Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, or LASIK surgery, has gained tremendous popularity over the years. This form of refractive surgery helps to correct vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.
The purpose of LASIK eye surgery is to refract or to bend light rays entering the eye at a certain angle (and in a particular direction). Depending on the specifics of an eye problem, tiny amounts of tissue are removed from the cornea to give it a steeper, flatter or more rounded curvature. This improves the way your eye focuses light onto the retina and ensures proper vision.
Your eye doctor will take many factors into consideration before deciding if you’re a good candidate for LASIK treatment. Along with your prescription, eye health, and cornea’s shape and thickness, your age will also be taken into account.
Is There a Right or Wrong Age for LASIK Vision Correction?
Let’s look at how age affects your suitability for LASIK eye surgery:
- Childhood & Teen Years – A child’s eye is constantly changing shape, and their vision keeps adjusting to these changes during their developing years. Their eyes are not fully developed till they reach adulthood, and any form of corrective eye surgery may only provide temporary correction of visual symptoms or issues.
- Early & Late Adulthood – By your late teens, your eyes have stopped growing and changing shape, and vision changes are usually minor. Still, most eye doctors suggest waiting till your mid 20s before getting eye surgery, since your prescription may still change. Generally, patients between the ages of 25 and 40 are considered to be at the ideal age for LASIK.
- Middle-Aged Patients – After the age of 40, your vision may start changing again due to age-related factors. Vision correction procedures are generally preferred at a younger age, but can still be performed between 40-55 years of age depending on your medical history, eye health, and any family history of diabetes, glaucoma or corneal diseases.
- Senior Years – There isn’t a fixed upper limit for LASIK laser eye surgery, but older patients may have age-related complications that prevent them from being good candidates. After the age of 60, you’re at higher risk for vision loss due to cataracts, and you should first get cataract surgery to replace your eye’s natural lens.
In addition, LASIK is considered an elective surgery that may not be performed till the age of 18 in most cases. However, the treatment has been used to correct severe vision problems such as “lazy eye” in children and teenagers, especially when conventional treatment with glasses or contact lenses proves ineffective.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t get LASIK surgery earlier. If you suffer from vision problems but have had a stable prescription for 2 years, lasik eye surgery could be the right choice. It’s also ideal if corrective glasses/lenses are impractical for your profession, e.g. working in the military, law enforcement, sports, etc.
You may also face conditions such as presbyopia with advancing age, where the lens of your eye becomes rigid and you have difficulty focusing on nearby objects without reading glasses. This is a natural part of the aging process, but presbyopia cannot be treated with LASIK eye surgery.
You can get LASIK even after the age of 60-70 if you have clear eyes, but other conditions such as diabetes, eye diseases such as glaucoma or corneal disease, and certain types of medication also need to be taken into account. These may make eye surgeries such as LASIK and PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) unsuitable.
The bottom line about LASIK for different age groups? There really is no one-size-fits-all answer. If vision loss is affecting your quality of life, an eye exam and consultation with the experts at Insight Vision Center can help you find out if you’re a good candidate for Lasik in Fresno. Book your appointment with us today!