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News & Blog

Should Age be a Factor when Considering LASIK Eye Surgery?

8th July, 2013  

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The idea of being free from contact lenses and glasses is extremely tempting for anyone who suffers from poor eyesight. On average, over 100,000 people sign up every year to have laser eye surgery to correct their vision. With its remarkable success rate, this virtually pain-free process is a quick and effective. It is therefore no surprise that laser eye surgery continues to grow in popularity across patients of all ages. Even in your 50s or beyond, if your eyes are otherwise healthy, LASIK surgery can produce excellent results.

Age isn’t a big factor when considering whether to have the surgery as the results of eye laser treatment are similar regardless of age. However there are a couple of points that you and your doctor should consider if you suffer from the following age-related eye conditions.

Cataracts

It is estimated that half of people aged 65 and over will develop a cataract at some stage in their lifetime. A cataract is an eye condition that can be detrimental to your eyesight. In a healthy eye, there is a clear lens which helps you to focus. If you have a cataract, the lens gradually deteriorates over a long period of time. Your vision will become blurry as the cataract develops, until the whole of the lens is cloudy. Your sight will slowly get worse, becoming blurry or misty, making it difficult to see clearly. Cataracts can happen at any age but usually develop as you get older. If this happens, the clouded lens can be removed and an artificial one implanted. However if you’ve already had LASIK eye surgery, it’s trickier to choose the correct lenses for cataract surgery. If there’s any sign of clouding, your ophthalmologist may therefore recommend cataract surgery first, and to reconsider LASIK surgery only after the cataract surgery has healed.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is caused by increased fluid pressure within the eye. The pressure affects the optic nerve, which starts in the back of your eye, leads to the brain and allows you to see. Ophthalmologists screen for glaucoma by checking intraocular pressure (fluid pressure inside the eye) and looking for optic nerve damage. LASIK surgery leads to lower intraocular pressure readings. This may interfere with early diagnosis. Tell your ophthalmologist if you’ve had LASIK when you are being screened for glaucoma. If your glaucoma is mild and easily managed there won’t be any issues with you going ahead with the surgery. However we recommend that you raise this point in your consultation. To book a free consultation with a laser eye surgery expert that is local to you, click here.

Dry Eye

With age, your eyes produce fewer tears. LASIK often worsens dry eye. Any ophthalmologist you see about LASIK should ask you about whether your eyes have a tendency to be dry, but just in case they don’t ask, be sure to mention it.

Presbyopia

In our 40s and 50s, the lenses inside our eyes get stiff, and a stiff lens can’t bend light in the way that’s necessary to see near objects. The result of this means we therefore become less able to focus on near objects. The usual remedy is to wear reading glasses. LASIK doesn’t prevent presbyopia. If you have LASIK in your 40s, you’re still likely to need reading glasses within the next 10 years or so.

Whilst this article aims to inform you of the age related considerations that may impact your suitability for LASIK eye surgery, it is important to follow the guidance and judgment of your eye surgeon to determine what is best for you. At Laser Surgery Eye we can put you in touch with a local practitioner that will talk you through the procedure and offer expert advice that is tailored to you. Fill out our contact form to your right for a free consultation.

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