At what age should I get LASIK?

Or, when is the best time to have laser eye surgery?

— Staff Writer

Age determines many things in life, including when we should get LASIK surgery. Although there is not proper age, very few doctors will perform LASIK on minors. This is because the eyes change as we age, and those changes will affect the results of LASIK surgery. However, even small children have received corrective laser surgery to fix major problems with their sight, though these cases are rare exceptions and performed by select specialists. Most LASIK procedures are performed on those between the ages of 20 and 40 years of age.

LASIK eye surgery age requirement

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved LASIK for people 18 and older, though countries outside of the United States may not have this restriction. It is common for doctors to postpone surgery for patients until some point in their 20s, to ensure their eyes are no longer changing. A great LASIK candidate will have a stable prescription for at least two years, or more. Though age is prime factor in determining if LASIK is appropriate for an individual, it is not the final factor. Someone with a stable prescription and good health should speak to a doctor to see if LASIK is right for them.

LASIK for 18–24 year olds

Doctors will have to sit down with their patients to make a careful determination if LASIK is appropriate for this age group. As the eye is still changing, the results of LASIK may not be optimal, and more harm than good might be done. However, people with a stable prescription may still be excellent candidates, with their eyes having reached maturity.

Individuals in certain professions might actually be prime candidates in this age group. Police, military, or sports professionals may all be recommended for LASIK. Doctors during a free consultation will make this final determination.

LASIK for 25–40 year olds

This age group is the most common for LASIK surgery. The eyes will have stopped changing by the age of 24, and sudden changes in sight are not as likely.

LASIK for 40–55 year olds

Past 40, the eyes will once more change, and conditions like presbyopia may manifest. Even those who have enjoyed excellent vision throughout life may see a decline in vision, and need corrective lenses for reading.

Though this is the case, many might still benefit from LASIK, and be considered appropriate candidates. Even though LASIK may not remove the need for reading glasses, the other benefits may outweigh the risks.

It is important for those in this age group to consider their general health and habits. Non-smokers will be the best candidates, as well as those free of certain eye diseases and impairments.

It should also be said that a family history of corneal disorders, diabetes and glaucoma will help doctors determine of LASIK is appropriate. Certain diseases can complicate the procedure, or reduce its efficacy, and will have to be considered during a free consultation.

LASIK for seniors

In advanced age, certain health factors impact the potential for LASIK surgery. Beyond general health concerns, elderly may develop certain eye conditions which prevent laser corrective surgery.

Seniors are likely to develop cataracts at some age, which is a major complication. Those who have clear eyes at an late age may still receive LASIK to good effect. But once cataracts for, a surgical option to remove them should be considered first.

LASIK, LASEK or PRK corrective surgeries can still be performed on eyes which have had cataracts removed. In such cases, the health of the eye is measured, and a determination for candidacy is made.

Again, a variety of conditions and medical history should be discussed before deciding on performing LASIK. Often, individuals are asked about dry eyes, family history of corneal disorders, diabetes and glaucoma, or drug side effects. Certain medications may also pose problems due to interactions or complications. A full medical history should be provided to your doctor and thoroughly discussed.

Final thoughts

LASIK can be an excellent choice for anyone at any age. Though age does affect success, it is only one consideration of many. A stable prescription, physical health, and family history are also key factors in making a determination. Ultimately, it is best to consult a doctor and seek their advice and expertise in making a final determination.

This article has 714 words.

An anonymous staff writer profile image

Staff Writer

Hi! I'm a staff writer for Way to Vegas.