Lasik eye surgery is a procedure that improves people’s vision by reshaping their cornea. The promise of great vision without the hassle of contacts or eyeglasses is definitely appealing, but unfortunately, not everyone can get Lasik eye surgery. When figuring out whether or not you may be a candidate for Lasik eye surgery, be sure to take these factors into account.

Vision Strength

Lasik can only be used to treat a certain range of eyesight loss. It can be used for both nearsightedness and farsightedness, but candidates need to be in a specific range of eyeglass prescriptions. As Dr. Vance Thompson explains, Lasik is approved to correct up to +5.00 diopters of farsightedness, -10.00 diopters of nearsightedness, and 3.00 diopters of astigmatism. As long as your prescription is within this range, you can use Lasik surgery.

Vision Treatment History

Your past vision treatment makes a difference to whether or not you should consider Lasik. Patients need to have the same level of visual acuity for at least a year before getting Lasik. They also need to avoid wearing contacts for at least four weeks before surgery to avoid any minor changes to the cornea. Any recent trauma or injury to the eyeball will prevent a person from getting Lasik unless it is completely healed.

Corneal Thickness

During Lasik surgery, thin layers of the cornea are removed to reshape it into a shape that can accurately focus light on the retina. Therefore, patients with abnormally thin corneas cannot get Lasik due to the risk of corneal complications. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, Most doctors require a Lasik Candidate to have a cornea that is at least 0.5 millimeters thick.

Vision Disorders

Lasik surgery can become more difficult if a patient has eye disorders like astigmatism or strabismus. Though treatment is still possible, it may require a more advanced surgery. Certain eye diseases like cataracts, glaucoma, keratoconus, corneal disease, and optic nerve disease make it impossible to perform Lasik surgery.

Opinion on Surgery

People are naturally squeamish about the idea of eye surgery, but overly anxious patients may not be a good Lasik candidate. During the surgery, you will need to lie flat on your back, remain still, and keep your eye fixed on a point of light for a few minutes. If you feel like you are too nervous and worried to accomplish this, Lasik may not be right for you. However, some doctors may provide sedation or anti-anxiety medication options for patients who are otherwise too phobic to consider Lasik.

Overall Health

Lasik is a medical procedure that requires open incisions, so being in good overall health is important. Patients need to be at least 18 years old and have no underlying health conditions that could impair healing time. Patients with diabetes, autoimmune disorders, or collagen vascular disease are generally not good candidates. Pregnant or nursing women should not get Lasik either because the hormone spikes can temporarily alter eye condition.

People who are a good candidate for Lasik generally have milder vision impairments and strong overall health. However, you should not immediately rule out Lasik even if you have some of the issues mentioned in the above list. If you are interested in Lasik eye surgery, you should talk to your doctor to figure out whether or not you are a candidate. New advancements have made the procedure more effective for a variety of eye issues, so you may be a candidate even if you think you are not.