At what age should you be before you undergo Lasik Eye Surgery to correct your vision? Is there any sort of age requirement or age limit to have laser eye surgery?
What is the Ideal Age to Have Lasik Eye Surgery?
Doctor Answers 15
Ideal age for LASIK is when your vision is stable
As a general rule, we recommend that patients are at least 21 years of age for LASIK or PRK vision correction. Some patients have been treated younger than this with excellent and stable results and the minimum is probably 18. More important than age is the health of the eyes and the stability of the refraction. This means that the eyes are no longer changing for the previous year so that the treatment has a higher likelihood of being permanent.
One benefit of being younger is that there are more years to enjoy the benefit of improved vision, the eyes tend to heal quicker and stabilize faster, and there is less side effects with things such as dry eyes. There is also less problems with reading vision than in older patients.
At first LASIK seemed to be most popular with an older demographic of average age around late 30's or early 40's but now we are seeing many more generation Y patients in their 20's who have discovered the benefits of laser vision correction.
The Ideal Age for LASIK
LASIK is FDA approved for patients 18 or older. There is no upper age limit.
- In my practice I prefer to delay the treatment until age 20 to make sure the prescription has stabilized. By that age most patients are no longer exposed to the accommodative stress of school studies, which could cause progression of myopia.
- For patients in their 30’s or 40’s, LASIK is a wonderful procedure, but special consideration must be given to the management of presbyopia (need for reading glasses after 40)
- For patients in their 50 and 60’s LASIK is still safe and effective, but other factors, such as possible cataracts, that start appearing at this age, must be evaluated. In the face of a cataract LASIK will not improve vision and cataract surgery should be considered.
- It is not uncommon for patients to undergo LASIK in their 70’s and 80’s, as an enhancement for premium cataract surgery. I've had many patients have successful LASIK surgery in their 70s and 80s.
Refractive Surgery Perfect Age
I like to wait until patients are at least 21 and I make sure that their prescriptions are stable, so they can enjoy their results longer! It is difficult to pick an ideal age, but anywhere from the mid-20s to 40s is usually reasonable. I was 25 when I had mine done!
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Age and LASIK
We operate on patients from 18 and beyond. There is no ideal age, but it is important to have a stable prescription and of course healthy eyes. The demographics in our practice have shifted over the years and now there are many patients in their low 20's having surgery, likely the sons and daughters of prior patients years back. Once you are over 40 or so, you will need to use readers which magnify for up close vision, as LASIK cannot fix this aging issue. Average age for LASIK in US is around 38 or 39 but has been shifting younger over the past several years.
Ideal age for Lasik
You want to wait until your eyes have stopped changing, a condition that we refer to as ocular maturity. For most people, this happens by age 18, though in rare cases the eyes will continue changing in the early twenties. There is no upper limit on the age of a Lasik patient, though people in their 60s start to have cataracts and other options for vision correction could be considered. Within this age range there is no "ideal" age.
Age for LASIK
Ideal Age For LASIK
That being said, I do not consider laser correction until the patient is at least 21 years of age. This is because when we are young, our prescription frequently changes, and certain eye disorders may not be apparent prior to our early 20s.
For the most part, LASIK works very well in our mid 20s, 30s and early 40s because our eyes typically stabilize by this point, and we still have the ability to use our eyes to focus on near objects (i.e. read without "cheaters"). As we age, we lose that ability, and so we need reading glasses, even after having LASIK.
After age 40, I pay close attention to hobbies and visual demands, and carefully outline realistic goals and expectations after surgery. For example, a 45 year old athlete may be alright with reading glasses, but she would love to be able to compete in a bike race without glasses or contacts. However, a 50 year old book worm would see little benefit from correcting his nearsightedness (which is what he uses to read).
Regardless of age, I decline cases when other issues are present, such as cataracts, bad diabetes, glaucoma, keratoconus or macular degeneration.
Ideal Age for LASIK
The time for LASIK is when the eye has stopped growing. Boys and girls physically mature at different times. Eye stability is defined by a change of 0.5 diopters of change or less in 12 months in the dilated refraction. Many girls are stable by the age of 18, which is the youngest for which I would normally agree to LASIK. Almost all girls have stopped physically growing by the age of 20 or 21. Boys commonly take another year or two to finish growing and may want to wait until they are 22 or 23 if there has been a change in the previous year's prescription.
If LASIK is performed before the eye is fully matured, it is likely that a fine-tuning or enhancement procedure would need to be performed.
The Ideal Age for LASIK Eye Surgery
An ideal patient is between the ages of 21 and 65, although there are always exceptions.
Your overall health plays a roll into any procedure you have including LASIK so for example if you are a 50 year old with very advanced diabetes and have had some retinal damage, you may not be a candidate for LASIK.
Another example would be if you are 20 years old and have had a stable prescription for glasses or contact lenses for over two years and are perfectly healthy you may very likely be a candidate.
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.