Laser Eye Surgery Suitability

Freedom from wearing glasses and contact lenses makes laser eye surgery a very attractive prospect for many. However, it is not suitable for everyone, and a number of factors need to be considered to determine whether you are a good candidate for laser eye surgery.

Is there any age restriction on laser eye surgery?

Yes. Most laser eye clinics will only treat patients over 21 years of age, although some will treat patients over 18 who have a stable prescription (one that has not changed in over a year).

Other factors that determine suitability for laser eye surgery:

  • Degree of refractive error - very severe short or long sightedness and prescriptions outside of a certain range may be unsuitable for laser treatment. In such cases, clinics may be able to implant intraocular lenses as an alternative.
  • Pre-exisiting eye conditions - patients with the following conditions are normally unsuitable candidates for laser eye surgery: thin corneas, herpes viral infection of the cornea, glaucoma, dry eyes, and those with other eye diseases that threaten vision.
  • Pregnancy - laser eye treatment is unsuitable for pregnant women.
  • Stable vision - most clinics stipulate that prospective patients must have a stable prescription, which has not changed in the last 12 months. Unstable vision is common amongst younger candidates, pregnant women and those with fluctuating hormones, as well as people with diabetes.
  • Medical conditions - certain medical conditions and medications can impair healing after surgery, and patients with these conditions may not be suitable for surgery. Diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and connective tissue disorder are amongst these and may render some candidates unsuitable for treatment.
  • Career choice - some professions, including the armed forces and police, prohibit certain employees from having laser eye treatment. Candidates in these occupations are advised to take advice before committing to treatment.

How do I determine whether I am suitable for laser eye surgery?

Suitability for laser eye treatment can only be adequately determined by a trained optometrist. For a FREE consultation, simply fill in the form on the right, and you will be contacted by a laser eye clinic who can arrange a full eye examination at your convenience. A thorough eye examination and an exploration of a patient’s medical history is an essential step in assessing suitability. And at this point the risks, benefits, treatment options and costs, should be explained to prospective patients to help them make an informed decision and assess whether a laser eye operation is right for them.



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