LASIK Candidates: Who Should Get Laser Eye Surgery

El Paso LASIK Candidates

Dec 29, 2014 @ 12:06 PM — by Paul S. Gulbas, M.D
Tagged with: Lasik |

A woman in front of an eye chartThe team at El Paso Eye Surgeons believes that effective LASIK surgery involves proper patient education and state-of-the-art surgical techniques. This is why we take great care in performing all LASIK procedures and ensuring that patients understand the surgical process in full. Given the popularity of LASIK, we'd like to take a moment to consider who the ideal candidates for the surgery are.

Conditions That LASIK Is Used to Treat

LASIK is ideal for treating the following refractive errors:

  • Myopia (nearsightedness)
  • Hyperopia (farsightedness)
  • Astigmatism

A form of LASIK known as monovision LASIK can be used to treat presbyopia, an age-related form of hyperopia.

Candidates Must Be at Least 18 Years Old

Patients need to be fully matured simply to make sure that the shape of the corneas is corrected without further corneal changes from maturation. That means patients must be at least 18 years old, though they are often older because of the other matters below.

Candidates Need to Have a Stable Prescription for at Least a Year

Patients should have stable glasses or contact lenses prescriptions for a year leading into LASIK surgery. Again, this is to ensure that the surgery is performed at an optimal time given the shape and nature of the patient's corneas.

Candidates Should Be Free of Eye Injury/Infection for at Least a Year

Eye injuries and eye infections can have an effect on a person's corneal shape and corneal health. Patients should thus be free from infection or eye injury in the year leading into a LASIK surgery.

Candidates Should Not Be Pregnant or Breastfeeding

LASIK is NOT performed on women who are pregnant or nursing.

During pregnancy, hormonal changes in a woman's body can lead to temporary changes in her eyesight. In addition, LASIK patients are required to take certain eye medications, which can get into the breast milk and/or may have effects on a developing fetus.

Given the various issues above, laser eye surgeons will wait until a woman is finished breastfeeding and her hormone levels return to normal before performing LASIK surgery.

Candidates Should Not Have Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye is a common side effect of LASIK given how the flap in the cornea is created. Because of this, people who already have dry eye are not considered good candidates for surgery. Undergoing laser eye surgery can make pre-existing dry eye far worse.

Corneal Thickness Will Play an Important Role

Ideal patients for LASIK should have corneas of average thickness in terms of overall shape. If a patient has corneas that are too thin, LASIK is not an ideal refractive surgery option to consider and an alternative would be more ideal.

The Importance of Realistic Expectations

As with any kind of surgery, it's important that LASIK patients have realistic expectations about the entire surgical process, including what the procedure entails and the potential side effects of LASIK. During your consultation process we will be sure to go over all LASIK risks and benefits in full detail, and we will also go over LASIK alternatives. This will provide you with the information you need to make smart choices about your eye care options.

Schedule a Consultation at El Paso Eye Surgeons

To learn more about LASIK as well as other laser eye surgery options that can help enhance the quality of your vision, be sure to contact our eye care and laser vision correction center today. The team at El Paso Eye Surgeons will work with you to ensure that you receive the treatment that best meets your needs.