Know Before You Go: 4 Factors That Could Affect LASIK Surgery Candidacy

LASIK eye surgery is a common vision-correcting procedure that has the potential to eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses for patients. The eye surgeon uses a laser to reshape the cornea so that light focuses on the retina correctly. The surgery has a very high success rate, with around 96 percent of patients achieving desired results. However, like any surgery, not everyone is a good candidate for LASIK. There can be factors that make the risk of complications outweigh the benefits. It is good to know what may disqualify you ahead of time so that you go into a diagnostic appointment with realistic expectations.

  1. Age - If you are under the age of 18, there is a likely chance this disqualifies you as a good candidate for LASIK. Vision changes and eye development continue to occur into young adulthood. If you are over 40, then it is important to note that the surgery cannot correct presbyopia, the need for reading glasses. Presbyopia results from the thickening and inflexibility of the eye's lens due to aging and is unavoidable.  
  2. Changes in vision in the last 12 months - Regardless of age, if your corrective prescription has changed over the last year, you are likely a poor candidate. LASIK can only correct vision as it currently stands. It will not prevent further changes if your prescription or refractive error is unstable. If your vision changes are still changing, it is much more likely that you will need future LASIK adjustments.  
  3. Hormonal changes in vision - Pregnant or breastfeeding women will likely be disqualified for a period of time after they have given birth and/or stopped breastfeeding. Hormone changes in pregnancy can cause a temporary fluctuation in vision that often sorts itself out after everything returns to a balance. Even if a woman was a good candidate prior to pregnancy, it is best to wait until any changes in vision have stabilized.  
  4. Eye measurements - Pupil size can be a determining factor in LASIK candidacy, as the width can interfere with the procedure. Large pupils can result in serious visual side effects like seeing glares and halos. Thickness of the cornea is also an essential measurement factor. LASIK surgery is performed by reshaping the cornea in order for light to pass through it more effectively; thus if your cornea is too thin, the surgeon has less material to work with. This can result in complications and side effects that outweigh the potential benefits of LASIK. 

For more information, speak with experts like the Foulkes Vision Institute.