LASIK Surgery Age Limit: Breaking the Vision Barrier
Imagine bidding farewell to those bothersome glasses or itchy contacts and embracing the world with impeccable vision through LASIK, also known as Laser In-Situ Keratomileusis. The dream of visual freedom is within reach for millions. But one of the most commonly asked questions about LASIK eye surgery is, does my age exclude my eligibility for LASIK? Let’s dive in and debunk common LASIK myths and answer questions.
Dispelling the Age Myth
There’s a common misconception – that there’s an official age limit for LASIK. Let’s set the record straight – there isn’t. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, individuals aged 18 and over are eligible for LASIK eye surgery.
Your eyes, unlike fine wine, may not necessarily improve with age. While they mature gracefully, LASIK surgeons recommend or prefer that their patients are between the ages of 18 and up. Below 18, your prescription may change often which is why LASIK surgeons prefer to wait until your prescription stabilizes.
What Qualifies A Person As A Good Candidate For LASIK Eye Surgery?
- Age: You must be at least 18 years old.
- General health: Certain health conditions may require medications that can slow or prevent healing. LASIK candidates must be in good general health, and should not have certain health problems, including uncontrolled diabetes, autoimmune or take any medication that may compromise the immune response.
- Nursing/Pregnancy: Candidates should not be nursing or pregnant when undergoing the LASIK procedure. Hormones may affect the stability of your prescription, so pregnant or nursing women are not eligible to pursue LASIK surgery until three menstrual cycles after nursing has been discontinued
- Contacts: Prior to your LASIK surgery consultation and LASIK procedure, you must not wear contact lenses for a certain length of time. The precise length will be determined by your doctor on an individual basis. This ensures corneal stability and accurate assessment of your prescription prior to the LASIK surgery procedure.
Can I Have LASIK Eye Surgery If I’m Over 40?
Absolutely! Although, around the age of 40, a person’s eyes start to change again, LASIK can still address nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Many people around 40 years of age, start to need reading glasses due to a condition known as presbyopia. While LASIK does not correct presbyopia, some people with the condition decide to have monovision. Monovision is a technigue that has been around for centuries. It simply means that one eye is corrected for better near vision and the other eye corrected for better distance vision. Believe it or not, the images are blended together and your brain automatically decides what image to focus on depending on the task.
Does LASIK Eye Surgery Hurt? No, and Here’s Why
In order to understand why LASIK causes little or no pain, it helps to understand a bit about how laser eye surgery works. The goal of LASIK is to gently reshape the cornea, treating only very, very small portions of tissue, by using a precise laser. Throughout the process, your LASIK surgeon will also take every step to ensure that you are comfortable.
- Local Anesthetic – Before your LASIK eye surgery begins, your LASIK specialist will use eye drops to numb the surface of your eyes. These eye drops feel just like the type that you’d normally use to lubricate dry eyes, but contain a numbing agent so that you shouldn’t feel anything, except some pressure, during your LASIK procedure.
- No Sedation – With LASIK, you don’t have to worry about heavy sedatives, receiving injections of anesthetics, or “going to sleep” during the procedure. Those eye drops really do all of the numbing that you need, and the lack of heavy general anesthesia means you don’t have to worry about that foggy, groggy feeling after your LASIK surgery is complete.
- During LASIK Surgery – During surgery, the first step is creating the flap. You may feel a pressure sensation, but it is more of an odd or uncomfortable feeling than a painful one. Your eyelids will be held open with a special tool during the procedure, and while this may feel a little strange it is unlikely to cause any pain.
- Excimer Laser – The cool beam of the excimer laser used to perform LASIK eye surgery is incredibly precise, and guided by a computer which maps the structure of your eyes down to a microscopic level. During the portion of LASIK when your cornea is being reshaped, you actually shouldn’t feel any discomfort at all.
In conclusion, LASIK surgery knows no strict age limits. It’s about understanding your eyes, considering your lifestyle, and making informed choices at any age. Embrace the journey to better vision, and remember – age is just a number when it comes to breaking the vision barrier!
Are You Ready To Start Your LASIK Journey?
Your vision is very important to us and we want to make sure you have the information you need. Start your journey toward better vision by scheduling a free LASIK consultation today! We understand that choosing the right LASIK eye surgeon is a significant part of the decision-making process. This is why we want to take the time to get to know you and understand your specific needs to provide you with exceptional service.
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Common FAQs About LASIK:
A: The initial healing process after LASIK typically takes about 24 to 48 hours. However, it may take several weeks for your vision to stabilize fully. During this time, you may experience some minor pain, itching, or discomfort as your eyes heal.
A: While LASIK is not entirely pain-free, most patients do not experience any pain during the procedure. Eye drops are used to numb the surface of the eyes, and the lack of heavy sedation means patients won’t experience grogginess or a foggy feeling afterward. During the procedure, patients may feel some pressure and discomfort, but not pain.
A: LASIK is a safe and effective procedure for most patients. However, like any surgery, it does carry some risks. Potential complications include infection, inflammation, or problems with the flap. These risks are rare and can usually be treated with medication or additional surgery if needed.
A: Yes, LASIK can be performed on both eyes at the same time. This is typically the preferred method, as it allows for a more symmetrical correction of vision.
A: LASIK is generally considered an elective procedure and is not typically covered by insurance. However, some insurance plans may offer partial coverage or discounts for LASIK surgery.