How do I know if I’m a candidate for LASIK surgery?

By: Dr. Pankaj G. Shah

While every patient is unique, about 80 to 85 percent of people who wear prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses are candidates for LASIK surgery. Your surgeon will follow some general guidelines to determine if your eyes are suitable for the procedure.

First of all, your prescription lenses must fall within FDA-approved treatment parameters:

  • up to +6.00 diopters of hyperopia,
  • up to 6 diopters of cylinder/astigmatism
  • up to -12.00 diopters of nearsightedness

Patients must be age 18 or older and have achieved ocular maturity. While most eyes stop growing by the age of 13, for some people it is closer to 20. Your prescription must be stable, meaning it hasn’t changed for at least two consecutive years. It is also important for eyes to be generally healthy, free of diseases, injuries, and infections.

Certain health issues and medications may interfere with the healing process, making LASIK vision correction a poor choice. It is important that you share your complete medical history with your surgeon to ensure a recommendation for candidacy based upon all available facts.

You are not a candidate if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Three months after breast feeding you may be a candidate.

You must have suitable corneal shape and thickness. If your cornea is too thin or misshapen, you may not get the results you are seeking. During your initial consultation, Shah Eye Center will measure the thickness of the cornea to make sure there is enough tissue for the reshaping required to achieve the desired amount of correction and the expected outcome.

It’s important to understand there are certain limitations to laser vision correction, which your doctor will discuss with you.

The best way to determine if you are a candidate for LASIK is to work with a highly-qualified surgeon and support staff such as those found at Shah Eye Center. We will conduct a complete evaluation of your eyes and vision. Only then will you and your surgeon have the information needed to make the best recommendation for you. To learn more about what to expect from a LASIK consultation, schedule an appointment today with Shah Eye Center.

About Dr. Pankaj G. Shah: Dr. Shah is one of the only Cornea Specialists in the Rio Grande Valley. He is Fellowship-trained in Cornea, External Disease and Refractive Surgery. He is Board Certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and is a General Ophthalmologist with a Cornea and Refractive Surgery Subspecialty. LASIK is a procedure that reshapes the cornea of the eye.