LASIK is a fantastic way to feel young by reclaiming the sight that you may have lost over the years. However, because it is a surgery, LASIK does have certain restrictions and may not be safe for everybody. One of the biggest restrictions is age. It is a common misconception to believe that you can be too old for LASIK. Senior citizens regularly receive LASIK safely and with amazing results!
While age certainly is an important thing to consider when determining whether or not you are a good candidate for LASIK, it is whether you are too young; there is no upper age limit. Legally speaking, you must be at least 18 years old to be considered eligible to receive LASIK, but many people wait until they are in their mid-twenties. The reason for this is that our eyes change rapidly when we are young. Our hormones tend to fluctuate, affecting our entire bodies, eyes included. If you were to get LASIK during this time, your eyesight could change within a very short amount of time, rendering the surgery an expensive waste of time. As a rule, your surgeon will most likely require you to have had a stable prescription for at least a year in order to avoid further vision correction.
Other LASIK Candidacy Requirements
Age is not the only limiting factor to qualify for LASIK. There are many other things that can affect your eligibility status. Here are some of the most common ones and the explanations as to why.
In order to prevent serious infection, it is important that your eyes be healthy. Even chronic dry eye can prevent you from being able to receive treatment. However, in the particular case of dry eye, PRK can be a valid alternative to LASIK. Other diseases will need to be treated and cured before surgery can take place. Heavy scarring from eye injuries can also disrupt a normal LASIK treatment.
Good General Health
Autoimmune disorders or uncontrolled diabetes will prevent you from receiving LASIK as they can affect your ability to recover. Similarly, make sure to discuss what medications you are taking with your eye surgeon, if any, as some can also affect your immune system.
Just like with being too young, this is due to hormones. Pregnancy hormones can also affect your eyes, and getting LASIK with unstable eyes is a recipe for disaster. In general, you should expect to wait for several months until after you are finished nursing before you are able to be considered for LASIK.
Some people have corneas that are unnaturally thin. Of course, the thickness of your cornea is measured in microns, so it isn’t noticeable until you’ve had an eye doctor measure it. However, if your corneas do not meet the thickness standard, LASIK will not be a safe procedure for you, though you could still qualify for PRK, a similar eye surgery.
These and any other requirement should be discussed with your doctor during your LASIK consultation. Contact us today!