The Effectiveness of LASIK for Teens
Most people have heard many success stories of LASIK surgery from friends or family members, and as these success stories continue to be told, the excitement for LASIK builds. With the long-term vision correction that can be achieved in such a short surgical procedure, it is no wonder that LASIK is such a popular treatment option. At our vision center, dedicated to eye health and vision correction, LASIK remains one of the most requested procedures. With the promise of reducing or eliminating a patient’s dependence on glasses or contact lenses, people of all ages are considering LASIK more seriously, but is LASIK right for all patients? Teens in particular are showing an increased interest in LASIK surgery. However, for our patients in Merrillville, LASIK for teens is usually not the best treatment option.
How LASIK Works
LASIK surgery improves patient vision by making necessary alterations to the cornea in order to correct imperfections that result in nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. In order to determine what alterations are required, the eyes are carefully examined and precise measurements are taken of the patient’s cornea. Once made, these alterations are permanent, however, if the eye is still developing, changes can occur which could later affect the results of surgery.
Are Teens Candidates for LASIK?
Many patients who suffer from nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism are interested in LASIK surgery because they are tired of the upkeep and daily hassles of corrective eye wear. Although LASIK surgery is a good option for many, it is not right for all of our patients. In order to qualify as a good LASIK candidate, patients must be in overall good health, be free of eye infections, have substantially thick corneas, and be free of dry eye symptoms. While these qualifications may not be a problem for most of our teenage patients, another key factor that must be met is that the eyes need to be fully matured and the patient needs to have retained a steady eye prescription for a minimum of one year. This ensures that the eyes will not change after surgery, thus requiring the patient to undergo an additional LASIK procedure in the near future. Because teens may still be growing and maturing, and because their eye prescription is likely to change during this time, LASIK in not recommended in any teens under the age of 18. Even once a patient has reached the age of 18, candidacy will be carefully determined based on a thorough eye examination and the patient’s eye health history and prescription history.
While teens wait to reach an appropriate stage for LASIK treatment, alternate treatments are available to correct vision impairment. We offer a wide range of prescription glasses in many styles that can suit each of our patient’s unique sense of style. For patients who are not interested in glasses, contact lenses are a discreet alternative that can effectively clear vision.
If you have questions about LASIK surgery and are interested in learning more about what makes a patient an ideal LASIK candidate, contact us at your earliest convenience. Our experienced eye doctors are happy to discuss our full range of eye care services.