Lasik Q & A

LASIK Criteria for Success: How To Tell If LASIK or PRK Is It For You

While many people would like to undergo LASIK or PRK surgery, not everyone is candidate. If you are interested in undergoing LASIK or PRK surgery, you will need to take a close look to see if this type of surgery is for you. While medical conditions within the eyes themselves, or physiological characteristics of the eyes, will determine whether or not you are a candidate for LASIK or PRK, there are lifestyle issues that can also be a determining factor in your LASIK criteria for success. Whether or not you qualify for LASIK or PRK will depend on an initial evaluation by an ophthalmologist, and looking closely at lifestyle and budget issues.

In order for an ophthalmologist to gain accurate results on your first examination, it is important that you stop wearing contacts and switch to eyeglasses a few weeks before your first appointment. Your ophthalmologist will then look at your eyes, and your medical and prescription history, to see if you are a potential candidate for LASIK or PRK. Some potential factors that can reduce your chances of qualifying for LASIK surgery that your ophthalmologist may find include: prescription history, medical problems, current medications, eye conditions and physiology, and thin corneas.

LASIK surgery is generally not recommended for those who have not had the same eyewear prescription for at least two years; people who are taking medications which may contribute to fluctuating vision, or who are currently on steroids, are also usually not good candidates for eye surgery. Those who have medical conditions such as diabetes, autoimmune diseases and disorders, or who are pregnant or breastfeeding are also not good candidates for LASIK or PRK. Eye conditions and physiology which may reduce your chances of obtaining good results from LASIK or PRK procedures include: inflammation of the eyelids, large pupils, thin corneas, glaucoma, uveitis, and previous eye surgeries.

If your ophthalmologist clears you for LASIK or PRK surgery based on your physical and medical history, you will then need to take a close look at your lifestyle and budget. There are some jobs in which LASIK or PRK surgery is prohibited, and there are some types of lifestyle activities that can harm the outcome of corrective eye surgery. As a general rule, those who are frequently engaged in contact sports, or sports in which the eyes can be damaged, should avoid LASIK or PRK surgery. Corrective eye surgery such as LASIK or PRK can also be quite expensive, and the costs have been rising in recent years due to new and improved technologies. If you are thinking about having LASIK or PRK procedures, take the entire cost of the procedure into consideration. Make sure that you will be able to afford the surgery, or that you can keep up on any financial payments that you arranged.

Keep in mind that not everyone can handle corrective eye surgery. The procedure itself is generally painless and quick, but it can still be stressful for some people. If you are at risk for having too much stress or anxiety during the surgery, than you should wait until these fears are conquered. You will also need to be aware of the risks of the surgery, and comfortable with taking these risks.

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