Is Laser Vision Correction Safe for People with Diabetes?

If you have diabetes and are considering laser vision correction procedures such as LASIK or PRK, learn more about the risks and considerations involved.

Is Laser Vision Correction Safe for People with Diabetes?

If you have diabetes, you may be wondering if laser vision correction procedures such as LASIK or PRK are safe for you. Generally, laser eye surgery is best suited for people who have a moderate degree of refractive error and who don't have unusual vision problems. However, there is increasing evidence that the LASIK procedure can be safely performed on diabetic patients, especially those with tight sugar control and no pre-existing body or eye problems associated with diabetes. Certain medical conditions can affect how the body heals after surgery.

Patients with autoimmune diseases are not good candidates for laser eye surgery, as many autoimmune conditions cause dry eye syndrome. A dry eye may not heal well and has a higher risk of infection after surgery. Other conditions, such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, glaucoma, or cataracts, often affect the results. The first step in determining if a diabetic patient is eligible for LASIK is to evaluate blood sugar levels and a history of diabetes.

In diabetic patients with poorly controlled blood sugar levels, not only can cataracts appear at a younger age, but the lens is also more likely to change temporarily or permanently (due to tissue edema or swelling). An experienced LASIK provider and surgical team can individualize your LASIK procedure to achieve the best visual results. Before a LASIK procedure, the eye doctor will evaluate detailed eye measurements and evaluate the overall health of the eye. If your prescription fluctuates, you won't be considered a good candidate for laser eye surgery.

Acne medications can cause significant dry eyes, which can increase the likelihood of corneal scarring after laser eye surgery. If you're interested in LASIK surgery but aren't sure if your diabetes might be disqualifying, schedule a consultation with a qualified eye surgeon to get additional information and begin the evaluation process. With monovision, one eye is corrected for distant vision and the other for near vision. There are several reasons why laser eye surgery may not be a good vision correction option for some patients.