Are you a good LASIK candidate? Do you meet the basic LASIK requirements? What even is LASIK?
For centuries, people with nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism had just two options: glasses and dealing with it. Glasses are a tremendous help for people with those conditions, but they have their drawbacks: changing prescriptions over time, losing them, forgetting them, and breaking them. Plus, they create a self-image issue for some people, though it should be noted that many people feel no stigma about wearing glasses and some even think they improve their appearance.
The advent of contact lenses was a game-changer for many, but contact lenses came with some of the same drawbacks glasses did: changing prescriptions, losing them, and forgetting them. Plus, there was having to put them in and take them out.
Then came LASIK eye surgery, an acronym for Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis. LASIK is a surgical process that uses a laser to reshape the cornea to achieve a permanent correction for nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. When successful, LASIK eye surgery reduces the need for glasses or contact lenses, and in many cases, it eliminates the need for them.
As with any other type of surgery, LASIK is not guaranteed to be successful for anyone needing corrective eye surgery. Therefore, it’s important to know who makes a good LASIK candidate.
If you already think you’re a good candidate for LASIK eye surgery in Atlanta, please contact us at Atlanta Vision Institute for a consultation. If you aren’t sure but are interested, please read on as we discuss what makes someone a good LASIK candidate.
Some Basic LASIK Requirements
Every patient is different, so the determination about whether LASIK is a good choice will always be up to patients and their doctors based on their unique circumstances, but there are some general requirements that hold true in most cases:
- Age 18 or older – When you’re 18, you’re a legal adult in the state of Georgia, but that’s not the only reason you have to be 18 in order to get LASIK. Before the age of 18, many people are still growing, which means their eyesight can be changing as well. Once puberty is over and physical maturity is attained, your eyes will “stabilize.” This doesn’t mean that vision problems won’t worsen– any aging person can tell you it doesn’t– but it does mean that if you undergo LASIK too early, your eyes may continue to change and develop before they “stabilize.” In that case, the benefits of LASIK may be lost or unrealized in the first place.
- Your Vision Prescription Is Stable – Anyone with a vision prescription, except for first-timers, knows from personal experience that their prescription will often change over time. For reasons similar to what we shared above, it’s best to have a stable prescription before seeking LASIK eye surgery. What does “stable” mean in this case? It means that most LASIK surgeons are going to want to see at least 1-2 years of an unchanged prescription before committing to performing the procedure. Your prescription also has to be within certain limits; LASIK cannot improve or correct every vision deficiency, and if you find yourself as an outlier, your doctor will advise you about other treatment options.
- Overall Good Health – Good health helps with the recovery process because a healthier person will recover more quickly and experience fewer and less serious side effects in most cases. However, there are other reasons health has to be a consideration when choosing LASIK eye surgery. For instance, diabetes and certain autoimmune diseases might disqualify someone as a LASIK candidate. If you have cataracts or glaucoma, LASIK can be difficult or even dangerous to you, so any good eye doctor will ask you about them and tell you about the risks. Dry eyes are another concern. Experiencing dry eye syndrome or even having a history of it can make the recovery process more difficult. During your screening, your doctor should ask you about this if you haven’t shared it first. (If he or she doesn’t, don’t go with that doctor!) Dry eye doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t be a LASIK candidate, but it does mean that your doctor can recommend treatments such as artificial tears and nutritional supplements to prepare you for LASIK.
- Pregnant or Nursing? – Anyone who has ever been pregnant or considered becoming pregnant knows fully well that there will be hormonal changes that can throw their bodies completely out of whack, so to speak. Those hormonal changes can cause symptoms such as dry eye, and they can also cause fluctuations in vision. Not surprisingly, most eye surgeons will cite those factors as reasons not to seek LASIK eye surgery while pregnant. If that isn’t convincing enough, then consider this: the medications involved both during and after the LASIK process may put your child at risk while you are pregnant or nursing. This is why the best eye surgeons recommend that a woman wanting LASIK should wait until after one menstrual period if she’s not breastfeeding or until she has stopped breastfeeding before having LASIK eye surgery.
- Other Considerations – These will depend on your unique circumstances, and your doctor will ask all the questions necessary in order to get a complete picture and then help you decide you are a good LASIK candidate.
Schedule a Consultation with Atlanta Vision Institute
Are you tired of your vision getting weaker year after year? Tired of squinting to read your mail or putting on clunky-looking reading glasses for that same purpose? Tired of being scared to drive at night because you’re afraid of getting into an accident?
Schedule a consultation with us to see if LASIK is right for you. We’ll ask all the right questions. After we take in your answers, we’ll give you an honest recommendation on how to proceed. If we’re your answer, we’ll tell you that, but if we’re not, we’ll give you some recommendations instead of taking your money and writing you off.
LASIK eye surgery in Atlanta is as easy as scheduling a consultation with Dr. Ashraf. Let’s book one today!