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Laser Eye Surgery Requirements: A Closer Look

Posted on February 4, 2022
Woman close up blue eye.

The ability to see clearly without the aid of glasses or contacts is a gift. Unfortunately, it’s not one that everyone naturally has. Many people are born with imperfect eyesight, while others find their vision deteriorates over time.

The reasons for this can be manifold. It can be down to a medical condition, genetics, or various lifestyle choices. Whatever the reason for your imperfect vision, it’s natural to want to correct it.

While things like eyeglasses do the trick, they’re not a perfect or permanent solution. This leads many people to check if they meet laser eye surgery requirements. Laser—or LASIK eye surgery—is a great option for those with less than perfect vision, but you’ll need to satisfy certain criteria before you can avail of it.

Although most people are, not everyone is a perfect candidate. This is why it’s necessary to book an appointment with an eye doctor, to determine whether you’ll be eligible for such an eye procedure.

So, what are the requirements for laser eye surgery? This guide will tell you everything you need to know. Read on to see whether you could be a great candidate for this life-changing surgery now.

What Is LASIK Eye Surgery?

LASIK eye surgery is the most common type of laser eye surgery. It involves using a laser to reshape the eye’s cornea in order to improve its ability to see clearly. It is what is known as a refractive procedure where the eye surgeon creates a thin flap on the surface of the eye, folds it to remodel the tissue beneath, and repositions the flap.

The surgery lasts about 15 to 30 minutes. Most patients should be in and out of your treatment center within an hour. During your treatment, you’ll receive numbing drops, so that you won’t be able to feel any pain in your eyes.

Because there are certain groups of people who aren’t good candidates for laser eye surgery, you’ll need to have a consultation beforehand, where the eye doctor or a nurse will ask you questions and your eyesight will be assessed.

These questions will ask about your lifestyle, your medical history, and your vision. There are a few things that will preclude a person from receiving surgery straight away.

Laser Eye Surgery Requirements

The first thing is that you’ll need to be over the age of 18. This is due to the fact that before this age, the shape of your eye is not fully developed and will continue to change and grow.

Any surgical change made would only be temporary, which is why doctors are hesitant to perform any such surgeries. There is, however, no upper age limit for laser eye surgery.

Another thing that will preclude you from having this eye procedure done is if you’re a woman that’s either pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because believe it or not, pregnancy can change the shape of your cornea. Hormonal changes during this time can also cause conditions such as dry or itchy eyes, which makes surgery more difficult.

If you aren’t pregnant but are a chronic sufferer of dry or itchy eyes, then you won’t be a good candidate for laser eye surgery. If you’re able to treat the condition, you may come back for a follow-up consultation when your eyes have healed.

Doctors will also have a look at the stability of your prescription. If it has changed a lot over the past two years, then doctors usually choose to wait until it’s a little more stable.

When it comes to the eye itself, there are other things your doctor will check for. They’ll check your corneal thickness, carry out a dry eye test, and perform a wavefront analysis. This is to confirm that your eyes will take to the surgery well.

Preparing for Laser Eye Surgery

As laser eye treatment is a surgery, there are certain things you’ll need to do in the run-up to and aftermath of your procedure. To prepare, you’ll need to stop wearing eye makeup such as mascara and eyeshadow for 24 hours before your scheduled surgery date. You should also avoid the use of face creams.

For two weeks before your surgery, you’ll need to avoid wearing contact lenses if this is something you previously did. Contact lenses can affect the shape of your cornea, and you need your cornea to be as natural as possible on the day of surgery.

Don’t use any eye drops or perfume for a few days before your surgery. You can eat food as normal, and it’s even encouraged to have a substantial meal before you come to your appointment.

Laser Eye Surgery Aftercare

After your surgery, it’s important to avoid rubbing or itching your eye. You’ll need someone to take you home from your appointment, as you’ll have protective goggles on your face.

You should go home, try to rest, and avoid direct sunlight for 24 hours after your surgery. You’ll also need to avoid looking at a screen for at least a day afterward. Try not to shower or wash your hair for the first 24 hours.

You won’t be able to wear eye makeup for around a week after your surgery. For the first few weeks after, you’ll need to steer clear of places with lots of dust and debris. You won’t be able to play any contact sports or go in a swimming pool or jacuzzi.

Could You Be a Candidate?

The good news is, most people are great candidates for laser eye surgery. But if you have a consultation and find you don’t meet all of the laser eye surgery requirements, don’t worry. It may just be a matter of waiting a period of time until you are a good candidate.

If you’d like to get the ball rolling on your own laser eye surgery, we’d be more than happy to help. Get in touch with a member of our team to schedule a consultation now.

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