Laser vision correction has helped millions of people correct their vision issues since it was first approved by the FDA twenty years ago. And it’s easy to see the appeal – for most patients, LASIK is a permanent solution to wearing glasses or contact lenses. But how do you know if you’re a good candidate for LASIK surgery? The best way to find out is to talk to a laser vision doctor, who will conduct a handful of eye exams to determine if LASIK will help you. In the meantime, here are a few things that can help you understand if LASIK might be a good option for you:
Is your prescription stable?
Most laser vision correction doctors want to make sure that your vision isn’t fluctuating from year to year. If your vision isn’t stable, LASIK may only fix your vision for a short period of time. The LASIK surgeon will probably request your prescription history from your primary eye care doctor in order to assess whether and how much your vision has changed between your yearly eye exams.
Are you at least 18?
Vision can change quite a bit during your childhood and teenage years, but tends to stabilize in early adulthood. So while there’s no set age limit for LASIK, most laser vision doctors will wait until a patient is at least 18 before performing surgery. Doing surgery too early may mean only temporary vision correction and patients may see a decline as the eyes change with later age.
Are you healthy?
Your doctor will likely ask you several questions about your overall health as well as the health of your eyes. He or she will want to confirm that you’re generally in good health and, of course, free from eye disease. For example, patients with glaucoma are often told that they’re not eligible for laser surgery, but your doctor might make an exception if your glaucoma is stable and being treated.
Can you accept the risk involved?
All surgery carries certain risks, and LASIK is no exception. Some LASIK patients report glare and halos following surgery, others experience dry eyes, and still others have their vision revert back to their pre-surgery vision over time. While these complications are rare, they do happen. Deciding to go through with LASIK involves an in-depth discussion with your eye doctor about the risks and benefits of the procedure.
Provided by VSP