Is LASIK right for you?

Published On: Nov 07 2013 09:59:53 AM EST   Updated On: Nov 19 2013 03:43:26 PM EST
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By Mayo Clinic News Network

If you're tired of wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses, you may wonder whether laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK) surgery is right for you. After all, LASIK surgery has a good track record and most people are satisfied with the results.

However, LASIK surgery isn't the most appropriate vision-correction option for everyone, and it's not without risks. Read on to determine whether you're a good candidate for LASIK surgery.

When is LASIK a good choice?

LASIK surgery is a type of refractive eye surgery. During the procedure, an eye surgeon creates a flap in the cornea, and then uses a laser to reshape the cornea and correct focusing problems in the eye. LASIK surgery is most appropriate for people who have a moderate degree of:

A good surgical outcome depends on careful evaluation of your eyes before the surgery.

What about LASIK surgery for presbyopia?

By the early to mid-40s, most adults have lost some ability to focus on nearby objects (presbyopia), which results in difficulty reading small print or doing other close-up tasks. The condition may continue to worsen until about age 65.

If you have presbyopia, LASIK surgery may give you clear distance vision, but it can actually worsen your ability to see objects close up.

To maintain your ability to see close objects, you might choose to have your vision corrected for monovision. With monovision, one eye is corrected for distant vision, and the other eye is corrected for near vision. However, not everyone is able to adjust to or tolerate monovision. It's best to do a trial with contact lenses before having a permanent surgical procedure.

What are the risks of LASIK surgery?

As with any surgery, LASIK surgery carries risks, including:

What increases the risks?

You're more likely to experience complications from LASIK surgery if you:

What other circumstances make LASIK surgery a poor choice?

You might also rethink having LASIK surgery if:

What are the other options?

If you're not a good candidate for LASIK surgery but you're still interested in vision-correction surgery, alternatives may include:

To make the most appropriate choice about refractive surgery, weigh the options, including the benefits and risks, with your eye doctor. Good results depend on careful evaluation of your eyes before the surgery as well as a clear understanding of the limitations of each procedure.

Source: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/lasik-surgery/MY00375/NSECTIONGROUP=2