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Is Laser Correction For You?

Not everyone is a good candidate for laser correction. There are several conditions that may disqualify you from undergoing the procedure. A good laser surgery candidate must qualify for the procedure by meeting several requirements. A thorough eye examination by an ophthalmologist or optometrist is a great place to start. If you meet the requirements of laser surgery and are a good candidate for the procedure, laser eye-surgery preparation will begin.

Do you pass the age test for laser surgery?

Although laser surgery results are permanent, a person's eye can change throughout life. Little is known about how vision changes in children's eyes and what influences those changes. Vision can change dramatically in adolescent years. For this reason, results may be temporary or unpredictable. It is not recommended for anyone under the age of 18 to undergo laser vision surgery.

Why you should avoid laser correction during pregnancy

Having laser vision correction just before or after pregnancy should be avoided at all costs.. Hormone fluctuations and fluid retention can cause changes to a woman's prescription during pregnancy. You may become more nearsighted or develop some astigmatism during pregnancy. Hormone changes can lead to dry eyes during pregnancy and during breastfeeding. Dry eyes may make your eyes uncomfortable and could delay healing. In addition, your eyes must be dilated. The medications given to you for dilation and after the surgery could be absorbed through mucous membranes, which could be harmful the fetus.

Prescription drugs interfere with laser correction

Certain prescription drugs can interfere with laser vision correction results. For example, some steroids could delay healing and decrease best-corrected vision. Acne medications can cause significant dryness of the eye. Having dry eyes can increase the chance of cornea scarring after laser surgery. Your doctor will know if the prescription drugs you are currently taking are acceptable.

Ensure you have stable vision before laser correction surgery

You are not a good laser vision correction candidate if your prescription fluctuates.. Most doctors prefer your vision to be stable for longer than one year. However, one year is a minimum. Prescriptions can fluctuate for a variety of reasons. Contact lens wear, diabetic blood sugar changes and normal aging changes can cause your prescription to change over time. Laser vision correction is a permanent procedure. It makes sense to make sure your prescription is stable.

Poor health can affect the healing process

Certain medical conditions can affect the way your body heals after laser correction surgery. Patients with autoimmune diseases are not good laser vision correction candidates. Many autoimmune conditions cause dry eye syndrome. A dry eye may not heal well and has a higher risk of post-surgical infection. Other conditions such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, glaucoma, or cataracts often affect laser surgery results. Furthermore, you should have had no eye infections or injuries within the past year. Infection and injury can leave behind corneal scarring that may have detrimental effects.

Having dry eye syndrome is usually a disqualifier for laser vision correction. A person with dry eyes has an increased risk for significant post-operative discomfort and a possible worsening of dry eye symptoms. Also, having dry eyes can delay proper healing. This is not to say that a person with dry eyes cannot have laser surgery. Your eye doctor will examine you to see how severe your dry eye condition is. Sometimes patients are placed on special dry eye medications before surgery. Certain procedures, such as punctual occlusion, may be performed to help the dry eye condition and minimize unwanted symptoms.

Excessive dilation of pupils can cause after effects

The area of the eye that will be treated should only be 6 mm in diameter. This is true with most lasers used during laser vision correction. If your pupil normally dilates to 7 or 8 mm in the dark, you will probably have unwanted glare, halos or starbursts around lights at nighttime. This is becoming less of a side effect because the newer lasers have treatment zones larger than 7 mm. Ask your surgeon what laser he uses and how large of a zone can he treat. Special pupillary testing is usually done as a part of the pre-operative measurements.

While laser correction has improved the lives of thousands, you should not expect perfect vision. Many advertisements seem to guarantee that you can "throw away your glasses." These types of ads are misleading to people considering laser vision correction. Each patient heals in their own way, each with an individual outcome. There is always a possibility that after surgery, you may need to wear reading glasses or corrective lenses for at least some activities. If you expect perfection, you should reconsider.