Am I Too Old For LASIK Eye Surgery?
More than ten million Americans have undergone LASIK (or laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis, if you’re looking for a tongue-twister) since it received approval from the FDA in 1999. And if you’re suffering from visual problems or wish to do away with your glasses or contact lenses, LASIK may seem like a tempting option. However, multiple factors must be considered, including the structure of your eye and your dental history.
To find out if you’re a good candidate, we invite you to consult our expert staff of doctors at Baton Rouge Eye Physicians. So, contact us today, or visit our office in Baton Rouge, LA!
What is LASIK?
LASIK eye surgery is used to fix refractive errors of the eye. Refraction is the bending of light, and it’s what your eyes must do properly to focus light on the retina and allow clear vision. But abnormalities in the cornea or lens can disrupt this process.
These abnormalities cause farsightedness, nearsightedness, and astigmatism, three common problems corrected by LASIK. They are all refractive problems stemming from an inability to properly focus light on the retina at the back of the eye.
Farsightedness (hyperopia) and nearsightedness (myopia) are both due to an irregularly shaped eyeball or an abnormal curvature of the cornea. Similarly, astigmatism causes blurry vision due to a misshapen cornea or lens.
How does LASIK work?
Glasses or lenses correct refractive issues by introducing another lens to compensate for the improper refraction occurring in the eye. But LASIK can reshape the eye itself.
Our experienced doctors begin by administering numbing eye drops and placing a ring over each eye to prevent blinking. Then, they carefully open a tiny flap on the cornea before applying the laser treatment. The laser removes a bit of material from the eye with each pulse, ultimately achieving the correct shape and clearing your vision.
Overall, the procedure should only take about ten minutes per eye, and better vision may be almost immediately apparent. But it may also take a day or so, and there’s no need to be alarmed if you notice blurry vision, glare, or similar issues while your eyes heal, as these side effects should disappear shortly. You’ll also be asked to use lubricating drops and antibiotics for a few weeks after the procedure to facilitate complete healing.
Can you be too old for LASIK?
There is no specific age limit for LASIK eye surgery. However, some age-related complications may preclude LASIK treatment. For example, after the age of 40, some may develop presbyopia: farsightedness caused by the loss of elasticity in the eye’s lens. This inelasticity is an inevitable part of the aging process and may make you unsuitable for LASIK.
Cataracts, caused by a clouding of the eye’s lens, may also develop in middle age, and the risk increases as we grow older. As with presbyopia, this condition may rule out the use of LASIK.
We offer a full spectrum of alternative treatments
But fret not. Even if you’re not an ideal candidate for LASIK, there are various alternatives to give you the clear vision you deserve. And our caring, detail-attentive ophthalmologists would love to help you find the best option. So take your first step toward better vision today by contacting us at Baton Rouge Eye Physicians. Or visit our practice in Baton Rouge, LA for a professional consultation.