Taking measures to improve your vision starts with your treatment options. Although you may feel confident in your ability to seek surgical solutions, LASIK treatments are not ideal for every individual. Understanding the qualifications required for the procedure helps you determine when to consider further treatment. In some cases, you may need to consider alternative options to keep your eyes healthy.
LASIK surgery is only provided to adults. You must be 18 years or older to qualify for the treatment. In some cases, your doctor may recommend waiting until you are at least 21 years old because your eyes and body continue to change and grow during your late teen years.Current Eye Health
Your current eye health plays a role in your ability to seek LASIK treatments. Never seek treatment when you have an active eye health condition. For example, if you have glaucoma, cataracts or any similar eye health concerns, then seek treatment for the condition and discuss alternative treatments with a doctor. LASIK is not appropriate if you have any problems with the health of your eyes.
Ideally, you must wait until your vision remains stable for at least one year and you have not developed any conditions in the eyes. Only seek LASIK treatments when your eyes are healthy and you have a low risk of common health concerns.
Physical health plays a role in your ability to seek LASIK treatments. Generally, chronic health conditions with a high risk of causing or contributing to an eye health concern may prevent surgical treatments for your eyes. For example, if you have diabetes, then the treatment may not be recommended due to the possibility of complications with the health concern.
Always discuss any chronic conditions with an eye doctor before considering LASIK treatments. An eye doctor may ask for further details regarding your medical history to limit the risks of the treatment process. During the discussion, you may need to provide details about medications you take and the possible side effects of the medications.Preparation Requirements
If you decide to seek LASIK treatment, then you must prepare for the procedure. The surgical procedure requires a few alterations to your normal activities to prevent problems during the treatment. For example, you should not wear contact lenses for one month before the treatment because the lenses may change the shape of your eyes.
Pregnancy and Nursing Mothers
While the procedure does not take long and most individuals recover quickly after the treatment, it is not appropriate for pregnant women or nursing mothers. Studies related to the effects of the procedure on an unborn fetus or a nursing child are limited, which means a mother should not take an unnecessary risk.
Pregnant and nursing mothers should also wait to seek treatment due to the potential hormonal changes in the body. Since the hormones may change a woman’s vision and eye health, LASIK treatments may be risky. Discuss any treatments for your eyes before seeking solutions during pregnancy to limit risks.
Medications cause side effects and changes to your body. In certain situations, the medications change your hormones or interfere with certain processes. When you take medications, talk to an eye doctor before considering LASIK surgery. Avoid the treatment when taking any medication causing hormonal changes, bleeding risks or potential complications in your eyes.
When to Seek Alternative Treatments
Many individuals benefit from LASIK treatments because it corrects common problems with the eyes. Although it may help, certain situations limit your ability to go through the procedure. By determining when to seek alternative treatments, you have the tools to plan for your future.
Common concerns that may arise before a procedure include:
- The risks of the treatment
- Current health concerns
- Employer-related situations
- Expenses associated with the procedure
- Playing a sport
Refractive procedures are not recommended when you play a contact sport or when you have concerns about the risks. While LASIK is generally a safe procedure, it does have some risks associated with the process. Some employers may also prevent treatment with LASIK procedures due to the nature of your work and the risk to your eyes.
Qualifying for LASIK treatments starts with the health of your eyes and body. Depending on your situation and your age, you may not qualify for the treatment due to potential health risks or the possibility of complications.
Contact Sealy Eye Center to find out if you qualify for LASIK and determine the best options for your goals.