Is Laser Eye Treatment right for me?

With laser eye treatment firmly entrenched as one of the world’s most popular elective surgeries, you may be wondering if you can have the surgery to fix your own eyes. Sure, your neighbor had it done and that guy at work seems happy with it, but how can you be sure? It’s your vision, after all, so you will want to ask yourself four simple questions to determine if the procedure is right for you before you consult with your doctor.

How old am I?

A candidate for laser treatment needs to be at least 18 years of age. This is because the eye needs time to completely mature and stabilize. If you are so far over 18 that you qualify for the senior citizen discount, you have probably aged out of the procedure. Laser treatment for eyes can improve visual impairment caused by the shape of your eye, but not visual impairment caused by the age of your eye.

Is my eye prescription stable?

Most reputable doctors insist that your eye prescription must have been unchanged for at least one year prior to considering surgery. Others insist on a stable prescription for the three years leading up to surgery. If your prescription is still changing every year, then you will have to wait until it stabilizes before doing a laser treatment.

Am I healthy enough for this surgery?

This question can refer to your overall health, and to specific ocular health issues that could impact the effectiveness of the surgery. With regards to your general health, if you have any autoimmune disorders you will need to have a thorough conversation with your doctor as your increased risk of infection may ruin the surgery for you. If you have diabetes you may also be disqualified from surgery. The surgery is also not recommended for women who are pregnant or nursing.

Specific ocular health concerns also need to be taken into account. If you have corneal scarring, a history of eye infections or chronic dry eye, you may be ineligible for surgery or risk poor outcomes. Also, if your pupils are very large, you may not get good results from laser eye treatment.

What am I expecting?

This is a hard and brutally honest conversation that you need to have with yourself prior to any laser eye treatments. The reason for this is simple. The #1 reason for patient dissatisfaction after surgery was unrealistic expectations.

Surgery isn’t going to fix all of your problems. Improving your vision may make you feel more attractive, confident and intelligent. It won’t win back your ex, make you a better athlete or get you that promotion at work. Also, surgery will not instantly give you the “Superman Vision” that some patients expect.

However, surgery will improve your vision to 20/40 or better in 95% of cases, and to 20/20 or better in 65% of cases. You may be able to get rid of your glasses entirely, or switch to light glasses used just for reading and fine or intricate projects. Regular visits to the eye doctor will also ensure you continue to preserve and protect your vision.


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