If you are in need of vision correction and consistently wear contacts or glasses, you have most likely considered laser eye surgery. Although a great option for many, laser eye surgery, most commonly LASIK, is not for everyone. The best way to determine whether or not you’re a good candidate is to consult a physician specializing in laser vision. During your consultation, you gain in-depth insight to your overall vision health including the thickness of your corneas and its curvature. If you are wondering, before your visit, if laser surgery is the right option for you, we have some considerations to help you.
Consider The Risks
The success rate for laser eye surgeries is constantly improving, and severe side effects are extremely rare (less than 1%). Such complications include vision loss, temporary discomfort, flap complications, and dry eyes. The best candidates know and accept the risks associated with the surgery and are aware any candidate’s surgery could result in less than 20/20 vision. Those who are not ready to accept such risks should consider alternate forms of vision correction.
Consider Your Age
The FDA may have approved LASIK for adults 18 and older, but younger candidates are recommended to wait until their mid-twenties to ensure their prescription remains unchanged. When your prescription is stable for at least two years, you are more likely to have better results after the surgery.
Those on the mature end of the age range should also be aware of their limitations. After the age of 40, your eyes will typically begin to change from a condition called presbyopia. You may have experienced — much to your teenager’s chagrin — holding your reading material out at an arm’s distance. Presbyopia can’t be corrected through laser surgery, but your doctor can perform monovision correction, where one eye is left nearsighted, allowing the patient to view up-close objects.
Consider Your Health
Laser eye surgery is — like the name suggests — surgery, and you should generally be in overall good health before surgery. Some adverse health conditions that may make you a bad candidate include:
- Eye muscle imbalances, Keratoconus, Glaucoma, Cataracts, Retinal or Optic nerve conditions
- Severe dry eyes
- Eye viruses like herpes simplex or herpes zoster
- Back problems
- Psychological problems
- Collagen vascular disease
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Autoimmune disease
Consider Your Responsibilities
Before and after surgery, there are certain responsibilities that only you can perform.
- Depending on your surgeon, you may be asked to stop wearing contacts for two to four weeks prior to surgery.
- No cosmetics or perfume can be worn the day of surgery.
- Transportation should be arranged from the surgery facility as you will be slightly sedated during the procedure.
- After surgery, you may be required to visit your doctor for post-op exams and later annual exams to maintain your overall eye health.
For a full list of conditions or circumstances that may affect your candidacy, consult with one of Complete Eye Care’s specialists.