If you’re considering LASIK to correct your vision problems once and for all the first step of the process is setting an appointment with your optometrist for a LASIK consultation.
A LASIK consultation will help your doctor determine whether you are a good candidate for laser eye surgery and what specific type of LASIK procedure is most appropriate for you.
While there’s no replacement for an actual optometrist appointment, this article will help you determine for yourself whether you could be a candidate for LASIK surgery, and whether you should be making an appointment with your optometrist.
LASIK Laser Eye Surgery Requirements
Age: To be considered and eligible candidate for LASIK, you need to be at least 18 years old. Conversely, you are far less likely to be eligible for the procedure if you are older than 40 years old.
Overall health: To be considered for surgery, LASIK candidates need to be in good general health. Your vision will need to be stable for a period of at least one (1) year before the procedure.
Candidates also should not have certain health problems, these include:
autoimmune or collagen vascular disease
taking medication or having a condition that compromises the immune response (such as taking medication for organ transplants or having AIDS)
Corneal thickness is one of the most important factors doctors consider when determining your candidacy for LASIK eye surgery. The nature of the procedure limits candidates to those with a corneal thickness of at least 0.5 mm.
Eye Diseases: You need to be free of eye diseases like keratoconus, glaucoma, cataracts, corneal disease and certain retinal and optic nerve diseases.
Eye Conditions: Certain eye conditions including herpes simplex and herpes zoster as well as chronic dry eyes, will prevent you from becoming a candidate.
Infections and Injuries: Candidates should not have any eye infections or injury.
Nursing or pregnancy: Pregnant Women and nursing mothers are not eligible for LASIK eye surgery and cannot undergo the LASIK procedure until after three months from the end of nursing.
This is because your hormones can adversely affect the stability of your prescription.
Other Lasik Prescription Requirements
Determining whether any patient is a suitable candidate for LASIK is made on an individual basis, taking a patients medical history, prescription, and other health factors into consideration
Your optometrist or ophthalmologist will also take note of your vision goals and your expectations for the procedure, and depending on whether or not your expectations are realistic, they will determine if LASIK is the best course of treatment.
Who Should Not Get LASIK Eye Surgery
Not everyone can be eligible for laser eye surgery, patients with certain diseases of the eye involving the cornea and retina can never be candidates.
The best way for you to find out is by having a thorough, no-obligation LASIK consultation.
LASIK Eye Surgery Questions/Answers
How Bad Do Your Eyes Have to be to Get LASIK
Your eyesight can’t be too bad.
People who have extremely high refractive errors, such as an above average level of myopia or hyperopia, are not recommended to undergo LASIK.
Is My Vision Too Bad for LASIK Surgery
If your eye doctor determines you are not eligible to be a LASIK candidate, you may still be a good candidate in the future. As the technology for laser eye surgery improves, people with higher and more difficult prescriptions are becoming good candidates for LASIK surgery.
How Much Can Laser Eye Surgery Improve My Vision?
LASIK is used to treat severe degrees of nearsightedness, moderate amounts of farsightedness, and astigmatism. the procedure is able to reduce your dependency on glasses and contact lenses, but the procedure is not a guarantee for 20/20 vision.
With that said, the majority of patients who have laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK) eye surgery achieve 20/25 vision or better, which is suitable for most activities.
What Health and Eye Conditions Do I Need to Tell my Optometrist / Ophthalmologist about?
Even if you don’t have any of the major eye diseases and conditions listed above, to ensure the best possible results for your procedure, you should alert your doctors to the following minor eye and general health conditions during the consultation:
amblyopia (lazy eye)
strabismus (muscle imbalance)
any recurrent, residual, or active eye conditions that may influence healing.
General health conditions that should be discussed with the doctor include:
keloid scarring with previous surgical healing
You should also make sure your eye doctor is aware of any mental health conditions, as these may also affect your LASIK surgery or recovery.
Can LASIK treat my presbyopia?
While LASIK eye surgery can drastically improve your eyesight if you suffer from near- or far- sightedness, the procedure is not able to reverse the effects of age-related presbyopia. Most LASIK patients will still eventually need glasses for driving at night or reading as they move into old age.