For patients who suffer from vision impairment, LASIK has become the new standard in vision correction. Patients regularly come to Dr. William E. Holcomb asking whether LASIK surgery is right for them. LASIK surgery improves vision by correcting imperfections of the cornea, which can successfully improve vision and reduce dependency on prescriptive eye wear for a large majority of patients. However, as appealing as the benefits of LASIK may be, it is not the right treatment option for all patients. A thorough examination of the eye, along with a discussion of general health, eye health, and medical history is the best way for Dr. Holcomb to determine if his Cullman patients are ideal LASIK candidates.
Qualities of a LASIK Candidate
When examining a patient to determine candidacy for LASIK, Dr. Holcomb focuses on four main areas: the type of vision impairment, the health of the eye, the thickness of the cornea, and the patient’s general health. Qualities for surgery must be ideal in each of these areas in order for a patient to be a good LASIK candidate, otherwise the success of surgery may be compromised.
- Type of vision impairment: LASIK surgery can correct lower-order aberrations of the eye, which includes nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Each of these types of vision impairment is caused by obvious irregularities of the cornea that can be corrected through LASIK surgery. Patients who suffer from higher-order aberrations, are not ideal candidates for traditional LASIK surgery, but may be candidates for custom LASIK. It is also important that the degree of vision impairment be steady, with the patient having the same corrective prescription for at least a year.
- Eye health: In order for LASIK surgery to be a success and for the risks of surgery to remain minimal, it is important the patient to have healthy eyes. The eyes must be free of disease, infection, and any other health problems that could heighten the risk of surgery.
- Thickness of the cornea: Because a corneal flap is created during LASIK surgery, it is important that the patient’s cornea be thick enough to safely create this flap. Patients with corneas that are too thin will be considered poor candidates for traditional LASIK surgery.
- General health: Ideal candidates for LASIK surgery are those who are 18 or older and in good overall general health. It is especially important that the patient is free of autoimmune disorders or other conditions that may affect healing.
There will be a small group of patients who are considered poor LASIK candidates. However, these patients may have another option other than corrective lenses. Many patients who are not candidates for LASIK surgery, particularly those whose corneas are too thin, are ideal candidates for PRK, a refractive surgery that corrects corneal imperfections without the creation of a corneal flap. Dr. Holcomb can discuss this procedure with patients in greater detail.
Schedule an Appointment
For those who are good candidates for LASIK surgery, the benefits are numerous. If you rely on prescriptive lenses for clear vision and would like to know if LASIK surgery could free you of that reliance, schedule an appointment with Dr. William E. Holcomb at your earliest convenience to learn if LASIK is right for you. We look forward to hearing from you!