When first considering LASIK, you might wonder if you’re even a candidate for the procedure. Perhaps you worry that your vision is so poor laser vision correction can’t help. Surprisingly, doctors determine your candidacy based on several different factors — not necessarily your prescription. It’s worth visiting a LASIK doctor to discuss the possibilities. Like all medical procedures, this isn’t for everyone. Here’s a rundown of what doctors generally look for.
There are a few general requirements that apply to everyone. Not meeting these conditions could mean that you are ineligible for LASIK. All patients must:
Your LASIK doctor will do a thorough examination before performing the procedure to assess other factors affecting your candidacy for LASIK.
Most people with farsightedness, nearsightedness, and astigmatism can expect good results from LASIK if they meet the basic requirements. However, your doctor will also consider these health factors:
Of course, realistic expectations about the outcome are also important. Like all medical procedures, there are potential side effects to consider, such as dry eyes.
There is not a set maximum age, but the overall health of your eyes is taken into consideration. For example, if your vision issues are related to a disease like cataracts or glaucoma, then LASIK is not for you. If you are over the age of 40, presbyopia may be at play. This is an age-related matter that many people start to experience in their 40s, when a natural change may occur in your eye’s lens that affects the ability to see up close. This is generally not influenced by refractive surgery.
Your doctor will start out by asking you about a series of health questions, and it is critical to answering each as accurately as possible. You’ll be asked about:
Next, you’ll undergo LASIK testing. It’s a painless procedure, performed with sophisticated machines that scan the eye for specific measurements, which the doctor considers in determining your LASIK eligibility. You cannot be properly screened without this part of the evaluation, and the following tests may be done during this process:
Many doctors will do all of this testing in a single visit, so expect to be at the office for two or more hours.It’s best to talk to a LASIK doctor about your eligibility and potential results. It’s worth exploring what LASIK can do for you.
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