A Simple Guide to Determine if You Are a Candidate for LASIK
If you are one of the millions of people who rely on corrective eyewear to see clearly, you may be considering LASIK eye surgery. Over 700,000 people turn to LASIK every year to correct common vision problems, making it one of the most popular refractive eye surgeries in the U.S.
While LASIK does reduce your dependence on prescription eyewear, it isn’t always for everyone. There are certain medical conditions and refractive issues that can make LASIK eye surgery less than ideal for some patients. So how do you know if LASIK is right for you?
Read on to learn more about some key qualifiers to help determine if you are a good candidate for LASIK eye surgery.
The Best Age for LASIK Eye Surgery
Your age can be a big determining factor in your qualification for LASIK eye surgery. As a general rule of thumb, most experienced eye surgeons suggest the best age for LASIK is between 24 – 40 years old.
All LASIK candidates must be at least 18 years of age or older. Many people continue to experience changes in their vision up until their early twenties. During your examination, your doctor will determine the stability of your prescription.
Additionally, if you are over the age of 40, you will need to be examined for any additional eye conditions. Patients over the age of forty are more susceptible to cataracts and other vision issues that might require alternative treatments.
How Eye Shape and Size Can Affect LASIK
LASIK treats refractive errors by reshaping your cornea to change the way your eye focuses light. In order to be able to safely and efficiently conduct the procedure, we will need to thoroughly examine the ocular construct of your eye.
In order to qualify for LASIK, your cornea needs to be of sufficient thickness. If your cornea is too thin, it cannot support the creation of the corneal flap made during surgery which can result in major complications.
Since your safety is our number one priority at LaserVue Eye Center, we will not qualify you for surgery if we determine your cornea is too thin or weak. In this case, we would suggest a LASIK alternative surgery, which is flapless and more suitable to correct your refractive error.
If the size of your pupils is too large, you may be at higher risk of experiencing certain side effects, including glare and halos around lights, after LASIK surgery. Having large pupils doesn’t necessarily disqualify you from LASIK. With the advanced technology at LaserVue Eye Center, we might be able to accommodate patients with large pupils.
Treatable Vision Prescription Range for LASIK
To qualify for LASIK eye surgery your vision prescription must be stable and fall within a treatable range, as determined by your doctor.
How to Read Your Vision Prescription
The degrees to which your vision needs correcting is measured in ‘diopters’ and is abbreviated by the letter “D” in your prescription. The number signifies how strong your vision prescription needs to be – meaning the farther away it is from zero, the worse your eyesight is.
A plus sign (+) in front of your prescription number means you are farsighted, and a minus sign (-) means you are nearsighted.
Health and Eye Conditions
Certain health conditions may impair the healing process or make you prone to infections following LASIK surgery. Similarly, eye diseases like glaucoma, corneal disease, or cataracts can disqualify you as well. During your consultation, make sure you share your complete health history, including your ocular history, with your eye doctor to ensure an appropriate recommendation is made.
To determine if you are a good candidate for LASIK, a detailed evaluation of your eyes will be performed during your consultation. This allows us to rule out any ocular conditions that may make you not a candidate.
LASIK Eye Surgery and Pregnancy
LASIK eye surgery is not advisable during any stage of pregnancy or while actively breastfeeding. Research has shown that hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy and while nursing can alter a patient’s vision prescription. These changes may return to pre-pregnancy levels, but in other cases can be permanent.
After delivery and cessation of breastfeeding, your eye doctor will determine when is recommended to proceed with a refractive surgery evaluation and procedure. Additionally, the medication administered during the LASIK procedure and as part of the required aftercare could have adverse effects on a baby.
Do I Qualify for LASIK Eye Surgery?
At LaserVue Eye Center, our team is dedicated to working with you to achieve your best vision possible while providing the highest quality patient care. We want to help determine the best remedy for any of your vision concerns and create a treatment plan best for your unique needs.
If you have been wondering if you are a candidate for LASIK, visit LaserVue Eye Center online to schedule a free virtual LASIK consultation. If you have been previously told you do not qualify for LASIK and would like to learn about your other refractive surgery options, contact us today!