People spend a lot of time asking themselves, “what is the best age to have LASIK?” When it comes to refractive surgery, thankfully, there is no LASIK age limit; however, FDA regulations require patients to be at least 18 years of age. One of the most important questions a person should ask themselves when considering moving forward with surgery is, “has my vision been stable?” Stability with vision is a key factor when determining if surgery is the right time for a patient.
Is There A LASIK Age Requirement?
One of the most important factors when determining if LASIK surgery is the right procedure for you is whether or not your vision has been stable. The FDA has determined that the minimum age for LASIK is 18. Pre-operatively, your surgeon is going to want to ensure that your prescription has been stable. In your consultation, a refraction is performed, which measures the amount of myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. Doctors like to see that your glasses and/or contact lens prescription has been stable for at least a year or two to ensure that the surgical results will serve you for the long term.
Thankfully, there is no absolute LASIK surgery age limit. As long as you’re in good general and ocular health and you are a candidate, there is no reason that an older individual can’t undergo refractive surgery. Of course, it makes more sense to do this earlier in life, to enjoy the results for a longer period of time.
What Is the Best Age For LASIK?
While there’s no recommended age for LASIK, there are pros and cons to having the surgery at various times of your life, but stability is always going to be the main focus.
Late Teens and Early Twenties
In your late teens and early twenties, your refraction could still be fluctuating. If this were to be the case, you wouldn’t want to proceed with surgery until your glasses prescription had been stable for some time. Exceptions are sometimes made for patients who are looking to join the military with the understanding that if their vision continues to fluctuate, an enhancement procedure may be needed.
Mid Twenties and Thirties
If you were trying to choose what age to get LASIK, then your mid twenties to thirties would probably be your best bet. Your prescription should be stable by now, and you haven’t yet developed presbyopia. Presbyopia happens when your eyes start to have difficulty focusing on near objects; it usually onsets in one’s mid to late forties.
In your forties, presbyopia will start to develop. This can lead to difficulties seeing things up close. If your eyes are corrected for distance vision with refractive surgery, you will still require reading glasses to see near objects. This is important to keep in mind when considering LASIK in your forties. If you are having trouble seeing both near and far, sometimes a monovision treatment can be performed.
Fifties And Beyond
In your fifties, presbyopia will have advanced, causing more substantial difficulties with near vision. To compensate for presbyopia, some people pursuing refractive surgery choose what’s called monovision. This is where one eye is surgically corrected to see distance, while the other is set for close up. This can allow for the ability to see near and far, but it’s not for everyone. Ask your doctor if this might be an option for you.
In your fifties and beyond, various ocular health conditions may start to develop, such as dry eye, cataract, and more. Dry eyes can be aggravated by refractive surgery, so it’s important to seek treatment for this condition before undergoing LASIK to optimize the outcome. Likewise, cataracts interfere with vision and are therefore usually a contraindication for refractive surgery. During your consultation, you will have a comprehensive eye exam to identify any conditions that could interfere with your candidacy for surgery.
So What Age Should You Get LASIK?
As you’ve seen, if there’s the best age to get LASIK, it’s probably in your twenties and thirties. However, being in your forties, fifties, and beyond is still a fine age to get LASIK! Instead of focusing on what age, ask yourself, “has my vision been stable?” If yes, then now may be the right time to see if you’re a good candidate for surgery.
So, at what age can you get LASIK? Just about anytime from your twenties to your fifties and beyond! When it comes to LASIK eye surgery, age is just another number. Your measurements, stability, and ocular and medical history, all play a much more important role in determining your candidacy. The only way to know for sure whether or not you’re eligible for LASIK is to come in for a no-cost, no-obligation, consultation. Call us at 312-444-1111 to schedule your consultation!