LASIK Suitability: Factors That Determine Your Candidacy

When it comes to vision correction, LASIK surgery has become a household name, offering millions the possibility of a life free from glasses or contact lenses. But before you can revel in the prospect of clear vision, it's essential to determine whether you're a suitable candidate for this procedure.

Understanding LASIK and How it Works

LASIK is a type of refractive surgery designed to correct common vision problems such as myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism. The goal is to reshape the cornea so that light entering the eye can be properly focused onto the retina for clearer vision.

The procedure typically involves creating a thin flap in the cornea with a laser or a blade. The surgeon then lifts the flap to access the underlying corneal tissue and uses an excimer laser to remove microscopic amounts of tissue and reshape the cornea. After the cornea is reshaped, the flap is laid back in place, where it heals over time without the need for stitches.

Factors Influencing Your Candidacy for LASIK

Several factors can determine whether you're an ideal candidate for LASIK. Age is an essential consideration; typically, candidates should be at least 18 years old to ensure that their eyes have stopped changing. Stable vision is also crucial; your prescription should remain consistent for at least a year before considering LASIK.

The thickness and shape of your cornea play a vital role in determining LASIK suitability. If your cornea is too thin or irregularly shaped, it may not be possible to safely perform the surgery. Certain eye conditions such as dry eyes, keratoconus, or a history of corneal ulcers may preclude you from being a good candidate.

General health is another factor. If you have diabetes, autoimmune diseases, or are taking medications that affect wound healing, these could impact your LASIK outcomes. It's also imperative to have realistic expectations. While LASIK can significantly improve vision, it may not result in perfect vision for every individual, and some may still need glasses for certain activities.

The Importance of Consultation with an Optometrist

Before making any decisions about LASIK, a consultation with an optometrist is paramount. This professional will perform a comprehensive eye exam to assess your vision needs and determine if you're a suitable candidate for the surgery. They can also provide an overview of what to expect before, during, and after the procedure and answer any questions you may have.

During the consultation, your optometrist will measure your prescription, examine the health of your eyes, and discuss your lifestyle and vision goals. This is the time to disclose any past or current eye conditions, surgeries, or if you're prone to dry eyes. They'll also evaluate your corneal thickness and topography to ensure that LASIK is a safe option for you.

Risks and Considerations for LASIK Surgery

While LASIK is widely regarded as a safe and effective procedure, it's not without its risks and potential side effects. One of the most common post-operative complications is dry eyes, which can be temporary or chronic. Proper assessment and treatment of dry eyes before surgery can help mitigate this risk.

Other potential risks include under-correction or over-correction of your vision, which may require additional surgery or the use of glasses or contacts. There's also the possibility of experiencing glare, halos around lights, or double vision, typically during the recovery period. In rare cases, these symptoms may persist long-term.

It's essential to weigh these risks against the potential benefits of LASIK. Also, consider your lifestyle and whether the activities you engage in may affect your suitability for the surgery. Your optometrist will discuss these considerations with you to help you make an informed decision.


Deciding on LASIK surgery is a significant personal choice that requires careful consideration of the factors discussed. Your candidacy depends on a variety of elements, from your eye health and prescription stability to your general well-being and lifestyle. It's a decision that must be made in consultation with a professional optometrist who can guide you through the process and help you understand the risks and potential outcomes.

If you're considering LASIK surgery, take the first step by scheduling a consultation with our optometrist to explore your options and gain the clarity you need to make an informed decision. Visit Broad View Eye Center at our office in Berea, Broadview Heights, or Strongsville, Ohio. Call (440) 526-7070 or (440) 238-7865 to book an appointment today.