LASIK for the Over 40s: Is It Still an Option?

Although there is a small list of qualifiers to be considered a candidate for LASIK surgery, the only age restriction is that patients must be at least 18 years old. Most laser eye surgeons will require patients to wait until their mid-20s because their eyes and vision are fully developed by that time. The surgeon pre-operatively will also ensure that the patient’s prescription has been stabilized for at least 1 year before performing LASIK surgery. The Food and Drug Administration takes it a step further and recommends that people have stable vision with a corrected prescription for at least 2 years. An ideal time frame for LASIK surgery would be in your mid-20s to 30s since prescriptions changes have likely not changed and presbyopia has not yet developed.

LASIK for the over 40s: is it still an option? Many people choose to get LASIK eye surgery at age 40 and beyond. There is no upper age limit for vision correction surgery for refractive errors of myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism. Effective, safe and successful LASIK surgery is an option for those age 40 and older. The reason that special considerations may be necessary for patients over the age of 40 is because the eyes begin to change again. After likely remaining stable in your up to your 30s, age-related vision changes are common in patients over 40 years and older. Many patients at Great Plains Eye Specialistsover the age of 40 discuss treatment options for correcting both distance and reading vision. The natural lens of the eye begins to change as we grow older. It loses its elasticity and hardens into a flatter shape, developing a condition known as presbyopia. A normal part of aging, presbyopia is the gradual loss of the eyes’ ability to focus actively on nearby objects. Many individuals rely on reading glasses or bifocals to correct this issue. One technique that is likely to be considered for patients over 40 who are thinking about LASIK is a specific method of LASIK called monovision that corrects farsightedness in one eye and nearsightedness in the other eye. If a patient has presbyopia and opts for traditional LASIK surgery, other vision problems may still need to be addressed such as low-strength prescription glasses for reading. Monovision is an excellent option to both correct the refractive errors for clear vision while reducing the dependency on prescription eyewear. 
The only way to know for certain if LASIK is right for you is with a comprehensive eye exam. Let’s discuss realistic options that can get you seeing better sooner than later. We look forward to getting to know you and reviewing all the LASIK options that will suit you best. Call today Great Plains Eye Specialistsat 605-718-5123 or schedule your appointment at WEBSITE.