Is LASIK right for me?

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:48 pm
LASIK (LAY-sick) is the most popular eye surgery being performed. Each year, about a million people elect to undergo this procedure, which is designed to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Although most patients report great results from LASIK, the procedure may not be right for you. Since the surgery cannot be performed on an eye that’s still growing, you must be at least 18 years old to qualify. Also, the prescription of your glasses or contacts should not have changed within the last year. There are a few medical conditions that make some people poor candidates for this type of surgery. One condition is called kerataconus (ker-at-uh-KONE-ihs), which is a structural abnormality of the cornea. There are also limitations on the degree of nearsightedness or farsightedness that LASIK can correct. Pupil size is another indicator, since large pupils are more difficult to work around. If you suffer from a degenerative eye disease, such as Lupus (LOOP-is), glaucoma (glaw-COH-muh), diabetes (die-uh-BEE-teez), or rheumatoid (ROOM-uh-toid) arthritis, you should not consider LASIK. Pregnancy, eye infections, and retinal detachments can also disqualify a patient. Any of these conditions should be detected by a vision specialist during the standard pre-surgical examination. If you do qualify for LASIK, remember that it’s a surgical procedure with no guarantees of success. It’s always a good idea to talk with your optometrist or ophthalmologist to review the benefits and the risks.

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