Who Is Not Suitable For LASIK Eye Surgery?
Although LASIK has been done by more than 10,000,000 people since its inception and FDA approval in
1999, and although it remains to this day as one of the most widely used surgical methods of improving
vision, unfortunately, not everyone is a candidate for it. For people for whom LASIK is not an option, there
are other almost equally effective methods of improving one’s vision.
The following are among the most common reasons that LASIK may not be suitable for you.
- Patients under 18 years old:
People under 18 years of age can not have LASIK. Vision can change considerably as one
reaches full maturity and for that reason, making a permanent improvement to the eyes based on
something that is constantly changing isn’t logical. When one’s eyes have fully developed and
their vision has settled out and stabilized, LASIK then becomes an option.
- Patients in poor general health:
Persons currently affected by autoimmune disorders, systemic illnesses, and conditions such as
diabetes or lupus would typically be required to have those medical concerns addressed first. As
hard on the body as these conditions already are and as difficult as they are to live with,
unfortunately doing LASIK on top of them could lead to difficulties arising from LASIK surgery
and its recovery period.
- Patients who are pregnant or nursing:
LASIK has to be added to the long list of cosmetic and medical improvements to avoid during
pregnancy and breastfeeding. The reason? Significant hormonal fluctuations occur during
pregnancy and, again, making permanent changes based on something that is constantly
fluctuating would set the patient up for a lifetime of possibly less than perfect vision, or the need
for another surgery. If LASIK and having children are in your plans for the future, it’s best to plan
for both knowing that they can’t be done at the same time.
- Patients on certain prescription drugs:
Some but not all prescription drugs can interfere with the results of LASIK. For instance, acne
medications can cause the eyes to dry out, while some steroids can inhibit healing. Since it’s
quite difficult to issue a blanket decision that applies factually to all patients on any prescription
drugs of any kind, it’s important to check with your eye surgeon and let them know what
medications you’re presently taking.
- Patients whose vision isn’t stable:
Before undergoing LASIK, your doctor will ensure that your vision has remained constant for a
minimum of one year. This caveat leads back to the same factor that many of these points take
into account: if your vision is still changing occasionally due to hormones, the natural process of
aging and development, and other factors such as newly starting a regimen of prescription
eyeglasses or contact lenses, it could be detrimental to make permanent changes to your vision
with LASIK during this time.
While the above items cover many of the most common reasons that patients may not be ideal candidates for LASIK eye surgery, there are other more technical points that will be reviewed with any potential patient during a personal consultation. These include such factors as how widely your pupils dilate in the dark, and what if any degree of corneal thinning you might have. For more information on LASIK and to schedule a personal consultation, please contact us.