Six Things to Consider Before Getting Laser Vision Correction
More and more people are discovering the benefits of laser vision correction in Toronto as it is a more permanent treatment for restoring declining vision.
Laser vision correction aims to restore eyesight to 20/20 acuity, eliminating the need for prescription glasses and lenses. The only question is, are you a good candidate for laser vision surgery?
Before proceeding with laser vision correction, your eye doctor in Toronto needs to certify that you are a good candidate. There are many factors to be considered, including your exact vision impairment and prescription, age and lifestyle, and general health. It pays to have each of these factors assessed carefully — it translates to the success of your laser vision correction procedure and your restored, healthy eyesight.
What to Consider Before Laser Vision Correction
1. Your lifestyle habits
Life can be messy and challenging, and more so when you can’t see clearly. Laser vision correction is all about convenience: it’s designed to eliminate the need for corrective eyewear, so you have one less thing to worry about wearing and keeping track of.
In the long-term, it also eliminates the need for regular changes to your prescription glasses since vision correction is permanent. More than the convenience, think about all of the activities you can engage in with perfect vision.
2. What type of laser vision correction are you considering?
Though undeniably the leading and most popular laser vision correction procedure, LASIK is not the only one of its kind. Other types of laser eye surgery exist, including ReLEx SMILE. ReLEx SMILE treats higher degrees of nearsightedness with or without astigmatism with a bladeless, flapless and gentle refractive procedure. Only one laser is used for the process from start to finish.
Your eye surgeon can walk you through these laser vision correction options and help you make an informed choice based on your specific condition, health, and other lifestyle factors. That’s why it’s crucial to choose a qualified eye surgeon — one who is experienced and highly successful in laser eye surgery, transparent about its risks, and attentive to your medical history and patient care standards.
Like any medical procedure, laser vision correction impacts people differently depending on their age and health. Generally, patients between the ages of 18 and 65 who are in good health are good candidates for laser eye surgery. However, getting the all-clear before the procedure is still on a case-by-case basis.
For patients younger than 18, health professionals typically hold off on surgery, especially for permanent treatments. In particular, vision undergoes a lot of changes between childhood and early adulthood, and it is only typically after the age of 19 that it stabilizes. If vision problems persist or worsen, your eye surgeon can then recommend laser vision correction.
Patients who are older than 40 may also qualify for other types of vision correction. That’s why it’s important to keep up with vision healthcare; for example, blurry vision while reading, combined with ageing, can be presbyopia, which has other treatments, like reading glasses. As well, patients who have cataracts — typically those over the age of 70 — may require a lens replacement procedure because laser eye surgery cannot correct this condition.
4. Your current prescription and prescription range
One of the most common misconceptions about laser vision correction is that your prescription must stabilize first. However, changes to your eyesight after 18 are typically minor, so you are usually a good candidate for laser surgery by then.
Still, your eye surgeon needs to check your prescription and ensure that it hasn’t changed too drastically in the last year. For good vision care and up-to-date information about your prescription range, make sure to book regular eye exams. These provide a benchmark for how much your vision is declining and how well it can improve after laser vision correction.
5. Your general health
Like any medical procedure, laser vision correction comes with certain risks and can impact patients differently based on their general health and underlying health conditions. Your eye surgeon will need your full medical history to ensure that you are a good candidate for laser vision correction and won’t suffer adverse reactions due to any underlying conditions. Here’s what your eye doctor needs to know about your general health — and why a surgery like ReLEx SMILE may not be the best option:
If you’ve ever had severely dry eyes, laser vision correction may not be recommended since it is a common temporary side effect of the procedure. If your dry eyes are caused by medication like isotretinoin, your eye doctor will elect to wait until you complete the course of medication before proceeding.
Diabetes, autoimmune disease, collagen vascular disease, and other pre-existing conditions may prevent you from getting laser vision correction, so make sure to provide your eye surgeon with a complete medical history.
Other eye conditions
Laser vision correction is designed to treat nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. You will need a different treatment if you suffer from other eye conditions like keratoconus, corneal scarring, cataracts, glaucoma, and ocular herpes.
Your corneal thickness
The cornea — or the surface layer of the eye and integral to vision — has to measure at a certain thickness to ensure the suitability of laser vision correction. Your eye surgeon will conduct a safe and extensive diagnostic exam to measure your cornea’s thickness and determine the degree of refractive errors.
A suitably thick cornea means there will be enough corneal tissue to remain after laser vision correction. If your cornea is too thin, there are alternative treatments that can free you from glasses and contact lenses.
6. After your laser vision correction surgery
“How soon will my vision improve?” is one of the most common questions patients ask when considering laser vision correction. ReLEx SMILE is so gentle that it is normally possible to go to work, drive, apply makeup or take a shower within a few days post-surgery.
Laser vision correction is also not without risks — it is still surgery, which means complications, though rare, can occur. The most common of which is overcorrection or undercorrection, which can further impact vision quality, but rarer ones like damage to the cornea, leading to inflammation can also happen.
Finally, depending on your prescription strength and age — two factors that influence the degree of declining vision — your 20/20 vision might only be possible if you continue to wear corrective glasses after the procedure.
To learn more about laser vision correction, call Clearview Vision Institute at 647-493-6196, or contact us here.