Did you know that more than half of Americans wear corrective lenses? Roughly 60 percent of the adult population uses glasses or contact lenses to some extent, and for adults over 50 years of age, this number jumps to 90 percent. Functionally, lenses are a terrific aid in one’s everyday life, but practically and aesthetically, they’re not always optimal. Rather than having to rely on the continued use of glasses or contacts, an increasing number of people are fixing their natural vision permanently with LASIK surgery.
Thanks to advancements in technology, LASIK is now able to correct a variety of refractive problems, including complex or compounded refractive problems that were previously unfixable. If you are considering a custom LASIK procedure for your own vision, take a moment to learn who makes a good candidate for treatment.
What Can LASIK Treat?
LASIK surgery is primarily used to correct refractive errors in the eye. As light enters the eye, most of it is refracted (or bent) by the eye’s shape, size, and the clear corneal tissue that surrounds it. The clarity of one’s vision is dependent on the accuracy of this refraction, as the focused light is received by the eye’s retina and optic nerves. In general, there are four types of refractive errors, each of which can be corrected or compensated by LASIK:
- Myopia: Also called nearsightedness, this condition causes objects to appear blurred in the distance. It is directly treatable through LASIK surgery by creating a less rounded curve of the cornea.
- Hyperopia: Also called farsightedness, this condition causes objects to appear blurred when up close. It is directly treatable through LASIK surgery by creating a greater degree of curvature in the cornea.
- Astigmatism: This condition exacerbates the blurriness of images in varying fields of vision, depending on the cornea’s irregularity. It is directly treatable through LASIK surgery, often in conjunction with one of the above problems, by creating a more uniform corneal surface.
- Presbyopia: Like farsightedness, this condition inhibits the ability to clearly see nearby objects. However, the problem lies within the lens of the eye and is therefore not directly treatable through LASIK. Instead, some patients opt to have each eye corrected for a certain field of vision: one for nearby images and one for images in the distance. If the patient’s eyes can compensate accordingly, he or she can effectively restore both types of vision.
Candidacy for LASIK Surgery
Patients with myopia, hyperopia, or astigmatism are all usually excellent candidates for LASIK surgery, provided they are in generally good health and do not have any current or chronic complications with their eyes such as glaucoma, infection, or excessively dry eyes. In many cases, a single round of treatment is enough to help patients achieve clear vision. If not, a follow-up procedure can produce more accurate and longer lasting results.
In order to be considered a candidate for LASIK, patients’ vision must first stabilize for at least a year. If someone’s eyesight continues to worsen or fluctuate, he or she must wait for it to plateau before moving forward with treatment. This also means that younger patients are not generally accepted for LASIK treatment until their early twenties, which is the point at which vision normally stabilizes.
Schedule an Exam
Before any patients can be considered or approved for LASIK surgery, they must undergo a comprehensive exam to determine their candidacy. In addition to testing one’s vision and the type of refractive error, Dr. Peña will assess the eyes’ health and their potential for any disease or complications. Assuming you can safely undergo treatment, Dr. Peña will begin discussing your potential IntraLASIK surgery and expectations for it. Contact us for more information and to schedule your complimentary initial consultation and exam.