How Old Is Too Old For LASIK?


Middle Aged Couple

If you’re considering LASIK, then this question has definitely crossed your mind. Is there such a thing as being too old for LASIK? There’s no cut and dry “right” answer, but keep reading to learn more!

You Can Qualify For LASIK In Your 50’s

It’s surprising but true. More and more, patients in their fifties are considering LASIK. There are even reports of senior citizens in their seventies who get LASIK!

The only age-related limitation on LASIK surgery depends on being old enough. If you are not over the age of 18, you are not a good candidate for the procedure.

After the age of 18, your eyes will stabilize and your prescription won’t change.  Many LASIK surgeons recommend that patients wait until their mid to late twenties. This is because your eyes are most stable at this time. Notice that there are no limitations on age if you’re older for getting LASIK.

It’s Not About The Number

Age is only a number, and there are many other factors that go into LASIK candidacy. These include things like your general health, as well as the health of your eyes.  

Patients who suffer from cataracts can’t get LASIK. This is an age-related condition, making getting older a factor for candidacy. It is possible that a fifty-year-old could be in better health than someone in their twenties, and have better eyes. These things would make them a good LASIK candidate.

The Forties

As we age, our eyes and our vision change naturally. Around the age of 40, the risk for presbyopia, a condition that causes blurry vision, increases. With presbyopia, LASIK may not be as effective for a patient.

As a result, patients who have presbyopia are not recommended for LASIK. There are other LASIK procedures that a surgeon may recommend. These are procedures such as monovision (single vision) or multifocal (multi-vision) LASIK.

The Fifties

Getting older often means greater vision changes that affect LASIK candidacy. A patient who is in their fifties has an increased risk of having macular degeneration. If you have macular degeneration, the retina deteriorates. This is an issue if you are thinking about having LASIK because of how it’s performed.

LASIK involves a permanent reshaping of the corneal tissue. You are still able to get LASIK, but you only qualify for traditional LASIK. With traditional LASIK, the amount of correction is equal to what you have with glasses. If you have severe macular degeneration, you may have vision loss that LASIK can’t fix.

The Sixties

When patients are in their sixties, they are more likely to develop glaucoma. With glaucoma, the optic nerve becomes damaged and leads to vision loss. Glaucoma can be treated, but it has very few symptoms. Getting older also means you are more likely to develop cataracts. Cataracts cause clouding in the natural lens.

Getting LASIK to treat cataracts would not help. This is because a cataract must get removed to reverse vision loss. Even if the cornea becomes reshaped with LASIK, it won’t help cataracts. This is why patients with cataracts should not get LASIK.

There’s Still A Chance You Can Get LASIK

When it comes to LASIK, age is just a number. If your eyes are healthy enough, as well as your overall health, you may be a great LASIK candidate!

The only way to know for sure is to schedule a LASIK consultation. Contact SightMD today and find out if a vision journey is in your future!

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