how age effects your suitability for laser eye surgery

How Age Affects Your Suitability For Laser Eye Surgery

by | 4 May 2020

This article discusses how age affects your suitability for laser eye surgery.

The purpose of laser eye surgery is to correct vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. Approximately 10% of people are found to be unsuitable for laser eye surgery.

We suggest you speak with an ophthalmic surgeon to ask questions and reassure yourself before committing to the next step which is a suitability exam. This examination should be carried out by a fully qualified ophthalmic surgeon – the same surgeon who is to perform your laser eye surgery. As one size never fits all, a thorough assessment of your eyes will be carried out, and only then will your consultant ophthalmic surgeon recommend a treatment.

With all ages your eye surgeon will take many factors into consideration before deciding if you’re a good candidate including your general health, your prescription, eye health, and the shape and thickness of your cornea.

Here is a quick guide for how age affects suitability:

Under 20 Years

A child’s eye is constantly changing shape, and their vision keeps adjusting to these changes during their developing years so any surgical change will only be temporary. Even at age 18 and beyond changes can take place. Because laser eye surgery is elective surgery it may not be performed till the age of 18 except in rare cases with severe vision problems when glasses or contact lenses proves ineffective.

Age 20 to 40 Years

Most eye surgeons will suggest waiting until at least age 20 or later before getting eye surgery, since your prescription can still change. Generally, patients between the ages of 25 and 40 are considered to be at the ideal age laser eye surgery.

Age 40 t0 55 Years

After the age of 40, your vision may start changing again due to age-related factors. It will depend on your personal medical history, eye health, and family history of illness such as diabetes, glaucoma or corneal disease. You may also face conditions such as presbyopia with advancing age, where the lens of your eye becomes rigid and you have difficulty focusing on nearby objects without reading glasses and corrections from laser eye surgery can be a trade off between long and short vision.

Age 60+

There isn’t a fixed upper limit for laser eye surgery, but older patients may have age-related complications that prevent them from being good candidates. After the age of 60, you’re at higher risk due to cataracts. Conditions such as diabetes, eye diseases or corneal disease, and certain types of medication also need to be taken into account when deciding if you are suitable.

You can arrange a complimentary consultation with our senior ophthalmic surgeon to ask any further questions you may have.

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