Generally, candidacy for laser eye surgery is suitable for individuals with moderate refractive error, including people with no abnormal vision issues. The eye specialist will ask comprehensive questions regarding the health of your eyes and examine your eyes to ensure there is no condition that may lead to complications or even poor outcomes after the surgery.
Such conditions will include the following;
- Eyelid disorders or eye injuries
- Keratitis, uveitis, herpes simplex and other infections of the eye that affect the eye area.
- Eye disease that causes progressive worsening of your vision as well as thinning of the cornea – keratoconus. Even if you presently do not have keratoconus, if you keratoconus is a common eye issue in your family, share this with your eye doctor.
- Large pupils: people with large pupils, particularly under dim light, may not be eligible for LASIK. This is because the surgery may cause devastating symptoms – e.g. starbursts, halos, glare and ghost images
- Dry Eyes: LASIK surgery may worsen dry eyes condition
- Glaucoma: LASIK can increase eye pressure and as a result worsen glaucoma
- Cataracts: If you have Cataracts, the surgical procedure may be inappropriate
Also, you may have to think twice about LASIK surgery if;
- You suffer acute nearsightedness or a high refractive error. Very poor vision may be a sign of other eye conditions, and the potential benefits from LASIK procedure may not be worth the risks.
- You are active in contact sports. Those who get direct blows on their eyes and face regularly due to sports such as boxing or martial arts should reconsider going for LASIK surgery.
How Healthy Are You?
Also, your eye surgeon will ask you extensive questions regarding your health generally. This is because some medical conditions that are not related to the eyes may raise the risk that comes with LASIK surgical procedure or make the surgery’s outcome less predictable. Such medical conditions will include;
- Medicating on immunosuppressive drugs for some reason
- Any condition or ailment that affects the immune system and at the same time prevents healing or increases the risk of infections. Typical examples of such diseases or conditions include HIV, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, as well as other autoimmune disorders.
- Depression or some chronic pain conditions – examples are irritable bowel syndrome, migraine, and fibromyalgia. So, if you’re diagnosed with any of these health issues, you may experience more issues with postoperative pain and dry eyes compared to people without these conditions. While there are no clear reasons for this, it may be linked to your perception of pain.
Do You Have Stable Vision?
If you suffer myopia, you may continue to experience change in your vision for the rest of your teenage years or beyond, necessitating changes in your contact lenses or glasses prescription periodically. As a result, you should be more than 18 years or far-way older before thinking of LASIK eye surgery.
Some medications and conditions — e.g. steroid drugs, breast-feeding and pregnancy may result in temporal fluctuations in an individual’s vision. You should hold on to regain stable vision before thinking of LASIK surgery.
Can You Pay for LASIK Eye Surgery?
Majority of insurance plans do not cover the cost of laser eye surgery, because they consider it an elective procedure. Therefore, you should be aware of what you will spend for the surgery.
Do You Know the Potential Side Effects and Complications?
Generally, the case of vision loss resulting from LASIK is rare, but some side effects — especially temporary visual disturbances and dry eyes — are quite common. However, these would normally vanish after a couple of weeks or months, and only very few patients may experience them in a long term.
Some of these side effects and complications may include;
- Dry eyes: A patient will experience temporal decline in tear production following a LASIK surgery. You may experience unusual dry eyes for the initial six months or so during your post-surgery period while healing is taking place. The dry eye may increase even after healing
- If you experience dry eyes as a result of LASIK, your eye doctor may prescribe eyedrops in the meantime. If the dry eyes become severe, you can choose to go for another procedure for insertion of special plugs in your tear ducts, so that your tears will stop draining away from your eyes’ surface.
- Glare, double vision and halos are additional side effects from the surgery. Seeing at night may become difficult. These will normally stop after a couple of days or week.
- Undercorrections: You won’t obtain the envisaged clearer vision if the procedure takes out very little tissue from your eyes. Individuals who are nearsighted have increased risk of undercorrections. Another refractive surgery may be necessary within one year, to take out more tissue.
- Overcorrections: Also, it’s possible that the laser procedure may take out excess tissue from your eye. It is more difficult to resolve undercorrections than overcorrections.
- Flab issues: Taking out or folding back the flap from a patient’s front eye in the course of the procedure may lead to complications, including the possibility of excess tears and infection. While healing is taking place, the epithelium (outermost corneal tissue layer) may abnormally grow underneath the flap.
- Loss or changes in vision: Loss of vision resulting from surgical complications is rare. Also, some individuals may not be able to see as clearly or sharply as they use to.