With surgical approaches like LASIK having a 99% success rate, people who wear glasses around the world are feeling optimistic about a life without specs. While it is easy to get excited about liberating your eyes through surgery, you do need to make sure a laser refractive procedure is right for you. Like all forms of surgery, there are indications and contraindications. Now if you fall into a contraindication category, don’t worry, as you may find that laser eye surgery later becomes suitable for you.
Age and Laser Eye Surgery
In the U.S. the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does allow for surgeries from 18, the Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCO) and National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommend waiting until you are 21. One of the main reasons for waiting is that certain conditions do not arise until this time in some individuals, and these conditions can have an impact on your surgical outcomes. One is keratoconus, which weakens the cornea and can lead to instability following laser eye surgery, but there are alternative treatment methods available for this condition , see here . There is no upper age limit, but everyone needs screening regardless of age.
Medical Conditions Affecting Laser Eye Surgery Suitability
Certain medical conditions can affect your suitability for laser eye surgery:
• Pregnancy: While the procedure isn’t harmful for foetuses, the hormonal changes you experience during pregnancy can change your prescription, making you more nearsighted than usual. As such, the outcome of the surgery may only remain suitable during pregnancy, and the correction may no longer work after.
• Diabetes: Diabetes doesn’t always prevent you having surgery. However, if you have poor blood sugar control your surgeon may not gain an accurate measure of your prescription, which in turn affects surgery outcomes. Fortunately, it is possible to measure long-term blood sugar control using a HBA1C test, which looks at the saturation of blood sugar in your haemoglobin. Other aspects of having diabetes can also have an impact, which makes an in-depth consultation important.
• Existing eye conditions: We’ve mentioned kerataconus, but there are other eye conditions that can weaken the cornea and make surgery unsafe. Much like diabetes, it is worth consulting a surgeon to determine if surgery is unsafe, and to see whether you can make it a safe option.
Good General Health
The human body operates as a multisystem wonder, which means good general health is going to improve your surgery suitability and outcomes significantly. You can modify some poor health states, such as your smoking status, how much you weigh, and how much you drink. Other health states are not modifiable, but your surgeon may consult with you to suggest control measures that will allow them to work within a condition’s parameters. Attending a consultation can help you and your prospective surgeon learn more about your eyes and body, which may then lead to a successful procedure. Contact our helpful staff today to arrange a consultation.