Am I a Candidate for LASIK?
Serving Los Angeles and Orange County, California
There are many different factors that determine whether or not you are a good candidate for LASIK. Generally speaking, if you can answer TRUE to the following questions, you are probably a candidate for the LASIK procedure.
- I am 18 years old or older.
- I have not had a significant change in my glasses or contact lenses prescription in the last year.
- I am not currently breastfeeding or pregnant and do not plan to become pregnant in the next six months.
- I am physically and mentally healthy.
- I do not have uncontrolled diabetes.
- I have realistic expectations about what LASIK can achieve.
There are two types of contraindications: absolute and relative.
If you have an absolute contraindication, it means you absolutely are not a good candidate for LASIK. An example would be Keratoconus, a disease where the cornea gets progressively thinner and bulges out in a cone shape. A person with Keratoconus would be a poor candidate for any type of LASER eye surgery.
“Dr. Khanna is great, very experienced, confident, and no, I didn’t feel a thing. (nothing like a dentist).”*
If you have a relative contraindication, it means that perhaps you can have LASIK if the surgeon takes certain precautions, and if you’re willing to accept a greater degree of uncertainty as to the outcome. An example of a relative contraindication would be having a thin cornea. Perhaps you can have LASIK if the surgeon can make a particularly thin flap. Otherwise, you’d be better off having a non-flap procedure, such as PRK or LASEK.
In September, 2006, the FDA listed autoimmune disease as a contraindication for all laser refractive surgery, including LASIK.
Examples of autoimmune diseases are:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Grave’s disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Reiter’s syndrome
- Crohn’s disease
Some research has been done on LASIK-related complications in people with autoimmune disease, but not enough for certainty to be established. If the disease is well controlled, it seems that no severe complications will necessarily follow your LASIK surgery. There may be less severe complications however, such as dry eye. Research is ongoing. Many patients have been operated on with great results. It ultimately is a decision you have to take in consultation with your primary care doctor and your lasik surgeon.
Herpes Virus Infection
Research is also ongoing on the dangers of Herpes for LASIK patients. It is thought by some that the virus takes up permanent residence in nerve cells near the eye. If that were to be the case, a trauma to the eye such as LASIK could reactivate it. However, if an antiviral medication is given before and after surgery, perhaps such a reactivation could be prevented.
If you have amblyopia, also called Lazy Eye, some LASIK surgeons will not consider you for refractive surgery, but others will. Your eligibility would depend on your exact eye conditions. If a complication were to arise in your dominant eye, your vision could be severely impaired.
On the other hand, refractive surgery could be a way of correcting amblyopia. It usually develops in young children, and it’s important to correct as soon as possible, before the child’s brain establishes a habit of ignoring vision in the amblyopic eye. In some cases, amblyopia can be caused by either a severe and uncorrected refractive error or a sizeable difference in refractive error between the two eyes. Our eyes continue to change and develop up to age 18. Perhaps refractive surgery performed at ages below 18 could prevent amblyopia from developing.
Dr. Khanna will perform a detailed and thorough examination to establish your medical candidacy for LASIK. You should plan to spend about two hours in the office for this exam.
If you’re ready to take the next step and schedule your free LASIK consultation with
Dr. Khanna, call us or email us today! See the difference LASIK can make in your life when you choose Khanna Institute for your procedure.