LASIK and Age - Important Information for Patients

November 15, 2015 — by lwillingham
Tags: Lasik Eye Care

A group of young adultsIf you have blurry vision that is the result of the refractive errors nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, you want a treatment option that provides you with clear vision and doesn’t interfere with your life. For many patients, the ideal treatment option is LASIK, which permanently corrects the shape of the cornea and produces clear vision. Because LASIK can eliminate, or at the very least, reduce the need for glasses and contact lenses, patients of all ages have asked if they are good candidates for the procedure. In fact, certain age groups are better candidates for LASIK than others. In this blog post, Gregory A. Stainer, M.D., F.A.C.S. and the team at Southwest Eye Care and Laser discuss how your age may affect your candidacy for LASIK. To learn more about LASIK and age, contact our Bakersfield, CA practice today.

Children and Pre-teens

Children and pre-teens are not good candidates for LASIK. The primary reason for this is that the eyes are still growing and changing shape during these years. This means that the shape of the cornea may continue to change, either worsening or improving a patient’s prescription.

The most suitable treatment option for children and pre-teens is glasses. Glasses are easy to use and do not require a lot of maintenance, making them ideal for patients in this age group.

Teens

Patients in their upper teens may be considered for LASIK if their vision prescription has been stable for two years. A stable vision prescription is a sign that the eyes, particularly the corneas, are no longer changing in shape. However, teenaged patients may be advised to wait until their 20s to ensure that the eyes are finished growing and avoid the need for a LASIK enhancement procedure in the future.

Teenaged patients that are not good candidates for LASIK are best suited to glasses or contact lenses. By the time patients are in their teens, they should be mature enough to properly insert, remove, and clean their contact lenses.

Adults

Adults, especially those in their 20s and 30s, are the best candidates for LASIK. Patients in their 20s and 30s are at an extremely low risk of developing age-related eye conditions that can affect vision. When patients undergo LASIK in their 20s, they can typically expect to have no need for visual aids or additional treatment for two decades or more.

By the time patients reach their 40s, the muscles in the eye weaken, making it difficult to focus on near objects. This condition is called presbyopia, and results in the need for reading glasses or additional surgical treatment.

Seniors

Seniors can benefit from LASIK surgery for refractive errors. However, traditional LASIK techniques will not treat age-related eye conditions and diseases that commonly affect seniors. In addition, the presence of certain eye conditions may preclude you from being a good LASIK candidate. For these reasons, seniors may be interested in alternative treatment options such as the placement of multi-focal intraocular lenses (IOLs).

To find out if you are a good candidate for LASIK, contact our practice today.

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