As more people learn about the benefits and overwhelming success of LASIK surgery, more are interested in learning if they are candidates for the procedure. While LASIK can improve common vision refractive errors such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and oval curvature (astigmatism), it cannot address all forms of vision impairment and may not be right for all patients. Many patients have concerns whether age will affect their candidacy for LASIK surgery. Patients who are aged 40 or older are likely to question whether LASIK will still work for them. While there are additional considerations that must be taken into account regarding LASIK and patients over 40, for many of our Chicago patients, LASIK after 40 can still be a success.
Special Considerations for LASIK after 40
LASIK surgery achieves improved vison for patients by changing the shape of the cornea in order to address imperfections that lead to blurry vision. The best results of LASIK surgery will be achieved when patients’ eyes are stable and when their eye prescription has not changed within at least the past two years. Special considerations must be taken in patients over 40 because this is a time in which the eyes are likely to begin to change once again. A vision problem that is commonly experienced by patients aged 40 and older is presbyopia, commonly referred to as reading vision and age-related farsightedness. For patients who develop this condition, the close-up vision that is used for reading, viewing photos, or working on the computer, becomes blurred. This is caused by a gradual loss of flexibility of the lens of the eye. Although patients may still address other vision problems through LASIK surgery, they will likely still require low-strength prescription reading glasses due to presbyopia. Patients should be very realistic regarding what the results of LASIK surgery may be when the procedure is performed after 40.
One technique that is likely to be considered for patients over 40 who are contemplating LASIK surgery is monovision. This procedure allows our laser eye surgeons to correct each eye separately, with one eye being treated to improve distance vision (usually the dominant eye) and the other eye being treated to improve up-close vision. While this slightly compromises both the distance and near vision, it does allow patients to improve both types of vision with less of a dependency on prescription lenses. For instance, a patient over 40 who corrects only distance vision through LASIK surgery would likely have to wear reading glasses for any type of near vision (reading, putting on make-up, watching TV, etc.), while those who opt for the monovision technique would likely only require reading glasses for long periods of reading or computer work (which would likely tire out the eyes). Monovision can be an excellent option for patients over 40 who are looking to improve vision and reduce prescriptive eyewear dependency through LASIK surgery.
Schedule an Appointment
LASIK surgery offers a long-term solution for blurry vision and a reduced dependency on corrective lenses. If you are over the age of 40 and would like to learn if you are an ideal candidate for LASIK, schedule an appointment with one of our laser eye surgeons at Chicago Cornea Consultants™, Ltd. at your earliest convenience. We can examine your eyes to determine if LASIK can provide you with the clear vision you desire. We look forward to meeting you!