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How Old Is Too Old for LASIK?

June 27, 2018

At OCLI Vision, our laser eye surgeons have met a number of candidates for LASIK that worry they are too old for surgery. We usually tell these patients that age is not necessarily a deciding factor when recommending someone for LASIK. There are other factors that are more influential. Read on as our team of LASIK surgeons unpack this idea further.

Age Limits for LASIK Candidates

There is no upper age limit for LASIK candidates — only a lower age limit. LASIK is approved by the FDA for individuals over the age of 18. Most reputable LASIK surgeons won’t consult with minors considering LASIK unless there is a very compelling reason. This is because vision can change frequently during childhood and the teenage years and tends to stabilize around the age of 18. Operating on the eyes while their vision prescription is in flux can jeopardize the quality of laser vision correction results.

In individuals over the age of 18, age is not as much of a factor for LASIK candidacy as other criteria like eye health. Suitable candidates for LASIK should be free of any chronic eye infections or diseases that compromise the health of the eyes. Advancing age causes changes in the eyes that can preclude someone from qualifying for LASIK. A good example is presbyopia, or the loss of reading vision, which affects many people starting around the age of 40 or 45. What occurs around this age is that the naturally thin, flexible lens thickens and hardens, causing blurred near vision. LASIK is not recommended for the treatment of presbyopia.

Cataracts, or a clouding of the eye’s natural lens, is another example of an age-related eye condition that can disqualify someone from having LASIK. Someone that shows early signs of cataracts will be discouraged from having LASIK, as laser vision correction cannot fix the visual impairments caused by cataracts.

However, not everyone over the age of 40 develops presbyopia or cataracts. There are certain people in their 40s, 50s and 60s that have healthy eyes, are in good health and have stable vision prescriptions — making them well-suited to LASIK. Our LASIK surgeons evaluate everyone on a case-by-case basis when determining candidacy.

Schedule a LASIK Screening

If you are interested in laser vision correction but unsure whether you qualify for surgery, our team would be happy to conduct a LASIK screening and discuss your options with you. Call OCLI Vision at 833-509-6254 or request an appointment online.

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