What Makes Someone A Good Refractive Surgery Candidate? | Evergree

What Makes Someone A Good Refractive Surgery Candidate?

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LASIK eye surgery is the best known and most commonly performed laser refractive surgery to correct vision problems.  LASIK surgery can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism and can be a great alternative to glasses and contacts to help many patients achieve 20/20 vision or better.

Before you can have LASIK surgery, you will need to be evaluated to assure you are a good candidate for the procedure.  You can schedule a no-charge refractive evaluation at Evergreen Eye Center with one of our talented surgeons. 

In addition to LASIK, we offer other refractive surgery options such as PRK and refractive lens exchange. Your surgeon will tell you which option is best for you.

Before scheduling you for an evaluation with the doctor, a refractive coordinator will review screening questions with you to determine if you meet the initial guidelines.  To qualify for a no-charge refractive evaluation, you must be 18-50 years old, you must have a current prescription that has been stable for at least one year and you cannot be pregnant or nursing or planning pregnancy within the next six months. 

The refractive coordinator will also review your health history to determine further if you are a candidate. 

Why is age important? 

As we age and our eyes develop, our vision can change and fluctuate.  It is important to wait to have LASIK surgery until your eyes are no longer developing, and your prescription has been stable for at least one year.   

How much vision can LASIK correct?  

LASIK works best for people who are nearsighted, farsighted or have astigmatism. LASIK can often correct up to -10.00 diopters of nearsightedness, up to 4.00 diopters of astigmatism, and up to +3.00 diopters of farsightedness.  

If your prescription falls outside of these guidelines, refractive lens exchange (RLE) may be a better alternative for you.  Your surgeon will discuss this with you. 

How important is eye health?

Eye health is very important if you are going to have LASIK surgery.  There are a few eye conditions that could prevent you from being a good candidate for refractive surgery, and your coordinator will talk to you about those. 

LASIK can cause a temporary decrease in tear production which results in dry eye symptoms.  For patients who already have dry eye syndrome, your doctor will create a treatment plan to address your dry eye before your LASIK surgery. 

Overall, cornea health is very important.  During LASIK surgery, a thin layer of corneal tissue will be removed and a flap will be created for the treatment of the cornea. 

If your corneas are too thin, you will not be a candidate for LASIK surgery.  PRK surgery is another potential option for patients who have thinner corneas or don’t qualify for LASIK.

This procedure offers similar results to LASIK but does not require the creation of a flap. Instead, PRK removes the epithelium, which regenerates over time.

For PRK, a laser is used to reshape the cornea and a “bandage contact lens” is used to help the tissue underneath heal. Recovery after PRK does take longer than LASIK, but the results are virtually the same.

Ready to find out if LASIK is right for you? Schedule your LASIK consultation at Evergreen Eye Center in Seattle, WA, today!

Isn’t it time to achieve the visual freedom you’ve always dreamed of?


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