Who Should (and Shouldn’t) Get LASIK?

Posted by: Missouri Eye Institute in Blog on February 15, 2022

Woman receiving an eye exam

Are you considering LASIK vision correction surgery and wondering if you’re a good candidate? Poor unassisted eyesight isn’t the only qualification. An eye surgeon will consider several aspects of a patient’s health and lifestyle when determining if LASIK is right for them.

You may be a great candidate for LASIK if you meet some of the primary qualifications discussed here …

You have a refractive error.

LASIK is used to correct a variety of refractive errors, including nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), astigmatism and over-40 vision (presbyopia). These are each different types of “refractive error.” Your eye doctor will want to ensure your refractive error will benefit from LASIK before approving you for surgery. If the error is too severe or too minor, LASIK surgery may not be the best option.

You’re in the right age range.

In general, prospective LASIK candidates should be at least 21 years old to undergo vision correction surgery. The decision to perform LASIK on younger patients will ultimately be at the discretion of the surgeon, who will take into consideration the patient’s health and vision.

Your prescription is stable.

If you’ve been using the same eyeglasses or contact lens prescription for at least a year, you may be a good candidate for LASIK. You wouldn’t want to undergo vision correction surgery while your eyes are in flux, because they could continue to change, thus altering your results. By waiting until your eyes have stabilized, you’ll achieve a better long-term visual outcome. During your consultation, we will perform a number of scans on your eyes and discuss your vision history, which will help us determine the stability of your prescription.

Who Shouldn’t Get LASIK?

Certain life stages and health conditions may make LASIK impractical for some patients. Here are a couple of the most common.

You’re battling serious illness.

Significant health issues can work against the body’s natural healing process. Most surgeons will want to ensure that acute or chronic conditions are adequately managed or stabilized before approving someone for LASIK surgery. Some of the most common include:

Chronic or serious illness should not discourage anyone from getting a thorough ophthalmic examination. In fact, a skilled eye doctor can work with you to ensure that your eyes remain as healthy as possible during other medical treatments.

You’re pregnant or nursing.

During pregnancy and nursing, hormones and body changes can alter the shape of the cornea, leading to better or worse vision. For this reason, a LASIK surgeon will not perform permanent vision correction during these temporary changes.

You’re expecting miracles.

The prospect of tossing away those bulky eyeglasses and uncomfortable contacts is an attractive incentive for most LASIK patients. However, it’s important to have realistic expectations about what LASIK can and can’t do.

Your eye surgeon cannot – and will not – guarantee perfect 20/20 vision from LASIK. LASIK can’t prevent cataracts or glaucoma, nor does it make anyone immune to the inevitable vision changes we all experience as we age.

What your surgeon can do is tailor a LASIK vision correction treatment plan to your unique eyes, lifestyle and vision goals. They can also set realistic expectations for the outcomes you can expect based on your eye’s anatomy, the advanced technology utilized and historical data from millions of LASIK patients over the last 20-plus years. The first step is a thorough consultation, which you can schedule on our website or by calling (800) 383-3831.

Missouri Eye Institute has helped thousands of patients attain freedom from glasses and contact lenses. Contact us at (800) 383-3831 to schedule a vision correction consultation or visit MissouriEye.com to learn more about our services.


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