Am I a Candidate For LASIK Surgery?
LASIK can treat severe degrees of nearsightedness, moderate amounts of farsightedness and astigmatism, but LASIK is not right for everyone. While the goal of LASIK surgery is to reduce dependency on glasses or contact lenses, having LASIK cannot guarantee 20/20 vision. Fortunately, most cases are successful in improving visual acuity (or sharpness).
To be eligible for LASIK surgery, potential candidates must meet the following criteria:
Age: Candidates must be at least 18 years old.
General health: LASIK candidates must be in good general health, and should not have certain health problems, including uncontrolled diabetes, autoimmune or collagen vascular disease, or take any medication or have any condition that compromises the immune response.
Eye health: Candidates should be free of eye diseases including keratoconus, glaucoma, cataracts, corneal disease and certain retinal and optic nerve diseases. LASIK surgery candidates should not have certain eye conditions including herpes simplex and herpes zoster.
Eye problems: LASIK patients should make their eye doctor aware of certain eye problems including amblyopia (lazy eye), strabismus (muscle imbalance), or any recurrent, residual or active eye conditions that may influence healing. Other conditions that should be discussed with the doctor include keloid scarring with previous surgical healing, back problems and claustrophobia. Please make your eye doctor aware of any mental health conditions, as these may also affect your LASIK surgery or recovery.
Eye injury: Patients should not have any eye infections or injury.
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.
Dry eye condition: Patients should not continuously suffer from dry eyes.
Stable vision: Candidates’ vision must be stable for at least one year prior to the procedure date.
- 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.
Corneal thickness plays an important role in determining proper candidacy for LASIK. Due to the nature of the procedure, candidates must have a minimum corneal thickness of approximately 0.5 mm.
A patient’s candidacy for LASIK, Custom LASIK, or bladeless LASIK depends on an evaluation of the patient’s eyes, expectations and lifestyle by an experienced optometrist or ophthalmologist. Consult a TLC-affiliated eye doctor for a free LASIK consultation to determine if you are a LASIK candidate. If your eye doctor is not trained in laser vision correction, your local TLC center can refer you to an experienced LASIK doctor in your area.
We are also happy to put you in touch with patients who have had LASIK surgery at TLC, so they can describe their experiences to you firsthand.
The Dangers of Wearing Contact Lenses before Having LASIK
When considering LASIK surgery, or any other kind of laser vision correction procedure, it’s important to understand how the everyday use of contact lenses can affect the procedure:
Long-term wear: Continued long-term wear of contacts can alter the shape of your corneas, creating an inaccurate measurement of the shape of your cornea and wavefront scan of your visual system. You should discontinue use of contact lenses for a period before surgery to allow your corneas to go back to their original shape.
The Custom process: When undergoing Custom LASIK surgery, we map your eyes for the procedure. If your eyes are measured for your LASIK procedure before they have returned to their natural shape, the laser programming will not reflect your true visual state.
- Open communication: It is important to advise your optometrist/ophthalmologist about the length of time you have been using contact lenses and what type of contact lenses you are currently using.