Even though the equipment and medical training involved with LASIK are complicated, the basic concept of the operation seems pretty straightforward: through the use of lasers and other technology, your eyesight is improved. You may think that you need only go to one of our practices in Louisville or Jeffersonville, Kentucky and request the surgery, and then you’ll be on your way to better and clearer eyesight. As much as we wish that this was the case and that it was that simple, unfortunately, it is not.
LASIK is a fantastic option for people with blurry vision, but in order to keep them safe, there are certain restrictions that are necessary regarding who is eligible for the surgery. In this article, we’ll dive into a few of these requirements and learn more about why they exist, and any alternatives that may be available.
First and foremost, age is a huge qualifying factor. It is illegal for the patient to be under 18 at the time of the surgery. This may come as a disappointment if you are in high school and are sick of your glasses making your life miserable, but rest assured, it is crucial that you be patient.
Our eyes are always changing, but it mostly slows down when we reach adulthood. During our formative years, our prescription can change rapidly and without warning. Before the surgery even takes place, your eyes are mapped out so that they can be reshaped appropriately. If you were to get LASIK during this volatile time, your eyes may be subject to another fast, unexpected change, rendering the entire operation useless. As such, even though 18 years old is the bare minimum age requirement, you will also need to have had a stable prescription for at least a year or two. So some people are required to wait even longer. However, over 95% of people are successful with their vision goals via LASIK in the U.S., and we have received spectacular praise from our patients. It is absolutely worth the wait!
- Corneal Thickness
As strange as the term sounds, corneal thickness is a very important factor when considering LASIK. During the surgery, your cornea is reshaped, which requires the removal of some corneal tissue. So it makes sense that a cornea that is too thin would make the procedure too dangerous.
If you are found to have thin corneas, don’t worry, there are other options. Photorefractive keratectomy (or PRK) is a popular alternative to LASIK, or you may be able to have intraocular lenses (or IOLs) implanted into your eyes. The only way to find out what is best for you is to meet with one of our doctors for a LASIK consultation!
- Ability to Follow Pre and Post Operative Instructions Carefully
Successful vision correction relies on a team effort, and not just the skilled staff at the practice. You will receive a set of instructions to follow before the surgery, and a different set of instructions to follow after the surgery. It is critical to the health of your eyes that you follow all of them.
These instructions include, but are not limited to, removing your contacts for several weeks before the operation, wearing special protective eye coverings after the operation, and going to follow up check-ups to monitor the progress of your recovery.
There are several more qualifications that may limit your ability to receive LASIK, but don’t let that stop you. Our staff is ready for any questions you may have, and can’t wait to get you started! To schedule your consultation at Bennett and Bloom, contact our Louisville office today!