Lasik by Age
Teens and Young Adults (18-25 years old)
As you grow, the eyes grow, too. At some point, the eyes stop growing and you reach your final level of poor vision. For many people, ocular maturity happens by age 16. For most, the vision is stable by age 18, but for some the final vision is not reached until age 25.
Lasik is best performed when your eyes have stopped changing, which is a different age for each person. If your eyes are changing only a little that will not matter, but if your eyes change a great deal after Lasik, because you are still growing, then you might want to have a second treatment later on. So we like to see only a very mild level of change in nearsightedness for a two-year period for people in this age range prior to treatment.
This is the age when your personal life and your career are expanding. The glasses and contact lenses can be irritating and hold you back in many ways, and Lasik can be very liberating. We hear from so many people that the two best days in their lives are when they had Lasik and when their first child was born! That is an incredibly strong endorsement.
Almost all people in this age group have very stable vision, which means further Lasik will probably not be needed. And the problems of reading glasses have probably not yet surfaced.
Many people have enjoyed great distance vision up to this age, and then begin to lose the close-up vision. Others first begin to lose the close-up vision in their forties and then begin to lose the distance vision as well. Others have had good distance vision using glasses or contacts, but now have trouble with close-up vision as well.
Around age 45 the problem of reading glasses typically begins. People who have always had great close-up vision, even when wearing their distance glasses or contact lenses, begin to experience some blurriness with their close-up reading vision. This vision problem is different from the vision problems that occur earlier in life, and is due to the lens deep within the eye becoming stiffer and losing its ability to change focus from far to near. This is known as presbyopia, which is the farsightedness of middle age.
Adults in the age range have a choice of correcting both eyes for distance and then using drugstore reading glasses to help with fine close-up vision. This is what a lot of people in this age group do with their contact lenses and what we can do with Lasik. Alternatively, many people use contact lenses with monovision, in which one eye is optimized for distance correction and the other is optimized for close-up. If a person enjoys vision with monovision, we can use Lasik to correct the vision this way.
Many people in this age group have never thought of monovison. Although it sounds very strange, it is surprising how many people love monovision and the more complete freedom from glasses that monovision provides. Easy-to-perform testing in our office will show you what monovision is like and you can determine whether or not it is right for you.
Adults 65 and older
We are all as young or as old as our attitudes. Thanks to medical advances, glasses and contacts are not necessary at this age. There is no upper age limit for Lasik.
If we live long enough, almost all of us will develop a cataract, which is a cloudiness of the lens deep inside the eye impairing vision. If significant cataracts are present, then a cataract removal is preferable to having Lasik. However, if cataracts are not very advanced, are not impacting vision, and have not been progressing, then Lasik is an option. Also, if glasses are still necessary after cataract removal, then Lasik can be performed to improve the vision without glasses.