Lasik eye surgery is potentially a way to reduce your reliance on glasses or contacts. The question for candidates is whether or not Lasik is right for them. It isn’t right for everyone, but in this article, we’ll give you a set of general guidelines to help determine whether or not it’s worth considering.
You Have a Stable Prescription
A stable prescription indicates that your eye condition hasn’t changed for years. For example, if you’ve been wearing the same glasses for a while, then you may be a candidate. In this case, Lasik may be an option for you. If your vision is still changing – for better or for worse – you shouldn’t have laser eye surgery. The good news is that if your vision stabilizes for a few years, you can ask an eye doctor if you’re now a candidate. While the procedure is approved for patients over 18, doctors regularly ask people to wait until their mid-twenties to make certain their vision is stable.
You Have Healthy Eyes
Lasik is only an option if you have healthy eyes. For example, you cannot have Lasik done if you have keratoconus, a degenerative disorder that affects the cornea. If you have cataracts or glaucoma, you shouldn’t have laser eye surgery. If you suffer from dry eyes, there is a fair chance you can’t have the surgery done. Doctors recommend against those with collagen vascular disease, lupus, or rheumatoid arthritis because these conditions increase the risk of complications.
Previous eye surgeries and injuries may affect the Lasik recovery time or eligibility for the procedure. Recurrent or active eye conditions may require resolution before you can have surgery, and it could affect healing afterward. You may be able to have Lasik if you have a lazy eye, keloid surgery, muscle imbalance or other conditions, but you must inform the doctor to get an honest assessment of your ability to have the surgery.
You have the Right Motivation
Lasik is an elective surgery, meaning that it is non-essential. So, before you decide to get the surgery done, you have to make sure that you have the right motivation behind it.
If you don’t like being restricted by glasses, are tired of using contact lenses, your prescription is too high or you’re into sports, then Lasik might be a good choice for you. But, if you’re just slightly annoyed by your glasses and they’re just a minor nuisance, then you might reconsider. While Lasik is a low-risk procedure, it is still surgery, and surgery should never be taken lightly. So, make sure that you evaluate the reasons behind your choice and absolutely want it.
You also have to have the right condition to get Lasik. Lasik is usually better for people who are suffering from Myopia or near-sightedness. In some cases, it can also be used to treat astigmatism. If you happen to be suffering from any other eye condition, you might want to ask your doctor if it can be corrected through the surgery.
You’re Willing to Accept the Risk
Up to 70% of patients experience 20/20 or better vision after the procedure. However, there is a chance you’ll have less than 20/20 vision. And you need to accept the risk of complications that can result in vision defects.
That is aside from the fact that Lasik cannot correct presbyopia, though you could request that the surgeon do laser surgery to leave your dominant eye near-sighted to help make up for the presbyopia. Yet this introduces the risk that you end up with one eye needing correction and the other fine, or difficulties adjusting to two different eyes with literally different views of the world. In other cases, someone with presbyopia still needs reading glasses after the surgery even though their long-distance vision is now corrected.
Some people may realize that the risks that come with surgery, though small, are not worth the minor hassle that comes with reading glasses.
You’re Willing to Follow Through with Your Responsibilities
You’re only a good candidate for the procedure if you’re willing to do what it takes pre-op to post-op to maximize the odds of success. A common request is asking someone not to wear contacts for several weeks before the consultation or surgery. You can’t wear cosmetics during the surgery, you have to follow the medication schedule after the surgery and you need to attend follow-up eye exams.
If you are willing and able to meet the conditions listed above, you’re probably a candidate for Lasik surgery. Regardless of the current state of your eyes, it is wise to consult with an eye doctor first to determine what is the best course of action for you.