Having realistic expectations is the most important factor in determining whether you are a good candidate. In addition, the probable outcome is different from patient to patient. For example, patients with high prescriptions are more likely to need a future enhancement procedure. Other patients with large pupils and high prescriptions are more prone to night vision disturbances. Certain patients are more likely to having severe dry eyes after the procedure.
At a consultation, your doctor should openly discuss your likely individual outcome based on the results of diagnostic testing, addressing those particular issues. Remember that while most people are candidates for refractive surgery, not all are good candidates. If your expectations exceed what refractive surgery will probably give you, do not have the procedure!
Candidacy for LASIK surgery can vary depending on your doctor and the type of laser that is used. A complete eye examination by an ophthalmologist who performs LASIK will help determine whether the procedure is right for you.
There are certain criteria LASIK candidates must meet. Most importantly, the refractive error should be stable. If the error is not stable and the eye is still changing, surgery will not be as effective and may need to be repeated.
Most candidates must be at least 18 years old, since vision may continue to change in people younger than 18. Individuals with developing cataracts may not be considered candidates either, as their refractive error may continue to change. Patients also should be in good general health. LASIK may not be appropriate for patients who are pregnant, nursing or have diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, glaucoma or herpes infections of the eye.
For patients with severe refractive errors LASIK may not be an option, but with the advancements in refractive surgery, almost anyone with stable and healthy eyes can be treated with some type of surgery.