LASIK is an elective procedure that is performed to correct refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.
An ophthalmologist performs LASIK using a laser that permanently reshapes your cornea which is the clear tissue in the front of your eye (what your contact lens sits on top of). This process improves visual acuity.
By precisely reshaping the cornea, LASIK alters how light travels to the back of the eye, which corrects your vision.
LASIK is quick, and only takes about 5 minutes per eye to complete. It also has an incredible success rate, with less than 1% of patients needing additional retreatment after surgery.
Despite the quick and effective nature of LASIK, it is not right for everyone. Keep reading to learn about some of the most important LASIK candidacy factors!
To be eligible for LASIK, you must first qualify as a good candidate for the procedure. A LASIK consultation will determine if you meet the following requirements:
Healthy eyes are necessary to be a candidate for LASIK. For most, the recovery time from LASIK is short, with only some temporary symptoms of dryness in the eyes.
Any existing eye conditions that can make the healing process longer will be addressed by your surgery prior to surgery. These conditions can include dry eye syndrome or conjunctivitis (pink eye).
Preexisting eye infections and injuries must also be addressed before LASIK surgery.
LASIK is approved for patients 18 years of age and older. If you are under the age of 18, you should wait to have LASIK. This is to ensure that your eyes will not continue changing after having the procedure. On average, most people’s prescriptions stabilize in their mid-20’s. Your surgeon may request medical records from your optometrist; an ideal LASIK candidate will have a stable glasses prescription (or one with minimal change) for a period of at least 2-3 years.
You should be aware that if you are older than 40, you may still need reading glasses, even after LASIK. This due to age-related conditions such as presbyopia (age related farsightedness), which occurs when the natural lens inside the eye becomes less flexible. This is a normal eye condition that comes with aging. Unfortunately, LASIK cannot correct this in patients above the age of 40.
LASIK does not prevent presbyopia either and you may still need reading glasses at around at 40-45 even if you have had LASIK. However, your surgeon may be able to perform monovision LASIK to reduce and sometimes even eliminate the need for reading glasses for most activities.
Pregnant or nursing women are not able to undergo LASIK surgery. This is due to hormonal changes which may affect the stability of your prescription and could revert any benefits gained from surgery.
As LASIK involves altering the shape of the cornea, you must have a thick enough cornea to perform your correction. Performing LASIK on a thin cornea can be hazardous as it can affect corneal strength and stability and may cause serious complications.
Diabetes, HIV, and certain autoimmune diseases can make it harder for you to qualify for LASIK.
Certain medications such as prescription acne medication can also disqualify you from LASIK. These medications can increase the chances of dry eye syndrome. Dry eye syndrome can make it harder for your eyes to heal.
Ready to find out if you qualify for LASIK? Schedule a LASIK consultation at Coastal Vision at one of our convenient locations in Irvine, Long Beach, Norco, and Orange, CA today!
If you’re tired of a life dictated by glasses and contacts, there may be a better way!