Determining Lasik Candidacy at Yaldo Eye Center

February 17, 2023
Determining Lasik Candidacy at Yaldo Eye Center

An Ideal LASIK Candidate is Determined by Nine Criteria

The success of a Lasik eye surgery relies on careful patient evaluation. At Yaldo Eye Center, we offer free evaluations to find out if you are a candidate for Lasik. Not every patient is an ideal candidate for LASIK. Therefore, a thorough screening process is performed to ensure you meet the guidelines required to ensure successful results from LASIK. The subsequent checklist identifies the nine criteria suggestive of an ideal LASIK candidate at Yaldo Eye Center.

You Must Have Generally Healthy Eyes

Any eye diseases, which could interfere with the way the eyes react to laser vision correction or heal following the procedure, must be totally resolved. These conditions include eye injuries, eye infections, conjunctivitis, severe dry eye syndrome, etc. Individuals with persistent dry eyes, may see their condition worsen after Lasik.

Dry eye symptoms include:

  • a scratchy feeling in the eye
  • burning and stinging
  • recurrent blurry vision
  • decreased tolerance to wind
  • excessive tears

It is important that you inform the team at Yaldo Eye Center of any dry eye symptoms prior to surgery. Women are at much greater risk for developing dry eyes after Lasik following menopause. Men become at greater risk later in life as well. The issue of dry eyes must be addressed and treated prior to LASIK.

We are usually able to identify dry eyes during the preoperative exam. Once identified, the condition can usually be successfully treated so the individual can then proceed with Lasik. Treatment options include flaxseed or fish oil supplements, artificial tears, medicated eye drops, punctal plugs, or a combination of these treatments.

Uncontrolled glaucoma and cataracts that restrict an individual’s vision will usually prevent someone from being a LASIK or PRK candidate as Lasik will not help these conditions.

Your Cornea Must Be Thick Enough For Lasik

Lasik is performed by reshaping the cornea, which is the transparent layer on the surface of the eye. It is this reshaping that improves your visual acuity. If Lasik is performed on a cornea that is too thin or if the cornea surface is too irregular and misshapen (a person with keratoconus) the procedure results could be detrimental, and vision could be impaired.

Due to advances in technology such as the use of a femtosecond laser instead of a microkeratome, surgeons are now able to make a thinner corneal flap preserving more corneal tissue. This allows some patients with thin corneas to qualify for the procedure.

Despite the innovative technologies, individuals who are not a candidate for LASIK or PRK may find that an alternative procedure such as implantable lenses (phakic IOLs) are a great option.

Your Pupils Should Not Be Oversized

Individuals who have naturally large pupils could be at risk of side effects which would affect vision in low light conditions. These effects include glares, starbursts, and halos. The ability to drive at night could especially be compromised by these side effects. This is why some patients experience a deterioration in night vision after Lasik.

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Your Refractive Error Must Not Be Extreme

Whether it is due to farsightedness, nearsightedness or astigmatism, individuals with severe refractive error and a very high prescription, may be advised against Lasik.

Very high amounts of myopia could possibly require the removal of too much corneal tissue in order to achieve clear vision and is therefore not possible to attain safely. Therefore, individuals with a severe refractive error may find that our Clear Lens Exchange option is more suitable for their needs.

You Must Be Over a Certain Age

Some surgeons require an individual to be over the age of 18, while others, maybe 21. Minors can be treated at the discretion of the surgeon when there is consent from the parent or guardian. We typically require patients’ prescriptions to be stable for 1 year before qualifying them for Lasik.

The treatment has no true age limit. However, due to the common age-related condition called presbyopia which causes the deterioration of your reading vision, individuals over the age of 40 may still require reading glasses. Such patients should opt for a monovision procedure or a BiFocal ClearLens.

You Must Have Stable Vision For At Least a Year

Young adults and teens frequently encounter yearly changes in their glasses or contact lens prescription.  Refractive errors must be stable for a minimum of 12 months before Lasik can be performed.

In general, it is nearsightedness that gradually worsens but there could be other changes that occur in the eye as well. Young people are not ideal candidates for LASIK until their eyes have settled. During your free lasik evaluation, our doctors will determine whether your prescription is stable enough for Lasik.

You Must Be In Good Health

Persons with uncontrolled autoimmune diseases or degenerative conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome, AIDS and type one diabetes may not be ideal candidates. Patients with HIV who have a healthy immune cell count may be a LASIK candidate.

Surgeon’s opinions vary on which diseases pose suitable risks in specific cases and which diseases automatically disqualify an individual from LASIK. Specific medications have been found to increase risks related to Lasik. Immunosuppressants can impede post-operative healing.

Pregnant Women Should Delay Lasik

Women who are pregnant or nursing undergo hormonal changes that can temporarily change the shape of their cornea, thus causing temporary changes in vision. Therefore, such women are temporarily not suitable for Lasik. After a few months, hormone levels and vision will be returned to normal. Once this occurs, you will be able to have Lasik.

You Must Have Realistic Expectations

Lasik is one of the safest elective procedure and the vast majority of Lasik patients experience excellent results. However, before you decide to undergo the procedure, it is very important to take the time to become aware of all the potential risks, side effects, and complications associated with the treatment.

Experienced eye surgeons will carefully determine and advise potential candidates as to whether laser eye surgery is a good option or whether a different procedure may be more suitable. Patients must be sure to share all pertinent medical information and health history to ensure they receive the best possible LASIK outcome.

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