Does Age Determine Your LASIK Candidacy?

January 17th, 2021
Smiling happy senior couple in the car

Patients often wonder if there is a recommended maximum age for LASIK eye surgery. There are no hard and fast restrictions, but age-related conditions can impact your eligibility for LASIK. Find out more about age and LASIK from Swagel Wootton Eye Institute.

Is There an Age Limit for LASIK?

The FDA has approved LASIK surgery for adults 18 and over. Adults between 19 to 40 enjoy the best eye health and are often excellent candidates for this surgery. After age 40, your eyes begin to change and decline as a natural part of aging.

For example, many people develop presbyopia which is farsightedness related to age. This can affect your eligibility for LASIK surgery. However, the top eye doctors in Mesa and Chandler consider clients on a case-by-case basis.

Is LASIK Worth the Expense Over Age 40?

Most people who undergo LASIK surgery find it worth the expense at any age.

If the condition of your eyes is stable and the doctor approves the procedure, LASIK surgery can change your life. There are several options to choose from when determining the type of laser surgery you will undergo. For example, you can undergo mono surgery where one eye is adjusted for distance vision and the other is adjusted for near vision. This enables you to go through daily life without the assistance of reading glasses or glasses for distance.

No matter your age at time of LASIK surgery, your eyes will change over time. Older candidates face more frequent changes related to age. However, you can always get adjustments to restore normal vision, as long as your eyes remain in relatively good health.

When Does LASIK Make a Real Difference for Older Candidates?

If your near vision is starting to diminish, you have more options than wearing contacts, bifocals or progressive readers. If you choose LASIK for distance, you will still need to wear readers. However, monovision LASIK corrects your vision at any distance and leaves you free of contacts, glasses and readers.

Can I Get LASIK for Cataracts?

LASIK is not a good option if you have cataracts. Instead, talk to your eye doctor about Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) and cataract surgery to remove cataracts and restore your vision.

What Eye Conditions Limit LASIK Eligibility?

There’s no automatic maximum LASIK surgery recommended age. However, there are a few conditions related to age that may eliminate LASIK as a good solution for you.

  • Low corneal thickness. As we age, the thickness of the cornea decreases. If your cornea doesn’t meet the minimum thickness, you won’t make an ideal candidate for LASIK. However, you may still qualify for PRK surgery for people with thinner corneas.
  • Presbyopia. Billions of people suffer from this age-related decline of near vision. This is why so many people need reading glasses as they get older. Some people with presbyopia still qualify for LASIK.

What Are the Qualification Criteria for LASIK Surgery?

To qualify for this procedure, candidates must have overall good eye health and meet the following conditions:

  • Your vision prescription must remain stable for over a year.
  • Patients with severe refractive errors may not be a good candidate for LASIK surgery. However, we often treat patients over 50 with good eye health and a stable prescription.

Come to Swagel Wootton Eye Institute for all your vision needs. Our top eye doctors in Mesa and Chandler can answer all your questions on LASIK surgery and determine if this is the best option for you.

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