Laser eye surgery is often a viable option for seniors, but there may be certain factors to take into account. Here we’ll take a look at what to consider if you’re over 60 and thinking about laser-assisted vision correction.
As we get older, it’s normal to experience common vision changes associated with ageing. Some of these – such as presbyopia – can be treated with laser eye surgery. Others, like cataracts, are better suited to other treatment (cataract surgery removes the cataracts and corrects vision using an implantable lens, rather than shaping the cornea with a laser).
So, before committing to laser eye surgery, it’s important to consider what’s causing your vision problems, and if any other eye conditions also need to be treated.
So, you have an eye condition like myopia, hypermetropia or presbyopia that’s suitable for laser treatment. But is laser eye surgery the best option, or should alternatives be considered? Well, the good news is that there’s no upper age limit for undergoing the surgery. Age alone isn’t a reason to dismiss the prospect of LASIK or other forms of laser eye surgery.
Whatever your age, there will always be certain factors that will immediately rule out laser eye surgery. These include some issues that may be more prevalent in older people. Pre-existing conditions like uncontrolled diabetes or epilepsy, and certain prescription drugs that are incompatible with laser eye surgery will unfortunately mean that you need to seek alternative treatment. If you don’t have any of these conditions or other pertinent health issues, however, then you are likely to be a good candidate for laser eye surgery.
Book an appointment with your specialist to discuss your own individual vision problems, and the best course of treatment.
In older patients with presbyopia, laser eye surgeons may decide to treat one eye for distance vision and the other for near distances. This is known as blended vision, and it’s particularly suited to patients who would otherwise use bifocal or varifocal lenses.
Even if you haven’t yet developed cataracts, statistics show that as you age, this is likely to happen. Your surgeon will consider this when assessing your suitability for laser eye surgery, to make an informed decision about the type of treatment that will suit you best.
Recovery from surgery is usually a quick process, but for seniors, it can take a little longer. Talk to your specialist about what to expect when recovering from surgery.