Am I a Candidate for LASIK?

LASIK is a type of laser eye surgery that can replace the need to constantly wear glasses or contact lenses, however it is very important to find out if it’s the right option for you because not everyone is eligible for this procedure.

Am I a Candidate for LASIK? in Bellflower

A certain type of laser eye surgery, known as LASIK, could be a wonderful alternative for people who constantly need to wear glasses or contact lenses. That being said, not everyone is a suitable candidate for this procedure and therefore before going through with the surgery there are certain qualifications that must be checked. If you book an appointment to find out if LASIK surgery is for you, you will be asked for a very detailed medical history and you will receive a comprehensive eye exam which includes all sorts of measurements to make sure that you qualify. The surgeon and professional staff will discuss with you all of the factors, the risks of complications and will set the proper expectations with you. Together you can determine if LASIK is the right choice for you.

Amplify Eyecare of Greater Long Beach

Suitable LASIK Candidate

The overall qualifications for a person to be able to get LASIK include:

  • Over age 18
  • Stable vision for at least the previous year
  • Stable glasses and contact lens prescription for at least the previous year
  • Thick enough cornea which will be measured
  • An optical prescription that falls under certain limits which the surgeon will identify
  • No active issues with the cornea
  • No significant eye conditions 
  • No dry eye issues
  • Not pregnant or nursing

In addition to all of these conditions, the candidate must accept realistic expectations that despite going through laser eye surgery, wearing glasses may still be necessary in certain situations like driving at night. Also, a person who actively participates in contact sports may not be a good candidate if they are prone to receiving frequent blows to the face. Another factor that must be considered is the cost for surgery and if it fits in your budget.

Eye Qualifications

People who are mildly nearsighted tend to have the best success rates with refractive surgery such as LASIK.

There are a variety of eye conditions that can be contraindications for LASIK surgery as it can cause many complications. These include:

  • Dry eyes
  • Keratoconus - a progressive disease the causes the cornea to become thin resulting in a decrease of vision quality
  • Various eye infections affecting different parts of the eye including keratitis, uveitis, herpes simplex
  • Eye injuries
  • Issues with the eyelids
  • Large pupils
  • Glaucoma 
  • Cataracts
Eye Qualifications
Health Conditions

Health Conditions

There are certain health considerations that must be taken into account, even if they do not seem directly related to your eyes. The surgeon will ask you details about your overall health as certain conditions can make the outcome of LASIK surgery less predictable and thus must be considered. Some health issues include:

  • Any autoimmune disorders or conditions that make healing more difficult or increase the chance of infection such as rheumatoid arthritis or HIV
  • Taking immunosuppressive medications for any reason
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic pain conditions such as migraines or irritable bowel syndrome
  • Depression 

The above health issues could increase the risk of complications and the chance of having a difficult healing process. If you have any of these health conditions, please discuss it with the surgeon to decide if you can get LASIK.

Health Conditions

Alternatives to LASIK

LASIK is a popular option for those looking to reduce their dependence on glasses or contact lenses, however it’s important to know that there are many alternatives to this type of surgery. Each method of surgery comes with its own risks and benefits and it’s important to consult with your eye doctor to figure out the best option for you. Other refractive surgical procedures include photorefractive keratometry (PRK), laser epithelial keratomileusis (LASEK), small incision lenticule extraction (SMILE), and phakic intraocular lens.

 

Another alternative to LASIK which does not involve surgery and is reversible, is a very special type of contact lens called orthokeratology, otherwise known as Ortho-K. This method uses contact lenses that are only worn each night, at which time it reshapes the cornea, so that when waking up in the morning, these contact lenses are removed and the person can spend the day seeing with very clear eyesight and without any glasses or contact lenses. Please schedule an appointment at our office to discuss Ortho-K and the various laser eye surgery methods. Our eye doctor will be glad to go through the options with you to figure out which one best suits your needs.

