Refractive surgery is an elective procedure performed on a healthy cornea. You will be required to sign a consent form stating that you understand all of the risks, complications and side effects involved. Allow yourself time to review it carefully. As with all surgeries, it is important to remember that a good result cannot be guaranteed.
Eligibility depends on the amount of refractive error, the curvature and thickness of the cornea, and a number of other factors that an ophthalmologist must evaluate.
People who are most satisfied with the results of laser correction understand the criteria for eligibility. They also possess realistic expectations of what their vision will be like after surgery and clearly understand the potential risks and side effects. Most healthy people who wear glasses or contact lenses for distance vision correction are potential candidates for refractive surgery.
Prime candidates are:
- Persons 18 years of age or older for the treatment of mild nearsightedness
- 21 years of age or older for persons with high degrees of nearsightedness or astigmatism
- Persons with healthy eyes (free from eye disease)
- Persons with stable refractions (eyeglass or contact lens prescriptions not changing more than 0.50 diopter for the year prior to treatment)
- Persons with realistic expectations regarding what this technology can offer them
- Persons informed of the potential risks and benefits of laser vision correction as compared to other treatments
- Persons under 18 years of age. (This is because the eyes may still be growing.)
- Persons who have refractions which are continuing to change dramatically
- Persons with known collagen vascular, autoimmune or immune-deficiency diseases
- Women who are pregnant or nursing
- Persons with keratoconus
- Persons taking Accutane, Cordarone or Imitrex
- Persons with a history of Herpes Simplex or Herpes Zoster involving their eyes