Is there any sort of age requirement or age limit to have laser eye surgery?
Most doctors in the refractive surgery field typically do not perform LASIK or PRK surgery on anyone under the age of 21 because their eyes can still be developing and changing. Even for those patients who are over the age of 21, they need to make sure that their refraction or prescription is stable before proceeding with the surgery. It seems to be ideal if your refraction is stable to have LASIK or PRK in your early to mid twenties because many patients have told us that they have been able to enjoy great vision up close and at a distance for many years. The FDA has approved LASIK and PRK for patients who are 18 years old or older. The procedure has no upper age limit. Many patients who are in their 30’s or 40‘s have the LASIK or PRK procedure. It is important to consider the common aging condition of the lens of the eye called presbyopia which is the need for reading glasses after the age of 40 because your lens in the eye does not “auto” focus for you as it once did. If you are in this age bracket and are considering LASIK or PRK your doctor should discuss this condition with you and the possibility of having a monovision procedure or the need for reading glasses post procedure for near work.
LASIK and PRK is safe and effective for patients who are in their 50 and 60’s, however, other factors such as cataracts start appearing at this age, and must be evaluated before going on. If you have cataracts and they are developing then LASIK will not be the best procedure to improve your vision. At that point cataract surgery should be considered. Some patients do undergo LASIK in their 70’s and 80’s, but it is as an enhancement for their cataract surgery. The ideal age for LASIK or PRK is when your prescription is stable and more important than age is the health of the eyes and the stability of the refraction.