• A black and white photo of three generations of men who did lasik

Are You at The Ideal Age For Lasik?

Age marks plen­ty of mile­stones: dri­ving, vot­ing, work­ing and retir­ing. But there’s no set age for LASIK. Most providers won’t per­form LASIK on those under 18 because eyes tend to keep chang­ing into ear­ly adult­hood. But laser eye surgery has been per­formed on chil­dren with severe vision prob­lems. These are out­liers to most cas­es. The most com­mon age for LASIK, in fact, falls between the ages of 20 and 40.

LASIK eye surgery age require­ment  is FDA-approved for those 18 and old­er. Most providers encour­age young adults to wait until their mid-20s because, until this time, a person’s pre­scrip­tion may be still chang­ing. Hav­ing a sta­ble pre­scrip­tion for at least two years is often required as proof before any­one, young or old, is deemed a good LASIK can­di­date. Age cer­tain­ly influ­ences one’s LASIK can­di­da­cy, but it by no means draws an absolute bound­ary. If you are in good health, have a sta­ble pre­scrip­tion and are con­sid­er­ing LASIK, ask a laser vision cor­rec­tion provider to assess your can­di­da­cy.

LASIK for 18–24 year olds

Even though young peo­ple over age 18 legal­ly able to have LASIK surgery, between ages 18 and 24 our eye­sight con­tin­ues to change. There­fore, it is only after care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion of their vision his­to­ry that an eye sur­geon will rec­om­mend LASIK surgery for peo­ple in this age group. The best can­di­dates for the pro­ce­dure will have had the same eye glass­es or con­tact lens pre­scrip­tion over sev­er­al years.

How­ev­er, there are some peo­ple who are con­sid­ered as ide­al can­di­dates at this age for LASIK eye surgery because of their pro­fes­sion. This includes peo­ple in law enforce­ment, the mil­i­tary, or pro­fes­sion­al ath­letes. Again, it is only after care­ful screen­ing that a qual­i­fied laser eye sur­geon will rec­om­mend peo­ple in this age group for LASIK.

LASIK for 25–40 year olds

Most eye sur­geons agree the ide­al lasik surgery age are peo­ple between 25–40 years old are the best can­di­dates for LASIK eye surgery. By age 25, our eyes should have stopped chang­ing. Hav­ing a sta­ble pre­scrip­tion for at least two years is a gen­er­al guide­line that some­one is a good LASIK can­di­date.

LASIK for 40–55 year olds

After age 40, our eyes begin to change again. At this age, even peo­ple who have enjoyed per­fect vision their entire lives begin to find them­selves need­ing “read­ing glass­es” to cor­rect their vision.

For­tu­nate­ly, peo­ple in this age range who are in good health may still be good can­di­dates for laser eye surgery. Non-smok­ers who have tak­en care of them­selves and have no his­to­ry of med­ical prob­lems may decide that, like their younger coun­ter­parts, the advan­tages out­weigh the cost of LASIK. Even patients who know they may still need read­ing glass­es may opt for the ben­e­fits of LASIK to free them­selves from glass­es or con­tacts dur­ing sports or phys­i­cal activ­i­ties.

Oth­er con­sid­er­a­tions in this age group include a fam­i­ly his­to­ry of corneal dis­or­ders, dia­betes and glau­co­ma. These dis­eases can lessen a person’s like­li­hood of being a good can­di­date for LASIK eye surgery.

LASIK for seniors

While there is no upper age lim­it that pre­vents senior from hav­ing LASIK surgery, many new fac­tors arise lat­er in life that may make them less than ide­al can­di­dates.

One of the most com­mon eye-relat­ed issues with the elder­ly is cataracts. A per­son who reach­es the age of 60 or even 70 with clear eyes can still be a good can­di­date for LASIK. How­ev­er, once cataracts begin to devel­op, they should be treat­ed sur­gi­cal­ly first.

Note that pre­vi­ous cataract surgery does not mean that a patient can­not lat­er under­go LASIK, LASEK or PRK if they have oth­er­wise healthy eyes.

Oth­er eye-relat­ed issue in the elder­ly is dry eyes, a fam­i­ly his­to­ry of corneal dis­or­ders, dia­betes and glau­co­ma, or drug side effects. Some med­ica­tions tak­en by old­er patients may also pose a prob­lem. You should let your eye sur­geon know about any med­ica­tions you are tak­ing dur­ing your con­sul­ta­tion.

LASIK may ben­e­fit you at any age

While LASIK eye surgery age influ­ences the chances for suc­cess, it is only one of many fac­tors. Good over­all phys­i­cal health, your fam­i­ly med­ical his­to­ry and a sta­ble pre­scrip­tion are just as impor­tant. How­ev­er, it is only after con­sult­ing with an expert eye sur­geon that you can dis­cov­er if LASIK is right for you.



December 22nd, 2015|Comments Off on Are You at The Ideal Age For Lasik?

About the Author:

Born in Connecticut and raised in Upstate New York , Dr. Stetson graduated Cum Laude from Colgate University in New York, and then earned an MD degree with honors at the University of Vermont College of Medicine. He distinguished himself again in residency at the Albany Medical Center, where he obtained the highest percentile in the Ophthalmology Knowledge Assessment Examinations. Dr. Stetson has performed more than 50,000 refractive surgeries and has been on staff at Diamond Vision since 2004, before becoming Medical Director in 2006.
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