The outstanding benefits of LASIK have influenced millions of people to have laser vision correction. Some of the most common questions Dr. Raymond Stein of Bochner Eye Institute gets about LASIK is whether there is a “right” or “perfect” age at which to undergo surgery. Although the short answer is “no,” there are some age-related considerations when it comes to timing LASIK surgery.
LASIK Eligibility for Younger Patients
Candidates must be at least 18 years old to undergo LASIK surgery. This is because the eyes must finish developing before laser eye surgery. Setting the age limit to 18 ensures that this is most often the case.
Pending extraordinary circumstances, laser eye surgery is very rarely performed on children. These types of cases are the exception to the rule.
Most LASIK surgeons agree that 25 to 40 years old is the “sweet spot” for LASIK. For the majority of people, eyeglass and contact lens prescriptions stabilize in their early 20s, which is a critical qualification for LASIK. Dr. Stein and other reputable LASIK surgeons will not perform LASIK on an individuals whose prescription is in flux. Instead, the prescription must be stable for approximately six months to a year before surgery.
LASIK after the Age of 40
There is no upper age limit for LASIK. Technically, if you are in your 60s or 70s you may be a suitable candidate for LASIK, provided that you are in good health, your eyes are healthy and you meet other criteria.
However, it is important to note that other factors can start to arise around the age of 40 that influence LASIK candidacy. These factors must be considered before recommending a candidate for surgery.
For example, presbyopia, or the age-related loss of reading vision, sets in around the age of 40. The normally thin, elastic lens of the eye starts to thicken and lose its flexibility. It can no longer change shape easily to focus on nearby objects.
Around the age of 60, cataracts can start to develop. The eye’s normally clear lens becomes cloudy or opaque, impeding clear vision. Cataracts won’t exclude someone from having LASIK, but treating them is important in order to see any benefit from laser eye surgery.
To speak with an experienced laser eye surgeon about whether LASIK is right for you, please schedule a consultation with Dr. Stein today.