Are You a Candidate for LASIK?

Closeup of a Mans Eye

About 50 percent of Americans are either nearsighted or farsighted — up to 40 percent are nearsighted and 5-10% are farsighted. If you’ve had to rely on either glasses or contacts to see clearly, you may long to shed them. It’s time to investigate LASIK surgery.

LASIK surgery has constantly evolved since its inception a few decades ago. Over the past 15 years, LASIK has proven to be successful in improving patients’ vision with no detrimental effects. Almost all patient outcomes are good; the satisfaction rate is 96 percent.

How do you know if you’re a candidate for LASIK surgery? Simply make an appointment for a consultation with Dr. O’Day at Charleston Cornea. Dr. O’Day, a board-certified ophthalmologist, conducts your eye examination, reviews your medical history, and lets you know if you’re able to have the procedure and whether it will help you.

Dr. O’Day’s complication-free success rate for LASIK surgery is 98 percent, so you’re in safe hands. Following are general requirements to be able to proceed with LASIK surgery.

Age

Your eyes are still growing and developing in your teenage years, just like the rest of your body. That’s why you need to wait until you’re at least 18 to have LASIK surgery.

Health

You should be in good overall health. If you have an autoimmune disease and your immune system is compromised, you may not be a good candidate. Eye surgery is delicate, and if healing is impaired, you might experience complications. Dr. O’Day reviews your history and explains whether the surgery is a good idea for you.

Eye health

Your eyes should be free of diseases, including glaucoma, cataracts, and other similar conditions. If you have continual dry eye, an eye infection, or if you’ve contracted herpes simplex or herpes zoster, you’re not a candidate.

Eye problems such as strabismus (misalignment of the eye, going inward or outward) or amblyopia (lazy eye) may affect healing. If you’ve had eye problems in the past that aren’t present now, it’s important to let Dr. O’Day know. Those issues may also affect healing.

Your vision should be stable. No matter what your age, you should have had the same prescription for the past year to ensure your vision isn’t in the process of changing.

Pregnancy/nursing

Plan LASIK when you’re not pregnant or nursing, as hormones can affect post-procedure medication. Wait at least three to four months after you’ve finished nursing to have LASIK.

Contacts

If you’ve been wearing contacts for a long time, they may have altered the shape of your corneas. You should stop wearing your contacts for at least two weeks prior to the surgery so the shape of your corneas can be measured accurately. If you wear hard lens contacts, you should discontinue use for at least three weeks prior to the procedure.

Cornea measurement

Dr. O’Day measures your cornea to determine whether it’s thick enough to withstand the operation; it needs to be at least 0.5 millimeters.

Dr. O’Day makes decisions on his patients’ suitability for LASIK surgery on an individual basis, weighing all of the factors. Call or book an appointment with Charleston Cornea to see if LASIK surgery is right for you.