If it’s time to get new glasses—and you’re tired of breaking, bending, crushing or losing your current pair—it might be time to start thinking about other options like LASIK.
Today, LASIK works to correct a variety of common vision problems for good candidates. Myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), astigmatism (irregular cornea) and presbyopia (“aging eyes”) can all be treated with laser eye correction.
However, many eyeglass wearers think they are not good candidates for LASIK because they have high eyeglass prescriptions. This may or may not be true for you. The best way to find out if you’re a candidate for LASIK is to schedule a consultation and have a thorough evaluation by a board-certified ophthalmologist.
Your eyeglass prescription is just one of several factors your ophthalmologist considers before recommending LASIK. Here are the top five factors your LASIK surgeon will assess before determining whether you qualify for LASIK eye surgery.
Your prescription (or “refractive error”) is measured in “diopters,” a metric unit used to indicate the strength of the eye or lens. Advanced laser vision correction profiles have the potential to treat up to +6.00 diopters of hyperopia, astigmatism up to 6 diopters and nearsightedness up to -12.00 diopters, depending on the laser chosen for the LASIK procedure. If you fall within these ranges, you may qualify for LASIK eye surgery.
To have LASIK eye surgery, you must have a stable prescription. This means your eyeglass prescription has not changed for at least two consecutive years. Though LASIK is FDA-approved for people 18 years and older, many young adults are encouraged to postpone LASIK until their mid-20s when their eyes reach an age of “ocular maturity.” Most prescriptions are stable by then.
During your consultation, you should describe the quality of your vision, including any existing visual symptoms and your overall eye health.
Symptoms of light distortion include any glare, halos, starbursts and ghosting/blurring around light sources you may experience. Many people experience problems with night vision as part of their eye condition. In most cases, night vision symptoms are reduced following LASIK far more frequently than they are increased.
In the general population, dry eye disease is extremely common. Recent research shows more than half of patients (59.2%) who had symptoms of dryness before LASIK reported their symptoms went away within three months after LASIK. If you’re experiencing any dry eye health problems in addition to impaired vision, LASIK may help reduce symptoms.
LASIK improves your vision by reshaping your cornea – the surface of the eye that helps focus light to create an image on the retina. If your cornea is too thin or misshapen, you may not get the results you want. During your initial consultation, your eye doctor will measure the thickness of the cornea to make sure there is enough tissue for the reshaping required to achieve the desired amount of correction.
If your pupils are naturally large, you could be at increased risk of side effects following LASIK surgery, such as poor night vision or blurry vision. It’s important to note, not everyone who has large pupils is automatically excluded from having LASIK eye surgery.
LASIK wasn’t recommended to those with high eyeglass prescriptions when it was first introduced. However, with today’s technologies and techniques, many patients who were told they shouldn’t have LASIK in the past are often excellent candidates now.
If you wear glasses or contacts and want to have your vision assessed (or reassessed) to see if you qualify for LASIK, schedule your free consultation now with the Wichita eye surgeons of Grene Laser.