Am I old enough to have lasik? or
When can I my son/daughter have lasik eye surgery?
Safety is always the first concern for a good lasik eye surgeon. Age is an important factor for the security of a great outcome. Teenagers undergo a growth spurt. This is also reflected in their eyes. The eyes may change shape or increase in length affecting the refractive state of the eye. It is never good to shoot at a moving target. It is prudent to let these changes subside before applying laser.
Studies have shown than vision in girls stabilize between fifteen and eighteen years of age. Boys achieve stability in refraction by either eighteen years of age or at the latest by twenty one.
It is desirable that the lasik surgeon confirms the refractive power is stationary. FDA recommends that the change over six months should be less than three quarters of a diopter. Some variations up to half a dioptre are common over a few months or even between morning and evening in all people whether they wear glasses or not.
If the eye power continues to change even after age than an eye md needs to examine the eye in detail. This is quite a rare occurrence. So if your optometrist says your eyes are still changing after twenty one years of age you need to see an Ophthalmologist.
What are my other choices? What if I am not a candidate for Lasik?
There are many young men and women who may not be candidates for lasik eye surgery even with the latest techniques available in Beverly Hills.This can happen if the cornea is too thin or because of dryness. In these patients Superlasik eye surgery may be a possibility. A competent superlasik surgeon needs to determine the eligibility.
If even superlasik eye surgery is not recommended don’t loose hope. You may consider Visian Implantable collamer lens or Staar ICL. This alternative to lasik eye procedure allows a refractive surgeon to slip in a lens inside the eye. This lens does not have to be taken out to clean or at nights. Visian ICL can correct even powers as high as -15 diopters.
Lasik and Refractive Surgery Choices for age group 18 to 45 years, need to be evaluated by a skilled, ethical refractive surgeon.
Rajesh Khanna, MD