Do You Have to Be over a Certain Age to Have Lasik Eye Surgery?

Doctor Answers 2

How Old Do I Have to be to Have LASIK

The age range that is recommended is 18-65, although I have several suggestions regarding this. The most important issue is to wait until the eyes are stable and have stopped changing before doing laser vision correction. So, sometimes, I will recommend those in their late teens to wait just another year or two to be sure all is stable. On the high end of age, as long as the eyes are healthy and all of the testing looks good, there is really no upper age limit. The oldest patient I have performed LASIK on was 84, and they are still doing great!

Baltimore Ophthalmologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

LASIK is best when your eyes are stable

More than age, refractive stability guides when LASIK is appropriate. The minimum age for LASIK is generally considered to be 18 years, although there are exceptions for special circumstances. Most people have vision changes until at least 18 years of age, and some until their mid 20's. If there has been no change in prescription for at least a year in glasses or contacts, then LASIK is a consideration. MOst FDA approved lasers state that the minimum age approved is 18 years which relates to the people who were studied during the approval process.

Some doctors will purposely overcorrect the younger near sighted patient to give them some "room to grow" in that if their vision was to progress slightly more nearsighted, a very low amount of farsightedness will maintain good vision even with this change. For farsighted patients that are young, it is especially important to have a good cycloplegic or dilated eye exam to be sure to unmask all of the farsightedness.

There is also a condition where the amount of nearsightedness does not stabilize, called progressive myopia, and these patients will become nearsighted again at some point after LASIK. Usually these are the more nearsighted patients to begin with but it is sometimes hard to detect who will continue to change.

In summary, it is not so much a matter of age, but a matter of when the vision is stable and this is typically in the early to mid 20's but sometimes sooner. Information from past eye exams can be very helpful in making this determination.

Jon Dishler, MD, FACS
Greenwood Village Ophthalmologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.