Nobody likes to think about aging and getting on in years, but for those considering laser vision correction surgery, it’s something that needs to be considered before making a decision.
The Perfect Age for Laser Vision Correction Surgery
The easy answer to the question “is there a perfect age for LASIK?” is no. A patient can have laser vision correction surgery at any age and do well provided the eyes are healthy. The main consideration for LASIK surgery is a prescription that has been stable for at least one year.
This is why the FDA recommends that patients be at least 18 years or older before undergoing the procedure. The growth experienced during adolescence causes constant changes, which includes the eyes. However, there are some teenagers who are good candidates for LASIK because their prescription has been stable for a year or two.
Patients over 50
LASIK, like plastic surgery, has become more popular with people of the baby boomer generation. Many patients over the age of 50 are now considering laser vision correction surgery because they are very active and enjoy activities such as tennis or boating where freedom from glasses for distance would be beneficial.
There is no reason a patient over 50 can’t have LASIK surgery provided they do not have any signs of diseases such as corneal thinning or cataracts which could cause problems during or after the procedure. A family history of glaucoma or other eye disease also needs to be carefully considered before the patient undergoes treatment. Likewise, the patient needs to be healthy systemically, meaning they should not have conditions such as diabetes that can cause changes in the vision on a day to day basis. The patient’s current medications should also be taken into consideration.
Problems with Reading
Patients over 50 also need to be aware that they will most likely need reading glasses after a LASIK procedure. However, there is the option of being treated with what is termed monovision laser vision correction surgery. With monovision, one eye is corrected for distance and the other is corrected for reading up close.
When considering laser vision correction surgery, it’s imperative to have a consult with the surgeon prior to making a decision. Ultimately, it’s up to the ophthalmologist performing the procedure to decide whether or not the patient is a good candidate for surgery, regardless of age.
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