LASIK Eye Surgery: Are You a Good Candidate?

A laser beam shining into the eye of an African American patientIf you depend on glasses or contact lenses to see correctly, it can be tiring and expensive to get updated prescriptions each year. You may consider turning to LASIK eye surgery to correct refractive errors and improve your vision. But how do you know if you’re a good candidate for LASIK surgery, and where in Central PA can you see a board-certified and eye-surgery specialist?

Campus Eye Center provides a comprehensive eye and laser center to have your LASIK procedure and follow-up treatment. Voted as the #1 Laser Eye Center by Lancaster Online Reader’s Choice Awards in 2020, you can rest assured that when you schedule an evaluation for vision correction, you’re choosing the best laser eye surgeons in Lancaster, PA.

A Refractive Surgery for Improving Your Vision

Before we dive into whether you are a good candidate for LASIK eye surgery, let’s first briefly overview what LASIK is to understand some of the limitations. LASIK is a type of refractive surgery to correct or improve nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism.

The LASIK surgeon uses a laser to change the shape of your cornea, which helps better your eyesight by improving how light rays are focused on the retina. This laser eye surgery can reduce or even eliminate your need for corrective lenses. Although, as you get older, you may still need reading glasses due to presbyopia, the normal, age-related loss of close-up vision.

Potential Side Effects

While improved vision and less dependence on corrective lenses sound great, there are some potential side effects and risks, as with any surgery. One of the most common side effects of the surgery is dry eyes and changing vision during the day. It’s typically a temporary side effect, usually lessening within a month of surgery, but it can take longer for some people. Other potential side effects, which could be temporary or permanent, include:

  • Eye pain or discomfort
  • Itchy eye
  • Glare
  • Halos around lights
  • Small patches of blood on the white of the eye
  • Over-correction or under-correction of vision

Only you and your eye doctor can determine whether the potential side effects of laser eye surgery are worth the benefits of surgery. Schedule an eye exam today to get started and find out more.

Who Is a Good Candidate for LASIK Eye Surgery?

As with any surgery, some people are better suited to get LASIK eye surgery than others. Healthy eyes, sufficient corneal thickness, stable vision, and good health are some of the qualifying attributes of a good candidate for LASIK.

Healthy Eyes

To get LASIK surgery, your eyes must be healthy without signs of eye disease, infection, or injury. LASIK can worsen this condition if you have untreated severe dry eye syndrome, so it’s essential to get treated for it before surgery. Your eyes must also be free of cataracts and glaucoma.

Sufficient Corneal Thickness

Since we know a laser reshapes your cornea, thin corneas, ones that are misshapen or have an irregular surface could comprise the surgery results. However, new advancements may allow for thinner corneas to be corrected.

Prescription Within Certain Limits

LASIK can treat myopia up to -12.00 diopters, hyperopia up to +6.00 diopters, and astigmatism up to 6 diopters. LASIK may not be worth the cost and potential risk for those with refractive errors greater than these numbers since the results are less predictable. There may be other surgical options for those people.

Age

In general, you must be older than 18 to qualify for LASIK, though children may be able to get the surgery with a parent’s consent if they meet other criteria.

Stable Vision

Your vision must be stable to get surgery, and you should go at least a year without needing any changes in your prescription.

Good Health

A person must be in good health to get laser eye surgery and be treated for medical conditions. Those with certain conditions, like Sjogren’s Syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, and AIDS, may not be suited for surgery since they affect the body’s ability to heal or cause severe dry eyes.

Not Pregnant

LASIK is not recommended for pregnant or nursing women, as the hormone changes could cause their vision to fluctuate.

Who Shouldn’t Get LASIK?

Some characteristics and conditions people have can increase their risk of side effects, and they may want to explore other vision correction options. Some of these factors include:

  • Naturally, large pupils increase your risk of halos, glares, and starbursts in low light after surgery.
  • Certain medications, like steroids and acne medications, are not recommended to take when having LASIK.
  • Someone who expects perfect vision after surgery shouldn’t get LASIK. Results aren’t guaranteed, and there’s still a possibility for needing reading glasses, especially if you’re over 40.
  • Specific jobs or hobbies can increase your risk of eye trauma, which could compromise the corneal flap created during the surgery.
  • Someone who has issues paying for surgery should explore all their options before committing to it. Most insurances won’t help cover surgery costs, so it’s likely an out-of-pocket expense for most people.

Schedule Your LASIK Evaluation Today at Campus Eye Center!

If you think you may be a good candidate, LASIK eye surgery is an exciting alternative to glasses and contacts. Not only can it improve your vision and make you less dependent on corrective lenses, but it can also save you money by not having to buy care items for your glasses or contacts or updating your prescription each year. Even if you have been told in the past that you aren’t a candidate for LASIK, new technological advances have allowed more people to benefit from this surgery.

Schedule an eye exam today to get started with a LASIK evaluation and see how Campus Eye Center can help improve your vision!