LASIK is one of the most popular elective medical procedures for adults of all ages. But some people may not consider LASIK surgery because they think they don’t qualify for it.
The vast majority of patients who get screened for LASIK make good candidates. Only about 15% get screened out.
You can also ask yourself a few questions before going in for a consultation to see if you’re likely to qualify. Here are five key factors that go into qualifying for LASIK:
1. You Are At Least 18 Years Old
LASIK is only FDA approved for patients who are 18 and older. You cannot get LASIK if you are younger. Most surgeons recommend waiting until your mid-twenties to get the procedure. Before this point, your eyesight may still continue changing.
Although you have to be at least 18, there’s no rule about being too old for LASIK. As long as your eyes are in good health, you can get LASIK. Conditions like cataracts or glaucoma will make you a bad LASIK candidate.
2. You Are Healthy
To have LASIK, you should be in good health, especially when it comes to your eyes. Conditions like cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy don’t mix well with LASIK.
Being healthy is important because you must be able to heal after having LASIK. If you have any autoimmune conditions that make it harder to recover, LASIK may not be right for you. If you’re in good health, you’re probably a good LASIK candidate.
3. Your Vision Has Been Stable for At Least a Year
One of the biggest factors that go into LASIK candidacy is vision stability. You must have a stable vision for at least a year or more before you can get LASIK.
Having a stable vision for this time makes you less likely to have your vision change after you have LASIK. If your vision changes, it renders LASIK useless.
4. Your Vision is Within Certain Limits
LASIK can correct nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism. But there are limits to how much it can correct.
In general, these limits are -11 diopters for myopia, +5 for hyperopia, and 5 for astigmatism. As long as your prescription is within these limits, LASIK can correct your vision.
5. Your Cornea and Pupils Are Within Acceptable Size Limits
When getting LASIK, it involves reshaping the cornea. To do this, the cornea needs to be thick enough to allow for tissue removal. Your pupils also shouldn’t be too big, as large pupils can make it very hard to see at night after having LASIK.
No one expects you to know how big your pupils and corneas are. Your surgeon will measure them during your LASIK consultation. If your pupils and cornea are of average sizes, you should be a good candidate for LASIK.
6. You Have Been Evaluated For Dry Eye and Can Manage It if Needed
Some patients struggle with dry eye syndrome and fear that they can’t get LASIK. But you can actually still have LASIK if you have chronic dry eye.
The key is to have your dry eye under control and managed before you can undergo LASIK. Sometimes all you need is nutritional supplements.
Sometimes you can have punctal plugs put in to keep your tears from draining too fast from the surface of the eye. In most cases, if your dry eye and symptoms are under control, you can have LASIK.
Think you would be a good candidate for LASIK? The only way to know for sure is to have a LASIK consultation. Schedule yours at the New England Eye Center in Boston, MA today!