Do you need prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses to see well? If so, you probably can’t imagine life without corrective eyewear. But beyond eyeglasses or contact lenses, you may wonder whether you should get LASIK instead.
The FDA approved LASIK in 1999. It is one of the most popular procedures to correct poor vision. If you are considering this treatment, there is no better time to schedule a consultation with an eye doctor to learn more about the procedure.
Laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis is a refractive eye surgery used to correct vision issues like myopia, astigmatism, and farsightedness. The procedure involves using a laser to reshape the cornea to reduce and eliminate the need for corrective eyewear.
There may be better options than this procedure for some. Success will depend on whether you meet specific criteria. A comprehensive eye exam is the best way to determine whether LASIK is right for you. However, potential candidates must meet the following requirements to be eligible for surgery.
Your eyes must be healthy to be a good candidate for laser eye surgery. Any underlying conditions like glaucoma, cataracts, or past injuries can lower your chances of eligibility. Chronic dry eye syndrome can also disqualify you from this treatment, but your eye doctor may try to treat your dry eye symptoms before reevaluating your eligibility.
Most eye doctors require patients to be over 18 to get LASIK. Generally, the ideal age to undergo corrective eye surgery is when the eyes are fully mature. Some eye doctors advise patients to wait until they reach 21 years or after at least 12 months of having a stable prescription.
Besides having healthy eyes, your natural eye structure must meet specific standards for refractive eye surgery. Corneal thickness and pupil size can make or break your eligibility. Most refractive surgeries improve visual acuity by reshaping the cornea.
Performing laser surgery on a highly irregular or too-thin cornea could compromise the results, further impairing your vision. Pupil size can also determine your candidacy. If your pupils are naturally large, you could be at increased risk of side effects like starbursts, glares, and halos in low light.
The best candidates for laser eye surgery are people in good general health. They should not have certain health conditions like autoimmune disorders and diabetes or take medications that may compromise their immune system’s response. So, it would be best to inform your eye doctor of any medications and health issues that may affect eye surgery or recovery.
There is a limit to how much LASIK surgery can correct vision. The procedure tends to be ideal for nearsighted individuals. It also works for those with astigmatism and farsightedness. Generally, it can correct +5 diopters for farsightedness, -11 for nearsightedness, and 5 for astigmatism. You should consider alternative treatments if your prescription is outside these limits.
Eye doctors are experts at determining whether patients are good candidates for laser eye surgery. It is the perfect time to get your eyes checked. Use your HSA/FSA benefits before the year ends. For your convenience, at Looksie Optometry, our second location is accepting new patients and taking appointments. Make sure to schedule your vision exam before year-end.
For more about LASIK, visit Looksie Optometry at our San Francisco, California offices. Call (415) 593-5348 or (415) 778-2834 to schedule an appointment today.