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Are you a Candidate for Refractive Surgery?

September 6, 2017

Refractive surgery is the term used to describe surgical procedures that correct common vision problems, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia, with the goal of reducing dependence on prescription eyeglasses and/or contact lenses. LASIK is the most common and well known of the refractive surgeries. Let’s look at the basics of refractive surgeries and see if you are a candidate for improving your vision through any of them.

For several centuries, glasses were the only way to correct vision problems. That is, until contact lenses came into use in the 1950s. Today, there are surgical options that can improve vision and allow for people who typically wear eyeglasses and/or contact lenses to be free of them. Modern options range from laser reshaping of the eye’s surface in procedures such as LASIK and PRK, to surgical insertion of artificial lenses to correct eyesight.

Choosing to have refractive surgery should be a decision that you and your eye specialist can discuss. Here are some of the characteristics that would make you an excellent candidate for refractive surgery.

  • Candidates must be in good general health, and should not have certain health problems, including uncontrolled diabetes, autoimmune or collagen vascular disease, take any medication, or have any condition that compromises the immune response.
  • Candidates should not have active eye infections or injuries. In addition, patients should not continuously suffer from dry eyes.
  • Candidates should be at least 18 years of age.
  • Candidates should have stable vision over at least the past year.
  • Patients considering refractive surgery should not be pregnant or nursing.

The decision to have refractive surgery should be weighed with the knowledge of your surgeon and doctor. As with any procedure, there are risks and potential side effects.