When is the Best Age to Get LASIK Eye Surgery?

Laser Eye Surgery has become increasingly popular among adults with refractive defects such as nearsightedness & farsightedness. Learn more about what age range is ideal & what factors influence candidacy.

When is the Best Age to Get LASIK Eye Surgery?

Generally speaking, most eye surgeons with LASIK agree that 25 to 40 years is the ideal age range to apply for LASIK eye surgery for several reasons. By age 25, prescriptions for eyeglasses and contact lenses have most likely stabilized, making it a good time to consider laser eye surgery. People of all ages have vision problems, and LASIK eye surgery has become increasingly popular among adults with refractive defects, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. In eyes with normal vision, the cornea refracts light precisely into the retina at the back of the eye.

However, in patients with refractive errors, the light is deflected incorrectly, resulting in blurred vision. LASIK eye surgery uses a special type of cutting laser to precisely change the shape of the transparent, dome-shaped tissue of the cornea to help improve vision. While this procedure has been shown to be beneficial in correcting refractive errors in adults, not everyone can have this procedure done. While we all want to get rid of our glasses and contact lenses to see without obstacles, not everyone is an ideal candidate for LASIK.

There are a few factors that influence your eligibility for LASIK surgery, and the most important is your overall eye health. This procedure is perfect for people with healthy eyes who just need that extra help. So how young is too young and what age is too old for LASIK? According to the U. S.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA), LASIK is only approved for people 18 years of age and older. There is currently no laser eye surgery that is approved for younger people. Most doctors don't perform LASIK surgery on children and teens since they rarely have stable vision and most children don't need surgery to work. Vision undergoes many changes well into early adulthood, and since one of the requirements for LASIK is the prescription of stable vision, LASIK tends to be ineffective during this stage. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, a patient who undergoes LASIK surgery must be over 21 years old since that is when major eye changes are most likely to be made.

While there are some general guidelines to help identify the ideal age for laser eye surgery, most eye doctors recommend performing the LASIK procedure between 25 and 40 years of age. People over 45 years of age tend to suffer from changes in vision due to the natural aging process and are more susceptible to eye diseases such as cataracts and refractive vision errors, such as presbyopia. While there is no upper age limit for laser eye surgery, the results of these surgeries are less predictable as the patient ages. The most common age for laser vision correction is usually between 20 and 40 years. While there is no maximum age limit for treatment yet, there are many factors to consider when planning laser vision correction for older patients.

As our vision begins to deteriorate as we age, many patients are at risk of developing presbyopia. Age-related presbyopia or farsightedness is an eye condition that causes difficulty seeing things up close. It occurs when a person loses flexibility in the lens of the eye. While presbyopia doesn't exclude a person from LASIK, they would need a monovision LASIK procedure to treat this condition.

These patients will also need prescription reading glasses or contact lenses to compensate for the loss of near vision. Monovision LASIK for presbyopia involves the surgeon correcting each eye with a different prescription. During surgery, the dominant eye is treated to correct distant vision and the other eye is treated to correct near vision. The goal of LASIK with monovision is to improve vision enough to reduce dependence on prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses. Older adults who are not viable candidates for LASIK have another option to consider: refractive lens exchange (RLE). This procedure involves replacing the eye's natural lens with an implantable lens which can minimize or eliminate the need for corrective eyeglasses to see objects up close clearly.

RLE is an alternative to LASIK for people with extreme hyperopia and mild to moderate myopia. RLE is also an effective treatment option for aging eyes after age 40 when the eye's natural lens begins to harden making it difficult to focus at all distances. Therefore replacing the natural lens with an intraocular lens (IOL) can dramatically improve a patient's ability to focus on near and far objects. While age can certainly influence your candidacy, it's by no means an absolute limit. If you are in good health, have a stable eye prescription, are over 21 years old and want to get rid of your eyeglasses or contact lenses, see an eye doctor to see if LASIK surgery is right for you.

Here at OOMC, our dedicated team of surgeons and staff always strives to create a safe environment where you can easily access care in a comfortable and safe way from home or one of our offices in Pennsylvania, New Jersey or Delaware. The best time or right time to have laser eye surgery is around 25-30 years of age because this is when prescriptions start stabilizing after age 18 when vision development slows down making it a more stable prescription.