Of the many qualifications necessary to be a good candidate for LASIK surgery, the number one factor is maintaining a stable prescription for at least 12 months. The reason stability is necessary is to ensure that you will have good results long-term. During a consultation for LASIK, the surgeon will perform pre-operative tests including a refraction test that will measure the level of myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism. In addition to determining the stability of any refractive errors, other pre-operative tests include pupil measurement, corneal thickness measurement, tear film analysis and dry eye evaluation.
Once the surgeon has determined the patient is in good health and meets the above criteria for withstanding and successfully completing LASIK surgery, patients can be scheduled for surgery. While there is no specific age that has proven to receive any better outcome than another, most doctors will recommend that LASIK is best suited for those between ages 25 to 40, because this is when prescriptions have generally settled without any major changes. However, the Food and Drug Administration has determined that the minimum age for LASIK surgery to be 18 years old.
Around age 40, eyes begin to change due to the natural aging process. Some people develop a form of farsightedness called presbyopia. Presbyopia is caused by the hardening of the lens of the eye. While LASIK generally is utilized for reshaping the cornea, a method of LASIK known as monovision can treat presbyopia. After age 60, the risk increases for certain eye diseases that would preclude candidacy for LASIK. Those include age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, dry eye syndrome, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and retinal detachment.
While there is no “right” age, the recommended age is for those between 25 to 40 given that one’s prescription has likely stabilized, and patients are at their peak, optimal health. If you have questions about how LASIK may benefit you and other qualifications necessary for correcting your vision, contact Inland Eye LASIK.