Am I a Candidate for LASIK Surgery?
LASIK can be an attractive option for those wanting a life free of glasses or contacts. Learn more about the criteria that can affect whether or not you are a good candidate for LASIK surgery and if not, what other treatment options are available from the top eye doctors in greater Dallas at Kleiman Evangelista Eye Centers.
Your Eye Health
During your initial LASIK examination, your doctor will be looking at your overall ocular health to determine your candidacy.
Generally, your eyes must be healthy and free of active injury or infection like pink eye. If present, once these conditions resolve, you may become a LASIK candidate.
Additionally, severe or chronic dry eye may affect your surgery. Fortunately, the top eye doctors in greater Dallas can readily treat this and provide alternative solutions prior to your surgery, ranging from medicated eye drops to dietary additions like fish oil.
Your doctor will look for visual stability when determining your candidacy. This is why the minimum age requirement for LASIK is 18, but even then, your eyes are still evolving. Some surgeons recommend waiting until your early twenties when your vision stabilizes. While there is no upper age limit for this procedure, those over 40 are likely to develop presbyopia (age-induced farsightedness) and may still need reading glasses after surgery. There are also many surgical options to reduce the need for reading glasses if a patient chooses.
Your Prescription Strength
Having too strong of a prescription can hinder your LASIK results or call for major alterations to your eye structures. To be within the LASIK treatable range, your prescription can be up to +6.00 diopters of farsightedness, -12.00 diopters of nearsightedness and 6.00 diopters of astigmatism. There are also many other surgical options for patients outside of the prescription range for LASIK.
Your Prescription Stability
For more permanent LASIK results, you want to ensure that your vision has remained stable for at least 12 months prior to surgery. If your distance vision changes drastically at your annual eye exam, chances are it will continue to shift and require multiple enhancements after LASIK.
Your General Health
As with any surgery, it is imperative that you are in good overall health. Conditions that your physician may inquire about include:
- Autoimmune Disease (AIDS, Lupus, etc.)
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Chronic Pain conditions
Pregnant women are not candidates for LASIK surgery, due to pregnancy-related visual changes. Hormonal shifts during pregnancy can alter the corneal structure, which can cause blurring and other problems that may balance out a few months after birth.
One of the most important factors that influences whether you are a LASIK candidate is your corneal thickness. Because this procedure involves reshaping the cornea, your physician is closely evaluating the thickness and shape of your cornea.
Fortunately, technological advancements in surgical lasers have expanded both the pool of LASIK candidates and their success rates. The precision and care provided by these tools help decrease the risk of adverse reactions for those with thinner corneas and stronger prescriptions.
If the top eye doctors in greater Dallas have ruled out LASIK, you still have several alternative options that could offer glasses- and contact-free living:
- PRK – The predecessor to LASIK, PRK improves refractive errors by first gently rubbing away the epithelial layer of the cornea and then using excimer lasers to further change its shape.
- Visian ICL – This procedure involves implanting an artificial lens over the natural lens that works in tandem to improve vision. Visian ICL is particularly beneficial for those with chronic dry eye and thin corneas.
- Phakic IOLs – Much like Visian ICL, this option places an artificial lens atop the natural one to correct refractive errors.
At Kleiman Evangelista Eye Centers, we believe everyone should have an opportunity for clear, unassisted vision. Your eye surgeon will work with you to determine whether you are a LASIK candidate and find an appropriate solution that best meets your needs and vision goals.
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