What’s The Best Age To Have LASIK Eye Surgery?
Vision problems don’t discriminate based on age. Even though certain eye conditions are more common as we get older, such as presbyopia and cataracts, vision problems affect people of all ages and backgrounds. But the good news is that LASIK eye surgery is designed to treat refractive errors in patients of a wide range of ages.
Unfortunately, not every person is a good candidate for LASIK, sometimes due to their age or another factor(s). But at LASIK MD, we offer a variety of vision correction procedures aside from standard LASIK to treat patients of all ages.
Below, we discuss what’s the best age to have LASIK done and what other procedures may be recommended to you if age is an issue.
The Average Age of LASIK Patients
One of the great things about LASIK is that it’s suitable for most adults. In fact, 90% of people between the ages of 18 to 65 are excellent candidates for LASIK. It can correct vision problems, like myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism (blurry vision at all distances).
However, if you fall outside of this age range, you’re likely too young or too old to qualify for LASIK eye surgery. Let us explain why age matters so much when undergoing laser vision correction.
Why Age Matters For LASIK
Younger eyes haven’t stabilized
It’s not recommended to undergo LASIK or another vision correction procedure if you’re under the age of 18. This is because the eyes are still growing during your childhood and teens, WebMD explains. This means they may still change shape, which can alter your prescription.
LASIK eye surgery works by re-shaping the cornea to correct how the eye refracts light in order to create a clear picture. But if you undergo LASIK while your eyes are still growing, there’s a risk your cornea could change shape post-surgery. This can render the results of the LASIK procedure ineffective.
“Fundamentally, the reason the prescription progresses is because you’re growing, and in the same way, your eyeball is growing and changing shape and form,” Dr. Avi Wallerstein, co-founder and co-medical director of LASIK MD, explains. “After 18 years of age, that really doesn’t happen. What does happen is when you go to a consult or get an eye exam, we notice a little bit of a change, but this is normal.”
As such, it’s best to wait until adulthood when your vision stabilizes. Your eyes are usually fully developed by your early 20s, and they usually stay the same throughout your 30s. Some people begin to experience the first signs of age-related eye conditions as early as in their 40s, and this gradually continues as they get older.
Older eyes have higher risks
As we get older, our eyes may no longer be growing, but they can still change with the onset of age-related eye conditions.
For example, presbyopia refers to the gradual decline of the eye’s ability to focus on nearby objects. It usually begins to occur in a person’s mid-40s and continues to worsen with age. Similarly, cataracts occur when the lens of the eye gets cloudy. Cataracts develop slowly after time, but you’re at a much higher risk for them past the age of 60.
It’s still possible to be a good candidate for LASIK even with cataracts or presbyopia. But because these conditions can make your prescription more complicated and severe, and since they’re more common in older individuals, LASIK may not be enough to correct your vision. Additionally, if you’re over the age of 65, there’s a higher risk of complications, which is another reason you may not be recommended LASIK.
However, at LASIK MD, we’re proud to offer a wide range of vision correction procedures, some of which are specifically designed for older patients. As such, we may be able to recommend you a procedure even if LASIK isn’t right for you. For example, we offer both lens and laser PresbyVision™ procedures to help improve close-up vision reading.
The only way to determine your candidacy is to come in for a free, no-obligation consultation. During your preliminary appointment, our team will conduct a series of diagnostic tests to evaluate what procedure would be best for you. We’ll also take the time to explain the procedure and its benefits, what you can expect from the recovery and results, and your financing options.
With LASIK MD, it’s possible to find freedom from glasses and contacts at any age. If you're interested in learning more about how LASIK eye surgery or another vision procedure can transform your life, book a free, no-obligation consultation today.