How Do I Know If I’m A LASIK Candidate?

Jan 9, 2019

Eye exam at Elite LASIK & Cataract in Indianapolis

LASIK eye surgery can be a viable option for you if you are tired of relying on glasses and contacts. The thought of being free from the burden of daily vision correction from glasses or contacts is exciting! But, how do you know if you can have the LASIK procedure? 

If you’re considering LASIK surgery, it’s important to know if you qualify for the procedure before you start your journey. Candidacy for this procedure depends on your individual characteristics and it is necessary to have a full dilated evaluation before determining if you’d be a good candidate for LASIK. While the majority of interested patients do qualify for the procedure, our consultation and evaluation appointments will help our doctors decide if the surgery is right for you. Below are considerations and questions our doctors and vision consultants will review and ask to see if you are qualified.

What Is The Best Age to Get LASIK?

A common concern we hear is if patients can be too young or too old to benefit from LASIK. As long as you’re in good general and ocular health and you meet the other qualifications to be a LASIK candidate, there is no reason that an older individual can’t undergo refractive surgery. While each patient is different, the average age range for patients to get LASIK is between 20 and 40 years old. The earlier in life you do it, the earlier you can enjoy the results

Am I Too Young for LASIK?

LASIK is approved for patients over 18 who have had a stable prescription for at least 2 years. In some cases, it is recommended that patients wait until their 20s to have the procedure, because their eyes may still be changing. But, if your prescription is stable and your eyes are healthy, LASIK could be a great option for you if you’re tired of glasses and contacts.

Many young adults may actually benefit more from a surgery known as photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) or SMILE, alternatives to LASIK. Each patient should be evaluated on an individual basis to determine the best procedure for their needs.

Am I Too Old for LASIK?

When you are in your 40s, you may start to notice that you have trouble reading up close and need to use reading glasses. This is called presbyopia, which just means that your eyes are aging. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you are too old for LASIK, because LASIK corrects your distance vision. When you are 60 years or older, your eyes start to change again, and your chance of cataracts increases. If you develop cataracts, laser cataract surgery could be a viable option for you to correct your vision.

Considerations For LASIK Candidates

Are My Eyes Healthy?

At your evaluation, our doctors will do a few scans and tests to see if you have any eye diseases or other eye-related issues to determine if your eyes are healthy. They also need to know if you have any eye diseases or other eye-related issues. Sometimes there can be ocular health issues that are found at your dilated evaluation that can preclude you from having the procedure. If a new condition is found that is a contraindication to the LASIK procedure, our doctors will educate you about the condition and make a recommendation for follow-up care.

What Medical Conditions Could Compromise My LASIK Outcome?

LASIK candidates should meet specific health criteria which include the absence of certain health issues. Systemic diseases are conditions such as diabetes, thyroid issues, or autoimmune disorders. Having one of these diseases does not necessarily disqualify you from surgery, but it is important for our doctors to know about them. If your condition is under control, you may qualify for LASIK. A conversation with our vision consultant can inform you if any condition you have would be counterproductive to an optimum outcome.

Do I Have a Healthy Cornea? 

Patients who have a good corneal thickness and curvature are considered good candidates for LASIK. If your cornea is too thin, then LASIK could be unsafe for you. This reading can be determined at your LASIK evaluation where a formal scan of your cornea is completed that will indicate the thickness of your cornea and if it has the proper shape for the procedure.

Do I Wear Glasses or Contacts? 

If your glasses/contact lens prescription has been stable for at least 1-2 years, meaning a 0.50D change or less, your candidacy is still considered. If your prescription is still changing, LASIK would potentially be a good option for you in the future. Your primary care eye doctor will be able to let you know if your eyes have been stable over time. 

It is important to know that wearing contacts does not disqualify you, but our doctors will ask that you take out your contacts 5 to 7 days before your procedure.

Am I Nursing or Pregnant?

We cannot offer the procedure to women who are pregnant. To qualify, a woman must be at least three months postpartum. If you are nursing, you may still qualify for the procedure. As a precaution, we ask that you pump for at least 24 hours after the surgery.

Schedule A Free Consultation

If you’re tired of glasses and contacts, then LASIK could help you see clearly again! At Elite LASIK, our vision consultants, technicians, and doctors will work with you to determine if you’re a good LASIK candidate, otherwise they will find the refractive procedure that is best for you. To find out, schedule your free consultation with us today!