Who Qualifies For Laser Eye Surgery?
Laser eye surgery is a procedure that is growing in popularity to help treat situations like nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. When someone needs a vision prescription, it is because the lens and cornea in the eye arenâ€™t able to focus light correctly to the back of the eye.
Each condition is due to a slightly different condition of the cornea, but laser eye surgery may be considered, as long as the a handful of requirements are met.
Age Requirement Laser eye surgeons require patients to be at least 18 years old to be considered for the procedure. By this age, the prescription should have stabilized, so future procedures wonâ€™t be necessary. There is no maximum age for laser eye surgery, as long as the eyes are in good health. Sometimes, older patients who have had cataract surgery will have laser eye surgery to further refine their vision.
Measuring Prescription Even though nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism can all be treated with laser eye surgery, there are still some conditions. Generally, it is better if you have had your current prescription for at least two years, and prescriptions on the extreme end of any of the conditions may not be eligible. When you first consider the procedure, your eye doctor will measure your prescription and determine which particular vision condition you have, to know if you qualify or not.
Overall Health As with most types of surgery, your overall health is a factor in whether you qualify for laser eye surgery or not. Your eye health is also a factor, and both of these factors will be discussed and researched before the process begins. Basically, your eye doctor wants to ensure there is no immediate risks or contraindications to having the surgery.
Corneal Analysis Since the cornea plays such a big role in vision and vision problems, it must be thoroughly analyzed prior to the procedure. A complete corneal analysis will: • • • •
Measure corneal shape Evaluate corneal thickness Rule out any eye diseases Determine which specific laser procedure is right for you.
Preparation Once it has been determined that you do qualify for laser eye surgery, you may have to take some important precautionary measures. If you normally wear contact lenses, you will have to refrain from wearing them before the surgery. Soft contacts can cause microscopic swelling of the cornea and should be avoided for at least two weeks. Hard or rigid gas permeable contacts can mold the surface of the cornea and must be avoided for at least four weeks.
How It Works When performing LASIK eye surgery, the surgeonâ€™s job is to create a corneal flap within each eye, then treat the inner cornea with your prescription. This is done by changing the shape of the cornea while the flap is opened. The new shape will focus more light on the retina, which will replace your glasses or contact lenses. Naturally, the surgery must be very precise, which is why there is so much work done before the actual surgery takes place.
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