Prescription Limits That Can Influence Eligibility For Laser Eye Surgery

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Prescription Limits That Can Influence Eligibility For Laser Eye Surgery

If a person doesn’t want to wear their eyeglasses or contact lenses, another option for refractive error correction is laser eye surgery. This surgical option is common and permanently alters the shape of the cornea. By altering the cornea, laser eye surgery influences how light enters your eye, changing your vision and enhancing visual clarity. Although this surgery is very popular, not everyone is a good candidate for laser eye surgery. Candidates need to have healthy eyes and their refractive errors need to be mild enough that laser eye surgery can adequately address how light enters the eye. Not all refractive errors will benefit from laser eye surgery, and in these cases, optometrists don’t recommend this treatment.

Which Prescriptions Might Not Benefit From Laser Eye Surgery

The severity of your refractive error indicated by your prescription is one deciding factor as to whether or not you will be eligible for laser eye surgery but this alone does not determine if you will be approved for this treatment. Whether or not you are referred for this procedure will depend on the professional opinion of your optometrist during a laser eye surgery consultation. Different laser eye surgery clinics may also offer slightly different services depending on the machines they are using. In general, people with severe refractive errors are not recommended for laser eye surgery since trying to correct too much of a person’s cornea can risk making the cornea too thin and damaging vision.

Severe Myopia
If you have severe myopia, also known as shortsightedness or nearsightedness, you may not be eligible for laser eye surgery. Typically, a myopia prescription around -8.0 D is considered a severe refractive error. Although you are less likely to be approved for laser eye surgery with this severe of a refractive error, it is still possible if you have thick corneas. In order to correct a refractive error with a prescription of -8.0D or lower, more tissue will need to be removed from the cornea than in most cases.

Severe Hyperopia
If you have hyperopia, or farsightedness, with a prescription over +5.0D, there are few laser eye surgery clinics with the technology to address this refractive error. And if your prescription is over +7.0D, you will likely not be approved to receive laser eye surgery anywhere.

Severe Astigmatism
Astigmatism occurs when the eye is oddly shaped, often affecting the shape and size of the cornea and the lens. Laser eye surgery for astigmatism requires corrections on more than one plane and often a person with astigmatism will also have either hyperopia or myopia. In general, people with an astigmatism prescription of +6.0D or over are not eligible for laser eye surgery.
 

Learn Your Eligibility For Laser Eye Surgery In Calgary

Even if you have severe myopia, hyperopia, or astigmatism, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t receive laser eye surgery. Your optometrist may determine your corneas are thick enough to undergo this procedure. If laser eye surgery is not an option, you can discuss other options to make everyday eyeglass wear more comfortable. At Sunridge Eye Clinic, our goal is to provide you with the highest standard of care and the most advanced eye health solutions in Calgary. To speak to a Calgary optometrist about laser eye surgery referrals or to schedule an eye exam, call Sunridge Eye Clinic at 1-403-280-7518 or fill out the contact form.
 

FAQ

Q: If I have laser eye surgery, does that mean I will never have to wear eyeglasses again?
A: That will depend on the extent of your refractive error and your eye health going forward. Some people receive laser eye surgery to improve their eyesight but they still need to wear corrective lenses, although their new eyeglasses may be thinner. Laser eye surgery also does not protect against the development of eye conditions that damage the eye (such as glaucoma) or against developed refractive errors such as presbyopia that occurs after surgery.

Q: What are the risks of getting laser eye surgery?
A: As with any surgical procedure there is a possibility of complications. Although rare there are some risks associated with laser eye surgery such as:

  • Under/overcorrection of vision
  • Vision regression
  • Post-surgical infection
  • Visual aberrations such as haze or oversized pupils
  • Dry eye complications
  • Inflammation
  • Irregular flap healing
  • Epithelial ingrowth

Q: I am interested in laser eye surgery, what do I need to think about before receiving treatment?
A: Before you receive laser eye surgery you may want to consider:

  • Your age
  • Your eye health
  • Your overall health
  • If you have a way to get home from the procedure

For more information, read Things To Consider Before Committing To Laser Eye Surgery.


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