Lazy Eye - Is Lasik Surgery Right for Me?

I have a condition called lazy eye. Also, I have a strong level of nearsightness and astigmatism on that eye. I have been wearing glasses since I was 6. I am 28 now. I have no eye diseases or complications such as diabetes. I want to consider lasik surgery but I am too scared. My perscription hasn't changed for many years. Am I a good candidate for lasik surgery? If yes, which type of lasik surgery is right for me?

Doctor Answers 3

Lazy Eye and LASIK

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Lazy eye (amblyopia in medical terms) generally refers to an eye which does not correct to 20/20 even when wearing glasses or contact lenses. It is usually due to a condition present in childhood, and when that condition isn't addressed at an early age, the "wiring" to the brain from that eye is permanently disturbed.    The severity of "lazy eye"  varies in each case.  IF the lazy eye is worse than 20/40 vision, then most LASIK surgeons will not perform surgery on the other (good) eye, since that is basically the only normal seeing eye that the person has.  Even though the risks of laser vision correction surgery are uncommon if properly performed on healthy eyes, it is not usually recommended to take any unnecessary surgical risks on your only good eye!    If you are wondering whether we would treat the bad (lazy) eye, that is a different story--- yes, most surgeons will do that eye, however realize that the outcome in even best case scenario cannot be any better than you can see with glasses or contacts.   That is because the lazy eye is permanently lazy.     Go for an exam to determine just how lazy the eye is and whether or not you qualify... 

McLean Ophthalmologist

Lazy eye not a reason to not have Lasik

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You need to have an exam. A lazy eye (amblyopia) is not an absolute reason for not having LASIK.  Seek out a board certified ophthalmologist who specializes in LASIK and find out. Your vision may not fully correct to 20/20 post-operatively but it may improve tremendously.

Christopher Coad, MD
New York Ophthalmologist

LASIK in those with a lazy eye

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A lazy eye is one that does not have normal best corrected vision.  I never operate on the good eye of a person with amblyopia, but commonly operate on the lazy eye.  Those who have decreased vision based on the large difference in the prescription in their two eyes may benefit by having the high correction fixed.  In my experience, those whose prescription is brought back to normal commonly have improvement in their vision over a several year period of time.  Additionally, the field of view and peripheral vision are helped.

Mark Golden, MD
Chicago Ophthalmologist

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.