Eligibility for LASIK or PRK will be determined at the pre-operative assessment. You must be between 18 and 70 years of age. To ensure a good, stable outcome, it is important not to have had a significant change in your glasses or contact lenses prescription for the last year. The general health of your eyes and other factors may influence your eligibility. If you have one of the following conditions, you may not be an excellent candidate for LASIK or PRK, as you may have increased risks of complications or risks of a complicated healing process. This may warrant additional care and it should be discussed in detail with your optometrist or surgeon. Some of those conditions include:
- Eye inflammation
- Severely dry eyes
- Certain rheumatological conditions such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis
- Excessive corneal disease or scarring
- Degenerative disease of the cornea
- Diabetes with advanced retinal disease
- Inadequate corneal tissue
- Use of certain drugs
- Recently given birth, nursing, miscarriage, abortion
PREGNANT women are NOT eligible for surgery.
Conditions that may alter your outcome
The laser procedure corrects refractive errors (myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism). It does not correct the other vision defects listed below. Some patients with these conditions may still have surgery and the additional risks and side effects will be discussed before deciding whether to have the laser treatment.
1 – Cataracts : A cataract is a condition in which the crystalline lens of the eye loses its transparency. If not treated, it causes the patient to have reduced vision even with corrective glasses. The condition is correctable by cataract surgery. LASIK or PRK will not prevent or treat cataracts. However, cataract surgery is an excellent refractive procedure with safe and predictable outcomes which will reduce or eliminate your need for corrective eyewear.
2 – Amblyopia : Commonly referred to as lazy eye, amblyopia is a condition acquired during childhood in which no prescription will normalize visual acuity. Some of the causes of amblyopia include strabismus (eye turn) and anisometropia, ( a big difference in the prescription of both eyes). LASIK or PRK will not normalize the visual acuity in cases of amblyopia. Also, if the visual acuity in the amblyopic eye is worse than 20/40, LASIK or PRK are not recommended, even in the good eye, since side effects or complications of the procedure to the good eye could cause vision loss because that eye would no longer be able to compensate for the amblyopic eye.
3 – Strabismus : Strabismus is a condition in which the eyes are not aligned properly. It is caused by a weakness in the eye muscles. Since LASIK or PRK do not involve operating on the eye muscles, neither will correct, reduce, eliminate or prevent strabismus. Patients with strabismus may develop diplopia (double vision) as a side effect of the laser surgery which may require definitive strabismus surgery. (Incidence: 1 in 100,000)