There are, as with any surgery, certain health requirements that must be met before someone can qualify for laser eye surgery. Below are some basic guidelines to help you in your decision and to see if LASIK is a good fit for you:
- Do you have healthy eyes? If you have an eye problem that could affect the way that your eyes will heal and recover after a surgical procedure you will want to wait until that problem has resolved itself. Here in Fort Collins, Loveland and Greeley the examples would include chronic dry eyes, conjunctivitis (“pink eye”) and any eye injury. There are a few vision problems, cataracts, keratoconus and uncontrolled glaucoma, that will likely disqualify you from having LASIK.
- What is your age? A general requirement for LASIK is to be 18 years old. (Occasionally younger patients are treated but only as an exception. Please discuss this with your eye surgeon.)
- Is your vision consistent? For many young people in Northern Colorado, changes in their vision may occur more rapidly and they require updated prescriptions on a yearly basis. You will need to be certain that your prescription is consistent for a full year before looking at the possibility of LASIK. If your vision is not consistent and you go ahead with LASIK anyway, you might need another LASIK surgery next year to keep the results!
- Are you pregnant? There are so many changes in a woman’s hormones during pregnancy. Some of these changes can cause swelling in your corneas, altering your vision for a time. Many women also experience ‘dry eyes’ during pregnancy. Also, eye medications (antibiotics and steroids) which are regularly used during and after LASIK present a very real risk to your baby, whether unborn or nursing. Waiting a few months until after your child has been born and weaned before having a LASIK surgery is in the best interest of both the mother and the child.
- Certain systemic and autoimmune diseases might disqualify you as well. Some examples would include: rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, HIV and AIDS. If for whatever reason, your body has some problems healing itself, you will find that your corneas may not heal the right way after a LASIK surgery. There are many opinions among surgeons about which diseases are automatically disqualify and what other diseases are more acceptable risks.
- Your vision correction prescription needs to be within specific parameters. For example, if you have very high amounts of myopia, they would require removal of too much corneal tissue, may preclude LASIK or make another type of refractive surgery a better option. Right now, many surgeons in Fort Collins, Loveland and Greeley feel a phakic IOL procedure can provide a more favorable visual outcome and minimal risk compared to LASIK for nearsighted prescriptions higher than -9.00 diopters.
For additional information or to schedule an appointment at our office in Northern Colorado, please call 970-204-4020 or click on the link on the side of the page.