LASIK surgery is the solution to having to wear glasses and contact lenses for many people with refractive errors. The majority of patients will qualify for the procedure. However, it’s still a good idea to know what our eye doctors are looking for in a candidate for LASIK in Knoxville, Tennessee.
LASIK is the most common surgery for refractive issues. To qualify, you need a stable eyewear prescription as well as good overall health and eye health. You should also be over the age of 18 and neither pregnant nor nursing. Your corneas must be thick enough for the procedure and you need to be able to follow your doctor’s instructions.
What is LASIK?
Short for laser-assisted stromal in-situ keratomileusis, LASIK is the most popular form of refractive eye surgery. It allows our Knoxville ophthalmologists to treat common refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. It works by reshaping your cornea to improve focus so that you can see without the need for prescription eyeglasses and contacts.
At Baptist Eye Surgeons, we use lasers to improve refractive vision problems. We start by measuring the thickness and curvature of your cornea, creating a 3D topographical map of your eye. This along with how much correction you will need is programmed into a computer to guide the lasers as we perform the procedure.
Two lasers are used during a LASIK procedure. The first laser creates a “flap” on the surface of the cornea. This opening allows the second laser to operate on the bed of the flap. The flap is then replaced to cover the surface of the eye. This method creates only a minimal disturbance on the surface of the eye, allowing for faster healing when compared to other techniques.
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Am I a Candidate for LASIK Eye Surgery?
The LASIK procedure may help patients not to have to wear contact lenses or glasses ever again. However, not all patients will qualify for laser vision correction. That’s why you will need to come in for a consultation with one of our Knoxville eye doctors before you can undergo this vision correction procedure.
These consultations give us the opportunity to see if you have good eye health as well as overall health. The majority of patients will be a candidate for LASIK eye surgery (80 – 85%) following their consultation. Unfortunately, there are still those who won’t qualify due to other health concerns or particular vision problems.
Stable Eyewear Prescription
A stable eyewear prescription is required in order to qualify for LASIK. If you wear glasses or contacts and your prescription changes every year then this can be a sign of a problem. This puts you at risk of still experiencing prescription fluctuations following your procedure, erasing its benefits. In these cases, you’ll need a stable prescription for at least a year to qualify for the procedure.
In Good Health
Your personal health plays an important role in being a candidate for LASIK in Knoxville, Tennessee. Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or multiple sclerosis can prevent you from qualifying. Health conditions such as diabetes can make it harder to qualify as well, so it’s important to practice good eye care and make healthy lifestyle choices. Your Baptist Eye Ophthalmology will be your guide and help you understand your eligibility for LASIK eye surgery.
Have Healthy Eyes
Eye diseases and injuries have the potential to disqualify you from being a good candidate for LASIK surgery. Disqualifying eye diseases include:
- Keratoconus (thinning corneas)
- Severe cataracts
- Uncontrolled glaucoma
- Corneal disease
Certain optic nerve and retinal diseases can also disqualify you from the procedure. Active or recurring infections will also prevent you from getting LASIK. Surgery can aggravate conditions such as dry eye, so it’s important to discuss your conditions with your eye doctor beforehand.
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Over the age of 18
You must be over the age of 18 to be a candidate for LASIK eye surgery. This is because the hormonal changes you experience during puberty have an impact on your eyewear prescription. Fortunately for everyone, these hormone changes begin to level off as you enter your twenties. Most patients wait until their mid- or even late-20s for this very reason.
Not Pregnant or Nursing
Hormonal changes during pregnancy can affect your eyewear prescription and cause fluctuations in your vision. Medicated eye drops are also prescribed during treatment which can affect your health as well as the health of your unborn child. To prevent any complications for you and your child, it’s best to wait until you are no longer pregnant and have finished nursing to get LASIK eye surgery.
Have Thick Corneas
LASIK surgery works by removing tissue from the cornea in order to reshape it. While it doesn’t require removing much, you still need enough existing tissue in order for the procedure to be effective. Those with thin corneas will not qualify for LASIK due to there not being enough tissue that can be safely removed. Alternative treatments are available for those with thin corneas.
Can Follow Your Doctor’s Instructions
Following your eye doctor’s instructions is essential when preparing for and recovering from your LASIK surgery. While it only takes a few minutes to perform, the recovery process can take months. In order to have the best results possible, it’s important that you follow your eye doctor’s instructions to the letter including instructions for using medications correctly.
Are you interested in getting LASIK in Knoxville, Tennessee? Contact us today to schedule your FREE consultation!
When it comes to refractive errors, LASIK is the most popular treatment available. Good candidates will have a stable prescription, good overall health, and good eye health. You must be over 18 years of age, not pregnant, or nursing. Your corneas should be thick enough for surgery and you should be able to follow your doctor’s instructions for the best results possible.