What is the Ideal LASIK Age?
LASIK is known to be an incredible, life-changing procedure. However, many eye care patients assume that there is an ideal LASIK age and that their ages prevent them from being candidates. Dr. Avi Wallerstein, co-founder of LASIK MD, explains that LASIK is actually available for anyone aged 18 or older.
The primary concern with patients under 18 is that their prescriptions are still changing. The eyeball grows and changes shape along with the rest of the body, resulting in a concurrent change in vision. By the age of 18, most people are done growing and their eyes have finished changing.
Patients in their 20s often worry that because their prescriptions have changed recently they have not reached the appropriate LASIK age. This is not a serious concern for several reasons. Previous vision changes are not a good indicator of future changes. What your prescription will do in the next few years of your life has very little to do with what it has done over the past couple of years.
In addition, if the prescription found by your eye doctor is slightly different from your last prescription, chances are high that your vision has not actually changed. The small variation is due to the subjective nature of the test — is the second letter from the right on the third line down really clearer now? The vision tests used by optometrists simply do not produce consistent results. Prescriptions normally do not change significantly from the time people stop growing until age 50 or later when the lens begins to deteriorate noticeably and potentially develops cataracts.
Finally, in the rare case that your eyes do change years after a LASIK procedure, it is possible to get a second procedure, known as an enhancement. By getting LASIK early, even in these cases, generally the worst scenario is that you enjoy clear vision for five or 10 years before needing to have an enhancement procedure. The improvement in these years alone is worth it for most patients.
While there is no limit to how old a patient can be, few patients over age 70 undergo traditional LASIK. Usually these patients have other eye problems as well, and treating these issues makes LASIK unnecessary. During cataract surgery, for example, a lens is put into the eye to correct the patient’s prescription. Successful cataract surgery both removes the cataract and corrects vision.
If you’re 18 or older, you are probably a great candidate for LASIK. You can book a free consultation to talk to a doctor about the right procedure for you!