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How Do You Know If LASIK Is Right For You?

LASIK is a procedure that provides you with visual freedom. The kind that means you no longer need glasses or contacts to see. Many patients end up with 20/20 vision or better after LASIK!

But before you schedule your appointment, you need to find out if you even qualify as a candidate for the procedure. Not sure how you do that? You need to have a LASIK consultation first!

Don’t have a clue if you could be a good LASIK candidate? Keep reading to find out if LASIK could right for you!



Age is a big deal, especially when it comes to LASIK. You can’t have this procedure if your eyes aren’t mature.

If your vision is unstable or still developing, you shouldn’t have the procedure. Wait to have LASIK until you’re at least 18 years old. Most LASIK surgeons prefer a patient in their mid to late twenties. This ensures that your eyes have finished developing.

If you’re older, you can get LASIK, but it may not be the right procedure for you. Talk to your eye doctor to see what vision correction procedure they recommend. This may include something like refractive lens exchange (RLE) or if you’re in your sixties or older, they may recommend cataract surgery. Unfortunately, you can’t have LASIK if you have cataracts. There’s not technically an age limit with the procedure, but conditions like glaucoma, cataracts, and age-related macular degeneration will limit your LASIK candidacy.

Prescription Strength and Consistency

Woman holding glasses

Another factor that’s part of the LASIK consultation is how strong your prescription is. LASIK may be an incredible procedure, but it does have some limitations. This means that if your prescription is too strong, LASIK may not be the right procedure for you.

During the consultation, your ophthalmologist will perform a variety of tests to see if your vision has changed recently. You need to have a prescription that’s remained unchanged for at least a year before you can undergo LASIK.

LASIK works best if you’re nearsighted, farsighted, or have astigmatism. Keep in mind, it can only correct up to -11.00 diopters of nearsightedness, up to 5.00 diopters of astigmatism, and up to +5.00 diopters of farsightedness.

If your prescription doesn’t fall into these guidelines, another procedure may be a better alternative for you. Talk to your eye doctor if you find out that you don’t qualify for LASIK but you want to learn about LASIK alternatives.

Healthy Eyes

If your eyes are unhealthy, you can’t have LASIK. A big component of this is dry eye syndrome. If you know that you have dry eyes or you received this diagnosis, you need to have the condition under control before having LASIK.

When you have LASIK, it can make your eyes more prone to being dry after the procedure as you recover. Having dry eyes may cause your eyes to be red, itchy, or generally irritated.

Man holding his head

If you find out that you have dry eyes, there are various treatments available to provide relief and get your symptoms under control. But until you have them managed, you shouldn’t get LASIK.

You may also want to reconsider getting LASIK if you have large pupils. This can make you more likely to suffer from halos and glare while driving at night after the procedure. Your eye doctor will measure your pupils during your consultation.

Corneal Health

LASIK works as a procedure because it reshapes your cornea using lasers. To safely do this, you must have thick enough corneas. Having thinner than normal corneas could lead to severe complications, making it dangerous to undergo LASIK.

If you suffer from severe astigmatism or keratoconus, you shouldn’t have LASIK. These conditions cause a misshapen cornea, which can also lead to complications after LASIK, and may result in less than perfect vision after the procedure.

PRK is another potential alternative if you have thinner corneas and don’t qualify for LASIK. This procedure offers almost identical results to LASIK but doesn’t require creating a flap.

Creating a flap during LASIK is where many patients end up running into problems if they have thinner corneas.

Instead, PRK involves removing the entire epithelium. This regenerates on its own over time.

An excimer laser is then used to reshape the cornea, followed by a bandage on top to help tissue under it heal. It does take longer to recover after PRK when you compare it to LASIK, but you end up with results that are almost exactly the same.

Good Health

Like your eyes, you also need to be healthy before having LASIK. By no means does this mean you need to be in perfect health, but if you have any autoimmune conditions, you may not qualify for the procedure.

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This includes conditions like HIV, rheumatoid arthritis, or diabetes that aren’t being properly managed.

You probably won’t be a good candidate for LASIK if you take corticosteroids as well. It’s important to disclose any medications you take, as well as your entire medical history during your LASIK consultation.

You should mention all health conditions, including any injuries you’ve had before. Be as thorough as you can so your ophthalmologist has a good picture of how healthy you are.

This is also a good time to share any concerns about LASIK or the recovery process, as well as ask any questions.

If you’re pregnant or nursing, you need to wait before you can have LASIK. If you want results that you’ll be happy with for the rest of your life, wait to have the procedure until you know you won’t have any more children.

Most eye doctors agree that you should wait to have LASIK until three months after finishing nursing. This gives your eyes plenty of time to stabilize and for any hormones that made them change to wear off because of pregnancy.

Think that LASIK is the vision correction procedure for you? Find out for sure by scheduling your LASIK consultation at Chicago Cornea Consultants™ in Hoffman Estates, IL, now!

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