Is LASIK Eye Surgery Right For You?

Posted By Key-Whitman Eye Center || 31-Aug-2012

LASIK eye surgery is used to correct refractive errors, reducing or eliminating the patient’s need to wear contact lenses or prescription eyeglasses. Though LASIK technologies have advanced, making it available to a wider range of patients, it still may not be the best vision correction option for you.

How do you know if LASIK eye surgery is right for you?

The ideal candidate for LASIK is at least 18 years old. Candidates for LASIK must have a healthy cornea and should have experienced little or no change in vision over the last year. Individuals with certain medical conditions may not be good candidates for LASIK.

LASIK eye surgery is designed to treat refractive vision errors including:

  • Nearsightedness (myopia) with or without astigmatism
  • Farsightedness (hyperopia) with or without astigmatism
  • Over or under corrected vision following previous refractive or cataract surgery

What medical conditions or other circumstance would keep me from being a candidate?

Certain medical conditions may rule you out as a candidate for LASIK eye surgery or increase your chances of complications from LASIK eye surgery. These conditions include:

  • Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or immunodeficiency diseases such as HIV, which impair the body’s ability to heal. Individuals with Autoimmune or immunodeficiency conditions are at increased risk of incomplete healing, infection and other complications from LASIK.
  • Persistent dry eyes. LASIK eye surgery may worsen dry eyes.
  • Thin or irregular corneas, keratoconus, abnormal lid position, deep-set eyes or other anatomic concerns may make LASIK more difficult or impossible.
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding. Vision often fluctuates for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, making the outcome of LASIK less certain.

In addition to the above medical conditions, there are other circumstances that may make LASIK less than ideal for you.

  • Individuals with severe nearsightedness or high refractive error may not experience the same benefits from LASIK eye surgery, making it difficult to justify the risks associated with LASIK.
  • Individuals who have fairly good vision may not experience much change after LASIK, also making it difficult to justify the risks associated with LASIK.
  • Individuals whose pupils are prone to opening wide in dim light are at increased risk of experiencing severe glare, halos, and ghost images in their vision following LASIK.
  • LASIK is not recommended for individuals who participate in contact sports such as martial arts or boxing where they may take blows to the face or eyes.
  • Individuals with jobs requiring precise vision may not be an ideal candidate for LASIK, as refractive surgery may jeopardize their career.

Are there other options for vision correction surgery other than LASIK?

LASIK is not the only option for refractive surgery; it is simply the most common. These alternatives include:

  • PRK (also called LASEK or Advanced Surface Ablation). Without making a flap, the cornea is re-shaped by removing a microscopic layer of tissue. The reshaping allows light rays to bend and focus for improved vision.
  • The Vision ICL (Implantable Collamer® Lens) is another option for treating myopia (nearsightedness). The Visian ICL is a phakic intraocular lens (IOL) used during refractive surgery for correcting myopia. The ICL is placed between the iris and the natural lens. Because the phakic IOL does not replace the lens, but supplements it like a prescription contact lens, it is sometimes referred to as an implantable contact lens.

To determine if LASIK is a good option to correct your vision, schedule a free consultation with Key-Whitman Eye Center.

Categories: LASIK
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