Have you been considering LASIK, and curious whether you would be a good candidate? The good news is that most people who want LASIK qualify for the procedure!
Only a small percentage (about 10-15% of people) find out they are not a good fit for LASIK, though they are often a candidate for another procedure. The only way to discover for certain if you qualify is to have a thorough LASIK consultation.
LASIK is a life-changing procedure and can give you visual freedom from glasses and contact lenses. That’s why it’s so worthwhile to find out if you’re a good candidate! If you don’t qualify, there may be an alternative vision correction procedure that your eye doctor can recommend.
While a full consultation is the only way to know if you’re a good candidate, there are factors you can take into account before your LASIK consultation. Keep reading for 6 signs you’re a good LASIK candidate!
1. You’re in Your Mid-to-Late Twenties
LASIK is FDA-approved for those who are at least 18 years old, and if your prescription has been stable, it is perfectly safe to have the LASIK procedure. However, it may be more likely that your prescription has stabilized when you are in your mid-to-late twenties.
While you’re still growing, your eyesight is still changing as well. By the time you’ve reached this age, your eyes should be stable, meaning your prescription hasn’t changed in at least a year.
Some surgeons require patients to have a stable prescription for at least two years before having LASIK. The longer your prescription has been unchanged, the less likely it will change after surgery, making LASIK more effective.
LASIK is not nearly as effective if your eyes are still developing after you have the procedure. If your prescription is still changing, your doctor will tell you to wait to have LASIK to ensure you’ll have the best possible results.
2. Your Prescription is Within the Treatment Limits
LASIK is a remarkable procedure that can correct refractive errors like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. As impressive as it may be, it still has limits.
Your prescription must be within the treatment limits of what LASIK can correct. LASIK can correct up to -12.00 diopters of nearsightedness, +6.00 diopters of farsightedness, and 6.00 diopters of astigmatism.
These treatment limits cover most people with refractive errors. If your prescription exceeds these limits, LASIK cannot be fully effective.
Talk to your eye doctor about LASIK alternatives like Advanced Surface Ablation (ASA) or Implantable Collamer Lens (ICL) if you find out you aren’t a good LASIK candidate during your consultation at Diagnostic Eye Center in Houston.
3. Your Eyes are Healthy
For LASIK to be safe, your eyes need to be healthy. If you have certain eye conditions that aren’t a refractive error like glaucoma or cataracts, you may not qualify as a candidate for LASIK.
This is true for both serious eye diseases as well as conditions like dry eye syndrome. If you suffer from dry eye syndrome, it may be more difficult to heal after having LASIK.
As part of your LASIK consultation and evaluation, your eye doctor will perform a thorough evaluation of your eye health to determine if your eyes will be able to adequately recover from LASIK. Even if you do have dry eyes, you may still be able to have LASIK, but not right away.
First, you’ll need to treat your dry eyes and get any symptoms under control. After you accomplish this, you should be able to qualify for LASIK.
4. You are Healthy
You should be in good health to have LASIK. Those with certain autoimmune conditions like Sjogren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, or lupus may not qualify as candidates for LASIK.
Autoimmune diseases can make it harder for your body to heal after having any surgical procedure, even something like LASIK. If you have a pre-existing condition, you may still be able to qualify for LASIK, but you should consult your primary care physician and your eye doctor. They can assess your risk and make an informed decision.
5. Your Corneal Curvature is Normal
Part of your comprehensive LASIK evaluation includes measuring the curvature of your cornea.
This is called Corneal Topography, and the results look much like a topographical map of the earth. This test will map out any astigmatism that you may have, but it can also show signs of a condition called keratoconus.
Keratoconus occurs when the cornea becomes abnormally thin and cone-shaped, and people with this condition should not have LASIK. If you have keratoconus, there are other options that your doctor can discuss to help provide improved vision. It’s important to properly screen for keratoconus so you don’t have a procedure that could actually make your vision worse.
6. Your Corneas are the Right Thickness
Another factor for LASIK candidacy that’s determined at your consultation is measuring the thickness of your corneas.
A crucial component of having LASIK involves the creation of a corneal flap. To create this flap safely, you need to have corneas that are thick enough.
If your corneas are too thin, LASIK surgery could result in complications or damage to your vision. Having thinner corneas doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with your eyes; it simply indicates that LASIK is not the best vision correction procedure for you.
Other procedures that Diagnostic Eye Center offers, like Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK), Implantable Collamer Lens (ICL), or Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE), may end up being a better solution for those who find out they have thinner corneas. Talk to your eye doctor if you don’t qualify for LASIK about what alternatives there are and what they recommend for you.
Ready to find out if you could be a good candidate for LASIK? Schedule your free LASIK consultation at Diagnostic Eye Center in Houston, TX, today, to find out!
With visual freedom within reach, isn’t it time to set yourself on a new path towards seeing the way you’ve always wanted to?