Everyone’s body follows a different clock, a timeline, and even a different agenda, which means understanding what is best for you and when it is best for you is a unique experience. The same holds true for your vision and individual factors that should be considered when you find yourself wondering, should I get LASIK surgery? When you feel like you need and/or want LASIK eye surgery, you can always rely on the experts at Providence Eye & Laser Specialists for an honest, comprehensive consultation to determine if this is the right time in your life to consider LASIK or a LASIK alternative such as PRK or EVO ICL.

LASIK Considerations for Different Age Groups

LASIK For Teens

Bodies, minds, and vision continue to develop throughout the teen years. Patients under 18 do not qualify for LASIK surgery per regulations stipulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). One reason is that the lasers are not approved for use on people under 18. Another reason is that for most, their vision has not yet fully matured and stabilized, with stability defined as nearly the same prescription over 12 months. The LASIK surgeon will conduct a mathematical calculation to determine if the patient’s vision is within tolerance.

During the teen years, it’s important to maintain annual eye exams, get updated glasses and contacts, and monitor vision. Once a patient has reached their 18th birthday, and their vision has been stable for one year, they can schedule a complimentary LASIK consultation with our surgeon, Dr. Trey Nunnery.

LASIK and PRK can correct the following refractive errors common in teens 18+:

  • Nearsightedness or myopia — blurry distance vision. This is a minus (-) prescription.
  • Farsightedness or hyperopia — blurry up-close vision. This is a plus (+) prescription.
  • Astigmatism — distorted vision at all distances. This is the cylinder (cyl) in the prescription.

Amblyopia, or lazy eye, a somewhat common condition in children, is not correctable with any of these procedures, but it is not an automatic disqualifier either.

LASIK in Your 20s

So, you’re no longer a teen and have officially reached adulthood. Your braces are off, and glasses and contacts seem old-fashioned! Should you get LASIK Eye Surgery? Many general eye care providers tell their patients that they can’t or shouldn’t have LASIK until age 21 or 25; in reality, your chronological age is irrelevant. After the age of 18, stability is the No. 1 criterion. Has your vision fully matured and been stable for one or two years? For some, stability occurs in their teens. But it is more common to be in the early to mid-20s and sometimes even late 20s. No two patients are the same.

There are numerous advantages to getting LASIK surgery in your 20s:

  • Freedom from glasses and contacts for the simple things, like seeing the clock on your nightstand, to activities like sports or parenting your young child in the middle of the night. Imagine the possibilities!
  • Greater comfort. Maybe, like many people, you are uncomfortable touching your eye. That feeling goes away with LASIK.
  • Save money! Contacts are expensive, especially considering the long-term requirements and rising costs.
  • Longevity. Statistically, your eyes will remain healthy in your younger years, meaning your LASIK or PRK results should last for multiple decades.

Why are your 20s a good time to consider having LASIK surgery? Recovery time is fast and bears minimal interruptions to your already busy schedule and active lifestyle. Most LASIK patients need just a one-day break from normal daily activities like work, exercising, or socializing with friends and family before returning to regular routines — without glasses or contacts!

LASIK in Your 30s

For many, the 20s are filled with new jobs, finishing school, becoming independent and only a little extra money. Now that you have a solid foundation and potentially more financial stability, LASIK eye surgery may be in your future. LASIK in your 30s still has all the benefits of being in your 20s. But let’s talk about how LASIK Eye surgery can save you money.

LASIK surgery can provide a tremendous ROI when factoring in the costs of contacts, solution and glasses/frames — it adds up to a lot of money and your time. Imagine the freedom! Wake up in the morning and just go! No fumbling for glasses just to make your coffee or straining to see, even just across the room without glasses or contacts. Packing for a trip — no need to pack contacts, solution and glasses. Proper contact lens hygiene, including removing them every night, is a constant struggle and requires the best habits to prevent irritation, infection or worse, corneal ulcers. Save your precious time by having laser eye surgery so you can embrace a busy lifestyle without the hassle. For ideal candidates, LASIK eye surgery is a safe, quick and straightforward procedure that is virtually painless. At Providence Eye & Laser Specialists, every step, starting with your initial consultation, is clearly explained. No question is off-limits, and you will have as much time as you need with Dr. Nunnery.

LASIK in Your 40s and 50s

If you thought your body stopped changing with puberty, guess again. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t consider making changes that will have a lasting impact, including considering LASIK after 40. If you’ve been wearing glasses most of your life or even just a little while now, you know the pressure and discomfort that nose pads and temple tips can cause. As our bodies age, the lenses in our eyes get harder and lose some flexibility, and our eye muscles are not strong enough to bend the stiffer lens. This is presbyopia and results in the need for readers, “cheaters” or near-vision glasses. Although frustrating, this is a normal part of aging and happens to everyone. In addition to correcting nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, like in your 20s and 30s, laser vision correction surgery can correct presbyopia. Monovision LASIK (or Monovision PRK) typically provides our patients with glasses/contacts independence for 95% of normal daily activities.

At Providence Eye & Laser Specialists, your comprehensive consultation with Dr. Nunnery will determine if there’s anything that would, could, or should stop you from considering LASIK after 40. Proven FDA-approved technology, advanced techniques, and years of experience enable Dr. Nunnery, a board-certified ophthalmologist and fellowship-trained cornea specialist, to determine if LASIK would be safe for you and provide you with the desired outcome.

LASIK For Seniors (60+)

Although we said chronological age is not important in your 20s (stability is!), in your 60s, the onset of cataracts becomes more probable and greatly affects LASIK candidacy. Many people over 60 have cataracts, although they may not be aware of this fact. In the early stages, cataracts do not impair vision, and many general eyecare providers do not bring it up since it is normal for patients in the age group. Cataracts can be very unpredictable. Some progress slowly and others very rapidly. There is no way to know in advance. Dr. Nunnery only recommends investing in LASIK surgery for those who have the potential for 20/20 vision over a longer period, so the investment is worthwhile. Most people in their 60s are deemed not ideal candidates.

For this patient population, the recommended course of action is maintaining annual eye exams, updating prescriptions as necessary, and monitoring any cataract. When the timing is right for cataract surgery, options to decrease dependence on or eliminate glasses will be discussed.

Regardless of age, work or social obligations, scheduling a complimentary consultation for LASIK surgery with Dr. Nunnery at Providence Eye & Laser is the right first step toward achieving freedom from glasses and contacts. During this consultation, you'll undergo a thorough evaluation of your eye health, vision stability, the structural integrity of your corneas and overall suitability for LASIK or a LASIK alternative such as PRK or EVO ICL. It's also the perfect opportunity to ask important questions about the procedure, recovery, and expected outcomes because understanding the risks and benefits of LASIK, particularly as they relate to your age, is crucial. Dr. Nunnery, can provide detailed insights into how factors like age might influence the longevity of the surgery and long-term vision outcomes. By addressing these aspects during your consultation, you can make an informed decision and feel confident about moving forward with LASIK.

Should I get LASIK Surgery? Find out Today!

Schedule your free LASIK consultation with Dr. Nunnery and start your journey to clear vision.