Are you worried that you missed the time frame to get LASIK? Do you want to stop relying on your glasses or contacts to see clearly?
If you’d like to get rid of glasses or contacts, then it may be worth it to discuss LASIK with your eye doctor. Although LASIK technically doesn’t have an age limit, most people who get it are in a particular age range.
That’s because your eyes are stable enough to get LASIK for a period and then begin to change again after that. LASIK has a sweet spot in the earlier part of your life when it is safest and most effective.
But that doesn’t mean vision correction is impossible after you leave that ideal age. Keep reading to learn more about LASIK and what the LASIK age limits are.
Who Can Get LASIK?
The only explicit age requirement that exists for LASIK is the minimum age requirement. The FDA sets this limit at eighteen.
Eighteen is the minimum legal age for LASIK, but most eye doctors won’t perform it until you are in your mid-twenties. When you reach your mid-twenties, your vision prescription begins to stabilize.
Stable vision, among other things, is necessary to get LASIK. Your eyesight should be consistent for at least a year or two.
Most patients who get LASIK are between the ages of twenty and forty years old. This age range is when your eyes are healthy and stable enough for LASIK.
Before and after these ages, it is a lot more common for your eyes to be changing. For that reason, LASIK becomes dangerous, and other vision correction procedures are better.
Are There Exemptions to The LASIK Age Rules?
There are outliers to this range, but they tend to be exceptional circumstances. The most common exceptions are for athletes, first responders, and military personnel.
These are usually given because of the nature of their jobs. They can’t take the chance of dealing with glasses or contacts breaking or falling off. So an eye doctor may give them the okay to get LASIK before they have reached the proper age.
Children with severe vision impairment can also get doctor-approved exemptions for LASIK. But this is rare and usually treated another way.
Regardless of who gets the exemption for early LASIK, they have a rigorous screening process. LASIK is a medical procedure and carries some risk. Your eye doctor wants to be confident it is safe to get LASIK, no matter who you are.
When Are You Too Old For LASIK?
Once you get close to age forty, you start to experience vision changes again. Adults usually begin needing reading glasses during this time and also begin developing cataracts.
Although, cataracts shouldn’t affect your vision for a couple more decades. If you need reading glasses around forty, it is due to an eye condition called presbyopia.
LASIK does not fix presbyopia. But if you’re around forty, then your eye doctor may recommend refractive lens exchange or RLE.
RLE is a similar process to cataract surgery. A surgeon removes and replaces your natural lens with an intraocular lens or IOL.
The IOL can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. It can perform the same function as LASIK if you are too old to get LASIK.
Usually, in your sixties, you experience vision changes again. This time it’s because of cataracts.
If you have cataracts, you can get cataract surgery, which can give you excellent eyesight. LASIK has a pretty small age range for which it is most safe and effective.
But, if you fall outside that age range, there are other ways to correct your vision. If you’d like clear vision at any age, schedule an appointment at Metro Eye Care in Paramus, NJ, to see which procedure is best for you!