LASIK surgery offers the ultimate degree of freedom as far as vision correction goes. The LASIK procedure reshapes the cornea to correct vision impairment and reduce (or eliminate) the need for corrective lenses. Few people value their freedom more than teenagers, so it’s understandable that most teens with vision problems are eager to learn if LASIK is right for them. Unfortunately, we do not recommend LASIK for teens at our Jacksonville, FL practice. Dr. Jerry Maida is dedicated to providing quality laser vision care, and to perform LASIK on a teenaged patient would be a disservice. Rather than put time and money into a laser vision surgery that is unlikely to provide long-term results for a teen, it is best for these patients to wait until their eyes have fully matured.
Why Isn’t LASIK Right for Teens?
We want each of our patients to have a successful LASIK experience, so Dr. Maida is very discerning regarding who is considered an ideal candidate for LASIK treatment. While many factors are taken into consideration when determining LASIK candidacy, one of the most important is the maturity of the eyes. For the eyes to be considered mature enough for LASIK treatment, a patient must have a vision prescription that has remained steady for a minimum of one year. A teen’s eyes are still continuing to grow, which will lead to changes in the shape and curvature of the cornea. As the shape of the cornea changes, so do the patient’s vision prescription needs. If a LASIK procedure were to be performed on a teen, it is likely that he or she would require an enhancement procedure in the future. Instead, it is better to wait until the eyes have fully matured.
What Age Is the Right Age for LASIK?
When teens find out that they are not ideal LASIK candidates, they often want to know how long they have to wait before surgery is an option. Unfortunately, there is no set number that we can provide to these patients. Each patient is unique and the eyes will grow and change at their own rate. Again, the surest sign that the eyes have matured is a vision prescription that has remained steady for at least a year. As a general rule, most surgeons will not perform LASIK surgery until a patient has reached the age of 18. However, even at this age, the eyes may not be completely mature. Most patients are in their early- to mid-twenties before LASIK becomes a viable treatment option.
The best alternatives for LASIK surgery are glasses and contact lenses. While neither of these offers the freedom that is provided by LASIK, they are effective in restoring clear, crisp vision for patients. Dr. Maida is happy to assist patients in finding a vision correction options that is right for them.
Schedule an Appointment
Laser vision surgery is a safe, effective, and convenient option for many people with vision impairment. If you would like to learn more about LASIK or our other vision correction treatments, schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience. Dr. Jerry Maida looks forward to hearing from you.