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LASIK for Patients of Advanced Age

By Andrew Holzman on March 16, 2015

A smiling woman in a grey roomDr. Andrew E. Holzman has helped people in the greater Washington DC area achieve excellent vision and improve their quality of life. Many times this is thanks to LASIK surgery, a laser vision correction option for refractive errors. So many people can benefit from LASIK surgery, eliminating their need for contacts and eye glasses.

While patients need to be at least 18 to undergo LASIK, we're often asked, “Can much older people, such as people in their 50s, get LASIK?”

Let's answer that question and explore the issue in more depth right now.

Is there an upper age limit for LASIK surgery?

No.

While it's important for LASIK patients to be at least 18 years old, technically there is no upper age limit for patients to undergo LASIK. In fact, people in their 50s and older have undergone the procedure and achieved excellent results.

That said, there are a number of concerns and considerations to keep in mind when performing LASIK on people who are of advanced age.

Issues to Consider When it Comes to LASIK for Advanced Age

For one, the overall health of a patient must be taken into account. If a patient has poor general health that is the result of advanced age or an eye condition that arose in advanced age, he or she may not be a good candidate for LASIK surgery any longer.

The steadiness of the patient's prescription is also very important to keep in mind. With advanced age, a patient's vision may steadily be in decline, and if that patient is unable to have a stable prescription for at least one year, LASIK would be a poor option to consider.

Presbyopia and Monovision LASIK Surgery

With advanced age, one issue that may affect vision is presbyopia. This is a type of farsightedness that is caused by the loss of flexibility in the lens of the eye. When this occurs, traditional LASIK may not be ideal. Instead, monovision LASIK is commonly performed. Monovision LASIK corrects one eye for near vision and one for distance vision rather than both eyes for optimal vision.

How Cataract Progression Affects LASIK Considerations

In addition to presbyopia, cataracts are a major factor when it comes to eye conditions in advanced age. Cataracts are a condition that affects the lens of the patient's eye, causing cloudiness and vision loss.

If a patient develops cataracts or starts to develop cataracts, LASIK is generally a poor option to consider. Instead, cataract surgery should be performed, with an intraocular lens (IOL) placed in order to improve the patient's vision.

Alternatives to LASIK for Elderly Patients

During a consultation process, your eyes will be carefully checked and your candidacy for LASIK will be determined. If you are a poor candidate for LASIK or any sort of refractive surgery procedure, the ideal option to consider will typically be the use of corrective lenses (i.e., glasses and contact lenses). These matters can be discussed in greater detail during a visit to our practice.

Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Andrew E. Holzman

For more information about LASIK and how it can help you have healthy eyes and excellent vision, be sure to contact our advanced eye care center today. Dr. Andrew E. Holzman and the entire team at the practice looks forward to your visit and helping you make the best choices with regard to your eye health and vision.

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