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Refractive Surgery Glossary

How does LASIK Work

Who is a Candidate

Frequently Asked Questions

About the Lasers

Possible Complications


Complimentary Evaluation

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Letters about LASIK

Who is (is Not) a Candidate?

As stated previously, LASIK is for individuals with refractive errors - such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and/or astigmatism. Laser Vision Correction (LVC) helps reshape the cornea to correct these errors. Although teenagers are becoming interested in LASIK, a good candidate should be 21 years or older. If younger, your eyes - and vision - have not matured. There is no age limit for having LVC. It is a matter of individual lifestyle, and desire to end dependence on eyeglasses and contacts. However, if you are over 60, you should be free of cataracts before having LASIK. Having cataract surgery does not necessarily exclude one from being a candidate for LASIK.

To achieve the most accurate results with any type laser vision correction, the doctor has to be certain he can obtain an accurate measurement of your vision.

Before having LVC or any vision-correction procedure, your vision prescription should be stable for at least one year. Some exceptions exist to this rule, such as those who need good natural vision to get or keep a job. But if your vision is still changing, the results may not be permanent, and the patient might need a "touch up" procedure later on.

If you've added a reading prescription in the last two years or if your reading glasses need strengthening, don't worry. This factor alone won't exclude you from having LVC.

Some physical conditions such as pregnancy and certain medication can cause short-term vision fluctuations. Be sure to mention to the doctor any medications you are taking.

Physical Conditions That Can or Will Prohibit Laser Vision Correction

If you have any one of the following conditions, you are probably not a candidate for LVC. The only way to know for sure is to schedule a free consultation so that Dr. Cabler can medically assess your situation.

Some of these conditions include:

  • Autoimmune diseases which create healing problems such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis
  • Diabetic retinopathy with loss of vision
  • Uncontrolled glaucoma
  • Keloid scar forming
  • Severely dry eyes (keratitis sicca)
  • Keratatoconous (thinning and steepening of the cornea)
  • Amblyopia (lazy eye)
  • Current use of Accutane, Cordarone or Imitrex medications
  • Chronic eye infections or irritations (these must be fully healed before LVC)
  • Inability to lie still or to focus during treatment

Consult Dr. Cabler if you have had Ocular Herpes Simplex or Zoster virus - or previous Radial Keratotomy.

Lifestyle conditions that would prohibit Laser Vision Correction include:

  • You need 20/20 vision for your job and can't tolerate less than perfect vision, even for a short period.
  • You can't accept a final result of less than 20/20 in both eyes (such as 20/25).
  • Perfect night vision is critical to you.
  • You are unwilling or unable to commit to a series of follow-up visits.
  • You have difficulty taking prescribed medications on a schedule.

There are certain careers such as law enforcement, firefighting and rescue work in which individuals have to perform conditions that can cause eyeglasses to break or fall off or make contact lenses impractical or dangerous. Some careers require near perfect vision but allow glasses or contacts as long as the worker isn't too nearsighted without them. Others such as pilots have restrictions regarding laser vision correction. If you are considering LASIK for career reasons, be sure to check with your future employer before making a decision.

Contact us to schedule your Complimentary LASIK Evaluation or for more information.

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