Can You Be Too Young or Too Old to Get LASIK?

December 5th, 2019
woman eye close up

Although you only have to be 18 years old to undergo LASIK, it might be wise to wait a few years before opting for the corrective procedure. 

If you’re growing tired of wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses every day, you might want to consider LASIK eye surgery. This procedure offers many benefits, including almost immediate, virtually pain-free vision correction.

It’s important to understand that while LASIK surgery can be an ideal option for many, it’s not right for everyone. Here are some important factors to consider — including the ideal age to undergo the procedure.

Does LASIK Have an Age Requirement? 

In order to have LASIK surgery, you must be at least 18 years old. However, it’s often advised that patients wait until they are in their mid-twenties before electing to undergo the procedure.

It’s recommended to wait a few years because your prescription becomes more stable as you age. This is particularly true for refractive error — the inability to accurately focus light onto the retina — which is less likely to worsen over time. 

In addition, many people who opt for LASIK are myopic, or nearsighted. Because myopia worsens in childhood and during the first few years of adulthood, it’s advisable to have regular eye exams for at least two years before your LASIK surgery. This will help you determine if your eyeglass prescription is stable before opting for surgery.  

Generally speaking, you can never be too old for LASIK. To be a suitable candidate, you must have good general health, a stable prescription, the correct corneal anatomy, and of course, be over 18. As such, patients are evaluated on a case-by-case basis to see if they meet these requirements. So whether you’re 87 or 27, you have the potential to qualify. 

The Best Age to Get LASIK

Although there is no one-size-fits-all recommendation for when to get LASIK, there are a few guidelines that are helpful to know before opting for the procedure. 

For one, it’s not ideal for individuals between the ages of 18 and 24 to undergo LASIK, mainly because your eyes are still changing during these years. Once you are in your mid-twenties and your prescription is stable for at least two years, chances are you’ll be more ready to undergo the procedure. 

The most popular time to have LASIK is between the ages of 35 and 40. This is when your vision is at its most stable, and, for most people, it’s an age when surgery is most likely to be affordable.

After the age of 40, LASIK surgery begins to decrease in popularity since this is an age when your eyes begin changing yet again. People over 40 are more likely to develop presbyopia — or age-related farsightedness. As such, although you may still fix some vision problems with LASIK, you’ll likely still need prescription reading glasses after the surgery. 

Is LASIK Right for You?

If you’re frustrated with the inconvenience of glasses or contact lenses, LASIK surgery can be an excellent long-term solution for you. Although not everyone is an ideal candidate, the best way to determine if it’s right for you is to schedule an appointment with one of our laser eye surgeons at ICON Eye Care. Our team of passionate doctors will gladly work with you to see if you’re a good fit. Visit our website to make an appointment with our office today. 

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