Because our eyes change as we age, the type of laser eye surgery or other vision correction we need also may change. Certain approaches to LASIK or other procedures that work well for younger adults, for example, may be inappropriate for older individuals.
(Read our previous article on the difference between LASK & PRK eye surgery)
A LASIK surgeon uses what’s called an “excimer” laser to reshape the cornea. Most people who get laser eye surgery therefore reduce their need for further vision correction, such as through glasses or contact lenses.
In some cases, vision correction surgery may be ruled out entirely. Children under age 18 rarely would be considered candidates for laser vision correction because their eyes change too rapidly as their bodies grow and mature.
Also, some people have certain conditions or diseases that would make them poor candidates for certain vision correction procedures and better candidates for other procedures.
If you are not a candidate for LASIK, you may qualify for another laser eye surgerysuch as PRK (similar to LASIK but without the flap), LASEK, or epi-LASIK. There are also non-laser vision correction procedures. Your prescription and eye structure will be considered to help determine which procedure is best for you.
If you have diabetes or other diseases that affect wound healing, you might be a better candidate for PRK or LASEK than certain types of LASIK. If you have uncontrolled glaucoma, you likely would not qualify for LASIK or certain other procedures. Keep in mind that, generally, anyone who is pregnant should not undergo any form of elective vision surgery, because hormonal changes might affect the treatment’s accuracy.
Lifestyle also can make a big difference in the type of vision correction you need. A seamstress requires keen near vision. Computer users need good vision at intermediate ranges. And a pilot needs to preserve depth perception to make good spatially oriented judgments while flying.
Generally speaking, however, people in their 20s or 30s with mild to moderate farsightedness, nearsightedness, and/or astigmatism are usually excellent candidates for LASIK, PRK, Visian ICL, and other laser vision correction.
Very important: Always discuss and make these decisions based upon a formal appointment with your optician, health care professional or eye surgeon.