LASIK and Age: How Old You Are Makes a Difference
By David Gross on December 30, 2014
At Deen-Gross Eye Centers, we proudly serve patients in and around the Merrillville and Hobart area. We offer advanced LASIK surgery to treat refractive errors as well as other solutions for vision problems and eye health matters.
Many teenagers and young adults wonder if they are ideal candidates for LASIK surgery given its effectiveness and convenience. We'd like to take a moment right now to go over these matters briefly since age is a major factor to consider when it comes to LASIK.
Is there a minimum age requirement for LASIK surgery?
Patients undergoing LASIK should be at least 18 years old. It is not a good idea to perform LASIK on patients who are younger than 18.
Why LASIK Is Not Ideal for Children and Younger Teenagers
During LASIK surgery, the cornea is carefully reshaped and recontoured using a surgical laser. This helps improve the passage of light through the eyes so that it focuses properly on the retina, the light-sensitive tissue located at the back of the eyes.
As a patient is maturing, his or her eyes will go through a number of changes, and the patient's corneas may not be fully developed. By waiting until at least 18, a LASIK surgeon helps ensure that a patient is fully matured and his or her eyes will not change dramatically. This allows us to perform surgery properly the first time without worrying about secondary LASIK correction/revision needs.
Can I undergo LASIK as soon as I turn 18 years old?
Technically yes, but this is not always a good idea.
You see, in order to be eligible for LASIK surgery, other qualifications must be met to ensure suitability for treatment. For instance, a patient's glasses or contacts prescription should be stable for at least a year. In addition, patients should not have suffered from an eye infection or eye injury in at least a year; both of these can potentially affect the condition of the corneas and quality of your vision.
Beyond all of this, a patient's eyes may not yet be fully matured or suitable for surgery at age 18. Patients may notice steady changes in their vision due to lots of reading or looking at screens/monitors. Sometimes the eyesight will take a few years into adulthood to stabilize.
Playing It Safe When It Comes to LASIK
Given all of the factors noted below, it's always best for us to play it safe and conservatively when it comes to LASIK surgery. Acting cautiously will help ensure the best possible results as well as increasing the likelihood of patient satisfaction overall.
If you are interested in LASIK surgery and are at least 18 years old, be sure to discuss the procedure with us as we will be able to provide you with more information about the procedure and your candidacy for it.
LASIK Alternatives for Younger Patients
For patients younger than 18, the ideal options for addressing refractive errors (myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism) are corrective lenses such as eyeglasses and contacts. These will allow your eyes to mature and for your vision to be clearer and more crisp without surgery.
Speak with the Team at Deen-Gross Eye Centers
If you would like to learn more about LASIK surgery and how it can help you have excellent vision for the years to come, we encourage you to contact our laser vision correction and eye care center today. At Deen-Gross Eye Centers, we will make sure that you receive all the information you need about LASIK to make an informed decision about your eye care.
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"After wearing glasses my entire life, Dr. Gross corrected my eyesight to better than 20/20 vision."Richard B - St. John, IN