Is it safe for my child to get Lasik surgery? It’s never too early to consider the health of your child’s eyes. Vision is one of the most important senses in life, and we want our children to thrive and ensure that they have their sharpest vision possible.
Vision laser procedures for children are fairly controversial and should be considered with extreme detail and caution. In the United States, Lasik surgery is not FDA approved for children under the age of 18, but many doctors see a benefit from it the developing eyes.
The argument against Lasik surgery in children rests mostly in the case that the eye will continue developing until about 21 years of age, rendering a corrective surgery before then pointless. Typically, Lasik doctors like to see two years of prescription stability before surgically manipulating the eye. For a child already on the path of poor vision, the prescription is probably changing much more frequently than this. Lasik is also an elective surgery, a procedure a child cannot officially elect to undergo until 18 years of age.
The argument for Lasik and laser eye surgery in children targets a more narrow pool of candidates. It is not intended for any child with glasses or changing vision, but for children with severe eye conditions. In the most severe cases, children risk losing one or both eyes entirely if the problem is not corrected before age seven because the brain gives up on correcting the use of the failing anatomical part. Sometimes, glasses and corrective lenses are not sufficient to fix the problem. In this case, it is considerably worthwhile to go through with the procedure, lest the possibility of eye atrophy and loss.
As in any Lasik procedure, complications might persist. However, children who undergo the procedure are more quickly able to heal and adapt to the change, as their bodies are still actively growing and evolving. From the first, necessary procedure, it is likely the eye will continue to change and that future corrective procedures will be necessary.
Lasik surgery for children under 18 is not encouraged, largely for its likely temporary effects. However, in extreme cases and last case scenarios, the procedure is a beneficial treatment option with effects that greatly outweigh the risks of not going through with a vision laser treatment.
If you are considering any NY laser eye or vision laser procedures for your child, Diamond Vision urges you to come in for a consultation.