LASIK Eligibility – Who Can Receive Laser Eye Surgery?

Who Are Good Candidate For LASIK Procedures

Who Can Get Laser Eye Surgery

With the revolutionary success of LASIK surgery, it’s no wonder that everybody is asking about it. As much as LASIK surgeons would love to restore great vision to everyone, it’s just not physically possible. Some individuals make better candidates for laser eye surgery than others.

Who Can Receive LASIK Surgery?

Eyeball, Cornea or Lens?

LASIK procedures can only help people who have “refractive errors” relating to their cornea. The eye requires light to be bent – or refracted – a certain way to create clear images. If the light can’t bend properly due to an abnormality of the eyeball, lens, or cornea, things will be blurry. Most people with vision problems have:

  • Myopia – nearsightedness, you can only see things that are close up
  • Hyperopia –  farsightedness, the only clear objects are those that are further away
  • Astigmatism –  whether an object is near or far, it’s still blurry.

If the issue is related to your eyeball or lens, laser eye surgery can’t help. If the refractive error is related to the cornea, and the prescription falls into the right margin, you may be a good candidate for LASIK procedures.

The Right Prescription

If it’s determined that the cornea is causing your vision problems, your LASIK surgeon will perform various assessments to determine your prescription. Your prescription is measured in “diopters.” Laser eye surgery is only effective for patients within a certain diopter range:

  • Myopia: 0.75 to -12.00
  • Hyperopia: +0.75 to +4.50
  • Astigmatism: +/- 0.75 to +/- 6.00

If your prescription falls outside of these measurements, your LASIK surgeon will let you know what your corrective options are.

Age Before Beauty

Your age is a factor in whether or not you can proceed with LASIK surgery.

0 – 17 years – Unfortunately, you need to wait until you are 18-years or older before you can proceed with LASIK eye surgery. This is because vision prescriptions can change as your eyes and brain continue to grow. Your LASIK surgeon wants to make sure that you are at a fairly stable prescription in order to do the best s/he can for your vision.

18 – 21 years – Most adults between the ages of 18 – 21 are eligible for LASIK surgery. However, many facilities recommend that patients wait until they are 21 years of age or older. Vision can change during these years, so waiting a little longer may be beneficial for optimal LASIK outcome.

21 – 100 years  – Congratulations! You’re a perfect candidate for LASIK surgery. Do keep in mind that at around 45 – 50 years of age, a condition called presbyopia can set in. This condition causes the lens of the eye to become more stiff. Even after LASIK surgery, you may require reading glasses from time to time as your eyes get older.

Health-Related Conditions

If you have been given the LASIK go-ahead based on your prescription and your age, the LASIK surgeon will want to verify that you are healthy enough to go through with the procedure. There are certain health conditions which can make a person ineligible. If you have any of the following conditions, talk to your doctor about the possibility of LASIK surgery.

  • Pregnancy or currently nursing mothers
  • Serious heart disease, especially if you use a pacemaker
  • Lupus
  • Severe diabetes
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Taking prescription drugs, such as Accutane, Imitrex®, or Prednisone, and various immune system medications
  • Glaucoma
  • Ocular herpes simplex
  • Cataracts
  • Keracotonus (a corneal condition)
  • Retinal disease

Interested in LASIK Surgery?

The best way to determine if you’re a good candidate for LASIK eye surgery is to come in and find out for yourself. Schedule a free consultation to see if clear vision is in your future.