Am I Suitable for Laser Eye Surgery?
The majority of the adult Australian population who wear glasses or contacts are good candidates for laser eye surgery. After surgery patients have the freedom to get up in the morning, without worrying about their glasses or putting in their contact lenses. But not everyone is suitable and there are some people who should wait a little longer for laser eye surgery. Keep reading to find out if you’re one of them!
Who is most suited to laser eye surgery?
Laser eye surgery changes the lives of thousands of Australians every year, mostly because they no longer have to wear glasses or contacts.
Working in a dusty environment
If you’re working in a sandy or dusty environment, you’ll know how inconvenient it is to wear glasses. Constantly removing your glasses to clean off dirt or fog might be annoying and a waste of time. Contact lenses aren’t any better because there’s a high chance of getting grit in your eyes. Laser eye surgery will mean you no longer need to worry about wearing glasses or contacts – just wear safety glasses when necessary.
If you enjoy playing sport but need to wear glasses, you may worry about potential broken glasses by a ball or another player, which can even cause a facial injury. Laser eye surgery means you can throw away your glasses and enjoy good vision in the field. However, the type of sport you play can determine whether you’re a good candidate for laser eye surgery. If you play contact sports, there is a risk that you may damage the cornea from a heavy knock even years after laser eye surgery.
If you enjoy a dip in the pool or ocean, laser eye surgery means you no longer need to worry about storing your glasses or wearing contact lenses in the water. You will need to take a break from all sorts of swimming for a few weeks after surgery to allow your eyes to recover; but if you have surgery in winter, you’ll be ready to get back in the water come springtime.
Who shouldn’t have laser eye surgery (or should wait)
There’s a few reasons why you shouldn’t have laser eye surgery, and in other instances, you might need to wait before investing in laser eye surgery.
Some young people desperately want laser eye surgery but age is an important factor to consider. Some of the driving forces may include enjoying a look without glasses and the convenience of not having to wear contacts. But at a young age, our eyes are still changing shape and adjusting to the growing body. Our eyes don’t stop changing until after the age of 18 and can be as late as 25 for some.
The best way to tell if your eyes have stopped changing is to have a stable glasses prescription for at least 12 months before surgery. The ideal age for laser eye surgery is between 18 and 40 years old. Within this range, the sooner you have surgery the better your investment will be, because you can stop paying for contacts and updating your glasses.
You can read more in our article What is the Best Age for Laser Eye Surgery?
To ensure you enjoy a smooth recovery and get the best long-term result from your surgery, your eyes need to be in a healthy state. Some eye conditions preclude people from laser eye surgery while others just need to be cleared up before surgery. An eye injury, unstable/changing vision, cataracts, herpes that affect the eyes, some cases of glaucoma, keratoconus, or uveitis may mean laser eye surgery isn’t possible. Other conditions like mild dry eyes and conjunctivitis can be improved and then surgery may proceed.
Some illnesses mean laser eye surgery isn’t recommended, mainly because they impede full recovery of the cornea. Autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis make laser eye surgery risky. Make sure you discuss your whole health panorama with your doctor to get the best recommendation on laser eye surgery.
Some medications aren’t suitable to take while having laser eye surgery. You should let your surgeon know during your first consultation of any medications you’re taking. The medications that are of most concern include immune suppressing, steroids and accutane.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Pregnancy and breastfeeding impact almost every part of a woman’s body including her eyes. Hormonal changes during pregnancy and breastfeeding can change the shape of the eye. The cornea changes through an increasing and thickening of the curvature. The change can be temporary meaning the cornea may revert back to its pre-pregnancy shape, but it can also be permanent.
Laser eye surgery requires the shape of the eye to be stable at the time of measuring and performing the procedure. If this is done during pregnancy and the eye’s shape changes after giving birth, the patient’s eyesight can be impacted.
Just like during pregnancy, hormones fluctuate while breastfeeding, and these alterations can impact the curvature of the cornea. Moreover, medications prescribed during laser eye surgery and for the recovery period may not be suitable for nursing mothers as they can enter the mother’s milk supply.
For more information, read our article Can you Get LASIK While Pregnant?.
More Information About Suitability for Laser Eye Surgery
If you’re unsure whether you can have laser eye surgery or not, complete our online suitability test to find out. The test involves a series of questions about your eyesight and lifestyle to determine the best laser option for you. You can also schedule an appointment with one of our professionals to discuss which method/s are best suited for your eyes.
If you have any questions or wish to discuss laser eye surgery further, please contact us online or give us a call on (08) 9381 0758 to speak with one of our clinical coordinators.
Contact Lions Laser Vision
Please call us at Lions Laser Vision and speak with one of our clinical coordinators who will be able to answer your questions and schedule an initial consultation with one of our refractive surgeons.
Alternatively, complete the form below and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
PHONE: 08 9381 0758
FAX: 08 9381 0700
Lions Eye Institute
Lions Laser Vision
2 Verdun Street
Nedlands WA 6009
St John of God Murdoch
Murdoch Medical Centre
100 Murdoch Dr
Murdoch WA 6150