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Life Without Glasses

Dr. Robert Maloney believes that a well-informed patient is key to successful vision correction surgery. He wants to be sure that you fully understand what you can expect from your procedure you choose.

He wants to help you care for and preserve your eyesight in the best way possible. Here, you can find the information that you need to help you make informed choices about health care for your eyes.

Physical Factors

To be considered a good candidate for vision correction surgery, it’s important to be in overall good health. We eye doctors check for specific factors that could affect the outcome of your eye surgery.

Ideal Age

A good candidate is at least eighteen years old because the vision of people younger than eighteen years usually continues to change. Myopia may continue to increase in some patients until their mid- to late twenties. Surgery can be done, but the vision after surgery will gradually decline, just like it was declining before surgery.

Like all rules, there are exceptions. I once consulted with a sixteen-year-old who was the star of his high school football team and could no longer tolerate the discomfort of his contacts and couldn’t play effectively with glasses. I did LASIK for him with spectacular results, but I expect and he understands that he’ll be back in five or ten years for an enhancement procedure to better his vision as age-related changes occur.

Stable Prescription

No matter what your age is, to be considered a good candidate for vision correction surgery, your eyeglass prescription for distance should be stable. In practical terms, your prescription is stable if your glasses or contacts are at least a year old and you still see well with them. Reading glasses are a different story. You may need stronger reading glasses every few years as the lens of your eye hardens, but this is not a sign of instability of your prescription.

Treatable Refractive Parameters

The optimal procedure will depend on your eyeglass prescription. Refer back to the opening chapter for an explanation of how to read your eyeglass prescription.

Generally, myopia up to –8.00 diopters and hyperopia up to +3.00 diopters is treated with either PRK or LASIK. Farsightedness more than +3.00 diopters is usually treated with refractive lens exchange, and myopia above –8.00 diopters is usually treated with a contact lens implant.

Eye Health

Your eyes should be healthy. You shouldn’t have serious eye diseases or prior major eye surgeries or injuries. Your cornea should be structurally normal, not irregularly shaped (this will be determined at your preoperative examination). In particular, it is best if both eyes can be corrected to 20/20 vision with glasses.

Conditions that Could Affect Your Surgery Options »

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