LASIK surgery is gaining in popularity, allowing people who suffer from poor vision to see clearly without the aid of corrective lenses. When you visit with a skilled ophthalmologist, you'll be able to learn more about the surgery and how it can benefit you. We'd like to focus on candidacy for LASIK right now, and you may be surprised who is a good candidate for surgery and who isn't.
Some basics about LASIK first. LASIK is a refractive surgery which uses lasers to reshape the cornea, the clear frontal part of the eye. By doing this, light focuses properly on the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eyes.
General Candidacy for LASIK Surgery
LASIK is ideal for people who suffer from refractive errors, which you may know better as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. Candidates should be in generally good health and not suffer from any kinds of health conditions that would make surgery a risky endeavor.
Age Requirements for LASIK
It's important that LASIK be performed on people who are at least 18 years of age. This ensures that the patient's eyes have full matured. Premature corneal correction can lead to compromised vision for a patient in the very near future, so it's ideal for us to wait until the patient is fully adult.
Stable Prescription for at Least One Year
In addition to age, it's important that patients have a stable prescription for glasses or contacts for one year. If a patient's vision continues to decline each year, a LASIK procedure will not be able to achieve optimal results that last for a long time. Because of this, we want to ensure that a patient's vision stabilizes before we proceed with the procedure.
Healthy, Properly Shaped Corneas
LASIK involves the reshaping of the corneas and the creation of a small flap in the topmost part of the cornea. It's important that a patient have corneas that are healthy, properly shaped, and of sufficient thickness. People with thin corneas are poor candidates for LASIK surgery simply given the nature of the procedure.
Poor Candidates for LASIK Surgery
In addition to minors, people with unstable prescriptions, and people with thin or unhealthy corneas, LASIK is not ideal for:
- People with dry eye syndrome
- Pregnant women
- Nursing women
- People who suffer from certain autoimmune diseases
- People who have suffered an eye injury in the last year
- People who have suffered an eye infection in the last year
Can people become candidates for LASIK at a later time?
In some cases, yes, such as women who are pregnant or nursing and those who have suffered eye infections or injuries. Once the surgeon has assessed the patient's condition, a call regarding candidacy can be made.
Those who suffer from dry eye, have irregularly shaped corneas, or suffer from autoimmune disease will need to consider LASIK alternatives instead. These alternative vision correction options will be discussed in greater detail during your visit.
Learn More About Laser Vision Correction
If you would like more information about LASIK surgery and if it is an ideal option for you and your needs, be sure to contact our laser eye care centers serving Baltimore today. The entire team here looks forward to meeting you in person and helping you have healthy eyes and excellent vision.