfect targets for LASIK correction.
LASIK may also help people with presbyopia, or “aging eye,” which causes your vision to gradually slip out of focus for very close objects as you age. A technique known as monovision may treat only one presbyopic eye, leaving you with one eye that sees well at a distance and one eye that sees well up close. Patients should understand that this procedure is somewhat of a compromise, so you should talk to an eye care professional to make sure you have realistic expectations.
When can you not get LASIK?
If you fall into the right parameters and want to get rid of your ugly glasses or cumbersome contact lenses, you’ll want to consider LASIK. However, there are some characteristics and eye conditions that could prevent you from being a good candidate.
Age is the first thing, all patients should be at least 17 years old, free from conditions that might complicate recovery, like those that slow wound healing. There really isn’t an upper age limit, but when people enter their 70s they usually begin experiencing age-related eye conditions that would make them non-candidates. Women who are pregnant are also not eligible for the procedure.
There are a few eye conditions that can pose an additional risk to patients. Cataracts, amblyopia and strabismus are three conditions that LASIK cannot correct and could make you a non-candidate.
LASIK is also not recommended for people who aren’t willing to take proper care of their eyes going forward. This may be as simple as following your doctor’s eye drop instructions and the post-LASIK activity schedule. After every surgery, patients need to take care of their bodies until they’re completely healed, and LASIK is no different.
There are risks and benefits to any procedure, but LASIK is widely regarded as the safest elective procedure in the world, and a big reason for that is selecting good candidates for the procedure. If you understand who and what the procedure is meant for, there’s no doubt you could have better vision with LASIK.
Do you have a question about LASIK? Ask one of our experts!
Also available in/Également disponible en : French