To undergo LASIK, you first need to be considered a “good LASIK candidate”. This is to make sure that the procedure will be safe for you.
Part of what makes LASIK so successful are the factors that go into LASIK candidacy. This includes excluding many patients that don’t fit what makes a good LASIK patient.
A LASIK consultation is designed to answer the question “Am I a good LASIK candidate?” Keep reading to learn more about LASIK consultations!
What Makes a Good LASIK Candidate?
There are many factors that you need to meet if you want to be a good candidate for LASIK. This is part of the reason a consultation can take a few hours to complete. Some of the most common LASIK qualifications are:
You need to be at least 18 years old to receive LASIK. Being at least 18 years old doesn’t mean you will automatically be a good LASIK candidate.
Most LASIK surgeons prefer patients who are in their mid-twenties before undergoing LASIK. Although you can be too young for LASIK, you can’t be too old for LASIK.
Your vision prescription must be the same for at least a year to two consecutive years before you can get LASIK.
Mothers will need to wait for several months after nursing has ended. For the best results, you should only get LASIK when you know you won’t have more children.
Your eyes will be more susceptible to infection after LASIK. This means you must have conditions like dry eyes under control before you can have LASIK.
You don’t need to be in perfect health to get LASIK, but you should be healthy enough. If you have conditions or diseases that make it harder to heal, LASIK may not be right for you.
For some people, they find out that LASIK is not right for them because they have thin corneas. LASIK requires removing corneal tissue to reshape the cornea. If you don’t have enough tissue, removing any can make LASIK unsafe to undergo. If this is the case, there are other procedures like PRK you can consider.
What Happens During a LASIK Consultation?
Any potential LASIK candidate needs a LASIK consultation and a comprehensive eye exam. These are both needed to make informed decisions on whether it is safe for you to have LASIK.
During the comprehensive exam, you will undergo a variety of tests. This could include a dilated eye exam, measuring your prescription, corneal measurement, and a tear-film exam.
During a dilated eye exam, you’ll have your eyes dilated. This widens the cornea’s pupils and allows the doctor to see inside your eye.
The drops take about 30 minutes to kick in, but the medication won’t wear off for about 6 hours. Don’t expect to be able to drive yourself home from the consultation. You’ll need to plan to find a ride or another way home.
Your prescription is often tested using a test called refraction. The doctor will put up a variety of lenses, asking which ones seem better. By process of elimination, you will find the correct lens size.
Your corneas thickness is measured with corneal pachymetry, either using ultrasonic or optical methods. More modern ultrasonic pachymeters work by using a Corneal Waveform. Wavefront technology is also used to determine your corneas’ curvatures.
A tear-film exam tests your tear production, ensuring that you don’t go into LASIK with dry eye. During LASIK, some nerve endings are cut in the cornea. This can lead to a reduction of tears, which in turn leads to a more severe dry eye. Unlubricated eyes are much more susceptible to infection.
Wondering if you could be right for LASIK? Find out by scheduling a LASIK consultation at New York Eye Specialists in NYC today!