According to the FDA, the minimum age requirement for LASIK surgery is 18. However, many eye care specialists operating in the field and providing LASIK procedures agree that the optimal age for patients to get LASIK surgery is about 25.
Being at the ideal age for LASIK will ensure efficacy and safety of your LASIK procedure.
Ideal Age Range for LASIK
The ideal age range for LASIK candidates is 25 to 40.
When a person reaches the age of 25, their glasses and contact lens prescriptions are more likely to have stabilized, which is an important criteria for determining LASIK candidacy. This age range is also before age-related vision changes, such as presbyopia, take hold in a person’s 40s.
Why Is There an Age Limit for LASIK?
One of the primary considerations when gauging if a patient is a good candidate for LASIK is determining if the person has a stable prescription when it comes to their eyeglasses and contact lenses.
In an individual’s mid-20s, it is far more likely that their eyesight and prescription have stabilized, which sets the stage for an effective LASIK procedure.
Best Age for Getting LASIK
The best age for getting LASIK depends on the individual. Eyesight and prescription stability will vary somewhat from person to person. The best course of action is to develop a relationship with an experienced ophthalmologist who has a real sense of your current health profile as well as an idea of your medical history.
Those with a propensity for eye infection or individuals who have certain types of autoimmune disorders are generally bad candidates for LASIK, no matter what their age is.
The reason behind the ideal age range is predominantly due to stability of prescription. If your eyesight has been in flux, it’s best not to pursue LASIK until you reach a place of stability. A good general rule for determining candidacy is having a stable prescription for at least one year but preferably two years.
Is LASIK Safe for Patients Over 40?
If you’re more advanced in age and wondering if LASIK is worth pursuing after 40 years old, the short answer is yes. Individuals who are over 40 can still undergo a successful LASIK procedure.
Patients who are older can still achieve improved vision, in many cases no longer needing glasses or contact lenses. Talk to your eye surgeon about whether LASIK is good for your situation regardless of your age.
Other Factors That Determine LASIK Candidacy
There are a few basic requirements that will help determine if you are a candidate for LASIK. Your LASIK candidacy should be determined by an experienced eye care professional.
Good candidates for LASIK surgery fit these criteria:
- At least 18 years old
- Good corneal health
- Do not have a propensity for eye infections
- Have at least 20/40 vision when wearing glasses or contact lenses
- Have a stable eye prescription — ideally for two years consistently
Individuals with any sort of eye disease or autoimmune disorder are most likely not going to be a good candidate for this procedure. Moving forward with LASIK surgery even though you are not an ideal candidate will increase the likelihood of experiencing adverse effects.
No matter which way you’re leaning when it comes to LASIK surgery, the most important measure you can take is consulting with an experienced and reputable ophthalmologist. Many eye care specialists provide complimentary consultations.
During your LASIK consultation, it’s important to be as transparent as possible and to never withhold information about your eye health or overall health. The surgeon will assess your health, medical history, refractive error, and corneal thickness. They will use various tools to determine if you are a good candidate for LASIK.
Predictive Factors for Efficacy and Safety in Refractive Surgery for Myopia. (December 2018). PLOS ONE.
Effect of Age on Visual and Refractive Results After LASIK: Mechanical Microkeratome Versus Femtosecond Laser. (March 2019). International Journal of Ophthalmology.
Refractive Eye Surgery: Helping Patients Make Informed Decisions About LASIK. (May 2017). American Family Physician.
Last Updated January 10, 2023
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