How Do I Know If I’m a Candidate for LASIK?

By May 18, 2021January 17th, 2023No Comments

You know you want LASIK eye surgery, but you aren’t sure you’re actually a LASIK candidate. And honestly, you don’t want to take the time to go see a LASIK surgeon only to be told you are not a good candidate for LASIK. There has to be an easier way to know if you would qualify to receive LASIK or not, right?

Before you meet with a LASIK surgeon, you can get a pretty good idea as to whether or not you would be a good candidate for surgery. You won’t qualify for surgery until your surgeon gives the green light, but we’re here to help you decide if LASIK is worth pursuing or not. But the chances are good that you will be able to have LASIK eye surgery if you want it. 

The Vision Problems LASIK Can Fix

LASIK eye surgery targets the cornea of the eye by reshaping its surface. That means that LASIK can correct several vision problems related to problems in the cornea. This primarily includes myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. 

Myopia, or nearsightedness, means that the eyeball is probably shaped a little long, so the light coming into the eye doesn’t quite make it to the retina the way it should. You’ll see objects close up well, but your distant vision will be distorted. A simple adjustment to the shape of the cornea can help the light reach your retina correctly.

Hyperopia, or farsightedness, is pretty much the opposite of myopia. The light doesn’t focus completely before it hits your retina, so you can’t see clearly. Things up close will be tough to see well, but when you look further away, your vision seems fine. Again, a simple adjustment will help your eye refract light properly so you can see clearly. 

Astigmatism is a different issue entirely, but can still be corrected with LASIK. Astigmatism is when the cornea of the eye is not shaped correctly, so the light coming into your eye focuses in more than one place. In this case, the cornea needs reshaping to help the light focus in a single, correct place.

Presbyopia is something that can be helped, though not perfectly corrected, through laser eye surgery. Presbyopia occurs as people age, so most people experience it at some point in their life. It’s a loss of elasticity in the eye that makes the entering light not focus correctly. Most people just get reading glasses for this condition, but some have one eye surgically corrected to see distance well, and the other eye to see up close well. So even if you’re older, LASIK or laser surgery can still be an option.

If you have one of these vision problems, there’s a high likelihood that you are a good LASIK candidate. However, there are still other considerations, so even though you probably are a good candidate, there might be another reason your surgeon chooses not to perform the surgery.

What If I’ve Had an Eye Injury?

If you’ve had an eye injury, you might still qualify for LASIK eye surgery. Your surgeon will make the final call, but if your eye injury has healed well and your vision has been stable for at least a year, you could very well be a good LASIK candidate. 

However, not every injury is the same, so depending on the injury, you might not qualify for LASIK. It really varies from case to case, but a lot of people who have had eye injuries qualify for LASIK when they don’t expect to.

Why Would I Not Be a Good Candidate for LASIK?

There are a few reasons you might not be a good LASIK candidate, at least temporarily. A big reason is if your vision prescription has not been stable for at least a year. When your vision isn’t stable, it’s much more likely to change again after you’ve had surgery, which would make the LASIK adjustments futile. There’s no reason to put someone through a LASIK surgery if their vision is just going to change again. But if your vision stabilizes later, you may be able to receive LASIK surgery.

This is also true if you are pregnant. Pregnancy alters the hormones in the body, and at times this can affect your vision. Before or after pregnancy, when your body returns to its normal hormone levels, you may qualify for LASIK.  

Some eye diseases and conditions can’t be treated with LASIK, mostly because adjusting the shape of the cornea won’t make any difference to those conditions. If the eye condition isn’t caused by the incorrect shape of the eyeball or cornea, LASIK isn’t the answer. But there may be other options to help or correct the condition, so make sure to research all of your possibilities.

It’s also possible that you won’t qualify for LASIK if you have risky health conditions – even if those conditions have nothing to do with your eyes. For example, if you have heart problems then surgery may be too risky to perform on you. Your surgeon won’t want to put your body under undue stress unnecessarily. 

The most important thing to remember is that your surgeon wants you to be safe, so if they feel that the surgery would be too risky or ineffective, they won’t perform surgery on you. While LASIK is a safe surgery compared to most other surgeries, it is still surgery and can be stressful on your body. 

The Best Way to Know If You’re a LASIK Candidate

While this article can help you figure out how likely you are to qualify for LASIK surgery, there really is no way to know that you are a good LASIK candidate unless you set up an appointment with a surgeon. At Davis Vision, we can give you a quick, free screening to initially decide if LASIK is a good option for you. If it seems to be a good option, we will then schedule you for a pre-operative visit to make the final decision. Your surgeon may be able to help you find another option if LASIK isn’t a good fit for you. If you are ready to find out if you’re a LASIK candidate, contact Davis Vision today and you’ll be on your way to clearer vision in no time.