Now that you're older, you probably have more time and money to do things for yourself. If you're tired of wearing glasses or contacts and have always wanted to have LASIK surgery, now might be the time to do it. However, as you age, your eyes undergo many changes. Therefore, LASIK might not be a good option any longer, or if it is, your doctor may need to take other factors into consideration. Here are some things to consider.
It's common for people to develop cataracts as they age. Cataracts can cause blurry vision, and LASIK surgery cannot correct this. Your eye doctor checks for the development of cataracts during your yearly eye exams. If they grow large enough to bother your vision, cataract surgery would be more suitable than LASIK surgery. Once your cataracts are removed, your vision may improve enough that you no longer need a LASIK procedure.
Depending on your situation, your eye doctor may be able to use refractive cataract surgery to correct your vision problem if you have astigmatism, farsightedness, or nearsightedness along with your cataracts. If you still have vision problems after surgery, your doctor may follow up with a LASIK procedure after your eyes have healed.
Presbyopia is another common eye problem associated with aging eyes. With this condition, it gets harder and harder for you to see things up close. Reading glasses help because they magnify near vision. However, you don't wear them all the time because you can't see things far away with them on. That's why bifocals are usually the treatment of choice for presbyopia if you have to wear glasses all the time. That way you can see far away and up close too.
Another option to bifocals is monovision. You can wear monovision contacts so one eye sees far away and the other sees up close. This same theory can be applied to the LASIK procedure. When you have presbyopia, the eye surgeon will probably adjust the vision in one eye so you can read up close and adjust the other eye for clear far vision. Your brain adjusts so you can see clearly both ways. It's a good idea to try monovision contacts before you have the LASIK procedure to make sure you can tolerate it before having an irreversible surgery done on your eyes.
Other eye diseases associated with aging such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and macular degeneration may or may not disqualify you for LASIK surgery. So talk openly with eye doctors, like those at New Vision Eye Center, about your situation. Your eye doctor will consider your individual circumstances and help you decide if LASIK is a good option. Even though you've waited until later in life to consider the LASIK procedure, it doesn't mean you've waited too long.