If you’re tired of wearing contact lenses or glasses, you may find yourself considering corrective eye surgery like LASIK. Before you make an appointment with an eye doctor, you should make sure if you are a good candidate for this procedure. Keep reading to learn if corrective eye surgery is right for you.
Your Eyes Must Be Healthy For Corrective Eye Surgery
Laser eye surgery is generally only appropriate for people who have no unusual visual issues and just a slight degree of refractive error. Your eye doctor will ask you a series of detailed questions regarding your eye health.
Your answers to these questions are to make sure that you don’t have any existing conditions that could complicate your surgery. Your doctor will ask if you have an eye disease that has thinned or cornea or worsened your vision. Or even if you don’t have keratoconus, but it runs in your family, you should be careful about getting eye surgery.
Other eye issues that will make you not the right candidate for eye surgery include herpes that affects the eye, keratitis, lid disorders, eye injuries, dry eyes, large pupils, cataracts and glaucoma.
Corrective eye surgery might not be for you if you have a high refractive error diagnosis, you have been diagnosed with a high refractive error or severe nearsightedness. The benefits of this surgery might not be enough to justify the potential risks.
If you see well enough that you don’t need contacts and sometimes need glasses, the risks might not be worth it. If your vision is changing due to your age, or your play contact sports actively where you regularly get blows to the head, this surgery might not be right for you.
If you have any questions about lasik, you should consult with your eye doctor.
Are You Healthy?
Another factor which determines if corrective eye surgery is for you is how healthy you are. This means your general health, as well as your eye health.
This includes if you have any condition or disease that affects your immune system or makes it hard for your body to heal. This includes if you are prone to infections and or have a condition like HIV, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or other autoimmune disorders.
If you have diabetes or are taking an immunosuppressive medication for some reason, this would make you not a good candidate for this procedure. If you are suffering depression and or have chronic pain like irritable bowel syndrome, migraines, and or fibromyalgia you might not be able to do this procedure.
Is Your Vision Stable?
If you live with myopia, this means your vision and prescription might change past your teenage years. Which is why candidates need to be over 18 before even considering this procedure.
There are also certain conditions and medications that could change your vision like breastfeeding, pregnancy, and steroid drugs. As all of these can temporarily change your vision. You will want to make sure your vision is stabilized before you get corrective eye surgery.
Can You Afford It?
Another important factor is to make sure you can afford corrective eye surgery. You should know that most eye insurance policies consider laser eye surgery to be an elective procedure, and therefore don’t cover its costs. You should know what this surgery will cost you before you get it.
Understand The Side Effects And Potential Complications
Complications that lead to loss of vision are rare, but there are side effects like dry eyes that can disturb your vision temporarily. The good news is, these side effects tend to go away after a few weeks or months and aren’t very common.
Other side effects include dry eyes that lead to a decrease in the production of tears. Even after healing, your eyes might be dryer than usual.
You might also experience double vision, glare, halos or trouble seeing at night post-surgery. This shouldn’t last more than a few weeks.
If the laser takes off too little tissue from your eye, then your vision won’t get as clear as you want it to. This is called under corrections, and they are more common with those that are nearsighted.
You can also have the laser take off too much tissue, and that is called over corrections. This is harder to fix than under corrections. There’s also uneven tissue removal which is astigmatism, this might lead to more surgery, contacts or glasses.
There could also be flap problems, which is when removing or folding back the flap from the front of the eye during surgery leads to complications like excess tears or infection. Your outermost corneal tissue layer (epithelium) could grow under this flap abnormally during your healing process.
Your vision could also change or get lost, but this is rare, and due to complications in surgery. There are some cases where people don’t see as clearly or sharply as they did pre-surgery.
What You Can Expect From Corrective Eye Surgery
A lot of people who undergo this surgery might have good to an excellent vision for years or decades to follow. These people will be able to play sports, swim, and be able to see first thing in the morning without glasses or contacts.
However, the older you get, and the lower the light is, you may still need to wear glasses even after this surgery. Most people are highly satisfied after this surgery, but the long term effects haven’t been studied as well.
This is because people tend to be satisfied with the procedure and don’t need to get it done again. This procedure has been refined over time, and technology is constantly changing which makes it hard to draw conclusions from the reported data.
You should know that even after a follow-up, vision is still being measured in good lighting. So you may still have a hard time seeing in dim light.
Talk To Your Eye Doctor About Corrective Eye Surgery
If after reading this, it sounds like you’d be a good candidate for this procedure, talk to your doctor today. Remember, you and your eyes need to be in good health to get corrective eye surgery. For more resources on health, check out our blog.