KING LASIK ANSWERS THE PERFECT AGE LIMIT FOR LASIK
Another question we frequently hear at King LASIK in the Pacific Northwest is: is there an age limit on LASIK. In general, the answer is no; there is no age limit on LASIK surgery. However, there are certain age-related concerns to keep in mind when determining whether someone is a suitable candidate for the procedure. Let’s take a look at what they are.
LASIK and Younger Patients
The U.S. FDA has approved LASIK for use in correcting refractive errors in individuals who are at least 18 years old. However, we encourage most of our patients to wait until at least their mid 20s to have LASIK, as that is typically when the eyes have stopped changing. Usually, an individual’s vision prescription continues to change until their mid to late 20s, and it is important for suitable LASIK candidates to have stable vision prescription that has not changed for at least one year.
LASIK and Older Patients
When individuals hit their 40s, their vision tends to change again. This is the time when most adults develop presbyopia, or the age-related need for reading glasses. Although LASIK will not correct presbyopia per se, the refractive procedure may be used to correct one eye for near vision and one eye for distance vision, resulting in what is known as “monovision”.
Another option for patients between the ages of 40 and 60 suffering from presbyopia is the Kamra Corneal inlay. The Kamra Corneal inlay is placed over the pupil of the dominant eye to create a “pinhole” effect that works in concert with the untreated eye for clear vision at a full range of distance, including near and far.
As people reach their 60s, their eyesight typically changes once more. At this point in life, many people develop cataracts, or a gradual clouding of the eye’s natural lens. The only way to correct cataracts is to have them removed with cataract surgery; LASIK will not correct a cataract. However, if an individual in their 80s does not have cataracts and does indeed only have a refractive error causing a vision problem, they may still be a suitable candidate for LASIK surgery.
Overall, age may influence one’s candidacy for LASIK, but it is only a guideline, not a hard and fast rule. Someone who is 75 years old but does not have cataracts may be a more appropriate candidate for LASIK than someone who is 35 years old but has diabetes and dry eyes.