At LASIK of Nevada, we often find ourselves talking to patients about their unique considerations for a safe and effective laser eye surgery. One question that we commonly get is about having LASIK after the age of 40. Is LASIK worth it after 40?
There’s a lot of confusion about what age is right for a person to have LASIK, what age is too old, whether or not there’s an age limit to LASIK.
Of course, LASIK eligibility depends on quite a few factors, several of which are unique from person to person. But the answer is generally yes – LASIK is worth it after 40. LASIK is safe and effective for patients older than 40 and produces the long-term value that this refractive surgery is known for. Here, we’ll run through a few of the issues shaping the debate: how old is too old for LASIK?
What is LASIK?
LASIK, an acronym for “laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis,” is the process of using a laser to gently reshape the cornea, correcting the following refractive vision issues:
- Myopia, or nearsightedness
- Hyperopia, or farsightedness
LASIK is one of the most common vision procedures in use today, with millions of eyes being treated each year throughout the United States. Dr. Richard Rothman, laser surgeon at LASIK of Nevada, has performed over 65,000 successful refractive surgeries in his career.
Am I Eligible for LASIK?
There are some factors that determine your eligibility for laser corrective surgery right off the bat:
- You must be at least 18 years of age
- You must have had a stable vision prescription for at least one year
- You must have been diagnosed with myopia, hyperopia, or astigmatism
There will be more factors considered during your LASIK evaluation with the team at LASIK of Nevada, including corneal topography and tomography as well as other methods to more closely examine the unique structure of your eye(s).
Can You Be Too Old for LASIK?
You may notice that the list above has a minimum age but no maximum. That’s because there’s no age at which you’re automatically deemed “too old” for laser vision surgery. There are a few reasons why older people may not be great candidates for LASIK, but we assess these patients on an individualized basis in LASIK evaluations.
Low Corneal Thickness
One reason why an older patient may not be a fit for LASIK is decreased corneal thickness, which tends to happen as a person ages. In order for LASIK to be safe, the cornea has to meet a certain thickness to ensure that the procedure doesn’t damage the underlying tissue. Just because LASIK isn’t a good fit in this case doesn’t mean that laser eye surgery is not an option. PRK is a LASIK alternative, commonly performed on patients with thinner corneas.
40 years of age tends to be the point where people start to wonder about LASIK and if it’s worthwhile, because presbyopia starts to emerge around that age.This is the age-related loss of near vision, a natural part of aging that affects around 2 billion adults worldwide.
Presbyopia is the reason why many older people wear reading glasses to see things up close. It’s caused by the loss of flexibility in the eye’s lens over time. There are laser surgery options for people with presbyopia, so even if you have age-related vision loss, you may still be a candidate for LASIK.
Is LASIK Worth it When You’re Older than 40? What About 50?
The reality is that there’s no cut-off where we tell patients “you’re too old to have LASIK.” As long as your LASIK evaluation shows that you meet the eligibility criteria, refractive surgery can safely be carried out. Additionally, LASIK is worth it at any age. People nearing 40 years old or 50 years old may think that LASIK is only effective for a little while, and then, they’ll experience normal vision loss associated with aging. This isn’t always the case.
Older LASIK patients can enjoy improved vision for long enough after their initial surgery, making the procedure a worthwhile investment, especially when compared to a lifetime of wearing glasses, contact lenses, or both.
Learn More with a LASIK Evaluation
The bottom line is this: you should never talk yourself out of exploring your laser eye surgery options for fear that you’re too old, or that it won’t be worth the cost. Schedule a LASIK consultation with the experienced staff at LASIK of Nevada and learn about all your options for long-term improved vision.