Lasik is surgery to treat refractive errors of the eye, which are nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism. During this surgery, Dr. Patel uses lasers to very precisely resculpt the patient’s eye so that they can see clearly. Here are some criteria to determine who is a candidate for Lasik surgery:
People Between 18 and 40
Ophthalmologist consider a person younger than 18 a bit too young for Lasik surgery. This is because vision isn’t really stable until the person is about 19 or so. After that, a person with otherwise healthy eyes can be a candidate for the surgery.
People who are over 40 might start to experience a type of farsightedness called presbyopia when they notice they can’t read fine print as well as they used to. They may require something different from Lasik to help with this problem. People who are over 70 may find that their vision is becoming cloudy or yellow-tinged, and they are beginning to see halos around lights. This may be a sign of cataracts, which happens when the natural lens of the eye becomes cloudy. This problem may require that the natural lens is removed and replaced with an artificial, implanted lens. Lasik doesn’t correct cataracts.
People Worried About Their Prescription
People who wear prescription glasses or contacts worry that they are not candidates for Lasik if their prescription has changed within the last year or so. This isn’t true unless the prescription has changed dramatically. Ophthalmologists believe it is simply a good idea to know that the patient’s eyes have had about a year to grow used to any new prescription. Lasik surgery is another good reason for a person to get a yearly eye exam.
Health Conditions That May Make a Person Ineligible for Lasik
A woman who is pregnant should put off having Lasik until a few months after her baby is born and even after she stops breastfeeding. The hormones of pregnancy can change the shape of a woman’s cornea, so she should check with her regular physician to see when she is a good candidate for Lasik after giving birth.
People who have dry eyes are generally not good candidates for Lasik surgery. This includes people who are on medication that lowers the hydration throughout their entire system and not just their eyes. People who have dry eyes because of medication need to wait until they are off the medication to consider Lasik treatment.
Other people who have problems with their eyes such as scarring on their cornea, glaucoma, certain eye infections or a disease that makes their cornea too thin might not be eligible for Lasik. The same is true of people who have a disorder called keratoconus, which causes the cornea to bulge in an irregular way.