Am I Too Old for LASIK?

Along with the rest of the body, eyes will continue to age. Although research concludes that eating nutritious foods supports eye health, there are many factors that contribute to age-related vision changes. Some of these include genetics, climate, smoking, high blood pressure, UV radiation exposure, and significant computer or digital screen time. Regardless of contributing factors that may expedite the deterioration of vision, as the eyes age naturally, the internal lens grows thicker and less flexible. For many older people, this leads to the onset of presbyopia, or which is the gradual loss of the eye’s ability to focus on near objects. For some, simply wearing reading glasses is enough to correct the issue. For others, they question if LASIK is the right surgery option to see better and ask, “am I too old for LASIK?”

At present, LASIK only has a minimum age requirement of 18; there is no hard and fast rule that simply disqualifies a patient from LASIK on the basis of being too old. But there are alternative surgery options to LASIK that may be better suited for mature eyes. LASIK is a laser eye surgery that corrects three 3 specific types of refractive errors: myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. As discussed above, if a patient has the progressive condition of presbyopia caused by a loss of elasticity in the lens, traditional LASIK will not serve as a solution. In addition to this common, blurry near vision condition that occurs around age 40, other issues associated with aging will make a patient ineligible for LASIK. These include cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, dry eye syndrome, large pupils, severe refractive errors, and excessively thick or thin corneas. Autoimmune disorders, frequent and unstable prescription changes, current pregnancy, smoking, medical history of untreated eye infections or eye injury, and certain medications that pose a risk for surgery would also disqualify one from LASIK. 

If after reviewing the list of reasons someone may not be a good candidate for LASIK, a patient still meets the criteria, including having good overall eye health, then age does not matter. You can get LASIK at any stage of life. Depending on your age and what vision impairment you are seeking to correct, scheduling a comprehensive eye exam at Great Plains Eye Specialistscan help you determine if LASIK is right for you. After an assessment, you may find that a refractive lens exchange or refractive cataract surgery may be your better option as these types of surgeries can treat a variety of concerns for our patients aged 50 or older. These include cataracts, astigmatism, farsightedness, nearsightedness, and presbyopia. To learn more, visit our website at WEBSITE or call at 605-718-5123 to book your appointment.