Are you a good LASIK candidate? Learn how eye doctors examine candidates for LASIK. This is important because eye doctors typically divide potential LASIK patients into three categories. There are the ideal or good candidates, the less-than-ideal candidates, and the non-candidates.
The ideal candidate has the best chance of a complication-free LASIK outcome. The less-than-ideal on the other hand is at increased risk for LASIK complications, thus need to discuss them thoroughly with the laser eye surgeon before taking the operation. And, the non-candidate is not absolutely eligible for LASIK due to a preexisting condition.
You can minimize the possibility of risks and complications after LASIK by finding out if you are a good prospect for the surgery. Given this fact, the most important thing to consider then before proceeding for LASIK is to get screened out beforehand if you are an ideal candidate for the eye correction procedure or not.
Requirements for Choosing a LASIK Candidate
Below are some criteria that could negatively affect your visual outcome or even disqualify you for LASIK completely. There is a possibility that your surgeon will run some examinations for most of these criteria. If you think that you might fit into one of the categories below, just let your surgeon know. Or, if he skips a test, don’t hesitate to ask why.
Poor Vision: Some patients who have poor eyesight are beyond the help of refractive surgery. As noted, the FDA limits on approved procedures do not include those with more than -14.00 diopters of myopia, more than 6.00 diopters of astigmatism or over +6.00 diopters of hyperopia.
Anterior Eye Health: The anterior or front portion or your eyes will be examined with a slit-lamp for abnormalities that could affect you LASIK outcome.
Posterior Eye Health: Eye doctor examines the posterior or back portion of your eye to distinguish certain eye diseases by shining a light into your eye and looking through your pupil.
Wobbly Prescription: The doctor will compare the results of your eye exam with your history to see if your prescription is stable. This is to prevent from operating on eyes that are still in the process of growing creates the risk that the vision corrected will be negated as the eyes continue to change.
Large Pupils: The area treated by the LASIK laser is only a small, circular part of the cornea. If you have larger than average pupils, their circumference might exceed that of the treatment area, causing a different kind of visual problem, such as starburst, ghosting, and halos.
Dry Eyes: Dry Eye is a common condition that primarily affects people age 40 above. This complication is may occur when your eyes fail to produce enough tears to keep the cornea moist, or when the tears dissipate too quickly. If you have a chronic dry eye problem, ask your surgeon to administer the Schirmer test to measure the amount of moisture on your eyes.
Irregular Cornea: If the cornea is too irregular in shape, it can’t be operated on. Your doctor will examine your cornea with a corneal topographer to generate a map of your cornea.
Thin Cornea: Some people have corneas that are too thin, so there’s not enough tissue to create a good flap. Your doctor measures the thickness of your cornea with a corneal pachometer.
Overall Health: There are several systemic diseases that could also keep you from being an ideal candidate for LASIK. These hindrances could include autoimmune disorders and conditions that require a medication that slows healing. Also, if you are pregnant or nursing, you are not an ideal LASIK candidate for the reason that the related hormonal changes can temporarily affect the shape of your eyes.
Tests for Determining LASIK Candidates
In summary, what you can do to avoid some of those above mentioned LASIK problems is to determine whether you are an ideal candidate or a less than ideal candidate for LASIK. Knowing that will give you an idea of the result you can expect from LASIK eye surgery.
But, to further help your surgeon determine your risk of surgery complications as a LASIK candidate, send your medical records to him or her and make sure to get the necessary tests and measurements done. Take a routine eye exam, slit-lamp exam, fundus exam, corneal thickness, corneal topography, and Schirmer test if possible.
Once you have researched all of these conditions or discussed them with a LASIK surgeon you can determine if you are a good LASIK candidate.