Am I Too Old for LASIK?

If you’re tired of the hassle of glasses or contact lenses, you’re not alone. Are you considering LASIK corrective surgery? Are you healthy and want to be able to do the things you enjoy—such as golf, fishing, gardening, horseback riding, or painting—without worrying about losing your glasses or your contacts slipping on your eye? If you’re over 60, you’re probably worrying that your age will interfere with your plans to get LASIK. Spindel Eye Associates has treated many seniors with LASIK surgery, and we have important information to help you decide if you’re a good candidate.

It’s not your age, it’s your health

When eye doctors consider older patients for LASIK surgery, age is taken into consideration, but the final decision largely depends upon a number of other factors, such as your current health and likelihood of developing cataracts. The important factors include:

  • Your current health – Your current health can have a big impact on how risky and effective the LASIK procedure will be for you. If you have diabetes or glaucoma, the risks might be more than the surgery is worth. Prime candidates will have no or few preexisting conditions, and their vision will have been stable for a year or two prior to the LASIK procedure.
  • Current medications – The medications that you’re currently taking also can play a big role in the risks of the surgery. If you aren’t currently taking anything, that’s fantastic, but certain medications can have symptoms or side effects that make surgery unnecessarily riskier or complicate the results. One medicine in particular that treats arrhythmia can have devastating consequences on your eyes, such as corneal ulceration, optic neuropathy, and corneal microdeposits, which can complicate the procedure as well as render it ineffective. It’s important to always disclose any medications that you are taking with your doctor, so he or she can help you make the right call.
  • Cataracts – The likelihood of your eyes forming cataracts increases with age, especially from age 60 and older. If you don’t have cataracts yet, your doctor will probably assess your likelihood of developing cataracts before making the decision because having LASIK surgery can complicate the lens transplant that corrects cataracts if they do develop in the future. Often, if you’re at high risk for cataracts, your doctor might suggest waiting, or if you already have cataracts developing, your doctor will probably suggest a cataract removal and then clear lens exchange as the modality of treatment, as this will heal the cataract, as well as help to restore your vision.

Speak with your doctor

All in all, your age will affect your candidacy for the procedure, but it will by no means exclude you from it. If you’re a relatively healthy person whose vision has stabilized, and you don’t have cataracts or other preexisting eye conditions or diseases, you will likely be a better candidate than a younger person who has diabetes, a poor diet, and is on medication that could affect the surgery. The bottom line is that you should discuss the risks and benefits of LASIK surgery with an eye care specialist, such as Spindel Eye Associates.

Get your LASIK consultation at Spindel Eye Associates today.