Am I the Right Age for LASIK?
You’re eligible for LASIK eye surgery once you turn 18, but most doctors recommend waiting a few years until your prescription stabilizes.
LASIK surgery offers a long-term solution to nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. The goal of the procedure is to ensure you no longer need to carry around contact lenses or wear cumbersome eyeglasses.
But how old should you be to undergo the corrective procedure? Most patients who get LASIK are between 35 to 40 years old, a timeframe in which many Americans have a stable prescription, income, and lifestyle.
Although adults as young as 18 can get LASIK, eye doctors generally recommend that patients be at least 25. Conversely, an upper age limit for LASIK does not exist, though many doctors advise that people over 70 may not experience the full benefits of the procedure. However, as older adults become increasingly active, the demand for LASIK among the 70-plus crowd is steadily increasing. LASIK may benefit adults over the age of 70, but it’s important to consult your eye doctor before moving forward with the process.
Why Do LASIK Age Limits Exist?
Age limits for LASIK exist to ensure the surgery is optimally effective. Because LASIK aims to permanently correct your vision problems, your eye doctor needs to ensure that your vision is not still changing before you head into the procedure.
Children with vision issues — especially children with nearsightedness — regularly experience changes to their prescription until age 18. In fact, many adults’ eyes continue to change into early adulthood. This is why eye doctors often recommend that LASIK patients wait until they are at least 25 to undergo the surgery.
Regardless of your age, anyone who gets LASIK will undergo a thorough review of their vision history. Your eye doctor must ensure that your vision isn’t still changing by conducting an eye exam. The aim of the exam is to compare your current corrective lens prescription to your prescription from two years ago. If your prescription hasn’t changed by more than 0.5 diopters, your eyesight is probably stable enough for LASIK.
Older patients (above 40 years) might experience eyesight changes due to presbyopia — also known as age-induced farsightedness. Presbyopia increases the risk that patients will have a prescription that changes more than 0.5 diopters in two years. Not all older adults experience rapid presbyopia, however. If your vision is not changing at a fast rate, you’ll likely be eligible for LASIK, regardless of your age.
Should I Get LASIK?
Together you and your eye doctor will determine if LASIK is right for you. If your vision test shows your eyesight is not changing too rapidly, the procedure can be an effective and hassle-free alternative to glasses or contacts. And, if you get LASIK and your vision unexpectedly changes, LASIK touch-ups are available at any eye surgeon with LASIK capabilities.
If you’re curious about LASIK, schedule an appointment with Kleiman Evangelista Eye Centers of Texas. We offer qualified eye surgeons in a comfortable, relaxing environment. With locations throughout DFW and Northeast Texas, you won’t have to travel far for your LASIK solution. Patients who undergo LASIK usually experience minimal side effects, almost no pain, and can stop worrying about corrective lenses once and for all.
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