How To Tell If You’re A Candidate For LASIK Eye Surgery
If you’re tired of relying on glasses and contact lenses, then LASIK eye surgery may be an excellent option for you. Common vision problems, such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism (blurred vision at near and far distances), are often the result of an error in how the eye reflects light through the cornea (the transparent layer at the front of the eye). But LASIK works to correct these vision problems by re‑shaping the cornea itself.
LASIK can help transform your daily life by improving your vision. It’s an attractive option because it provides a long‑term solution to vision problems by reducing or eliminating dependency on glasses and contacts. But it’s not only that it rids you of the daily inconveniences of wearing either of the two. Laser eye surgery also helps save you money in the long run, since you no longer need to regularly purchase glasses, contacts, or contact lens solutions.
If you’re considering LASIK eye surgery, the next step is determining your eligibility. During your free, no‑obligation consultation, our team of experts will perform a series of diagnostic tests to confirm your eligibility. Although most people are eligible, should you not be a suitable candidate for LASIK, our team may be able to recommend another vision correction procedure based on your situation.
Below, we discuss what our team looks for when assessing eligibility, and we explain why certain factors may reduce your candidacy, or vice versa. However, the only way to know with certainty if you’re eligible for LASIK or another vision correction procedure is to book a free consultation. Reach out today to take the first steps towards clear vision.
Factors Affecting Your Eligibility For LASIK
The following factors have a bearing on your eligibility for LASIK eye surgery or another vision correction procedure.
The Patient’s Age
The good news is that 90% of individuals between the ages of 18 to 65 are excellent candidates for LASIK eye surgery. In general, individuals under the age of 18 aren’t recommended for LASIK because it’s normal for vision to change up until early adulthood. It’s better to wait until your vision stabilizes.
Similarly, given how vision changes with age, people over 40 may be better suited for a different procedure, such as PresbyVision™, which corrects age‑related up‑close reading vision known as presbyopia. Finally, LASIK isn’t usually recommended for individuals aged 70 and older, who are at a greater risk for cataracts. In such instances, you may be recommended to undergo a lens replacement procedure.
Prescription & Eye Health
Your prescription will also determine whether LASIK is a viable option for you or not. While LASIK can treat a variety of conditions, corneal thickness can be an impediment to the procedure. Our team of experts can determine the thickness of your cornea by taking accurate measurements at your free, in‑clinic consultation.
If your cornea is too thin, it may not be possible to create the required flap during the surgery. Most patients need a minimum corneal thickness of 0.5 mm to be eligible for traditional LASIK. But even if your corneas are too thin, there may be other vision correction options that are better suited for your situation.
In these instances, you may be recommended for a photorephractive keratectomy (PRK) procedure, which is an excellent choice for people with thin corneas. This procedure doesn’t require the creation of a flap. Rather, the surgeon removes the surface layer of the cornea (called the epithelium) in order to reshape the cornea.
In addition, certain eye conditions may prevent you from getting LASIK in the short‑term. For example, if you have an eye infection, like conjunctivitis or pink eye, you’ll have to postpone your surgery until after you’ve healed. However, if you have a long‑term eye condition (such as a lazy eye, severe dry eye syndrome, or a muscle imbalance) or suffer from an eye disease (such as keratoconus, glaucoma, cataracts, or another type of corneal disease), you may also be ineligible for LASIK altogether.
Overall Health & Existing Conditions
It’s not only your eye health that determines eligibility for LASIK. Your overall health plays a part, too. All LASIK candidates must be in good health prior to their procedure. Certain health problems may make you ineligible, like uncontrolled diabetes, an autoimmune disease, and collagen vascular disease. You also cannot be taking any medication that compromises your immune response. Otherwise, this can create complications during the healing process.
Similarly, you cannot undergo LASIK if you’re pregnant. This is because, hormonal changes during pregnancy can cause the cornea to change shape, resulting in variations in vision. Sometimes these changes are temporary, but there are instances in which they’re permanent. As such, it’s best to undergo LASIK after pregnancy once your vision is stable in order to ensure the best post-operative results.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology specifically recommends waiting at least a month post‑birth before undergoing any sort of vision correction procedure. There is also limited but compelling research to suggest breastfeeding mothers should also wait to undergo LASIK until after they’ve stopped nursing.
If you want to find out if you’re among the 90% of people between the ages of 18 to 65 who are good candidates for LASIK or one of our alternative procedures, book a free, no‑obligation consultation today. Our team will be happy to determine your candidacy and recommend a procedure that’s best for you.