LASIK Requirements: Are You a Good LASIK Candidate?

Did you know that almost 97% of people who undergo LASIK surgery end up with 20/20 vision or better? That’s because this procedure is extremely safe and accurate nowadays, thanks to new advancements in medical equipment.

But is LASIK good for you as well? How do you know if you meet the LASIK requirements? A good LASIK surgery candidate needs to meet a few criteria before he or she is accepted on the operating table. Keep reading this article to find out what these criteria are!

1. You Must Meet the Age Requirement

You cannot have LASIK surgery if you’re too young. That’s because during your growth period, the eyes develop as well. Performing a LASIK surgery on a growing eye will only bring inaccurate results, not to mention that you might need to do the surgery again in a few years.

Many clinics require you to be at least 21 years old, as this is when the eyes are fully developed and they have stopped growing. It’s also required for your prescription to be stable in the last 6 months. This means that your shortsightedness or nearsightedness hasn’t increased or decreased recently.

2. You Need to Have A Sufficiently Thick Cornea

Without getting into too many technical details, you need to know that a LASIK procedure involves reshaping the cornea of your eyes. The cornea is a thin layer of tissue at the surface of the eyeball. This is resurfaced using a high-precision laser and the procedure is completely painless.

However, if your cornea is too thin, you’re not a good candidate for this procedure because the laser doesn’t have enough “material” to shape up. Your optometrist will verify the thickness of your cornea before doing the surgery, to see if you’re eligible or not.

3. You Must Not Have Blepharitis

Blepharitis is commonly known as an infection of the eyelids. This happens when the tiny oil glands around the eyes that keep them moist become clogged and infected. Blepharitis is not a serious condition, but it drastically increases the chance of having dry eyes after the surgery. That’s why doctors recommend not to do the LASIK surgery if you’re diagnosed with blepharitis, otherwise, you are exposed to a lot of side effects.

4. You Need to Have Healthy Eyes

Obviously, a person who has nearsightedness or shortsightedness doesn’t have 100% healthy eyes. However, we talk about major infections or diseases that might worsen after the LASIK surgery. For example, people with conjunctivitis, eye injury as a result of a traumatic event or people with severely dry eyes are not good candidates for LASIK.

Remember that LASIK resurfaces your cornea, so it basically makes the eye more sensitive than it already is. If you have very dry eyes on a regular basis, LASIK will only worsen your condition and you’ll eventually have to use eye drops several times a day. Your doctor will perform a plethora of tests to see if your eyes are healthy enough for LASIK surgery.

5. You Must Not Have An Autoimmune Disease

Autoimmune diseases are ailments of the immune system and they usually mean that the body is turning against itself. Good examples of such diseases include lupus, celiac disease, AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis, and others. These diseases prevent the body from healing properly and this can interfere with the recovery process after having LASIK surgery.

You will be tested before doing LASIK to see if you are diagnosed with such conditions. Diabetes type 1 and 2 can also play an important role here as they prevent the eyes from healing properly, so you must not have these health problems.

6. You Must Not Have Very High Prescriptions

LASIK can be successfully used to treat different eye problems such as astigmatism, nearsightedness, and shortsightedness. However, your prescription must be within certain limits for the operation to be successful. For example, your myopia (inability to see distant objects clearly) mustn’t be as high as -11 or -12 in either of the eyes. Treating very high myopia with LASIK might reduce the prescription, but you’ll still need to wear glasses afterward. Also, the higher your prescription, the more exposed you are to various side effects after the surgery.

7. Your Pupils Must Not Be Too Large

This is also an important requirement to keep in mind when considering LASIK surgery. Remember that the pupils expand and contract to let more or less light enter the eye. If you have very large pupils and you do the operation, this can increase the chances of seeing halos and starbursts during the night.

Such side effects might appear minor at first, but they are usually long-lasting and they can seriously impair your vision in low-light conditions. You might become a dangerous driver as well. The doctor will measure the size of your pupils and advise on what’s best for you.

8. You Can’t Be Pregnant or Nursing

During pregnancy, a woman gets through a serious hormonal roller coaster. These hormonal changes have the ability to reshape the cornea and this can reverse the results of your LASIK surgery or make your vision worse. It’s advisable to wait a few months after pregnancy and nursing before you do the LASIK surgery, to avoid complications.

How much you should expect after pregnancy depends on various factors. Your doctor will advise you the best, but usually, women can take advantage of LASIK surgery after 6-8 months of giving birth, assuming that all other criteria are met as well.

Now You’re Familiar with The Most Important LASIK Requirements!

As you can see, there are quite a few LASIK requirements you need to keep in mind before doing the surgery. These criteria have been devised by doctors to work in your best interest, both protecting your eyes and general health.

When you are being tested to see if you’re a good candidate for LASIK surgery, make sure that you ask any questions that you might have. An informed patient is always a happy patient. Also, don’t hesitate to check out our other blog articles to learn more about your eyes, vision, and how you can improve it!

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