Can I Get LASIK if I Have Diabetes?

July 2nd, 2018
senior man checking blood sugar

While there may be some additional risk factors to consider, people with diabetes can absolutely be eligible for LASIK surgery.

In order to qualify for LASIK eye surgery, patients are generally required to have two healthy eyes and be in overall good health. These qualifications may leave people with diabetes wondering if the procedure is possible for them.

Because diabetes affects everyone differently, it’s impossible to say for sure whether someone will qualify. However, many people with diabetes undergo LASIK successfully.  Because the process may be a bit more complex than the typical LASIK procedure, it’s important for patients to know what to expect.

Initial Requirements

Not everyone with diabetes qualifies for LASIK, but there are many ways to ensure that you meet the requirements. Most eye surgeons will not administer the surgery unless you have relatively stable blood sugar levels. To prove your blood sugar levels meet LASIK standards, you may need a letter from your doctor.

Additionally, patients must be free of any other eye diseases or corneal abnormalities. Your eye surgeon will be able to tell you whether or not you qualify.

Treating Diabetic Retinopathy

A common requirement for patients is to have a low degree of diabetic retinopathy or none at all. Diabetic retinopathy is an eye disease that damages the retina, which can lead to vision impairment that cannot be fixed with laser eye surgery.

Diabetic retinopathy is the result of swollen and leaking retinal blood vessels caused by high blood sugar levels. It is a progressive disease, which means it can get worse over time if left untreated.

However, if you detect it early and seek treatment, you can prevent significant and irreversible vision loss. It is important to follow a balanced diet and maintain a healthy weight in order to keep your vision from deteriorating. Early treatment of diabetic retinopathy combined with stable blood sugar levels will increase your likelihood of qualifying for LASIK.

Additional Concerns for People with Diabetes

One of the ways that fluctuating blood sugar levels can affect the body is by causing your glasses or contacts prescription to fluctuate as well. This can make it hard for an eye doctor to determine exactly what degree of vision correction you’ll need, since your vision during a consultation may be different than on the day of LASIK surgery. Thus, you can still improve your vision with LASIK, but you may not be able to achieve the highest level of vision correction possible.

If you’re approved to undergo LASIK, the process and subsequent recovery may go a little differently than it would for someone who doesn’t have diabetes. It may take longer to heal from the procedure because people with diabetes typically have longer healing processes in general. However, the LASIK healing process is already one of the simplest, so don’t anticipate dealing with terribly long recovery times.

Consult a Doctor

The only way to truly know if you’ll be able to safely receive LASIK is by discussing it with a medical professional. The eye care experts at ICON Eyecare are here to help and will work with you individually to assess whether or not LASIK is right for you.

If you and your doctor decide to move forward with the surgery, our team of dedicated professionals will help ensure you have the safest procedure and smoothest recovery possible. Schedule an initial consultation with us today.

Request An Appointment.

Give us a phone call at (970) 256-0400 Monday – Friday, 8am-5pm to schedule a consultation.

Live Chat