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LASIK surgery has made it possible for millions of people to see clearly without the need for eyeglasses or contact lenses. Because LASIK is a permanent treatment for nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, the procedure continues to grow in popularity among patients. In fact, patients of all ages wonder if they can undergo this safe and effective treatment. In this blog post, Dr. Jerry Maida of Maida Custom Vision explains if children, teens, adults, and seniors are good candidates for LASIK surgery. To learn more about LASIK and age, contact our Jacksonville, FL practice today.
LASIK and Children
While children often develop refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, glasses are typically the most suitable treatment option for this age group. Children are not good candidates for LASIK surgery because their eyes are still growing, and their lens prescription will likely change throughout their childhood and teenaged years. Contact lenses are usually not a good treatment option either because they require more care and maintenance.
LASIK and Teens
Like children, teens are typically not good candidates for LASIK, and for the same reason: the eyes are still growing. When the eyes are growing, the degree of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism may change. If a patient were to undergo LASIK surgery at this time, they would typically have to undergo an enhancement procedure in the future to fine-tune vision.
LASIK and Adults
Adults are better suited to LASIK because the cornea stops changing in shape, typically by the patient’s early 20s. This means that adults have to wait until their eyes have matured enough before they can undergo surgery. Even if you are 18 years of age, and technically an adult, you will not be considered a good candidate if your vision prescription has changed within the last two years. The general rule for LASIK candidacy is a stable vision prescription for at least two years.
In most cases, the best candidates for LASIK surgery range in age from their early 20s to their early 40s. During this period of time, the vision prescription is stable, and the eyes have not yet developed age-related vision problems that may affect vision or preclude patients from being good candidates for LASIK.
By the early 40s, patients often develop presbyopia, or age-related farsightedness, a condition in which weakened eye muscles make it difficult for patients to focus on near objects. All patients, including those who have and haven’t undergone LASIK, will eventually develop presbyopia. Presbyopia requires additional treatment in the form of glasses, IOLs, or monovision LASIK.
LASIK and Seniors
There is no age limit for LASIK, so seniors may be good candidates for the procedure in some cases. Seniors should have healthy eyes and clear lenses that are not affected by cataracts. They should not have glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, or dry eyes, conditions that are more common in patients of this age group. However, if patients are good candidates, and they wish to address nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, LASIK may be an appropriate treatment option.
To find out if you are a good candidate for LASIK, contact Maida Custom Vision today.