Is a Patient Ever Too Young or Too Old to Undergo LASIK?
At the Papale Eye Center, we are often asked whether there is a “right” age to undergo LASIK. Some patients are concerned that they may be too old to benefit from LASIK, while others wonder whether LASIK might be appropriate for their teenaged children, perhaps as a gift for graduating from high school. We answer them that as long as a patient is at least 18 years old, age doesn’t really factor into a person’s candidacy for LASIK. However, it might influence their results, an issue that we cover as we discuss LASIK and patient age during consultations at our Springfield, MA eye care center.
Dr. John Papale is careful to evaluate potential candidates for LASIK to ensure that they can undergo the procedure safely before approving them for surgery. This evaluation is essential to promoting the best possible outcome, regardless of the patient’s age. If you would like to discover whether you are a good candidate for LASIK, and you are at least 18 years old, we encourage you to schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Papale at the Papale Eye Center today.
LASIK and Young Adults
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of the excimer laser in LASIK for patients who have reached the age of 18. This does not mean, of course, that a person necessarily becomes a good candidate for LASIK upon reaching his or her eighteenth birthday. The FDA has approved LASIK for patients of this age because most people’s eyes are fully developed by the time they reach 18. However, this is not true of all people. Some people’s eyes continue to develop well beyond their eighteenth birthday, into their early twenties. If these people had gotten LASIK when they were 18, there is a good chance that the results they had achieved would have been largely undone by the time they reached 25.
Dr. Papale carefully examines the eyes of his younger patients to confirm that they have fully matured before allowing them to undergo LASIK. If he feels that a patient will benefit from waiting a year or two before undergoing the procedure, he will advise him or her honestly of this fact.
LASIK and Seniors
Age does not preclude seniors from undergoing LASIK. Many patients in their sixties and seventies have undergone the procedure with good results. However, in order to be considered good candidates for LASIK, senior patients must have healthy eyes, free from ocular disease and age-related vision problems. If they have cataracts, even if they aren’t yet affecting their vision, they should first have their cataracts removed and their natural lenses replaced with multifocal intraocular lenses, or IOLs. This surgery alone may restore their unaided vision at all distances, making LASIK entirely unnecessary.
Learn More about the Relationship between LASIK and Patient Age
If you would like to learn more about the connection between LASIK and patient age, or you wish to make an appointment with Dr. John Papale, please contact the Papale Eye Center today.