October 18, 2017
Vision correction procedures like laser eye surgery are great for treating refractive errors and improving sight, but not everyone is an ideal candidate. Teenagers and parents of older adolescents often ask questions about the benefits of eye surgery for young patients.
Since it reduces or eliminates the dependence or expense of corrective lenses, laser eye surgery seems to be the best treatment for teens. This age group tends to lead active lifestyles; without having to wear glasses, they can play sports or perform other physical activities without worry. Some kids feel self-conscious or unattractive due to their corrective lenses and find that refractive surgery may be a lot more convenient than contact lenses.
While vision correction seems perfect for teenagers, the answer is no; teens are usually not good candidates for laser eye surgery. They are rarely even considered for eye surgery because of the procedural technique and how it changes the shape of the corneas.
Even though teenagers are older, they are still growing and maturing—even their eyes. Laser eye surgery is most successful when performed on adult eyes that have fully matured.
Growing teens are still undergoing vision changes. Instead of having to undergo eye surgery every few years, it is more reasonable to wait until the patient reaches adulthood.
To perform effective eye surgery, candidates need to maintain a stable prescription for a year, minimum. This shows the eye specialist that the corneal shape will remain the same, allowing for a successful vision correction.
There is no set age; it varies for person to person. Typically, most patients reach maturity in their mid to late twenties. The older the adult, the more stable the vision, making the patient a better candidate for eye surgery. This is usually contingent on the stability of a patient’s vision prescription over a year.
Ultimately, the best candidates for laser eye surgery are adults with a stable eye prescription that are not pregnant or nursing, are without dry eye syndrome, and with overall good eye health.