Are You a Candidate?
When LASIK was first invented, there were more restrictions on who could have the procedure than there are today. Because of advances in technology, now most patients who wear glasses or contact lenses are good candidates for LASIK.
In general, you should be over 21 years of age and have healthy corneas. There is no upper age limit to having LASIK as long as your eyes are healthy and your vision is stable.
Certain medical conditions and even natural hormonal changes, such as those that occur during pregnancy, can cause changes in your vision. Before your surgery, we will screen for these conditions and check to make sure your prescription for contacts or glasses has not changed much in the past couple of years. In addition, we will perform a comprehensive eye examination, including special tests for laser vision correction, to determine if you are a good candidate.
Will LASIK Give Me 20/20 Vision?
LASIK is a remarkable procedure that has enhanced the lives of millions of people. However, it is important that your expectations are realistic and your decision to have LASIK is based on fact.
When people say they want "20/20 vision," what they are really referring to is not "perfect" vision but a baseline standard for "good" vision. It means that you can see at an object 20 feet away the same way a person without any vision problems would see an object 20 feet. Fighter pilots often see at 20/15, which means that they can see at 20 feet what a person without any vision problems would see at 15 feet.
In a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) trial, 98 percent of mildly to moderately nearsighted patients participating in the trial could see 20/20 or better one year after having had iLASIK -- the LASIK procedure we perform at PAMF.
However, LASIK does not always create 20/20 vision. For example, it cannot correct a condition known as presbyopia, which is a natural loss of the focusing ability at near distances that occurs in all people around age 40. For people over 40, LASIK can often reduce dependence on glasses and contact lenses for both distance and near vision, but back-up glasses may be necessary for visually challenging tasks such as night driving or prolonged reading.
To help you make an informed decision about LASIK, all of our prospective LASIK patients are given an individualized exam by an experienced technician. Special tests are performed using state-of-the-art technology and help ensure the best possible results for our patients. This exam is above and beyond the standard of care of most LASIK practices.
After the completion of your detailed consultation, our LASIK surgeon will discuss the results of your tests, as well as the nature of your visual needs, to help you decide if laser vision correction is best for you.
The goal of LASIK is to decrease your dependence on corrective lenses. More than 95 percent of all LASIK patients have vision good enough after the procedure to allow them to meet the 20/40 vision standard required to drive legally without glasses.
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