LASIK Eligibility: Is It A Good Choice For Me?

Is LASIK right for you? LASIK stands for laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis. LASIK eligibility depends on several factors including your health and what conditions are affecting your eyesight. Woodhams Eye Clinic has been performing laser vision correction surgery since it was first approved by FDA in the late 90's. Surgeons use this highly effective procedure to correct common vision problems including nearsightedness, some farsightedness, and astigmatism. How does it work? Laser vision surgeries reshape the clear, front part of the eye (cornea) to allow light traveling through it to focus properly on the retina at the back of the eye. LASIK eligibility also can depend on the severity of your visual errors. So how can you tell if LASIK is right for you? Only a doctor can determine that for certain, but here are some general to help in making your decision.

Who's a good candidate?

According to the Mayo Clinic, LASIK surgery is most appropriate for people who have a mild to moderate degree of nearsightedness (myopia),farsightedness (hyperopia) and may also have astigmatism, which causes overall blurry vision.

Who's not a good candidate?

You're more likely to experience complications from LASIK surgery if you have certain medical conditions. These include:

  • Having a condition or taking medication that affects your immune system or healing (such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, HIV or diabetes). These can increase the risk of infection and other complications.
  • Persistent dry eyes.
  • Thin corneas, an extremely irregular corneal surface or a condition where the cornea thins and bulges outward into a cone shape (keratoconus).
  • Uncontrolled high pressure inside your eye
  • Pregnancy or breast feeding
  • Severe nearsightedness or diagnosis with a high refractive error. In this case, ICL may be a better option.

What else might disqualify me?

Even if none of the medical conditions listed above pertain to you, there are still other factors that may affect your LASIK eligibility.

  • Some patients see well enough to wear corrective lenses only part of the time. In these cases, the improvement you may get from LASIK may not outweigh the possible risks and your doctor may not find you to be an eligible candidate.
  • If you have large pupils that are prone to opening wide in dim light, you may not be eligible for LASIK since it could result in glare or halos.
  • Do you have a very active lifestyle involving contact sports? If you actively participate in certain sports like martial arts or boxing where blows to the face are common this could disqualify you for LASIK. However, PRK could be an option.
  • Age may be a factor in your eligibility. Generally, you must be at least 18 years old with a stable prescription for at least a year to be considered for LASIK. There is no age limit on the upper end for the procedure, but your doctor will consider your overall health and your eye health. Older patients who have cataracts or glaucoma may not be eligible for LASIK as their primary treatment for vision problems. If you are over age 40, you may have presbyopia (decreasing ability for your eye's lens to see close up). This may not disqualify you by itself, but LASIK may not be the right procedure to fix it. LASIK with Monovision may be a viable option for presbyopic patients. You may be able to try this with contact lenses before you decide to have the procedure.
  • Hormonal changes can affect your vision, so women who are pregnant, trying to become pregnant or who are nursing should delay LASIK. Changes in your vision will make measurements for treatment inaccurate.

To make the most appropriate choice about refractive surgery, get an eye exam and discuss your options plus the benefits and risks of LASIK with your eye doctor. If you are not a candidate for LASIK, he or she can suggest other possible options to help correct your vision.

Would you like to talk to someone about LASIK? Enter your information below and one of our patient care advocates will reach out to you or you can call us at 770-394-4000.

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