An important deciding factor in choosing laser vision correction is the surgeon’s recommendation, which is based on whether a patient is a good LASIK candidate, because not everyone who wants a procedure should have it. In fact, on average between 15 and 20 percent of patients are 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:
According to the Refractive Surgery Council prescriptions within FDA-approved treatment parameters:
up to +6.00 diopters of hyperopia,
up to 6 diopters of cylinder/astigmatism
up to -12.00 diopters of nearsightedness
Ocular maturity, prescription stability, and eye health
LASIK is FDA approved for people aged eighteen and older who have achieved ocular maturity.
A stable prescription, meaning your prescription has not changed for at least two consecutive years.
It is important for eyes to be healthy, free of diseases, injuries, and infections.
Certain health issues and medications may interfere with the healing process, making laser vision correction a poor choice. It is important patients share their complete health history with their surgeon to ensure a recommendation for candidacy based upon all available facts. To determine if you are a LASIK candidate requires a complete eye examination with sophisticated testing to screen patients for these problems that may make you a non-candidate.
There are absolute contraindications to LASIK. Many patients are not good candidates for laser vision correction because of systemic or ocular disease. Conditions, such as cataracts, diabetes, or autoimmune diseases like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, may make LASIK and other laser vision correction options not a desirable choice for some patients. Also, certain medications, such as corticosteroids, acne medications, and pregnancy can affect the healing process.
Corneal shape and thickness
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, or if you have eye diseases like significant glaucoma or corneal scarring you are not a candidate for LASIK. During your initial consultation, your ophthalmologist will measure the thickness of the cornea to make sure there is enough tissue for the reshaping required to achieve the desired amount of correction.
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.
Knowing if you are a LASIK candidate is necessary for even considering a procedure. 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.
Leading LASIK Ophthalmologist, Neil B. Griffin, M.D, uses the most advanced vision diagnostics and latest lasers for LASIK surgery. Dr. Griffin received his highly specialized fellowship in cornea and external disease from the University of Texas in Houston. He is board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and is also a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
Dr. Griffin Specializes in LASIK and cataract surgery. He was named by the National Consumer Advisory Board as one of America’s Best Physicians in 2021. He has received multiple local distinctions, “Best Ophthalmologist and Best Laser Eye Surgeon” from the Myrtle Beach Herald, the Carolina Forest Chronicle, and the North Strand News Readers’ Choice Award 2018-2021.