Common Questions

LASIK is performed as a refractive surgery to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and/ or astigmatism. After LASIK is performed, people who previously needed to wear glasses or contact lenses frequently will be able to see in certain conditions without glasses or contact lenses. Nearsightedness allows for clear vision at near, but viewing objects at a distance is unclear. People who are farsighted can see well at a distance but have difficulty seeing objects from closeby. Astigmatism causes blurry vision due to the shape or size of the cornea. A cornea that has uneven curvature results in astigmatism. The best results of LASIK tend to be for those who have mild nearsightedness.
The success rate for LASIK is very high, however it is still important to be aware of the rare possible side effects. Common side effects include dry eyes and visual disturbances, but for most people these go away after a few weeks or months so they are not considered to be long term issues. The possible side effects include: Dry eyes, Glare, Halos, Double vision, Under or overcorrection, Infection. If you are considering LASIK, the surgeon and professional team will properly discuss with you the risks involved.
The vast majority of LASIK surgery procedures are successful without significant pain following the procedure. In most cases there will be some slight discomfort for a few days following surgery. In some cases, patients may experience severe pain after LASIK surgery for up to one month, and in extremely rare cases for longer than one month. In the unfortunate case that you do experience severe or extended pain, you should see your eye surgeon or optometrist that is co-managing the surgery right away. There are a number of flap-related issues that can cause severe pain, but these issues can usually be fixed. The most common cause of flap issues is non-compliance with post-operative instructions. For example, rubbing your eyes after surgery is not recommended, regardless of how itchy or irritated they are. The corneal flap could become dislodged when you rub your eyes immediately after LASIK surgery. Patients should also avoid getting their eyes wet with streaming water, such as when showering. If you do not follow these instructions, you may experience pain.
Am I a Candidate for LASIK?
Dr. Ikeda cartoon

Summary

A certain type of laser eye surgery, known as LASIK, is an elective surgery which changes the shape and curvature of the front part of your eye in order to replace the need to wear glasses or contact lenses. For many who wear glasses or contact lenses, this is an exciting alternative. However, not every person is qualified or suitable for this type of surgery. It is very important to understand the necessary factors which make this a viable option.

Testimonials


  • I haven't actually used the optometrist side, so my review is limited to the vision therapy offered.  This office was recommended by my occupational therapist for the treatment of my double vision following a stroke.


    Claire A.

  • Love this location. I had a brain injury accident from day one one. All the team make you feel you still important and hope in the horizon after when the medical system fell you miserably. Dr. Ikeda very professional and very understanding about your issue. Two tombs up.


    Jim K.

  • My husband and I were immediately impressed with Dr Ikeda. I was hit by a car while cycling which caused broken bones and three brain injuries. The brain injuries caused double vision. Dr. Ikeda examined my eyes and got me started on vision therapy with his occupational therapist who specializes in vision therapy.  She (Chris) is absolutely great.  I am impressed with the array of tools used to help recover my binocular vision.  I am doing things I never thought were possible (balance boards etc).  Chris pushes me and keeps me motivated. I really enjoy my sessions with her.  The office staff is always friendly and they have a wonderful appointment reminder tool that makes it easy to keep my calendar up to date. I am happy the rehab center at Little Co. of Mary recommended them!!


    Teresa S.

  • The Vision Therapy is handled in a separate office through a different door from the shared waiting room. Chris, the vision therapist, has a wide and varied assortment of tools, equipment and resources to best evaluate and treat most vision issues. After just a few visits, my double vision became easier to control, using exercises developed during the therapy process. It was time well-spent.


    Joe M.

  • I have been coming here since I can remember. I love it here. The staff is so amazing and nice. They explain everything they gonna do and never make you feel rushed. Dr. Ikeda has always been my doctor and I would never want another one. He is the doctor for my whole family and is always asking how everyone is doing. I am also so crazy about picking out my frames and have to try so many and each person who helps me take the time and lets me try them all on. I would never want to go anywhere else! I definitely would recommend this office to anyone looking for a great eye doctor.


    Kayla W.

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