It is a common misconception that patients over 40 are over the LASIK age limit. These patients can undergo LASIK and achieve vast improvement of nearsightedness but may still need to rely on reading glasses. Dr. Holzman frequently helps patients over the age of 40, even into their 60's.
I'm frequently asked, "Well, I'm over 40," or "I'm over 50, and aren't I too old for LASIK?" Well, in fact, you're not. Many of our patients are in their 40s and 50s and sometimes even in their 60s. The difference will be whether or not they need to wear reading glasses after the surgery. The loss of the ability to focus on near objects is something that happens to all people and typically starts in the 40s and 50s. It's called presbyopia, and it's caused by the lack of elasticity in the natural lens. If I fix both of your eyes for distance, and you're in your 40s or 50s, you're going to need those cheaters that you see people buying at the drug store.
However, we have different options with laser vision correction, for patients who are in their 40s and 50s, that can limit the need for reading glasses. The most common option that we perform is something called the Monovision approach where we combine treatments for near and far using the fact that we have a dominant and a non-dominant eye. We test in advance to make sure that the patient likes this approach, so patients who do this technique typically can see both distance and near without the need for glasses.
Another approach is what's called the corneal inlay. The most common one you'll hear about at our TLC sites is the Raindrop Inlay, which is made up mostly of water and gets inserted into the cornea. Again, it's done on the non-dominant eye. And it can restore the ability to read again when you're in your 40s and 50s and 60s without disturbing distance vision very much. A lot of research and development has gone into this technique, and it is quite promising, so ask your doctor about this as an option.