If you need glasses or contacts to see well, it is likely you have imagined what life would be like to be able to see without them. You have probably thought about vision correction and wondered, “Are you a candidate for LASIK?” It is an important question, because LASIK is an elective procedure, not a medical necessity.
Patients have the option of glasses or contact lenses, which have their own associated risks. As a patient, you have to weigh the inherent risks and benefits to decide how to handle your vision correction needs and if a laser vision correction procedure is right for you. An important deciding factor in choosing laser vision correction is the surgeon’s recommendation, which is based on whether or not a patient is a good candidate. However, not everyone who wants a procedure should have it. In fact, on average between 15 and 20 percent of patients are considered ineligible for a procedure like LASIK. While every patient is unique, the following are general guidelines surgeons use in determining if a patient is a candidate for LASIK eye surgery:
First of all, and perhaps most important, whether you are a good candidate depends on your vision and your lifestyle. Surgeons use guidelines to determine if your prescription falls within the appropriate parameters for vision correction. This includes up to:
Certain health issues and medications may interfere with the healing process, making laser vision correction a poor choice. For that reason, it is important to share complete health history with the surgeon to ensure a recommendation for candidacy based upon all available facts.
LASIK improves your vision by reshaping your cornea – the surface of the eye that helps focus light to create an image on the retina. If your cornea is too thin or misshapen, you may not get the results you want. During your evaluation, detailed maps of your eye are taken to help determine which vision correction procedure, if any, is right for you.
During your initial consultation, your ophthalmologist will measure the thickness of the cornea. This helps to make sure there is enough tissue for the reshaping required to achieve the desired amount of correction.
Finally, understanding the limitations of laser vision correction is important to a satisfactory outcome. Patients with unrealistic or uninformed expectations for the procedure, recovery and results may not achieve their goals with an elective laser vision correction procedure like LASIK.
So, are you a candidate for LASIK?
Knowing if you are a candidate for laser vision correction is necessary for considering a procedure. Furthermore, the best way to determine if you are a candidate for LASIK is to work with a highly qualified surgeon and have a complete evaluation of your eyes and vision. Then, both you and your surgeon will have the information needed to make the best recommendation for you.