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What Does A Good LASIK Candidate Look Like?

Posted on January 25, 2021

Do you wear glasses or contacts every day? If you’re like millions of people around the world, you may hate it. You may have even considered a procedure like LASIK.

Vision correction procedures like LASIK are incredible because they provide you with something desirable. Who hasn’t stared at their glasses at one time or another and thought there must be something better?

One of the things that may be holding you back from having a LASIK consultation is not knowing what a qualified candidate looks like. After all, a LASIK consultation is the only way to see if you’re right for the procedure.

Keep reading to find out more about what a good LASIK candidate looks like and if you could be one!

Are you the Right Age?

To receive LASIK, the FDA says you need to be at least 18 years old. If you’re a teenager, LASIK is not right for you.

Seth Rogen telling the stars of the R-rated movie, "Good Boys," they're too young

Sure, if you’re 18 years old, you can technically get LASIK, but it may not be the best idea. Most LASIK surgeons recommend you be in your mid to late twenties.

The reason? It’s all about visual stability.

Before this point, your body is still growing and changing. That means your eyesight is continuing to change due to puberty.

Yes, you can blame puberty for why you need to wait to get LASIK. Even your eyes get affected because of hormonal changes.

Your eyes need to remain unchanged, meaning they are stable. LASIK is performed using your current prescription, reshaping your eyes to correct any refractive errors with that prescription.

When your prescription changes significantly from when you had LASIK, the procedure loses its effectiveness. If you want to get the most out of LASIK, you need to be an adult with stable vision.

While that may happen when you’re 18, waiting until your mid to late twenties ensures you’ve stopped growing.

You have a Stable Prescription

Even if you’re over 21 or in your mid to late twenties, your prescription shouldn’t change much after you have LASIK. For this reason, you need to have a stable prescription that’s remained

A woman with glasses smiling

unchanged for at least a year before LASIK.

If your eyes haven’t changed during this time, they will be unlikely to change a great deal more. They can vary a little as you get older, but you shouldn’t experience any significant changes.

If your prescription has changed in the last year, you’ll need to wait until your prescription stabilizes and remains unchanged for a year. This is a crucial component for LASIK’s success.

You’re in Good Health

To have any elective surgical procedure, major or minor, you should be in good physical health. Having some conditions, especially diabetes and autoimmune disorders, can make it harder to heal from surgery, even one as minor as LASIK.

A sick woman lying down blowing her nose.

If you have a pre-existing condition, you may still be able to have LASIK safely, but your surgeon will have to assess you to make that call. You don’t need to be in perfect health to have LASIK but make sure to disclose your full medical history during your LASIK consultation.

You should also have healthy eyes. Even if you aren’t aware of any vision issues, you may have or be predisposed to dry eye syndrome.

Dry eye syndrome can make it difficult and uncomfortable to heal after having LASIK. Your eye doctor will test how your eyes produce tears during your consultation, including their amount and quality.

Testing your tears ensures that they can both hydrate and nourish your eyes. If your tears are inadequate, it may not mean you can’t have LASIK.

But it does mean you’ll have to have your dry eyes treated before having LASIK. For some, changing their environment and taking nutritional supplements is enough to help their symptoms.

Others may need to have a minor procedure. Whatever the case, your ophthalmologist can recommend and prescribe the necessary treatments and assess if and when LASIK will be safe for you.

You have a Prescription that’s within Treatable Limits

LASIK is a lot of things, but it is not, as some people think, a magical procedure. That means not everyone can have it.

LASIK can correct refractive errors like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. But there are limits to how much LASIK can correct.

Your prescription needs to fall under the following limits. You can have up to -11.00 diopters of nearsightedness, up to +5.00 diopters of farsightedness, or up to 5.00 diopters of astigmatism.

Velma looking for her glasses GIF

If your prescription is outside these limits, you are not likely to be right for LASIK. The good news is that even if you don’t qualify as a LASIK candidate, you can look into other vision correction procedures.

Your Corneas are Thick Enough, and your Pupils are the Right Size

One of the significant factors when it comes to determining LASIK candidacy is the thickness of your corneas. When you have LASIK, it requires creating a flap in the cornea and shaping the area below the flap to your prescription.

This allows the flap to act as a natural bandage while your eye is healing. It’s also what makes the recovery time for LASIK shorter than other laser eye surgeries.

But it also requires that your cornea is thick enough to leave enough tissue in your corneal bed. Having too little tissue left after the flap is made and your eye is reshaped can cause serious complications, like visual issues.

An example of LASIK

There’s no way to know if you have thinner corneas before your LASIK consultation. It’s not something you can measure in the mirror.

Even if your corneas are slightly thinner, it doesn’t mean that your eyes are less healthy. But it does mean LASIK isn’t safe for you.

Pupil size is also a factor in candidacy. If you have larger pupils, you may have issues seeing at night after LASIK. Having large pupils doesn’t mean you’re any less healthy, but it probably means LASIK isn’t right for you.

If you think that you would qualify for LASIK based on these factors, keep in mind that these are only some of what’s taken into account. The only way to know for sure if LASIK is right for you?

Schedule a LASIK consultation at Herschel LASIK and Cataract Institute in Orlando, FL, today! You’ve waited this long for the vision of your dreams, so why should you have to wait any longer?