Who Is a Candidate for LASIK Eye Surgery?

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LASIK, also known as laser-assisted in situ keratomileuses, is a type of laser eye surgery that corrects refractive errors – including nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism. During the surgery, your cornea is reshaped to allow for better refraction of light.

Laser vision correction is nothing new and has been around for over 30 years. The first laser vision correction procedure occurred in 1988 and the first LASIK clinic trials began three years later. By 1999, LASIK was approved by the FDA and the technology has greatly improved since.

Over the past 20+ years, the LASIK procedure has been performed over 19 million times in the United States and has a success rate of over 96%. Not only that but the LASIK procedure is supported by over 7,000 peer-reviewed clinical trials ensuring its safety and overall efficacy.

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Reasons Why You Might Consider LASIK Surgery

LASK eye surgery is one of the most common and popular types of laser eye surgery today. It has already helped a lot of people gain improvements in their vision and many patients are left with perfect 20/20 vision. As the technology with LASIK improves, so will the results over time.

The truth is there are a ton of reasons why someone might consider LASIK surgery and we’re going to highlight of few of the most prominent reasons below:

  • You have difficulty seeing distant objects (nearsightedness, myopia)
  • You have difficulty seeing nearby objects (farsightedness, hyperopia)
  • Your vision is blurry for objects nearby and at a distance (astigmatism)
  • Vision correction surgery has a long and safe history of success
  • The results from LASIK surgery are generally long-lasting
  • Nearly 90% of all LASIK patients will recover with perfect 20/20 vision

If you’re suffering from a refractive error, whether it be nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, then LASIK might be the right option for you. It’s not the only option and it’s not suitable for everyone, but your doctor will determine whether you are a good candidate or not.

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Who Is a Candidate for LASIK Eye Surgery?

In order to undergo LASIK eye surgery, your doctor must first confirm that you are a good candidate. While it’s a very successful surgery and a strong majority of people will see improvements in their vision, that doesn’t mean it’s safe for everyone and nothing’s guaranteed.

While you should schedule a consultation with your eye doctor to determine your eligibility, here are some of the basic guidelines and requirements when determining if someone’s a good candidate for LASIK:

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • Patients should be in good health overall and be free of major health issues
  • Patients should have healthy eyes and be free of eye problems
  • You must have the right corneal thickness
  • Your refractive error impacts your ability to see clearly

If you pass all the guidelines above, then there’s a very good chance that you’re a good candidate for LASIK surgery. Your ophthalmologist will be the final judge after performing several tests, looking over your family history, and getting a good sense of your daily lifestyle habits.

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Who Should Avoid Laser Eye Surgery?

Anywhere from 700,000 to 1.4 million LASIK surgeries are performed each year, which goes to show just how many people are good candidates for LASIK. With that said, not everyone is a candidate and sometimes the benefits of LASIK won’t outweigh the risks and complications.

You might not be a good candidate for LASIK if any of the following are true:

  • Your eye prescription doesn’t fall within the allowed limit
  • You have certain eye diseases or health conditions
  • You take certain medications that impact the immune system
  • You have diabetes or other autoimmune diseases
  • You’ve recently suffered a serious eye injury
  • You’re pregnant or nursing a child
  • Your cornea isn’t thick enough
  • Anyone with a fluctuating eye prescription
  • Anyone with dry eye syndrome

If you’re deemed a risky candidate for LASIK eye surgery, your ophthalmologist won’t recommend the surgery. Don’t worry, there are a wide range of other laser vision correction procedures that might be safer. Again, your eye doctor can help you find the right treatment.

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What If You Currently Wear Contact Lenses?

If you wear contact lenses on a daily basis, you might blush over the thought of not needing them anymore. While that’s a realistic expectation with this surgery, you should understand the risks and complications involved with wearing contact lenses leading up to the procedure.

The truth is wearing contact lenses temporarily alters the shape of your cornea, which gives your ophthalmologist incorrect measurements and wavefront scans. That’s why you should always be up-front about how long you’ve been using contacts and which ones you use.

Don’t panic if you wear contact lenses, it just means you’ll have to go a period of time without wearing them as you prepare for LASIK surgery.

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Recovering From the Laser Vision Correction Procedure

We’ve pretty much highlighted everything you need to know about who is a candidate for vision correction surgery, but there’s one thing you should be aware of before undergoing the procedure and it’s the recovery process. If not 100% committed to the process, you’re not a good candidate.

For example, you’ll need to rest your eyes immediately following the procedure, use artificial tears and eye drops to lubricate the eyes, take part in several follow-up visits to monitor progress, and you’ll have to avoid certain activities and hobbies until your eyes fully heal.

Don’t worry, most patients experience improved vision almost immediately and your vision will continue to stabilize over the next 3-6 months.

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Have More Questions? Contact Milwaukee Eye Surgeons!

LASIK eye surgery is one of the most common and popular eye surgeries in existence today. Millions of people have already found relief from LASIK and a majority of LASIK patients will eventually gain perfect 20/20 vision. For those that have never had 20/20, it can be life-changing.

If you’d like to learn more about the LASIK procedure or would like to see if you’re a good candidate for the surgery, schedule a consultation with Milwaukee Eye Surgeons today!

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