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Who Should Not Have Laser Eye Surgery?

patient in an eye exam

Understanding What Makes Someone an Ideal LASIK Candidate

As you consider LASIK for vision correction, you probably have been wondering if you are a strong candidate for the procedure. While you may have read about what makes someone a good LASIK candidate—from their age to having a stable vision prescription—you may be less familiar with the reasons why someone should not have laser eye surgery. LASIK Vision Centers of Cleveland wants our patients to experience the life-changing vision correction results possible through wavefront-optimized LASIK and Contoura® LASIK, however, the reality is that some individuals are not well suited for the procedure for a number of reasons. We work closely with your primary care physician and eye doctor to determine whether LASIK is right for you.

Every single person’s health and medical history is unique, and so there is not a “one size fits all” list of qualifications that would prevent you from having LASIK. However, this is a general list of some potential reasons why an individual may be advised against laser eye surgery.

1. The individual is younger than 18. This FDA requirement can sometimes puzzle patients and their parents. After all, some of us had been relying on glasses or contact lenses to see for years by the time we were an older teen. The reason for delaying LASIK until a patient is older is that individuals younger than 18 have not reached something we refer to as ocular maturity—this means that your prescription has been stable for two or more years. Until we are in our early 20s, our vision prescriptions are more likely to change or vary from year to year.

2. The individual has an autoimmune disease such as diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis. Some medications used to treat autoimmune diseases can affect the ability of your eyes to heal from LASIK. The small flap in your corneas created by the laser during surgery will need to fully heal for your surgery to be a success. In some cases, individuals who have an autoimmune disease can also be more prone to dry eye syndrome. Dry eyes can be a complicating factor in laser eye surgery.

3. The individual has a history of eye disease or glaucoma. While having an eye disease or glaucoma is not an automatic disqualification from LASIK treatment, it will require a thorough discussion and comprehensive eye exam to determine if LASIK is the right course of action. For example, some patients with controlled glaucoma can still be candidates for LASIK—it depends on the health of their optic nerves.

If you are wondering if you are a candidate for LASIK, the best thing you can do is speak to your primary care physician and eye doctor about your interest. Together with your LASIK surgeon, your providers will help you determine whether laser eye surgery is the best way to correct your vision. You can also reach out to the LVC team with any questions.

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